Episode 65 Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 65

Martin is in north Wales, Dion is in Allenton in Derby and Lucy is in Maidstone in Kent. Adding bedrooms and putting in new bathrooms and kitchens are all under consideration.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello, welcome to the show. Property values rise and fall all the time.

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Keeping an eye on the markets can be a full-time job.

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That's why, if you are thinking of investing in property,

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it's so important to know your limit,

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find yourself a budget and then just stick to it.

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Yeah, that couldn't be any more relevant than when buying your home

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under the hammer.

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Auctions are fascinating places. It can be quite strange, bidding

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in the same room as somebody that wants the same property as you.

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Yeah, it can be even worse if you happen to be standing next to

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or sitting next to somebody who is bidding on the same lot. Awkward!

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Who was able to put that one aside

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and bid successfully on today's show? Let's find out.

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On a trip to Wales, have I definitely lost my bearings?

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I think that's another house.

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Whereas I try to point people in the right direction while looking at

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a house in Derbyshire.

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There's a lovely family home to be had here.

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In Maidstone, Kent, Lucy explores the hidden depths of this property.

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I'm going to get my trusty torch and investigate.

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Wish me luck.

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All these properties have been sold at auction, and we'll find out

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who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.

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Well done.

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Penmaenmawr in North Wales is in a stunning setting,

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nestling between the Irish Sea and Snowdonia National Park.

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It's not hard to see why this has been a popular holiday destination

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since the Victorian era.

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So, what do you have to pay for a house with views over this stunning

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part of the North Wales coastline?

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In the millions, do you reckon?

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Uh-uh.

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£58,000. Just £58,000 was a guide price for this.

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It's four bedrooms, looks incredible. Let's have a look.

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Well, for that kind of money, your expectations have got to be set

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fairly low and yet you come in through the front door,

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there's this little entrance area and then...

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Wow! Really, really impressive lobby entrance area.

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I mean...wow!

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Really nice-sized front living room.

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Some original features going on.

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Just things like these doors and the door frames - you just strip them

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back, they'll be beautiful old pitch pine, as with those stairs,

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if you cleaned them off,

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although they are probably some different kind of wood.

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That's really impressive, really nice staircase.

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All sorts of weird stuff going on towards the back there.

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Lots of rooms going off all over the place.

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And then into another nice, grand sort of rear sitting room area.

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Yeah, it needs a bit of work, but...

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am I missing something?

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Wow!

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Don't get me wrong, this place isn't a palace,

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but it was guided at £58,000.

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# Whoa, it's too good to be true... #

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OK, the layout further towards the back gets a little bit messy,

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with a toilet and what looks like an office.

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And the kitchen is down in the basement with another office space,

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so not an ideal layout for a family home,

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but I'm certainly not missing space down here.

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So, upstairs, and a huge bathroom on this half landing, and then you

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continue up and it starts to get a little bit kind of hotchpotch-y.

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Bedroom there.

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It looks, in fact, like somebody's done quite a bit of work

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up in this little area to basically convert it into something.

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There's a fire door there, leading up to some rooms up there.

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You've got another bedroom there.

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And again, I think the walls have been changed around,

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partitioned to create maybe more space.

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And you go down this little corridor here...

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It's another door. What's all this about?

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Um...

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Right.

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I think that's another house.

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Move swiftly on.

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Yes, believe it or not, it is a door to the adjoining property.

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That's a new one for me.

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# I'm sorry, but you've come to the wrong house... #

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These neighbours must be very friendly. Hmm...

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And it is up on the next floor where we find the other two bedrooms

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of this impressive four-bedroomed house.

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Well, at the back of the property, no garden to speak of,

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just this courtyard area. As you can see, it's in a bit of a mess.

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It gives easy access for maintenance to the back of the property, though,

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although to get things in and out,

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you are going to have to go through the house. But the main thing is,

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you come out here and look...

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The views of the sea and across to Anglesey.

