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Hello. The auction is a great place to start, whether it's
an investment opportunity or to buy your forever home.
Yeah, there's something for everyone - different types of properties,
all kinds of price tags, all over the country.
But don't forget, stick to your budget,
make sure you know what you're buying and you've researched it
and, you never know, you could be laughing all the way to the bank
when you buy your next home under the hammer.
Now, we're always saying don't let your head rule your heart,
but we know how hard that can be.
Yeah, but sometimes, and only sometimes,
-your heart could be right.
-So, was it head or heart for today's buyers?
Well, here's what they bought.
In Plymouth, Devon, I'm reeling against the '60s decor.
This stuff! I mean, was that ever a fashion?!
And in Tottenham, North London,
this wouldn't meet current fashion trends.
A little bit shabby around the edges, and that's not shabby chic.
While in Newcastle-under-Lyme,
I found a fashion statement that I hope never returns.
A nice sort of textured plaster, on top of wallpaper.
All these properties were bought at auction.
We'll find out who bought them and how much they paid for them,
when these homes went under the hammer.
Plymouth, in Devon, has a vast maritime history
and is home to Plymouth Sound,
one of the most perfect natural harbours in the world.
It was here in Plymouth that Sir Francis Drake enjoyed
a game of lawn bowls before setting off to
take on the Spanish Armada, way back in 1588.
Well, not far from Plymouth's famous harbour is Stoke village.
A familiar name, but maybe not a familiar place,
but this is where 19th-century naval officers
built their villas. But it's not one of those I'm here to see.
It's actually a Victorian terrace.
Three bedrooms, guide price £100,000-plus.
Let's see, see, see what it's like inside.
I love these houses, actually.
Very grand position up those stairs. Really nicely located.
And traditionally quite grand houses.
I mean, this was, in its day, a very rich city.
And the people who worked here, some of them made lots of money
from the sea or whatever and built houses to suit, so they are grand.
This is no exception. In fact, one of the things
I'm noticing straightaway is this is a house that, thankfully,
hasn't had some of those original features ripped out.
I mean, look at that door.
Pretty boring at the moment, but you know what, that is a fashion
that was done in the 1960s to cover up the beautiful doors underneath.
It's joyous, actually, cos all you need to do is take off
this bit of hardboard that's on the front there, and behind there
will be a beautiful pitch-pine original Victorian doorway.
And... A door, rather!
And likewise, the floors, I reckon underneath these carpets,
if you took them out, you'd find those beautiful thick pine
floorboards that you can strip back
and just dramatically affect the way this house looks,
because, intrinsically, it's a great property straightaway.
You've got the bay window there.
A few signs of damp, that's not ideal, um,
but a really nice-sized space and then, rear sitting room here.
Um, again, it's just got that feeling to it.
It's immediately very appealing.
Well, sadly, things start to go a bit wrong
the further you sort of disappear into the property,
because there's a corridor leading down to this area here,
which is like, I guess, a traditional rear sitting room.
That's sort of OK, if this was where the kitchen was, but it's not.
You have to go through this extra door, up a step,
to find the kitchen and, as you can see, it's absolutely tiny.
For the size of house, this just doesn't work.
I mean, you do question, don't you,
why somebody didn't take that wall out when they did this -
that would be, incorporating that,
a perfect-sized kitchen for this property.
Um, the other bad thing, unfortunately, is this!
Right at the back of the house, this is your bathroom and loo.
Um, now surely, surely, for this kind of house,
this isn't the only bathroom and loo?
# I am the one and only... #
Yes! The Homes Under The Hammer downstairs bathroom nemesis returns,
along with the often-seen tiny kitchen-big house syndrome.
Still, knocking through to creating a kitchen/diner is possible here
and certainly worth looking into.
Moving outside, and it's all looking a little tired and unloved.
And, because of the extension that houses the kitchen,
the garden is not as big as I'd like to see for a house of this size.
Time to take a look upstairs.
So, upstairs, and, well, there is a loo, which is good!
Um, it's a shame it's not a bathroom,
but the good news is at least all the soil pipes and things
are upstairs and all the plumbing, so extending that perhaps
into one of the bedrooms isn't going to be a massive, massive job.
Putting soil pipes in and everything definitely would be.
But what have we got up here? Three bedrooms, good sizes.
Nice-sized landing, but again, why, oh, why in the day
did people cover up... Look at that! Beautiful spindles!
..with this stuff?! I mean, was that ever a fashion?!
I don't know! Anyway, um, another bedroom there, it's a good size.
And then through to... the crowning glo...
Oh. Here was me getting all excited!
Crowning glory, I was just about to say!
An absolutely massive master bedroom, with that bay window.
But that looks like...there's a bit of a problem with the roof there.
It's obviously leaking in.
Um, that needs to be checked out and resolved straightaway.
Other than that, I can still get back to my enthusiastic
happiness about the whole house. Now, even with that, it's brilliant!
It does have its problems with damp and layout, but with a guide price
of 100,000, in the right hands, this property could be really lovely.
What does a local property agent make of it?
Um, if I was to improve this property,
I feel that I would, um,
basically refurbish it right through.
I think the main area you've got to focus on is a family room.
Perhaps knock the breakfast room and kitchen into one
and move the bathroom upstairs.
I feel the cost of refurbishment would be in the region
of about £30,000.
A fair sum of money, so what kind of value could be
placed on the property once refurbishment was complete?
I feel the property would be worth between 165 and £175,000,
once refurbished, depending on the standard of the refurbishment.
-And now, rental?
