Property renovation series. A two-bed semi in Wellington in Telford, a three-bed in Carlisle and two Georgian cottages currently being used as offices go under the hammer.
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Hello and welcome to the show. Now, if you're interested in
investing in property, then getting to grips with the housing market
is really important.
Yep, and having local knowledge could really give you the edge.
Yeah, and when you've done your research, why not pop down to your
local property auction and see what's on offer.
Well, buying property at auction can be good value,
as long as you do not pay too much, of course.
Correct, Martin. It can be a bit risky, especially if you get
carried away in the auction room.
So, let's hope that does not happen to anyone on today's show.
Let's find out.
In Wellington, Shropshire, I have an axe to grind with this two-bed semi.
It's not as straightforward as getting a pick-axe out
and doing it yourself.
Can I please borrow your axe to tackle a wall at this three-bed
semidetached house in Carlisle, Cumbria?
It would be easier, I'm thinking, to maybe take out this wall here.
While in Ashbourne in Derby,
I'm mining for property gold at this lovely Georgian cottage.
You can see all the way down.
There's a little drain at the bottom.
All these properties have been sold at auction. We'll find out who
bought them and what they paid for them when they went
under the hammer.
You bought it, sir. Well done.
# Well, well, well... #
Wellington is one of the larger towns in Shropshire.
Despite being only ten minutes' drive from Telford and its shopping
centre, Wellington boasts lots of independent businesses,
as well as a historic market, so, the town centre has bags of character
as well as great transport links.
I think it's...
# Well, well, well... #
..worth a look.
So, just five minutes drive away from Wellington town centre,
which has all the shops and amenities you could want,
and here is our property.
It is a two-bedroomed,
semidetached house with a guide price of £70,000 plus.
It looks pretty nice from here.
Will the inside be the same?
Hold it. Is there room for off-street parking here?
Hmmm. I'll come back to that.
OK, as soon as you come in the door you've got the stairs
going up to the bedrooms, and to my right is the lounge.
It's a good-sized lounge as well.
Dual aspect - you've got your nice windows at either end.
I have noticed there is a bit of damp there in the corner
and another bit of damp in the corner there.
I suspect that's due to the house being empty for some time.
And you've got a fireplace here which doesn't look too sturdy,
so, that would definitely have to come out and you'd have to replace
the flooring as well.
But, all in all, it's a good-sized lounge
and it could be a nice, cosy lounge if you get it right.
Let's see through here.
OK, into the kitchen and it's a decent-sized kitchen as well.
I think these cupboards have seen better days,
so, whether renting or selling, I'd want to take all this out
and put a brand-new kitchen in, freshen it up.
New floor as well, but what I will say on the positive side,
the central heating and these windows look brand-new.
In here we've got,
a pantry, bit of storage.
So, all in all, new kitchen in here, you'd be off and running.
# Oh, baby I'm off and I'm running
# Just as far as I can go
# I've had it up to here and I want out... #
OK, outside, we have got a small yard.
In there, I know was coal storage,
but there's not a lot you can do with this outside space.
is the pantry that's just off the kitchen.
So, in here, what have you got?
Wow, look at this!
Look at all this storage space in here.
Now, it's always good to have a bit of storage space outside, but,
through that wall there is the pantry,
which has a window to it and through that wall is the kitchen.
And there's already a window built in, just there.
So, this is crying out to be an inside space.
Use it for whatever you will, but I'm thinking, knock that down,
knock that down and you've got yourself an even larger kitchen
with a dining room as well.
Kitchen diner would work perfect with this space.
Get this outside space and use it inside.
You'll probably need a supporting beam, so there are costs involved,
but I reckon you can balance that out,
because there are savings to be made upstairs.
Yes, both bedrooms need redecoration,
unless you're a fan of the reds or the sky blues.
The bathroom is, dare I say it, good?
The suite's relatively new and bright and the tiles look all right.
Although you'll need new flooring, that's about it up here.
So, a bit of work in the kitchen seems like it will add value,
as well as my idea that I had earlier.
As I was walking up to the house, I noticed lots of off-street parking
and I think this house would benefit from that, too.
But, the first thing you have to do
is get this kerb dropped, and it's not as straightforward as getting
a pickaxe out and doing it yourself.
The first step would be getting in touch with your council planning
department to see if it needs planning or it comes under permitted
development. Of course, there'll be a fee for that.
Then you've to get in touch with the Highways Agency.
They have to come out and see if it's feasible.
And, yes, there'll be a fee for that as well.
And then you'd have to get the builders out to do the work
to finish off your lovely driveway.
And, yes, you guessed it again - there's a fee for that.
But, what I would say, it would be worth going through that process,
cos off-street parking is value and would add value to this property.
With the average cost of dropping a kerb around 650 quid,
I think I am right, but don't just take my word for it.
We have asked along an agent from the auctioneers who sold it,
if they think off-street parking could add up to £5,000 in value.
But, first, let's get a base figure
if you were to just do a standard renovation inside.
I think if you did the cosmetic work, you're looking at a ballpark
figure of between £95,000 to £100,000.
And the agent agrees that opening up the kitchen would work much better.
But, would it be worth the costs involved?
If you were to do the recommended works in terms of opening up
the kitchen to create the kitchen diner,
you're probably looking at resale value of around £115,000.
So, it could add £15,000,
but that all depends on how much it would cost to do.