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Guided at only £58,000, it's a lot of house for your dosh,

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but what did a local estate agent think of this bargain property?

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Let's find out.

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First impressions, obviously, it is in need of some work.

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But it's certainly got lots of potential, it's quite extensive.

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These old sort of miner's cottage houses are quite popular,

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but something like this certainly, you know,

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once it's been fully renovated, you know,

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it's got bags of potential to appeal to, you know,

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a first-time buyer that's local or even, you know,

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someone looking to do a buy-to-let investment.

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So, there is a market for this

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four-bed property with stacks of potential.

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What kind of figures could this property achieve once renovated?

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Once fully renovated, I'd place the property on the market at £129,950.

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Even taking a fair chunk of money to do it up might leave you a bit

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of profit or just a lovely family home.

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But what if you wanted to rent it out?

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I would expect to place the property

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on the market at a price of £550 per calendar month.

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Well, yes, there's work to be done, but for that guide price

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I think we can forgive this property that.

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Yeah, great one to go for.

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Let's see who spotted it when it went under the hammer.

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Guided at £58,000... Start me, will you, somewhere near 58?

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Make it around £50,000 for me, then.

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Wave a hand at me at 50. Thank you. 50, I've got you. At 50,000 there.

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At 50. Now, 1, can I see?

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51. 52. 53. 54.

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55. 56. 57. 57, no?

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57, thank you. 58. 58 on the phone?

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58. 59.

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After a flurry of bidding,

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the battle eventually narrowed between two bidders -

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one in the room and one on the phone.

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We rejoin when the bidding had reached 65,000.

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65. 65,500. 65,500?

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At 65,000, on the telephone,

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it's going to be sold for the first time...

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65,500, well done.

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66. 66? It's neck and neck now.

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66. 66,500.

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No. At 66,000, on the telephone, for the first time...

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second time...third and last time at £66,000...

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Sold there to the telephone bidder.

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The successful bidders getting the huge Penmaenmawr property for 66,000

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were Ceri and husband Neil.

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I caught up with them to find out about their plans,

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and since it's such a lovely spot, we decided to chat outside.

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-Neil, Ceri, great to meet you.

-And you.

-And you.

-Congratulations.

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Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.

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Well, it was on the cards that we were going to get some place

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eventually as an idea of pension fund.

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We'd get a place to rent out, and our mortgage finished last year.

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So that was the time and this just happened to come along at

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-the right moment, really.

-So, what do you both do?

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-I'm a nurse.

-OK. And how about you?

-I'm a gas engineer.

-A gas engineer.

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-A plumber.

-So what was it about the property that really appealed?

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-Close to home.

-Yes, they are...

-Where's home?

-Round the corner.

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-Just literally up the road.

-Oh, OK.

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We can see them, we can keep an eye...

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We can see them from our windows.

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You keep on saying "they". Why do you keep saying "they"?

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-We've bought two of them.

-Two?

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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-Where's the other one?

-Next door.

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Oh, right. So you bought this house and the one next door?

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-In the same auction?

-They had a door between them, so...

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They had a door between them.

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'So, having already got themselves a big project, they've decided to

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'double it by buying the house next door for 54,000.

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'Ceri and Neil certainly don't seem to do things by halves.'

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Let's just focus on this one,

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which, as you look at it from the front, is the left-hand-side one,

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what's the issues with this one and what are your plans for this

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-particular property?

-It needs a kitchen.

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-Well, yeah.

-It needs a tidy-up.

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It definitely does. Obviously, the plumbing - needs a new boiler,

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central heating throughout, what have you.

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-Kitchens and bathrooms need work.

-Yeah.

-There's already some work

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-been started but they seem to have left it halfway.

-Sure.

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We are going to keep this one as a house, hopefully, with a view to

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-renting it out as a house.

-OK. What's the budget?

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-Go on.

-Right...

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Initially, it was going to be a lot more, but...