-I feel the rental value for this property
would be in the region of £800-£850 per calendar month.
Well, a few issues to resolve, mainly sorting out that toilet
and moving it upstairs, and also the downstairs layout,
definitely a few tweaks required.
But, intrinsically, a solid house and a big house for the money.
Let's see who went for it when it went under the hammer.
So, 100,000 is the guide. Looking to go at 100,000, if we can.
£100,000? Who's going to start me off at 100 in the room?
Sir will, at 100, thank you.
£100,000, seated. 101, somewhere else?
Back on the right, 101. 102?
'Surprisingly, it was a very slow start,
'with some very cautious bidding. We rejoin at £111,000.'
114, seated. Against you?
At £114,000, for the first time, seated here.
Second time at 114. I'll take 500 from you
if that'll help you two gents at the back there.
At £114,000, selling here to the gentleman seated.
At 114,000... Are we done?
Sold to you.
That successful bid of £114,000 was made by Stefan who,
along with his partner Alison, is
stepping into the world of property renovation for the first time.
I met them both back at the property to find out more.
Stefan, Alison, great to meet you both. Congratulations.
-BOTH: Thank you.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
Well, we were looking for a reasonably-priced period property.
Somewhere that hadn't been modernised and messed around with
too much and, hopefully, sell it on, you know, at a reasonable price.
Right. So what's the appeal of sort of period properties?
They've got character, they've got personality. There is...
This particular property, all the period features have been covered up,
and so what we want to do is just bring them back and reveal them.
Just to bring it out and make it
-beautiful and harmonious.
-Are you going to...?
-Harmonious? An interesting word!
How do you make a property harmonious?
Well, I think there's a sense of balance
-and what we liked about this house was that it flowed...
..and the light was nice in it, and it feels nice.
# I'm picking up good vibrations
# She's giving me the excitations... #
Alison is a psychologist, so perhaps
being tuned into her surroundings is just second nature to her.
Stefan has worked as a carpenter
and has just completed an interior design course.
That, along with their enthusiasm for period charm,
definitely gives me good vibes about this project.
They have plans to restore the period features, like the fireplace.
But, of course, there are more fundamental issues to tackle.
The problem area is really the kitchen and breakfast room.
And we're not quite sure what we're going to do with that yet.
-We might possibly demolish the whole lot...
-..and rebuild it.
-We are going to open it up...
-..to make a big kitchen/diner.
-Get light in there, find a way to open it up to the garden,
so that there's a connection between the two.
We're not quite sure how we're going to do that yet, and what we're going
-And you've got the bathroom there as well.
-Yeah, that's got to go upstairs.
So we've got to borrow space,
possibly borrow a little bit of space from two of the bedrooms
and put the bathroom sort of in the middle there.
So are you going to actually do some of the physical work?
Because that's the fun bit at times -
ripping things off and discovering what's there.
-Yeah, we hope to, yeah.
-Yeah, a bit of uncovering of history.
So what's the budget?
-The budget is £30,000-£40,000.
-Mm-hm. What the timescale?
-Three or four months?
-And it's your first venture?
-It is, yeah, it is. So part of what we're doing is the learning.
We need to make a profit, but it's also a learning process for us.
-So we will put quite a lot of thought in it, because I think,
if you put care into something for people, they feel it.
And they want to live there.
So we will be thinking quite a lot about how to finish it
and how to make it nice for people, but without going mad on the price,
cos there's definitely a ceiling on this street.
-Well, listen, congratulations to you both.
-Good luck with it.
-Thanks, Martin, thanks a lot.
-We'll see how you get on.
-Yeah, thank you.
Well, I think Alison and Stefan have chosen really well
for their first property development project.
I can't wait to see what they do, especially sorting out
the back here, cos it definitely needs a bit of internal work.
Will it be a harmonious result?
You can find out later in the programme.
This is the area of Tottenham in North London.
Times are changing here,
with perhaps its most famous residents - local football team
Tottenham Hotspur - announcing plans to build a new stadium locally.
As well as redevelopment of White Hart Lane station
being part of regeneration happening in the wider area.
It all sounds pretty positive, doesn't it? Well, let's see
if that continues with the auction property I'm here to visit.
As you can see, well, this can be quite a busy road,
but it's also convenient as it's on the bus route
and White Hart Lane train station is only a five-minute walk away.
Now, the two-bed flat I'm here to see had a guide price of £140,000.
And it's at this rather large development.
Now, I've just got to find it.
Wish me luck!
This is a fairly new development,
built in the 1980s and on the site of a former boys school.
If you like character, then these flats won't be for you,
but practically speaking, they certainly work.
There's plenty of parking for residents
and the blocks are set back away from that busy road.
Now, time to brave the stairs.
Something to bear in mind, if buying a leasehold flat,
with communal areas like this, is there will almost certainly
be a service charge, as well as the ground rent.
In this instance, these come in at around two grand a year.
If I bought this flat, I'd like to know
where that money is being spent, as the hallway
could certainly do with a lick of paint and a bit of a tidy up!
Still, the length of the lease is around 120 years,
so no issues there.
OK, so I have cheated.
I did have a little rest before I entered the flat.
And that's because there's three flights of stairs to climb,
so, once you've got over the shock of that,
it's actually not a bad little flat.
So, through here, we've got a really nice-sized double bedroom,
a single bedroom through here, a bathroom with a white suite,
although, I would say, a little bit shabby around the edges
and that's not shabby chic. Um, through here, into the lounge area.
Now, again, a fantastic space. No central heating.
You've just got these heaters here on the wall.
That's not even on the wall.