Best to contact some builders, get a quote or two, if that is your plan.
What about the potential rental figures?
I think from a rental perspective,
you're probably looking about £525 per calendar month.
This house has got a lot going for it.
One thing I would do is I would use that outside storage space
as inside space and try to create a nice kitchen dining area.
Don't forget, this house has a reasonable guide price of £70,000 plus.
Let's see who went for it when it went under the hammer.
Two-bedroom, semidetached house in need of modernisation.
What shall we say for this?
Let me start this one at 70.
70 on the front row, thank you.
At £70,000. 71, can I see you now?
At 70,000. Anybody, 71?
No? At £74,0000.
The bid's on the front row at £74,000.
75, anywhere else?
74 and a half.
And a half?
No? At 75, then. The bid's on the front row at £75,000.
I'm selling it.
You bought it, well done.
The successful bidders were Chris and his wife Polly,
who paid £75,000 for this property.
I met them at the house to discuss their plans.
-Polly, nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
-Chris nice to meet you as well.
-Nice to meet you.
I think you've a got yourself a nice place. Why this particular property?
I think this is a good location.
Potential without too much work
and I think it's something that we can tackle over
the next three or four months.
We've already got one property over here.
That's a flat. Near the town centre.
That's doing OK at the moment.
So, is this the start of maybe a portfolio for you guys?
Really, assisting our retirement and Polly's retirement -
who hasn't quite got there yet.
I could have told you that. I could have told you that.
I'm still at work full-time.
I work for the police.
I work in automatic numberplate recognition now.
Started as a driver trainer and now in ANPR.
What does that entail, driver training? Just give us an insight.
It is teaching the officers to drive to the police system of driving.
-Not necessarily fast.
Safe, I would say, more than fast.
Being able to respond to situations
that they need to get to rapidly, safely.
Fantastic. I'll take a number later and you can give me some tips.
OK, what are you going to do with this property?
Tell us how you're going to change it. Will you do anything to it?
Obviously, it needs a complete and utter redecoration, every room.
Hall and stairs need to be skimmed.
It'll have a new kitchen.
Strangely, the bathroom's OK.
But, apart from that, another issue that we're about to tackle,
we're halfway there, looking at providing off-road parking,
but that depends on the local authority,
-so we've got to wait and see about that one.
-You've got a few bits...
You've got very little outside space, a very small back garden.
-It's very small.
But, there's some storage as well,
which does eat into the house slightly.
Have you thought of using that as inside space, maybe?
We did, we did, and you could do, because it's still a square block,
but, truthfully, the money to do it,
I don't think it'd pay us back in what we'd get from it.
I'm a bit disappointed I won't be seeing that kitchen extended,
but the couple are thinking in a businesslike way
and intend renting it out, and it would have eaten into their yield.
So what sort of budget have they set themselves?
The cost to improve the property itself, inside,
we're looking between six to ten.
-So, it's quite a wide...
Depending on how much we need to spend, so...
And then, the drive will be separate to that.
Oh, OK. So, your budget would be?
-There's the house budget.
The house budget would be...?
-Six to ten..
-Six to ten.
-Then that on top.
Additional cost would be the kerb being dropped as well,
and all the work that has to...
-That's not a bad budget at all, actually,
because there's not a lot that needs to be done in here, really.
We're hoping nearer the six than the ten.
I hope so, but there is always the unforeseen thing that turns up.
Certainly something did at the flat, and we'll see how we go.
Chris, I've spotted a couple of damp patches.
Are they a concern for you?
I don't think so, and the reason why is because the damp patches actually
aren't damp when you actually touch them.
One of them in the living room,
I think that was caused by a lot of rubbish being piled up
and retaining water.
It was some feet up the wall before it was cleared.
And the one at the front,
there's been some dodgy filling there behind a telecommunications
fitting, but, we'll see.
The plaster itself, well, I accept that may have to be repaired there.
Be redone. Yeah, of course.
So, with a fairly flexible budget,
the couple are hoping to get in tradesmen.
Chris has done the work on their previous flat,
but he didn't enjoy it so the question this time around is...
Are you going to get involved?
Well, I'll certainly be removing the kitchen and supervising,
but I won't do as much on this one as I did on the last one.
You have a breather.
Polly, you can take over.
Polly, I wish you all the best.
-Good luck to you.
-Thank you very much.
-Chris, good luck, sir.
So Polly and Chris are wanting to rent this house out
and they're being really sensible with it as well,
giving themselves a decent budget and a reasonable timescale.
I think when we come back here in three or four months' time,
this house will be ready to rent.
You can find out how they get on later in the programme.
Carlisle in Cumbria, a city synonymous with the Border reivers,
family gangs who raided cattle and fought ferociously across
the Scotland-England border.
A curse was brought against them by the Archbishop of Glasgow
back in 1525, and that curse was carved into a 14-tonne lump of
granite to mark the millennium.
But, some inhabitants claim that since the curse of Carlisle
was displayed, misfortune has plagued the city,
with everything from floods, the outbreak of foot and mouth,
to the failure of the local football team.
Let's hope it doesn't have an effect on the property market.
Well, leaving the curse behind,
I've come to the west of the city,
about ten minutes' drive from the city centre,
near the Cumberland Infirmary.
In this little cul-de-sac, which is a good start,
three-bedroomed, semidetached, guide price of £30,000-£40,000.