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-A bit of a problem with the bank.

-Yeah, problem with the bank, so...

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-They won't give you any?

-They pulled out on the day of completion.

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-Yeah.

-What do you mean?

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Well, it was all going through and it had been agreed in principle...

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-Told us to put the offer in.

-On the day of completion, they turned round

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and said the underwriters didn't want to go ahead

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and they pulled out.

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But you've managed to sort out some emergency finance.

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Yeah, we have at the moment, so, yeah, we are sorted.

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So, what is the budget going to be after all that, then?

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-I think we've reckoned on about 6,000.

-Wow!

-Initially.

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Yeah, it's going to be a bit tight.

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Cos originally it would have been 20, 30, something like that?

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-Well, it would certainly have been...

-A lot more.

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Around the 20 mark.

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I suppose we've lost about 10,000 due to the mix-ups and the interest

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on the bridging loan and things.

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-My golly.

-Yeah.

-And the interest charge because obviously we couldn't

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complete on completion date...

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So we were charged interest by the auction as well.

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And then the extra solicitor's costs.

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-Yeah. So it was a bit of a bite. But there you go.

-Wow!

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-Yeah.

-Hey, ho, these things happen.

-And what's the timescale for this?

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-We are hoping...

-Hopefully three months.

-Yeah.

-Wow!

-Yeah.

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-All hands to the pump, then.

-Definitely. Yeah.

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-Painting parties and all.

-Definitely. Well, listen,

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-congratulations.

-Thank you.

-And good luck with it.

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-Well, here we go.

-I look forward to seeing how you get on.

-Thank you.

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Thank you very much. Cheers.

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There's a lot of work to be done, for sure,

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but, I don't know about you,

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I think Neil and Ceri have got themselves

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the bargain of the century with this place.

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It's an amazing house for that amount of money.

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How will they get on sorting it out with that very limited budget?

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You can find out later in the show.

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Situated about three miles south of Derby city centre lies the suburb

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of Allenton. The town is famous for its hippo.

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Yes, you heard me right - hippo.

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During the ice age, the whole area was a swamp.

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Fossilised skeletons of an elephant, brown bear, hyena and bison have all

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been excavated, and the Allenton hippopotamus was actually discovered

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under the Crown Hotel.

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Its well-preserved remains are on display

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in the Derby Museum and Art Gallery.

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But it's not the Allenton hippo I've come to see. It's a house.

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It has three bedrooms and a guide price of £65,000 plus,

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and when I was looking in the catalogue, it says it has

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double glazing - as I can see it does - and central heating as well.

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So two bonuses before we even get inside.

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Is it going to get any better? Let's have a look.

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Right, what have you got?

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Well, there's a real...

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A real strong smell as you come through the door.

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A very potent smell of...

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It's animals - cats or dogs or something - but it's quite strong.

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You've got a front room just here.

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Nice big bay window, as we see, from the outside.

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Hasn't been looked after.

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The wallpaper is a bit of a mess.

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That would need scrapping and starting again.

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You've got the stairs up to the bedrooms.

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Into the secondary reception room, which is a decent-size room. Again,

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it's not really been looked after.

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This would have been the dining room at some stage,

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right next to the kitchen, which is there.

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There's a little bit of animal damage there.

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Cat or dog scratching.

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Into the kitchen. Now, before I go any further in the kitchen,

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you could actually make a really nice kitchen-diner, one big room,

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pop a lintel in, get rid of this space here, and it would be a really

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big area. Some people like kitchen-diners, some people don't.

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I'm a massive fan of them myself.

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I like all the family to be in one sort of area.

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In the kitchen itself...start again.

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Take it out, pop a brand-new kitchen in.

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Apart from all the cosmetic, superficial stuff

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I've been talking about, there's a decent amount of space down here

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and you could turn it around into a nice sort of family home.