So, look, you can just see, it needs a bit of love, some TLC.
You've got the textured ceilings up there,
which will need to be sorted out.
Lovely big window, though, letting in loads of light.
Ah! And through here, a tiny kitchen!
Ha! A very small kitchen indeed, which is a bit of a disappointment.
Now, you may notice there's a lot of things lying around.
That's because this flat is tenanted,
but they have been served notice and are about to move out,
so you've got to see beyond all the things that are lying around.
So not a bad property.
Good space, good location, good proximity to the tube station.
It just needs some TLC and some money spending on it.
Then you've got a really nice little two-bedroom flat here.
So, because the tenants are due to move out,
that allows the buyer to carry out some refurbishments.
# Fix up, look sharp... #
And the good news is, once it's empty, well,
I don't really think it'll take too much money to turn it around.
Those windows are fine and, once remounted onto the wall,
there's heating in here too.
Now, I'm not a fan of the cheap laminate flooring,
so I would change that to something of a better quality,
and you could get away with cleaning the kitchen and the bathroom,
but personally, I'd like to change them if I was going to live here.
Now, you might well be thinking just what I was thinking -
close to the station, plenty of parking -
this would make a great buy-to-let.
However, if you'd read the legal document before this went to
auction, well, you'd know there's a clause in there that states
these flats have to be owner-occupied.
Now, you can negotiate with the freeholder
and, with their permission only,
you might be allowed to rent it in the end,
but that is not guaranteed and it could take so much time to sort.
I've said it once, I'll say it again - always read the legal pack.
Case in point right there.
-# Baby, you better...
-..be aware... #
Now, yes, I know, this flat currently has tenants,
but clauses can be added by the freeholder, so what went before does
not necessarily mean any subsequent buyers will be given permission.
When it comes to property, never assume anything.
If you don't read that legal pack,
all sorts of problems can, er, well, sprout up!
Oops! Sorry, wrong veg!
We invited a local estate agent
to get his opinion on this purpose-built
It's spacious, it's a very bright flat.
It doesn't actually need that much work doing to it.
My advice would be just to paint it, giving it a freshen up.
Possibly change the floors, um,
a new kitchen and a new bathroom and that...
Literally, that's it, you've got a healthy lease here,
a nice, bright spacious flat.
So we're agreed - not much to do here.
What would you spend on top of the £140,000 guide price
to get it up to scratch?
Maybe 10 grand? So what could it be worth, then, on the open market?
Renovated nicely, I think it would fetch close to £300,000.
And if you bought this for a rental portfolio, what could you
expect it to achieve if you were given permission to rent it out?
Once it's renovated to a good standard, I think
the property would rent for up to £1,200 per calendar month.
Well, as far as renovations go,
this seems like a fairly straightforward one and I don't
think it should take too much time and money to turn it around.
I just hope whoever bought it did their homework.
On face value, well, it screams buy-to-let!
But we all know it might not be as easy as that. Don't we?
Let's head to the auction and find out who the purchaser was.
95. A leasehold, self-contained, purpose-built third-floor flat.
We've got two bedrooms. Start me at 150.
Thank you very much, by, er, by the wall, as far away as possible. 150.
Five, anyone? 155, anywhere?
Thank you. 55? 60. 65?
It's against you gentlemen, the two together,
standing up in front of me.
185. 190, sir?
190. 95. 195.
At 200. Your pleasure, sir?
Good bid, at 200. And five?
200 I have on my left, shake of the head.
Right, with you at 200, open bidder.
Second time. Anybody else?
Third and last time, at £200,000, on my left.
Are we all done? I think we are. 200,000 over here.
Anybody else? No.
Yours at 200.
And with that successful bid of £200,000 was Will...
..who bought the flat with friend and new business partner Chris,
and it's Chris that I'm meeting today.
This is the pair's first venture together,
so I was curious to find out what they had in store for the place.
So what was your plan behind your bidding scheme on the day?
So, it was a little bit chaotic.
Um, we were debating what price to go up to,
up until the moment that the property came on.
-So he was on the phone to you?
-So, he was sort of text messaging me.
Um, and we fluctuated between about 200 and about 230.
And so, there could've been some recriminations
if it had have got up towards that ceiling, I think.
So who wanted to go higher?
I was the most cautious before the day and then, on the day,
-I was saying, "No, let's go higher!"
-Wow! So you just braved it out?
A little bit, yeah. Or panicked, whichever way you look at it.
'Chris is keen to find a place of his own,
'but with the fast-moving market,
'finding that elusive deposit was a challenge,
'so he and friend Will have pooled resources in what
'they hope will be a buy-to-let, so there's quite a bit at stake here.'
And, on auction day, did you feel 100% prepared?
I mean, had you read the legal pack?
Were you there knowing everything you needed to know?
So, we'd read the legal pack the night before.
We kind of didn't really know how it worked.
YOU read it the night before? You didn't hand it to your solicitor?
So, we did, but again, they sort of came back and said,
"When is the auction?" And we said, "First thing tomorrow morning."
They said, "There's a limited amount that I can look over in this time."
And then, was there some glaringly obvious thing
that you thought, "Oops!"
So, at the time, we thought,
"Perfect, this has all gone very well."
And, um, and I got a phone call from Will, which just said,
"We may have a problem."
He'd come to look at another property in this development
and he'd been told by the estate agent
that they weren't legally allowed to rent them out,
and so we thought that we may just have bought somewhere
that we couldn't then rent out. So we were quite panicked and also,
because we've got a buy-to-let mortgage for the property,
we were also concerned about whether we would be able to get that.