Oh. Only positives so far.
From what I can see, the roof is looking in good order.
Shame I can't say the same for the paintwork.
Through the front door, stairs up to your bedrooms there
and then through into your living room.
A couple of things that strike you straightaway and they're actually
health and safety issues.
Number one is polystyrene tiles on the ceiling there.
They've got to go, they're a fire risk.
Erm, gas fire.
You don't know how old it is,
definitely need to have that checked out and, in fact,
I would be looking more at replacing this whole thing
and to create a really nice sort of centrepiece in this room.
But, it's not a bad size. Doesn't look like it's got double glazing,
so that's probably something that you'd want to consider.
But, through here into the rear of the property,
where you've got your kitchen, again, it's kind of tired,
a little bit dated.
You'd want to spend a bit of money on this, just sparkling it up,
nice kitchen units.
Bathroom and loo here.
You'd hope it would be upstairs, but, no.
On the plus side, though,
immediately I'm thinking, maybe take out this wall here
to create a really big, sort of, kitchen/living space.
That would definitely change the feel of the downstairs here.
To sum up, then, a property that is crying out for a bit of creativity.
Hm, I can't quite say it's the greatest house I've ever seen,
but there are opportunities to improve it, which is a plus.
I would start with making the kitchen bigger.
The 40,000-£50,000 guide price is another positive,
but the negative is how much you're going to need to spend on it
to improve it.
So, on the roller-coaster ride that is the pros and cons of upstairs,
what have we got? Well, on the plus side, three good-sized bedrooms.
On the downside, no toilet.
On the upside, this room itself,
big enough, easily, to fit a toilet and bathroom in.
So, that's great news.
Bad side - ooh, look at this.
Nasty, nasty signs of damp.
And shall we carry on with one more good to finish with?
Yeah, OK. I reckon, on the upside,
something simple, like a problem with the guttering.
Sort that out and you'd resolve the issue.
MUSIC: Rollercoaster by Bleachers
# You were such a rollercoaster
# And a killer queen you are
# Rollercoaster, I don't say no
# Rollercoaster, when you don't say no ... #
Ups, downs, I'm not sure I can keep up with this house.
Do I like it? Yes?
Oh, time to clear my head outside.
One thing which you can normally be pretty sure
ex-local authority houses have is also lots of useful bits of
storage space outside, little outbuildings or whatever,
and that's certainly the case here.
Outside loo, little storage area there, and then,
a pretty good-sized rear garden.
Now, a lot of it's sort of laid to concrete, which isn't ideal,
but I think a bit of imaginative gardening here...
Yep, you can turn this into a nice, little space.
# Yes, I guess you can... #
I think that rather overused word "potential" sums up this place.
With a bit of hard graft and some love and attention,
you could be onto a winner.
But, what does the auctioneer who sold it think?
The positives of a property of this size,
type and nature is the ex-local authority properties,
there tends to be a ceiling with prices.
However, they were well built.
I think the only downside to the property, and I wouldn't really call
it a downside, cos some would see it as a plus,
it's in a cul-de-sac location, so it makes it a little bit difficult for
in and out with a motor vehicle, but it keeps it safe for children
cos there's no through traffic.
So, it depends which way you want to look at it.
Oh, crikey! Not more pros and cons.
But, when in property developing, there is one overriding factor.
That is, is there money to be made?
So, with a guide price of just £40,000-£50,000,
could this see some positive returns?
Done to a good spec,
I think you would expect to achieve around about £80,000.
But, how would it fare in the local rental market?
I think if it was exposed to the rental market with three bedrooms,
I think you'd achieve around £425 per calendar month.
Well, it's a nice, solid, little property,
in need, certainly, of modernisation, but a good area.
Yeah, a good auction purchase.
Let's see who agreed when it went under the hammer.
Semidetached property in a cul-de-sac location.
Start me, 35, say.
At 35, 36, 37, 38...
39. You're out.
With you at 38, 39 in the door.
So there was a steady start for the Carlisle property
and we rejoin the auction with bidding at £49,000.
shake of the head. 52.
52, I'm bid.
53, I've got.
-Shake of the head.
All done, all out there and at £53,000. Are we finished?
The hammer fell at £53,000
and the couple with paddle number 24 were Vera and John, who've bought
the three-bed house as a joint project with their son Steve.
John's a retired MoD police officer, while son Steve is an actor.
I met them both back at the house to find out more.
Steve, John, great to meet you both.
-Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.
His house is too small for him,
our house is too big for us,
and so we saw this one coming up for auction and we bid for it.
You're going to have to explain that whole scenario a little clearer to me.
-The whole your house and his house thing doesn't say why.
The wife said, "That's a nice house," and I said, "Yeah."
She says, "OK, well, go and bid for it," which I did, and then she said,
"We should do it up and then if Stephen wants it,
"he can live there and we'll go and live in his house."
The first I heard of it was about half an hour ago
so, as far as I knew they were going to move into it themselves,
but I'm quite happy.
Right, so half an hour ago,
-you heard that actually you might be living here...
-..and moving out of the house you're in.
You are going to be forced out of your home by your parents.
Yes. Shocking, isn't it?
So, at what point today did you sort of formulate this idea?
Was it breakfast with the wife or something?
No, no, it was weeks.
-But you just kept it secret.
So, it sounds like a cunning connivance, then.