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My nose tells me that all signs of a pongy pooch or cat still needs to be

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gotten rid of because, currently, downstairs is a bit of a mess.

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# But now you're gone

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# Gone to the dogs... #

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So, I'd get those carpets in a skip as soon as possible, and also

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get those walls painted.

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Upstairs, we have got three bedrooms.

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There is a spindle missing there already.

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Right, what have we got?

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OK, the front bedroom is a nice, decent size.

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Black carpets, dark walls,

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and a little bit of damp just near the window as well.

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But a decent size, all the same.

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Other side of the landing, we've got a smaller bedroom,

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looks like it would have been a child's bedroom.

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There's some pretty painting on the wall.

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And a little bit more damp in the corner.

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While the downstairs pongs of pets, upstairs stinks of damp.

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Hopefully, the bathroom and bedroom three will be better.

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And down the hallway, we have found the bathroom, just there.

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We've got a bath, no shower at all in there.

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It's not in great condition, as like the rest of the house.

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Strip it out, start again.

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And the third bedroom, the box bedroom,

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I would imagine it was a nursery at some stage,

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due to the teddy bears on the walls.

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But I have noticed a couple of big cracks in here,

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that one being the largest. Right, if you're buying this property

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outright, not so much of a problem. If you're trying to get a mortgage

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and you got a crack like that in the house, you might come across

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a few issues. So what I would say is, do your research before you put

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your hand up in the auction house.

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I'm told that this area saw some bombing in World War II,

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so it's possible that the cracks could be historic and therefore

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nothing to worry about.

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But when you get outside, into the rather overgrown garden,

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the render is in a bit of a state.

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Now, it could be that the render is just blown but the fact that you can

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see the cracks inside and outside the house,

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the width and the direction of them, the fact that they are around

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the doors and windows, are all signs that are shouting subsidence to me,

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so I would get a structural survey done ASAP.

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We asked along the auctioneer who sold the property for his opinion

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on the house that was guided at 65 grand plus.

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This property is in pretty poor order.

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I think it's been rented out, to be honest, for a long time.

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It needs a total makeover, refit,

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but it's capable of becoming a very good family house.

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The very first thing I'd do would be to strip the carpets out because,

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clearly, they've had dogs and other animals in the property.

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And the smell is not particularly pleasant.

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Well, that is something we can definitely agree on.

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But does he think the cracks are anything to worry about?

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It looks to me as if there is evidence of some subsidence.

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There are a few telltale cracks here and there.

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I don't think that is ongoing or progressive movement.

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I think it's down to the historic bomb damage that occurred

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in this area during the war.

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Well, it's good that he doesn't seem too worried.

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So what kind of rental potential

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does he think this property can have?

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So, once refurbished, if this went into the rented market,

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it would have a rental income of around £500 per calendar month.

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And what about the resale valuation?

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So, if it went on the sales market, once it was refurbished,

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it would probably go on the market at a figure around £90,000.

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First thing I would do with this property is strip it back

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to the bare bones. Everything that's inside, get it out,

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and give it a thorough cleaning.

0:17:530:17:55

It doesn't smell good in there and it doesn't look good, either.

0:17:550:17:58

You've also got those cracks.

0:17:580:18:00

Are they subsidence, or is it bomb damage from years ago?

0:18:000:18:04

But I've got to say this - apart from all those issues,

0:18:040:18:07

there's a lovely family home to be had here.

0:18:070:18:10

Let's see who wanted to take it on when it went under the hammer.

0:18:100:18:13

A good, substantial and spacious property.

0:18:160:18:19

It's all described there for you

0:18:190:18:20

in your catalogue, ladies and gentlemen.

0:18:200:18:22

Bid me where you like. 62,000?

0:18:220:18:24

Thank you. 62,000 I've got.

0:18:240:18:27

At £62,000. 63?

0:18:270:18:30

63 is bid.

0:18:300:18:31

At 63,000. 64.

0:18:310:18:33

64 is bid.