-And so, fortunately, Will spoke to the freeholder, effectively,
and, fortunately, we got reassurance that we'd need
to inform them, there'd be a sort of form to fill in, there'd be
-a nominal payment to make, but that we could rent it out, so...
..that was quite a stressful 24 hours.
'So, Chris and Will's plans nearly came unstuck
'because they simply didn't do their research thoroughly enough.
'Luckily, the panic is now over,
'but there's still a flat to renovate before they can rest easy.'
So, what are you going to do to turn the flat around?
My friend Will, who I bought it with,
came and had a look at the weekend and he came in and said,
"I don't think we need to do very much work to it," and then,
I came in and thought, "We need to rip everything out
"and redo everything," and so, I think we still need to have
a little bit of a conversation about where we come out on that.
Oh, I love that! You see, that's the difference between two friends!
One person wants to rip everything out and one person thinks you could
-just use a J-cloth and wipe it over!
-Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly.
'One thing Will and Chris do agree on is that both the kitchen
'and bathroom are going to want replacing.
'The rest? Well, I guess we'll have to wait and see.
'The pair have set themselves a budget of around 10,000
'and plan to have the work complete in three to four months.'
So, who is going to do the work here?
So, we haven't had conversations with people who would do
the work yet, which is always a little bit of a concern,
because you never know how that's going to go.
-Seems like you haven't got a major plan set, have you?
You're a little bit making it up as you go along!
-I think that's a fair conclusion.
-Listen, Chris, congratulations.
I think you have got yourselves a fantastic flat.
-It certainly does need a spruce up.
I can't wait to see what you do here. Good luck with this project.
So, Chris DID read the legal pack, just not thoroughly enough.
He's had a lucky escape this time, but that's his first lesson learned.
I just hope that, now they have the keys,
he and his business partner Will do actually make a plan
to turn this flat around, that they agree on.
Join me later on in the programme
and you can find out how they get on.
'Coming up, in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Ivan doesn't exactly
'get his top pick at auction.'
Where was it on the list? That's the big question.
-Down towards the bottom, actually.
While, in Tottenham, North London,
Chris lucks out on his search for a reliable builder.
Um, touch wood, that has worked out very well.
Now, let's head back to the south coast of Devon
and the historical maritime city of Plymouth, where I visited this
three-bedroomed Victorian property with a guide price of £100,000-plus.
Inside, and the house was in need of some serious TLC,
including damp treatment and perhaps a structural reshuffle
to open up the kitchen and move the bathroom upstairs.
'But that aside, this had the potential to be a grand old house,
'jam-packed with charming period features,
'if a little hidden at times.'
Why, oh, why in the day did people cover up...
Look at that! Beautiful spindles!
..with this stuff?! I mean, was that ever a fashion?!
# The word is about There's something revolving... #
So, whoever bought this place was going to have to do some digging
to revive this jaded-looking property.
# That it's all just little bit of history repeating... #
So, off to auction it went, and with the final bid of £114,000
was first-time property developer Stefan and Alison.
Being a carpenter by trade, Stefan had recently finished a course
in interior design and had a keen eye for period detail in this house.
I mean, this particular property,
all the period features have been covered up, and so
what we want to do is just bring them back and reveal them.
A bit of uncovering of history.
# Aside set the little bits of history repeating... #
Returning this property back to its former glory had its challenges,
but with a budget of £40,000 and a timescale of four months,
I felt this couple's enthusiasm would make it a success.
And, by the looks of it, I was right.
They promised to do this with feeling and,
although it's taken over a year, harmonious is definitely the word.
Gone are the vestiges of the '50s and 60s and in their place
are some classy and sympathetic decor.
Thanks to Stefan's interior design course no doubt.
This is Victorian splendour with a modern twist,
and if you thought the two front rooms were great,
wait till you see the kitchen!
The previous extension housing that poky breakfast room,
kitchen and bathroom has been demolished and rebuilt.
The result is this stunning-looking modern kitchen/diner.
Upstairs, and the pair have continued the restoration job,
ripping off all that panelling
and exposing those beautiful spindles on the staircase banister.
The bedrooms have also had a face-lift, being replastered
and redecorated throughout.
And, in the master bedroom, that worrying hole in the ceiling
has been addressed and it's now looking incredible!
But whatever happened to that bathroom?
We decided the best thing to do, the best use of space,
in order to keep the three bedrooms,
was we could just about borrow a metre from this bedroom and a metre
from this bedroom, we could create an internal bathroom space here.
And, because it was an internal bathroom, we thought,
"Let's make it look really nice.
"Let's make people really want to be in here."
So we spent quite a lot of money on the tiles
and the fittings in here and, you know, I feel that we've
created quite a luxurious bathroom to give it that kind of wow factor.
It certainly isn't lacking in wow factor!
Alison and Stefan have done a remarkable job with
renovating this house, with an incredible attention to detail.
Part of the reason we wanted to buy this house is
there's lots of lovely original features,
all hidden away, all panelled and painted over in the 1970s style.
So we started to take them off and they were all really
wonderfully protected, including the panels in the hallway,
the wood panelling and then there's hand-painted tiles
of Scottish scenes, which apparently are quite rare.
There's no doubt that Alison and Stephan have put a lot of time
and effort into restoring this home to its former glory, and although
they do plan to sell, it's clearly been a labour of love for the pair.
I just think, having taken something that was really quite tired
and shabby and worn down and restored it
and made it beautiful, is the most rewarding thing for me.
Alison and Stefan, with the help of friend and builder Ricardo
and trusty labourer Matt,
have done the lion's share of the work here and a good job too.