Well, he did supply half the cash to buy the house, so...
Oh, well, that's great. So, you're making him pay to have the house
-which you're going to force him to move out of!
Ah, well, he wants to move anyway.
I have been looking for something slightly larger
and this fits the bill very nicely.
-Oh, right. So, at least, you're upsizing.
Right, but you're downsizing.
# Tell me what's goin' on?
# I'll tell you what's goin' on
# What's goin' on?
All right, let's get this straight.
So, Steve is moving into this house so that John and wife Vera
can move into his house, because they're downsizing,
but they didn't tell Steve about the plan until today.
Hm. But, he's OK with it.
So, that's OK?
Right, I think I've got it.
Why this house, then?
Because it looked quite nice.
Had you seen the house beforehand?
-Oh, right. OK, great.
But with a view to what? Why did you think your parents were buying it?
To move into themselves.
That's what I thought.
-I may have missed something in the conversation.
How do you think your parents are going to get on,
moving into your house from their large house?
I've no idea where they're going to put all their rubbish.
They've got tons of furniture.
And how big is your house that you live in?
It's a two up, two down.
Right. And how big is the house they currently own?
It is about four times, five times the size of this house.
Well, so it's going to be snug then.
-This is a big life change for you, isn't it?
I don't want to change, but you've got to when you're getting older.
Aches and pains, and a massive garden
and it's getting too much for me.
Yes. Amongst their frivolity about these musical chairs moves,
the actual change is driven by practicality.
A head-over-heart decision that many of us have to face.
Nothing will, however, change until John and Vera
sell their current home and the work is completed on this house.
Tell me what you're going to do to this place
to make it suit your needs.
Double-glazed and replumbed throughout and general tidy-up.
Bathroom could do with a little bit of reorganisation.
But, otherwise, the main structure of the building, happy with that.
OK. Because you look at it with completely different eyes now?
-I am, yeah.
-It's your pad.
Yeah. As far as I'm concerned, a coat of paint and hoover the carpets
-and I'm in.
-So, what's the budget?
Well, the wife and I reckon between £10,000 and 14,000.
OK. That's quite healthy.
We're in no rush.
Unless somebody comes along and says, "I want your house now."
-It'll be anywhere between,
I reckon, 6 months and 12 months.
Well, listen, thank you for sharing your story with us.
We look forward to seeing what happens.
-Good to meet you.
You know that thing that dogs do sometimes, when they kind of
rattle their head backwards and forwards and their cheeks go...
..and their ears flap about?
That's kind of what I want to do right now.
What can I say?
What will happen?
You can find out later in the show.
Coming up, I'm stepping things up at this lovely two-bed,
Georgian cottage in Derby.
That is probably one of the nicest staircases I've seen
on Homes Under The Hammer.
And we go back to Carlisle to see what Steve and John have learned.
I would never, ever recommend buying a house, living in it
and doing it up at the same time.
We wander back to Wellington in Shropshire to this two-bed,
guided at £70,000 plus.
It had good space inside, apart from the kitchen,
but at the side of the property, you could change all that.
Wow, look at this.
Look at all this storage space in here.
Listen, this is crying out to be an inside space.
I'm thinking knock that down,
knock that down and you've got yourself an even larger kitchen
with a diner as well.
Kitchen-diner would work perfectly with this place.
That and off-street parking were two of my thoughts to improve this house
which was bought by Polly and Chris for 75 grand.
They, too, wanted to create a new driveway
but they weren't too keen on the kitchen-diner idea.
Truthfully, the money to do it,
I don't think it'd pay us back in what we get for it.
Oh, well. Probably the right thing to do,
as they plan to rent and they have a six-to-ten-grand budget
for the house, plus whatever the driveway might cost.
So, who would do the work?
I'll certainly be removing the kitchen and supervising
but I won't do as much on this one as I did on the last one.
You have a breather. Polly, you can take over.
Yeah, no pressure, Polly.
But four months on, bang-on their timescale,
the front of the house would drive motoring fans wild.
MUSIC: She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals
A huge improvement and one certain to add value.
But was it hugely difficult and expensive?
We thought about off-street parking early on.
Never included as a full cost but the cost wasn't too great.
The off-road parking cost 1,700 and we did that because it gave them
somewhere to park off the road.
It was a question of speaking to the highways authority and planners.
Things went OK there.
After that, we decided on the contractor,
they did it and hopefully it worked.
It certainly has worked
and the couple have made it work inside, too.
I'm so pleased they've decided to knock the kitchen through
to create a modern space.
MUSIC: My House by Flo Rida
The completely restored living room is lovely
but I'm so glad they decided to increase the kitchen area
by incorporating that outside space.
We've made quite a few changes,
the kitchen being the major change as far as we are concerned.
We knocked out a couple of walls, the pantry and an outside store,
creating a kitchen-diner.
There was always a question mark for us.
Was it worth doing it?
Would it make enough difference to the rent?
Well, perhaps it doesn't make a huge amount of difference to the rent.
It probably makes a huge difference to the desirability and the future
saleability of the house and that is why we decided to do it.
I hope this will be a family room for people, an attractive place.
I think this is the best room, really, for me.
I think you are right, Chris.
It's a great space and although creating it was hard work,
I'm sure you will reap the benefits.
The house looks so much smarter with the bedroom walls skimmed.