0:18:330:18:35

65. 65 I've got. At £65,000.

0:18:350:18:39

66 now?

0:18:390:18:41

66 here.

0:18:410:18:42

At 66, 67 at the back.

0:18:420:18:44

At 67, 68 is bid.

0:18:440:18:46

69. 69, 70,000.

0:18:460:18:50

At 70. And 1.

0:18:500:18:52

71. Seated bid at 70.

0:18:520:18:54

71? £70,000

0:18:540:18:57

is going to take it. At £70,000,

0:18:570:19:00

for the first time...second time...

0:19:000:19:02

Third opportunity...

0:19:020:19:05

The hammer's down. It's gone.

0:19:050:19:06

£70,000, thank you.

0:19:060:19:08

That successful bid of 70 grand belonged to decorator Simon.

0:19:080:19:13

# We got to work, work together

0:19:140:19:18

# Work, work together

0:19:180:19:20

# Come on... #

0:19:200:19:23

Simon plans to work on the house with his friends Judith

0:19:230:19:26

and her husband Colin. However,

0:19:260:19:28

it fell to Judith and Simon to come along to tell me their plans.

0:19:280:19:33

Meanwhile, Judith's daughter Claire,

0:19:330:19:35

who intends giving a helping hand, had a look around.

0:19:350:19:38

-Simon, nice to meet you, sir.

-You too.

-Judith, nice to meet you.

0:19:380:19:42

-Congratulations.

-Thank you.

-This is your first project.

0:19:420:19:45

It is indeed. Myself and my husband Colin.

0:19:450:19:48

Now, tell me how your relationship came about.

0:19:480:19:50

We met Simon about 15 years ago when we moved into our current house

0:19:500:19:54

in Wokingham, and he was our decorator.

0:19:540:19:58

And since then, he's done all our decorating and we've become friends

0:19:580:20:01

with him, his wife, his family.

0:20:010:20:03

-So, Simon, this is your new venture, isn't it?

-Yeah, yeah.

0:20:030:20:07

Tell me why you've decided to go into it.

0:20:070:20:09

Makes a bit of a change from decorating, to be honest,

0:20:090:20:11

and it's a lot more interesting. It's a lot more involved.

0:20:110:20:14

So it's a second auction property and hopefully

0:20:140:20:18

-it won't be the last.

-And you and Colin have just started on the same

0:20:180:20:21

sort of venture, wanting to get a portfolio started, of houses?

0:20:210:20:24

Well, just sharing with Simon, going into partnership with Simon.

0:20:240:20:27

When he was decorating with as last,

0:20:270:20:29

he talked about what he was doing and he'd got this house in Derby and

0:20:290:20:32

when he went home, we thought, "That would be quite good."

0:20:320:20:35

And I think we've always fancied doing something, but with Simon

0:20:350:20:38

doing it, we thought, what a great idea, to go into partnership,

0:20:380:20:41

and that's where we are now.

0:20:410:20:43

-Who viewed the property?

-Me.

-You viewed the property...

0:20:430:20:46

-Yeah.

-..read the legal packs.

-Yeah.

-Obviously, obviously.

0:20:460:20:49

-When did you see it for the first time?

-This morning.

-Did you?

0:20:490:20:52

Yes. Unfortunately, we were on holiday in Egypt when it was

0:20:520:20:55

the auction. We were so disappointed to miss it

0:20:550:20:57

but it's just one of those things.

0:20:570:20:59

Simon was keeping in touch while we were away, and then texts to say

0:20:590:21:02

we've got whichever one.

0:21:020:21:03

So, did your partner in crime do well for you?

0:21:030:21:06

Oh, he did. Absolutely brilliant.

0:21:060:21:08

-Yeah, thank you.

-I'll probably be bidding on all future ones as well

0:21:080:21:11

-because she's always on holiday.

-Oh, is that the case?

-Yeah.