But maybe that small team explains the big overrun
from their original timescale.
Yeah, I'd hoped it would've taken about four or five months.
In the end, it's taken about a year to do,
but that's because we've had to rebuild the extension.
It's also taken longer
because the last bit of it has been very fiddly,
getting the details right, just those finishing touches.
They have gone over their original £40,000 budget and have come in
at 55,000, making the grand total for this house 169,000.
So, will our first-time property investors turn a profit?
We invited two local estate agents
to find out.
Er, this is the second time inside the property
and I think the work that's been carried out has been to
an extremely high standard.
It's nice to see that they've actually done
something different other than magnolia and white.
They've really dressed the property well and they've emphasised
the period features and the feel of the property and I think
they've made it very attractive to any potential family buyers.
They're as impressed as I am, but as Alison said,
there is a ceiling price, so has their attention to detail
and their overspend bit into profit their profit?
Remember, they've spent a total of £169,000.
So what could this lovely house sell for?
If we were to put the property on the market today,
I feel we would achieve £200,000 for it.
I'd be putting it on the market for 199,950
to achieve offers in excess of £195,000.
To me, that was about what I expected.
Obviously, hope we get more, cos we put a lot of effort
and a lot of extra thought into the house.
Alison is a bit disappointed there.
But that valuation of 200,000
could mean a potential profit of 31,000, minus taxes and fees.
However, the couple have put the property on the market for 219,000.
But what could they get if they rented it?
If we were going to put the property on the rental market,
we would be asking £950 per calendar month for it.
We'd be looking at marketing it at £950 per calendar month,
in order to achieve somewhere around £925 per calendar month.
That's... That's good. That's higher than I'd expected.
That top figure would mean a yield of nearly 6.5%.
But it's not going to sway them. They plan to sell.
They're going to take a much-needed break for now,
but after this project, what advice do they have?
Don't skimp on things. Don't try and hide things.
You know, do an honest refurbishment and be proud of what you're doing.
This is the market town of Newcastle-under-Lyme
in Staffordshire. It has great road links to the A500 and M6.
I'm visiting the suburb of Clayton, which is the last urban area
before you get to some lovely Staffordshire countryside.
And here it is - it's an ex-local authority house,
has three bedrooms and it has a guide price of £54,000-plus.
Let's take a look.
OK, we've got a small porchway area,
with the stairs going up to the bedrooms.
Concrete floor - that's probably why it feels a little bit cold in here -
but, er, if rooms were tired, this isn't tired, this one's exhausted!
It does need a complete refurb in here.
That sense of cold and dampness is going to be coming from this as well.
Some severe water damage that's leaked in somehow
and you will have to find the source of that problem.
That's quite severe.
Let's have a look and see what's in here.
OK, we're through into the kitchen area here
and there's not a lot you could salvage in here.
I can see, in the corner as well, there's a few signs of damp.
You have got a bit more space through here.
You could extend the kitchen, or keep it as a utility room.
They must have put this door up to keep a dog in there,
I would've thought. So, first impressions are good,
but you would need to get that damp sorted out.
# Everybody's doing the doghouse boogie now... #
OK, so now the dogs have gone,
we've definitely got a fixer-upper on our hands.
Yes, this place is going to need a complete overhaul, but with the scope
to extend the kitchen, I think this house could turn into a real gem.
But what about the top floor?
Upstairs, we've got three bedrooms. You've got a box bedroom behind me.
You've got a nice-sized bedroom just there,
with a big window bringing lots of light in. The boiler in there.
Across the landing, you have got the toilet
and there's more signs of damp on that back wall as well.
And a bathroom. I'd be inclined to knock that through,
give yourself a nice big family bathroom up here.
And into the third bedroom and you've got a...
a nice sort of textured plaster just here, on top of wallpaper!
Which is a first for me.
I'm pretty sure it won't be the last.
# Oh, my first, the last My everything... #
I guess there's a first time for everything.
The upstairs is looking as exhausted as the ground floor
and there's more damp that will need some seeing to.
You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes
to work out where the damp is coming from, though.
You can see, from the stains on the back wall,
that this must've been water leaking from the overflow pipe.
It looks like it was unattended for some time.
If ever there was an example of importance in good maintenance,
then this is it. How much time and money could fixing this have saved?
On the plus side, there is a decent-sized garden here,
which isn't unusual with a former local authority property,
as they often have generous plots by today's standards.
But, and there's a big but...
Now, you know how we always say, "Read the legal pack"?
It's for reasons like this.
After World War II, building materials were scarce
and a lot of solid concrete floors were laid on fill material.
In this area, the fill is usually red ash.
If it gets damp, the floor bulges up.
There's only one way to get rid of that problem -
that's remove the red ash by digging it out.
That could be time-consuming and costly.
Two processes you do want to avoid.
These floors can make lenders very nervous, so check the legal pack
and see if it's been tested and, if it hasn't, you need to do it.
So, what more can an agent
from the auctioneers selling the property have to add?
After having a look around the property,
my thoughts have been that it does need a full renovation throughout.
It does benefit from double glazing and gas central heating, but there
are signs of damp throughout the property that would need attention.
So, once done up, would he recommend aiming it at an investor?
I would target the property onto the residential sales market.
Um, it's a well-regarded residential area here,
who I think it would suit an owner occupier.
Good to know. So that probably means
a better standard of finish would be best here.
And, let's face it, there's plenty of room for improvement.
Assuming that the work's done, what could this house sell for?