The bathroom was basically OK,
so, Polly, did you get handy with the work?
I had a problem with my knee.
I ended up having to have an operation which was a partial knee
replacement. I'm still experiencing problems with that,
as you can imagine, seven weeks later.
No, I haven't been able to do a lot. In fact, I've done nothing!
Get well soon, Polly.
I'm sure Chris rolled his sleeves up,
while his wife quite rightly put her feet up.
I was involved in cleaning at the end, which seems silly,
but we really, we left the vast majority
down to Paul the builder and people he brought in to help him.
Well, hats off to Paul and the team
but the couple have kept a good grip on the purse strings,
staying roughly within their ten-grand budget for the house
and the driveway included, it's been around a 12-grand spend.
So what's their plan now?
This always was intended for rent.
Our letting agent's already looked at it
and I think actually it's probably on the market yesterday for letting.
But we do want it to be somebody's home,
somewhere where somebody can come in and feel like it's their home,
not just somewhere they're renting.
And with this finish,
it will certainly feel like home to any tenant.
But will there be profit in this property for Polly and Chris?
We asked two local estate agents for their thoughts and valuations.
First impressions are very, very good with the property.
Nice to see everything so nice and modern,
particularly like the open-plan dining kitchen
and also a nice little touch is the driveway at the front.
The only downside I would say with the property,
for some family purchasers, would be the garden,
because the garden is quite small at the back.
I think the layout of the property is very nice.
It's an ideal layout due to the fact it's got a very nice-sized
kitchen-diner to the ground floor,
two good-sized bedrooms and a really nice-sized lounge.
The agents thought the house could sell for a top figure of £120,000
which, against the couple's 87 grand spent,
would give them a very healthy £33,000 profit
before usual taxes and expenses.
That's the value added for the long term but what about the
short-term and the rentals?
I think the rental market,
this property would achieve around 495 per calendar month.
If the current owners decided to let this property,
I would be suggesting to them a rental value
of £550 per calendar month.
Our folks we use have said...
575 and above, really, and that's where we are looking, really.
And he's put it on at 595 so...
Yeah. I think 550 is a pretty average price
for one in not very good condition and 495,
I know some of the two-bed flats are going for that, so...
At Polly and Chris's £575 per calendar month figure,
they net just under an 8% yield,
which will help them grow their retirement fund.
But do they have any burning desires to buy more property?
We've put an offer on one prior to the last auction,
which was accepted, and it's fairly similar to this.
However, our daughter has told us that she'll assist,
so we've got the Bank of Daughter, instead of the Bank of Mum and Dad!
For a short while.
30 miles north-west of the city of Derby
lies the quite market town of Ashbourne.
It's also just outside the Peak District and national park
so it's the perfect place for holiday lets.
I'm literally just a stone's throw from the town centre,
tucked away in this lovely little road,
full of these character cottages here.
Now, the property I'm here to see
used to be two cottages a long time ago.
Now it's been more recently turned into an old office
and has commercial use. But it's got two front doors.
The guide price is £75,000 and I think I'm going to go for this one.
Going to check it out.
I'm so eager to get inside and have a good old look around.
I just love Georgian properties and the character.
It's quite funny to see how harmoniously this lovely heater
next to the sash windows looks.
So wrong, isn't it? The sash windows are beautiful.
That has got to go.
And you can see it's a commercial building
because look at the strip lighting.
It's quite crazy to imagine this has just been used as an office,
cos it's actually quite a beautiful space.
Got a little toilet area through there.
Something that is worrying me that I really do feel needs some
investigation is this back wall.
You can see if I do this, look, the old paint just peeling off.
And it actually does feel quite damp and wet to the touch.
So I'd certainly get in an expert to check that out.
The causes of damp are many and varied
so, yeah, I'd get an expert in.
Finding the root cause is key.
It's no good just scratching beneath the surface.
The room has a partition wall which creates a smaller space
with an original fireplace and a curious, more recent addition.
Now, you might think that this over here...
Come closer. Look. It's a bit of a secret hatch.
Well, it is, actually. Now, if I can get inside, take a look at this.
Just going to get my torch so I can show you,
but it's quite interesting. Here...is the house behind.
So, now, let's have a look.
If you go in there, you can actually touch the house that's built behind.
Look. There it is. Now, the reason why that is...
And if you go, you can see all the way down,
there is a little drain at the bottom.
So obviously you need to get access to that.
You can also see there's pipework here.
So at some point, you might need to get in there.
That is why the secret hatch has been built there.
But I do think somebody could do a bit of a better job than that.
It's a bit ugly, isn't it?
Well, that's taken care of the ugly.
Now for the good and the bad.
Well, it's pretty bad when you have to go outside
and in through the other front door
to get upstairs but the stairs, well,
when you get there... You've guessed it.
I'm just absolutely loving that staircase.
That is probably one of the nicest staircases I've seen
on Homes Under The Hammer. Such grandeur leading you up here.
And what an impressive room.
Three of these amazing big sash windows
with a great view out as well.
I don't think it does it justice
just having this being used as offices.
But you will need to apply for change of use
so whoever took this on has got to remember that.
You've got a little room through here
with just a loo and an old-fashioned sink.
It's all been painted that sort of pea, mint green.
It's a fantastic space. I really love it.
But there's a lot of work that needs to be done here and a lot of dosh
will need to be spent on this.