0:21:110:21:14

I know which way this partnership is going now.

0:21:140:21:17

Worker, holiday-er.

0:21:170:21:19

-I see.

-I'm saying nothing cos we're still in partnership.

0:21:190:21:22

Exactly. At present!

0:21:220:21:24

# You don't have say nothing

0:21:240:21:26

# Say nothing... #

0:21:260:21:27

Now, now, Simon,

0:21:270:21:29

we want this partnership to get off on a good footing.

0:21:290:21:32

Despite Judith and Colin's enthusiasm for holidaying,

0:21:320:21:35

they are eager to get this project started and, once complete,

0:21:350:21:39

hope to sell for a profit.

0:21:390:21:41

But what do they have planned?

0:21:410:21:43

Mostly inside is cosmetic. There's a bit of work to do on the outside.

0:21:430:21:47

That needs sorting out. But the gutters definitely need looking at.

0:21:470:21:51

If you look at it, there's damp coming out of each side of it.

0:21:510:21:56

That's the first thing that needs to be cleaned away.

0:21:560:21:58

And what about the crack upstairs?

0:21:580:22:00

It might be subsidence, it might be down to

0:22:000:22:02

a lot of houses being bombed during the war.

0:22:020:22:05

I think it's more to do with the guttering. Just damp, pouring down,

0:22:050:22:08

-not going anywhere.

-Will you get someone in to have a look at that?

0:22:080:22:11

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

0:22:110:22:13

So, Simon isn't worried about those cracks, and it'll be him doing

0:22:130:22:16

the majority of the work here.

0:22:160:22:18

He'll be dipping into his contacts book for the more skilled tasks

0:22:180:22:22

in the hope of keeping to his 12-week timescale.

0:22:220:22:26

Although there is one job that can't wait...

0:22:260:22:29

It's got a bit of a twang to it, a bit of a smell.

0:22:330:22:36

-Oh, yes.

-How are you going to get rid of that?

0:22:360:22:39

I think once the carpets go...

0:22:390:22:41

I'm liking it, to be honest. I'm getting used to it now.

0:22:410:22:45

But I couldn't stay there for any longer...

0:22:450:22:48

-I could breathe through my mouth.

-Once the paint starts going on,

0:22:480:22:50

that takes over a lot of the smells as well.

0:22:500:22:53

The carpets will be out first thing, as soon as possible.

0:22:530:22:55

What about the budget, Judith,

0:22:550:22:57

to turn it round from what it is now...?

0:22:570:23:00

Hopefully about ten?

0:23:000:23:02

Yeah, 10 to 15, somewhere along those kind of lines.

0:23:020:23:05

-A new kitchen, new bathrooms...

-Yeah, new bathroom.

0:23:050:23:08

Might try and salvage a bit of the kitchen,

0:23:080:23:10

but we'll see how we're doing on the budget, to be honest.

0:23:100:23:13

And I don't think you should.

0:23:130:23:16

Tell us more. Would you get rid of the kitchen altogether?

0:23:160:23:19

-I think so.

-No, you want to keep it all.

-I think so.

0:23:190:23:22

-Budgets might just tip a little bit...

-Yeah...

0:23:220:23:25

Yeah, we'll see. I mean, I don't mind either way, to be honest.

0:23:250:23:28

Sometimes it's easier just to rip it out and start again.

0:23:280:23:31

-Listen, I wish you both well.

-Thank you.

-I'm sure you'll be fine.

0:23:310:23:34

-Good luck, Simon.

-Thank you. Cheers.

0:23:340:23:35

-Nice to have met you.

-Thank you. Nice to meet you, too.

0:23:350:23:38

Simon was Colin and Judith's decorator many years ago,

0:23:400:23:43

then they were friends and now they are in business together.

0:23:430:23:46

Simon is going to do all the work,

0:23:460:23:48

Judith is going to be on a sun lounger somewhere sunning herself.