Once renovated, we would place this property on the market
somewhere in the region between £110,000 and £115,000.
That's not bad at all. With that low guide price of £54,000-plus,
in the right hands, this place could be a real money-spinner.
But what if the buyer chose to rent?
On completion of the work, I would see this property
being on the rental market for £550 per calendar month.
This ex-local authority house could be a really nice family home.
You would have to get that damp sorted, but I'm pretty sure
it's coming from that overflow pipe at the back of the property.
Now, if you get it for anywhere near that guide price,
you could be onto a winner.
Let's see who fancied it when it went under the hammer.
Lot number five, ex-local authority end townhouse.
50 to get it going?
50 in the aisle. Ticket in the aisle. Lady's bid 50.
52, sir? 52.
58. Lady's bid in the aisle, at £58,000. 60 anywhere else?
60, to my right. 60.
'Interest in the property was high.
'We return when the bids had reached £67,000.'
With you, sir. 67.
Third and final time, at £67,000.
New bidder. 68.
One more. 69.
He's shaking his head. 69, still with you, sir, at £69,000.
All done now?
69 once. Twice.
Third and final time, 69,000...
Bought it, well done.
With that final bid of £69,000 was John, who was bidding on behalf
of himself and business partner and best pal Ivan.
John couldn't make it along today,
but Ivan could and he's brought along his builder Matt.
'I met up with them back at the house to find out what
'they had planned for this place.'
-Ivan, nice to meet you. Congratulations.
-Thank you very much.
-Matt, nice to meet you.
-Hiya, you all right?
Now, tell us firstly why you didn't make the auction.
-I was working.
-I did know it was going on.
-I was called afterwards!
-So, you sent along your business partner?
-Yeah, John, he was there at the auction.
-And you trusted him?
Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah! He did text, yeah, and he said,
"Well, I've bought something." Er, this place.
Did you have any inkling at all? Had you seen it? Had he shown it to you?
We'd been in and had a look at it a week before the auction
and it was one of those on the list.
-But where was it on the list? That's the big question.
-Down towards the bottom, mostly!
It wasn't the one they told me they were going for!
So what does, er, what does John bring to the table?
-Put the pressure on him!
-He deals with the money.
So, John, your business partner, deals with the money side of things.
-Do you find the properties?
-Er, well, we find...
We look for them together and, um, he deals with the money side.
I deal with Matt.
-I am a perfectionist and so is Matt, aren't you, Matt?
And Matt does have some good ideas.
-So I more or less leave you to it, don't I?
-Yeah, pretty much.
'So now we've got the who's who sorted out,
'what are the renovation plans?'
We're going to move the boiler from upstairs to downstairs,
knock the bathroom into one, cos it's a separate toilet
and bathroom at the moment,
and then where the boiler is is just a big wasted space,
so we're going to knock that all into the smaller bedroom,
-so it will make it three decent bedrooms.
-So that's upstairs?
Yeah, we're going to put a toilet in downstairs, in the old coal house,
and a new kitchen going in,
then there's a little room where the backdoor is,
between where the toilet's going to be and the kitchen,
that'll be made into, like, a laundry, um, and then just
all redecorated, new skirting boards everywhere, new doors.
What budget are you going to give him to spend?
-What's he got to spend?
-Help him out, Ivan!
I think they're going to be looking at between 15 and 20 grand,
to get everything done, including the garden.
'Well, that would be good going, given how much there is to do here.
'And they are reckoning on a ten-week time schedule.
'But there are two big issues in this house that need tackling.
'First, the damp.'
Well, on the back wall of the property,
the overflow was left overflowing for a long period of time,
so that's created a lot of damp.
That's stopped now, so we'll probably have to take
the plaster off, cos the plaster will be no good, re-plaster it,
point up on the outside where the pointing's been worn away,
um, just airing the property to get some of the damp out of it,
cos it's been empty for a while, with no air going to it,
so it's got a lot of damp in it from that, but the main thing is
the back wall and where the overflow's been running down.
So, tell us about, there's a bit of a red ash issue here, isn't there?
It is quite a well-known area, around Stoke-on-Trent,
for getting red ash, so I think we will get it tested,
just to make sure, but by the looks of the floor at the moment,
cos there's nothing on the floor...
-DION LAUGHS: Yeah!
-..it does look OK.
There's no blown areas, so, with a bit of luck, it should be OK here.
'Having a red ash test is a good idea,
'but fortunately, there doesn't seem to be too much of a concern here.
'This is the second property that Ivan and John have bought together.
'The first is rented out.
'This one John thinks they should sell on. He's a local teacher
'and Ivan was a headteacher until he retired in 2002,
'so I was curious about what brought them to property in the first place.'
I've always wanted to do this.
You know, I did some studying and did some work at university,
taught at university, did some consultancy work travelling around
the country, but I decided that really wasn't what I wanted to do.
This is what I wanted to do and, er, John had some money,
I had some money, so we decided to get these two houses.
-Yeah, that's right, yeah.
-Good luck, sir.
-Hope it works out.
Matt, good luck doing ALL the work yourself!
-Thanks, thanks for that!
Ivan and John are going to do well on this project.
With their passion and Matt's expertise, I think
they've got all the boxes ticked.
But the main ones they have to tick are sorting that damp out
and that red ash issue.
Come back later on in the show and find out how they got on.
So, we've seen how one buyer got on. What about the other two?
Yeah, did they stick to their schedule and budget?
-And what about their potential profit?
-Let's take a look.
Back to Tottenham in North London now,
where I visited this two-bedroom top floor flat,
which was offered at auction for a guide price of 140,000.