But the market might be a bit limited as there is no parking,
no garden and it's in a conservation area.
This is where a local estate agent's opinion would help matters.
So here he is.
There is very little demand for commercial use
in this sort of location and very little demand for flats
so perhaps residential for cottages
would be the best use of the property itself.
Given the location of the property,
the holiday let market would be very viable.
It's walkable to the town, there are lots of pubs in the town, cafes.
If it was used for holiday lets,
I would suggest perhaps two separate cottages
and achieve around £400 per week in high season.
A great return but this will also mean it lays empty
some of the year. If it was turned into a residential property,
what kind of return could it bring then?
I think it would rent for a value
in between £500 to £530 per calendar month.
If it was sold, then perhaps £120,000.
Well, this option what is a mixture of character and commercial
and I for one would love to see this being turned back
into a lovely residential home without the strip lighting.
There's an awful lot of work to do here.
Let's see who wanted to tackle this when it went under the hammer.
In Ashbourne. Start me on this one, 75.
Bid me 70 to move it on. 70, thank you, I've got.
£70,000 the opening bid.
Initial bids fell well short of the guide price of 75,000 but eventually
interest intensified to where we rejoin the bidding at £80,000.
At £80,000, all done with...
81. At 81.
At 85. 86.
At £85,000, we are selling it at £85,000.
You've got it, sir. Thank you at 85.
The successful bid came from Jez,
who jointly purchased with his wife, Rachel.
They live just south of Ashbourne
and are awaiting the council's planning decision
on turning their £85,000 purchase into residential use.
Jez is a consulting engineer
and Rachel looks after their smallholding.
We met up after they came through the downstairs front door.
Rachel and Jez, congratulations. What a fantastic property.
What do you plan on doing with it?
I was thinking a couple of one-bed bedsits but I got overruled.
It's got to be a character cottage, a two-bedroom character cottage.
Not two cottages but one cottage with, like, open plan down here,
upstairs two bedrooms and a bathroom.
We are not going to be moving stairs or anything majorly structural.
We've got a stud wall we want to take out, it's just behind us here,
so we'll lose that and open this whole area up
and then hopefully have the downstairs just completely open plan
so the kitchen will run through into a dining area
into the living area and hopefully that will
appeal to our younger target audience, if you like, yeah.
I think that will look absolutely amazing.
One slight fly in the ointment I can see is having an upstairs
and downstairs front door all in one property.
Hm, now how is that going to work?
Because we're having it open plan,
we are planning to leave both doors in place but in all likelihood we
expect that somebody's furniture will probably cover that door there.
That one might not be so useful.
But to leave it flexible for the new buyer,
we're going to leave both doors in place.
But you are going to open this internal door up.
-Oh, definitely, yeah.
-Cos you don't want to go out the front door
and back round to get in, do you?
So what sort of budget have you guys got to convert this?
Well, it was 15,000.
It depends if we find when we have to do the damp work,
if there is some extra, I don't really want to go over 15.
It will depend on certain things like if we did go the whole hog
and swapped windows for plastic and so on.
Yeah, we want to keep character.
-We want those to stay.
Hold on a minute. Are you even allowed to do that?
I mean, surely there's some restriction on these properties?
It's a conservation area but when I spoke to the planning officer
he said I could change the windows.
If you notice up the row, they are all plastic.
They look like sash, plastic needs to look like sash.
But they're plastic.
Well, I hope they don't take the plastic route.
I know it can cost more to repair wooden frames
but they really are so beautiful.
This is the couple's first foray into property developing
but engineer Jez does have some experience as he used to run
a property maintenance company with his brother.
Do you feel that you can make money out of this property?
Is that your reason behind doing this?
Yeah, I'm going through a midlife crisis at the moment
and I've got to fund it some way
so this seemed like a good idea.
What part are you going to play?
-Are you going to be very busy sourcing everything? Painting?
-I'm not very good at painting.
Or pulling walls down or anything like that.
I'll just keep track of the spend
and also make sure he puts in my ideas
for the kitchen and what I want it to look like.
Hold on a minute. Your job sounds quite easy!
Tell him off if he is spending too much money,
just make sure that he puts in all the bits you want him to put in.
Yes. Make sure he picks the right tiles
and things like that that I like and the flooring.
I want granite but it's whether...
It depends on the budget, how far...
I just want to remind you, it's £15,000.
-And there's a lovely feature fireplace
that you can't really see at the moment,
which is round, which is very unusual.
So hope to make a feature of that.
I don't know if we'll be able to reinstate the chimney.
Going to have to have a look at that,
get some professionals on that.
Chimneys, granite, Windows.
I'll say it again - 15 grand?!
And they've set a three-month timescale aside,
Rachel won't be helping because she's already got her hands full.
Well, Jez, think you're on your own here.
Rachel is quite a fan of animals and seems to have accumulated a zoo
at home so that keeps us quite busy.
So how many animals have you got?
About 50 at the last count.
Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, pigs, sheep, horses.
-What have I missed?
-Have you got kids?
Yeah, that's the worst animal of the lot.
-How many kids have you got?
-One child and all those animals.
Good luck with this property, guys. I'm really excited.
-Rachel, thank you. Jez, thank you very much.
Well, Jez and Rachel are a busy couple,
so they've got the property to renovate, 50 animals to look after
and Jez's midlife crisis to contend with. How will they get on?