0:23:480:23:51

Simon is going to try and resurrect as much as he possibly can.

0:23:510:23:54

Judith just wants to rip it all out. You can find out how

0:23:540:23:57

those discussions got on later on in the programme.

0:23:570:24:00

Coming up in Kent,

0:24:020:24:04

can Lucy shed some light on the merits of this house?

0:24:040:24:08

Look. There's a window.

0:24:080:24:10

That is brilliant.

0:24:100:24:12

Back in Derbyshire, it seems battle lines are drawn.

0:24:120:24:16

-He feels he's got a little victory.

-It is. It is. 1-0 for the men.

0:24:160:24:20

No.

0:24:200:24:21

But first, we return to Penmaenmawr on the North Wales coast.

0:24:270:24:31

It was here that I saw this four-bedroom mid-terrace

0:24:310:24:35

which was spread over four floors.

0:24:350:24:37

Not only were there lots of rooms, the proportions were good, too,

0:24:370:24:42

with a kitchen and office on the lower-ground,

0:24:420:24:45

and the bedrooms spread across two floors,

0:24:450:24:47

while the ground floor had generous living accommodation

0:24:470:24:50

with a sprinkling of original features - and that was why

0:24:500:24:54

I was immediately suspicious at a guide price of just £58,000.

0:24:540:25:00

Yeah, it needs a bit of work, but...

0:25:000:25:03

am I missing something?

0:25:030:25:06

Wow!

0:25:060:25:07

Not only was it right by the sea but I could see clearly enough that this

0:25:110:25:15

house gave you a whole lot of bang for your buck.

0:25:150:25:17

# The tide is high but I'm holding on

0:25:190:25:24

# I'm gonna be your number one... #

0:25:240:25:28

It was phone bidders Ceri and Neil who got this house for £66,000.

0:25:280:25:34

But it had been far from plain sailing so far.

0:25:340:25:39

What's the budget?

0:25:390:25:40

-Go on.

-Right...

0:25:420:25:44

Initially, it was going to be a lot more, but...

0:25:440:25:47

-A bit of a problem with the banks.

-Yeah, problem with the banks.

0:25:470:25:50

-They won't give you any?

-They pulled out on the day of completion.

-Yeah.

0:25:500:25:53

So, what is the budget going to be after all that, then?

0:25:530:25:56

I think we've reckoned on about 6,000.

0:25:560:25:58

-Wow!

-Initially.

-It's going to be a bit tight.

0:25:580:26:01

# I don't have

0:26:010:26:03

# Money on my mind, money on my mind

0:26:030:26:06

# I do it for Do it for the love... #

0:26:060:26:09

Ceri and Neil may have got their fingers burned financially

0:26:090:26:12

but armed with the three-month timescale, a six-grand-ish budget

0:26:120:26:17

and an optimistic attitude, they have finished.

0:26:170:26:22

So, now, just over 18 months later, we're back.

0:26:220:26:25

And wow! What a transformation!

0:26:310:26:34

In that formerly chaotic basement, there is now a slick monochrome

0:26:390:26:43

modern kitchen.

0:26:430:26:45

It now opens onto the back patio, with a set of French doors.

0:26:450:26:51

And that untidy office space at the back is now bright and airy -

0:26:510:26:55

a utility room.

0:26:550:26:58

That old boiler is gone, which was replaced by Neil,

0:26:580:27:01

who is a plumbing and heating engineer.

0:27:010:27:04

The ground floor has also been cleared out and given a face-lift,

0:27:060:27:10

with a funky purple paint job, courtesy of Ceri.

0:27:100:27:13

It's all looking brighter and fresher.

0:27:220:27:24

The downstairs WC has been brought up to date, and when it comes to

0:27:240:27:29

bathrooms, you can have any colour as long as it's white, in my book.

0:27:290:27:33

Neil and Ceri have been busy reconfiguring

0:27:330:27:36

the odd upstairs layout.