Once I'd scaled the three flights of stairs
and got inside the property, there actually wasn't that much to do.
Perhaps an upgrade in the tired kitchen and bathroom suite
and maybe an investment in some new flooring,
but there was something worrying hiding in that legal pack.
There's a clause in there that states these flats
have to be owner occupied.
Now, you can negotiate with the freeholder
and, with their permission only,
you might be allowed to rent it in the end.
Now, that clause would need some investigating,
but would it put off any buy-to-let investors at auction?
Apparently not. Chris and his friend Will paid 200,000 to do just that.
They hadn't been deterred by that clause because, well,
they hadn't spotted it in the legal pack, as Chris explains.
I got a phone call from Will which just said, "We may have a problem."
He'd come to look at another property in this development
and he'd been told by the estate agent that they weren't
legally allowed to rent them out, and so we thought that we may
-just have bought somewhere that we couldn't then rent out.
'Uh-oh! Well, fortunately for the boys, it all worked out
'and, following a consultation with the freeholder of the building,
'they were assured they'd be able to rent the flat out.
'But it wasn't just the stressful start that had me worried.
'Chris and Will couldn't seem to agree on a plan for the renovations.
'Chris favouring a complete top-to-bottom refurbishment
'of the property and Will just wanting to do
'more of a quick spruce up.'
Seems like you haven't got a major plan?
I think that's a fair conclusion.
'Setting themselves a timescale of three to four months
'and a budget of £10,000, would Will and Chris ever come to an agreement
'of what to do with the place?
'We returned 4½ months later to find out.'
And, as you can see, well, the flat has been freshened up.
The dated Artex ceiling has been skimmed,
the walls have been repainted and new flooring has been laid,
all of which really does brighten up the space.
The kitchen has now been gutted
and a brand-new one installed in its place.
The white cupboards and stainless steel fittings work really well
to reflect the light and open up the small space.
The bathroom has also been refitted with this contemporary suite,
again finished with light, fresh, neutral tones.
Through into the bedrooms and, well, like the rest of the flat,
it's been repainted, had new floors put in, as well as new
electric heaters, which have been installed throughout the property.
It looks like a complete refurbishment to me,
so I'm guessing that Chris got his way in the end.
When we started to look at the costings of doing things partway,
um, we realised that actually,
for the relatively small additional costs,
it would be worth it for what we'd get as the end product,
particularly if we then look at the options of renting or selling.
I think that was a very wise decision by the boys.
Obviously, renovation plans can go overboard at times,
but striking a balance makes the most of the potential profit
of your investment, and that is always key.
And, in my opinion, that's exactly what Chris and Will have done here.
Now, who was responsible for all the hard work, then?
It was a friend of a friend, somebody that we felt
we could trust, and, touch wood, that has worked out very well.
Sounds like the boys really lucked out there, finding a good builder
who brought the renovations in bang on schedule, in three months!
But what about their original budget of 10,000?
So, in terms of the budget, um,
we still need to do the final numbers on that,
but I think it will probably come out around £7,000-£8,000, um,
which is an amount that we're happy with.
Very happy, I'd imagine, as that's well under the original £10,000!
Now, that brings the total spend on the property to around 208,000.
So, will it be first time lucky for the property duo? We invited along
two local estate agents to get their opinion?
I think this is a very, very well presented flat.
I think the layout is superb.
The reason why - it gives any buyer a vision to do what they want.
They can stamp their own authority.
Well, there's a huge demand for a flat like this,
given the fact the Haringey, Tottenham area's regenerating,
so you've got a lot of people that are moving into this area,
so the demand of this is vast
and we have no problem in selling this type of property.
I've had a good look round the flat.
Um, yeah, it's been done up to a sensible standard. Looks good.
I think this flat is suitable
for either rental or resale. It really just depends
on the vendor's position and what they're looking to achieve.
Well, that all sounds good.
There's high demand and the option of renting it or selling it.
So let's get those valuations, starting with rent.
I believe we can easily achieve around thirteen hundred pounds,
£1,300 per calendar month for this property.
We would look to rent this property for approximately
£1,400 per calendar month.
I think the rental value's slightly higher than I'd expected.
Well, that would give the friends a yield of just over 8%.
But what if they went for resale?
What kind of rewards could they see for their 208,000 investment?
I mean, I think we could sell this flat quite easily for around £280,000.
We'd expect to resale this flat for around £270,000.
Well, they've done well, haven't they?!
That top figure of 280,000 would make the boys
a tidy profit of £72,000, before taxes and fees.
Chris and Will's original intention was to let out,
but could they be swayed into selling now?
So, I think we'll sit down in the next few days
and come to a bit of a view on that.
It may be that we advertise it for one or the other first
and then see what happens with that before making a final decision.
Since filming, the boys have put the flat on the market for £290,000.
I'm just happy they finally agreed on something!
'Let's head back to the market town of Newcastle-under-Lyme,
'where I visited this three-bed end-of-terrace property.
'On entering the house,
'that intriguingly-low guide price of £54,000-plus started to make sense.'
If rooms were tired, this isn't tired, this one's exhausted!
# I'm sick and tired... #
Yes, this place was in dire need of a renovation,
each room as exhausted as the next and the separate bathroom and toilet,
which might not be to everyone's taste.
But that wasn't all.
The house was suffering from damp and would need testing for red ash fill
underneath the concrete floors, which causes them to bulge -
a problem common in properties of this age in this area.
So, a lengthy to-do list, but, with the reasonable guide price,
in the right hands, this place could be a worthwhile investment.