Join me later in the programme and you can find out.
So we've seen how one of the properties has turned out.
What about the other two?
Yes, will they be celebrating success or licking their wounds?
Let's find out.
Back now to Carlisle and this three-bed semi,
and it had all the classic symptoms of a tired house.
Polystyrene tiles on the ceilings,
gas fires which looked past their sell by date,
wallpaper with borders.
All very 1980s. There was a downstairs bathroom of the kitchen.
I did try to be more positive upstairs.
Well, on the plus side, three good-sized bedrooms.
On the downside, no toilet.
On the upside, this room in itself,
big enough easily to fit a toilet and bathroom in.
So that's great news.
Someone else who looked on the bright side
was former MoD policeman John, who bought this house with his wife Vera
and son Steve for him to live in.
Just one small issue.
Steve didn't know this at the time.
The first I heard of it was about half an hour ago,
so as far as I knew they were going
to move into it themselves but I'm quite happy.
Right, so, half an hour ago you heard that actually
-you might be living here.
-Moving out of the house you're in.
You are going to be forced out of your home by your parents.
Yes. Shocking, isn't it?
Steve seems to be taking everything in his stride and he did want
to upsize while his parents had plans on downsizing.
Are you following? I'm not sure I am
but anyway the timescale was also described as "no rush"
so that may explain why we're back two years later.
Right away, you can see the layout has improved for the better.
The old bathroom is gone
and the wall has been removed to make a much more usable kitchen
with just enough room to get a table in.
They have removed the old outside loo
and combined it with space from the kitchen
to have a downstairs shower room.
New French doors lead in to the garden
and a new roof over their old store is a clever use of space.
There is no sign of that tired old semi now.
There's been a little change upstairs too,
meaning an en-suite in the master bedroom has been achieved,
which I have to say is a pretty generous size.
And as well as all the cosmetic work,
the entire house has been rewired, replumbed and replastered.
And clearly someone's moved in.
But the question is, is it an upsizer or a downsizer?
I think the clue is right there.
Yes, downsizers John and Vera
have their fingerprints all over this one.
Time for Steve to brief us.
At the previous interview, it was sort of sprung on me
that my parents had bought this with a view to me moving into it,
which might have been an option
but, frankly for me, the parking was going to be an issue.
I've got a large vehicle that just wouldn't fit
in the parking area there.
But I did like the layout and the general size of these houses,
so I started looking in the local area and made an offer
and bought one just round the corner,
which is lucky because subsequently the house I was living in
flooded for the second time I'd been living there
so I had somewhere to go to.
Steve was one of the many unfortunate people
affected by the floods in the city but at least he had somewhere to go.
As it turned out, John and Vera needed somewhere to go, too.
The original plan was to do it up slowly and then see how it went from
there. Of course, having then just managed to sell your own house,
it was a rush to get the basic level finished so they could then move in
and then it's doing everything else to the house
whilst you're in it with all your stuff.
-Yeah. That caused a lot of delay.
I would never, ever recommend buying a house,
living in it and doing it up at the same time. Never.
John has learnt the hard way.
Contractors knocking down walls, doing electrics and plumbing,
replacing windows, kitchens and bathrooms.
Well, they're all messy and can be really inconvenient and stressful.
But it's all done now.
They had set a maximum budget of £14,000,
so how much have they spent?
We actually spent, apart from the house,
And the house cost 53, so a total of 91.
Wow. Well, that's almost three times their original budget,
which I did think was quite healthy, so where has all the money gone?
-Took a large chunk of money.
The bathroom upstairs took another chunk.
Double glazing. Builders.
Who've done a good job.
And, you know,
-it all adds up.
-It all adds up. It was all worth it.
Vera and John aren't planning on selling any time soon
but let's see what a couple of estate agents make of the house.
The way they've changed the layout is a really great idea.
These properties traditionally normally have the bathroom
downstairs, off the back of the kitchen, which is not ideal.
What they've done here is they've created a superb kitchen
with, you know, great features in there.
They've also retained the shower room downstairs,
which is a big bonus, but then they've also taken a piece
off the larger bedroom at the first floor
and created a bathroom for the upstairs as well.
The main selling point of the property, I would say,
the quality finish of the kitchen. It is modern
and it's what everybody's looking for in this day and age.
Now this is clearly a lovely home and John and Vera are not looking to
sell but have they gone overboard in spending more than they can get
back on the market, with a total of 91 grand?
If the property was to go on the sales market,
I think it would achieve between 90 to £95,000.
I think on the open market for a general sale
we would expect to achieve somewhere in the region
of between 90 and £95,000.
Very surprised at that. That's a good price.
I thought about 85.
-I said roughly 100.
-I thought about 85 as well,
-Sell it. Go on, quick! Sell it!
Oh, no! Not another change of plan.
But I think John is kidding.
And I'm sure a potential £4,000 profit
is not quite enough to get them to put up
with the mess of a renovation again any time soon.
-We could work together again.
Providing you don't, you know, pop your clogs first.
Oh, well, yeah, of course, yeah.
Don't forget, my mum lived till she was 92 so...
Earlier, I was in Ashbourne in Derbyshire.
This market town was home to a £75,000 auction lot
with not one but two entrances.
So it's the Homes Under The Hammer game show.
Now, our grand prize is located behind one of the doors,
so which one will you select?