-Bought it, well done.
'John, who bid £69,000 at auction, agreed and his business partner Ivan
'and their builder Matt were going to sort it out.
'Though it seemed this hadn't been
'number one priority on Ivan's list to buy.'
-Where was it on the list? That's the big question.
-Down towards the bottom, mostly!
It wasn't the one they told me they were going for!
# Oh, baby, what you gonna do? #
Well, this might not have been number one priority, but they plan
to make it a number one property with a complete refurbishment.
And it all sounded good.
They'd be installing a new kitchen, moving the boiler downstairs,
knocking through the dividing wall between the loo and the bathroom
to create a large family-sized bathroom,
and adding a WC to the ground floor.
Not to mention addressing the damp situation
and testing the floor for red ash.
They definitely had their work cut out with this one
and all for the budget of in between 15-20 grand and a ten-week timescale.
Seven months later, we're back to have a look.
# How you like me now? How you like me now?
# How you like me now?
# How you like me no-o-ow? #
As you can see, this former shell of a property
has seen a dramatic transformation.
The reception room has been replastered, redecorated and
refitted with new doors, new skirting boards and a neutral-coloured carpet.
Through in the kitchen, the wall's been knocked through, pushed back and
rebuilt, increasing the footprint and making this a generously-sized space
with enough room to accommodate the boiler that was moved from upstairs.
# How you like me now? #
They've also added a new toilet in the old coal house
and spruced up the utility area.
Upstairs, as planned, the boys have knocked down the dividing wall
between the loo and the bathroom to create
a good-sized master bathroom with a neutral contemporary finish.
They've also installed a new window in place of the previous two,
which, as you can see, still needs some finishing touches,
but really brightens up the space.
The bedrooms have had the same treatment as the rest of the house.
The dated wallpaper has gone, replaced with fresh plaster,
new doors, skirting and carpets, all in a neutral colour.
Perfect for the new occupier to make their mark.
The garden has also had a bit of a makeover too.
There's a lot of work been put into the garden,
a lot of time and work that we didn't really expect.
The level of the garden - instead of sloping down into the woods,
we've raised it up maybe 60cm, new fencing, new drainage,
new manhole, a concrete path has been taken up
and this new pathway been put down.
I'm very happy with the result - nice and private, good for a family.
Making the most of a property inside and out is always a good idea.
As well as work in the garden,
they've also addressed that damp issue, which was caused
by an old overflow pipe on the back wall of the property.
Builder Matt started the job but unfortunately had to move onto
another project, but Ivan's nephew Herman, who's only recently
moved here from Holland, stepped up and has clearly been very busy.
The kitchen, we're really pleased with the kitchen. I think that's
-the favourite part of the house, isn't it?
-For sure, yes.
A wall's been taken out in the kitchen,
all the plaster right back to the brick,
all thanks to Herman. Herman's done most of the work in there.
Good job, Herman. But I do remember plans
to knock down another wall upstairs to open up the smallest bedroom?
Initially, we were going to take walls down, put walls in,
and a neighbour, just over the road there,
he'd bought his house at a similar time
and he hadn't made those changes and it looked really good, didn't it?
-He had cupboards and wardrobes in those spaces.
-So we didn't need to do it, really, to make extra work.
I think the layout's fine upstairs.
The big change up there is the bathroom.
-The toilet and bathroom separate - now it's all together.
Job's a good 'un! As is their budget.
Aiming for between 15 and 20 grand, they came in at £17,000,
taking their total spend on this renovation to around 86,000.
But what about their original timescale of 2-2½ months?
The work's taken seven months, I think, altogether, yeah?
I mean, the big delay was Matt had to go
and just rescheduling all the tradespeople again,
but also, I think we've taken our time with it and, um,
we like to do a perfect job.
So, 4½ months over their original timescale,
but the place is looking great!
But what will two local estate agents think?
Let's start with the one who saw it first.
The property's been done to a good standard
and the property's been kept
very neutral throughout,
but with a good finish to the kitchen and bathrooms.
Upstairs has been kept as a good-sized three-bedroom property,
with the addition of the family bathroom, which is going to
be beneficial for the type of buyer interested in the property.
I think the main selling points of this property are the location,
also the renovation has been done well, and the bathroom
upstairs and downstairs would appeal to young families.
I think the demand for this property in this area is good.
They would have no problem either selling or renting this property.
Well, that's all very positive.
Ivan's business partner John thought this should be sold on.
So what return could they get on their 86 grand investment?
Let's start with the sales.
I would look to place the property up for sale
for in the region of £105,000.
On the sales market, I would look to achieve £105,000-£110,000.
I'd be happy with 110. Judging on what I know of the area,
and somebody else that had theirs valued,
I think more 115,000, but I'd be happy with 110.
That top figure of 110 grand would
mean a potential pre-tax profit of £24,000, which isn't bad at all.
But let's get those rental figures, shall we?
I'd look to place the property on the rental market
for somewhere in the region of £575 per calendar month.
On the rental market, I would look to achieve £550 per calendar month.
I wouldn't consider renting, but if I was going to rent,
I think I'd want more than 575 a calendar month.
So, that top valuation would give them a yield of 8%,
which is not attracting Ivan.
So, what's next for Ivan and Herman?
As soon as this one's sold,
there'll be another one that Herman's going to be working on.
-Isn't that right, Herman?
-I'm going to do my best, yes!
Well, that's all we have time for today.
But more and more properties are being sold up and down the country.
Yeah, and we'll show you a few more here next time
on Homes Under The Hammer. ALL: Goodbye.