Shout your answers out now.
MUSIC: Door Number Two by Walter Becker
Door number two, leading to the downstairs area,
was the consolation prize, with a bit of damp and strip lighting.
A cuddly toy might have softened the rather office feel here.
After parting with 85 grand, couple Rachel and Jez came along
and I'll give you a starter for ten
if you can tell me whose plan was going to win through.
I was thinking a couple of one-bed bedsits but I got overruled.
It's got to be a character cottage. Like, open plan down here,
upstairs two bedrooms and a bathroom.
And all in a timescale of three months,
with Jez doing the work
and Rachel keeping an eye on their 15-grand budget.
Six months on and...
The house is made whole again.
It still has two doors but, as promised,
it's one house with a connecting door to the staircase
which is still to be decorated and re-carpeted.
And while inside, it's not quite finished,
there have been changes which are much,
much more sympathetic to the Georgian feel.
Over to you, Jez.
So this bit of the house has seen quite a change.
Originally, there was a stud wall here.
Somebody had separated off a bit of an office
and then this was all open space with a little kitchenette.
We've taken all of that out and we've put our own kitchen in
with a different stud wall and quite a quirky-shaped kitchen
to try and give a bit more space for anybody who's sat in there working.
And when we uncovered the office area,
we found this cast-iron fireplace which is quite quirky with its round
hole in the middle, if you like, and we've just updated it.
We like the space, though. It's turned out really nice and light.
The big windows really help keep the area really light and the tall
ceilings help make it feel really quite a big room really,
considering what its floor area is.
Jez has got the worktops to fit and the kitchen is just about there.
What he has definitely resolved is that damp issue.
So when we got the property,
we did have some damp along this back wall
and the property backs onto the neighbouring property
with a small space.
We've got this inspection hatch which we've had to keep,
which gets you to a drain, an outside drain,
which takes the gutter water from above.
What we found was that the gutters were not in very good condition and
they were wetting the back of the wall and causing the damp.
We had to keep the inspection hatch just so we can get to those gutters,
obviously. When it's finished,
it'll be nice and white and fit in nicely with a frame and so on
but now we've fixed all of that we've got a nice, dry wall with
a lot of installation into it
to help make the house really warm as well.
Well, our guided tour continues with the unrecognisable upstairs.
So, this part of the house up here
used to be one great big room all the way across.
We've divided it up to give ourselves a big double bedroom
on the end, a nice little single bedroom,
which has still got enough space in it or could become an office.
On the very end, we've managed to open up a wall
to give us a bit more room in the bathroom.
We've got a nice pea-shaped bath
with a nice generous shower area over it.
Again, it's all hopefully trying to hark back to the house being an old
Georgian house but making it look new and fresh and up-to-date.
I am so glad they took my guidance with the lovely windows
and haven't gone for plastic.
Jez has had help from his brother John
but there have been some hiccups.
The cracked walls meant new plastering was required throughout.
It's been rewired, new central heating,
and there was, of course, red tape getting that change of use
and sorting out the utilities.
All this meant an additional £3,000 for commercial rates
and utilities - an unforeseen cost.
So how has the 15-grand budget fared?
I know I could have done it for 15,000
but Rachel wanted it to be a higher-end property
so we have ended up spending more money and I think
when final bills come in,
we'll be all-in for around about 25,000 when it sold, so, yeah,
quite a bit over but some of those issues were with getting rid of the
dual electricity and gas and the amount of insulation
that's gone into the property has cost a fortune.
I'll be happy with the end result
and hopefully it'll be special and just attract that special person
who will love the property for what it is.
Time to see if two local estate agents think this Georgian house
will appeal to the market here,
starting with the agent who saw it the first time.
I think the changes are really good.
I don't think the layout was that easy to foresee.
I think now with the ground floor being the kitchen
and the lounge and the two bedrooms
on the first floor, it makes great sense.
Things that stand out for me,
I really like the original features that have been kept in the property.
The good use of space, dividing up the upstairs,
has been done very well.
Jez and Rachel will have spent a total of £110,000 on the property
when it's actually finished, so is there some profit in it for them?
If I were to market this property,
I would market the property at £125,000.
In the current market,
I think the property will be worth around £125,000.
That £125,000 valuation would mean a potential pre-tax profit
of 15 grand. So what does Jez think of that?
That's excellent. To be honest with you,
125,000 is exactly the number we were aiming at for sale.
It's a shame we spent a bit more than I wanted,
but hopefully it's still a decent return. Better than the bank!
So we'd be quite happy with that, yeah.
Jez and Rachel chose a rather tricky property to renovate but it would
appear that they like it that way.
We do like old property.
We've lived in old property and done them up before.
They always present challenges but it's nice at the end
to have something that's got its own character
and doesn't just look like another box
like you'd see on a new housing estate so, yeah,
we'll be back again at the auctions from more
and probably another old property as well.
Well, property development is not as easy as it sometimes sounds.
Yeah, but if you work hard
and you've got a bit of luck on your side it can be very rewarding.
Yeah, so make sure you join us next time
for more tales from the auction house on Homes Under The Hammer.
It is a family affair as two couples and a father and son buy property at auction to do up. Dion looks round a two-bed semi in Wellington in Telford, and Martin sizes up a three-bed in Carlisle. Lucy falls in love with two Georgian cottages which are used as offices but crying out to be converted back to a home.