0:27:360:27:38

You went up the stairs and you are faced with a door and you went

0:27:380:27:41

through the door and there was another door.

0:27:410:27:43

When it was a residential home, you needed fire compartments,

0:27:430:27:46

but it wasn't suitable in a house, so we removed doors...

0:27:460:27:50

-Opened it up.

-Opened it all up and let more light in.

0:27:500:27:53

Used the doors elsewhere.

0:27:530:27:56

Cos we could. Anything we could re-use, we have.

0:27:560:27:59

In order to make it work.

0:27:590:28:01

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and the couple have been

0:28:010:28:04

resourceful, reusing materials and doing most of the work themselves.

0:28:040:28:09

Neil's plumbing skills came to the fore in creating the upstairs toilet

0:28:090:28:13

in the second floor, where he has installed a macerating unit,

0:28:130:28:17

which is a machine that helps to process the waste.

0:28:170:28:21

The only jobs they didn't tackle were the electrics,

0:28:210:28:24

plastering and kitchen-fitting.

0:28:240:28:26

Nonetheless, this was a big house.

0:28:260:28:28

It must have felt a bit overwhelming.

0:28:280:28:30

It was a bit daunting because it happened so quick,

0:28:300:28:32

from auction to having it. It was like, "Oh, we own it."

0:28:320:28:36

-And...

-We'd come down...

0:28:360:28:38

And look around and it'd be like, "Where do you start?"

0:28:380:28:40

And turn around and walk back off home again.

0:28:400:28:42

-We fitted it around our life, in general...

-And work.

0:28:420:28:45

Yeah, and I got busy and just couldn't be here all the time.

0:28:450:28:50

That's why it's taken longer than we anticipated.

0:28:500:28:53

Life does have a tendency to get in the way of best-laid plans,

0:28:550:28:58

so how long did it take Neil and Ceri to get the work done?

0:28:580:29:03

We were being ambitious when I said three months.

0:29:030:29:07

Our first attempt, we weren't really prepared for quite how in-depth

0:29:070:29:11

the work gets in parts.

0:29:110:29:13

18 months later and here we are.

0:29:130:29:16

They may have gone over their predicted timescale

0:29:160:29:19

but the good news is that they have managed to get some financial advice

0:29:190:29:23

and sort out that tight budget and then boost it to £18,000.

0:29:230:29:28

They've done a great job, but what part of the house do they like best?

0:29:280:29:33

-I think the kitchen came out very well.

-Yeah.

-We seem to get good

0:29:330:29:37

feedback from that from friends and family that have seen it,

0:29:370:29:40

-which is nice. Everybody always ends up in the kitchen so...

-Yeah.

0:29:400:29:44

So, with a total spend of 84,000,

0:29:460:29:49

let's find out if they can make a return on their investment.

0:29:490:29:52

We invited two local estate agents

0:29:520:29:54

to give us their opinion on this property.

0:29:540:29:58

What they've done to the property,

0:30:010:30:02

I must be honest, they've worked really hard. The specification

0:30:020:30:05

they've done in terms of the refurb has been fantastic,

0:30:050:30:08

and really to a high end.

0:30:080:30:10

They've obviously done quite a lot of work to it.

0:30:100:30:12

They've done rewiring, obviously put some new central heating system in.

0:30:120:30:17

Kitchens, bathrooms, etc,

0:30:170:30:19

and decorated it to quite a high standard.

0:30:190:30:22

The demand in Penmaenmawr is very high on the rental. On the sale

0:30:220:30:26

side, we've just recently sold a property not far from here,

0:30:260:30:29

so the Penmaenmawr sales front is actually starting to go as well.

0:30:290:30:33

Well, that all sounds promising.

0:30:330:30:36

So let's hear some of those potential sales figures.

0:30:360:30:39

I would recommend a figure in the region of £150,000 to £155,000.

0:30:410:30:48

I'd be quite comfortable putting this property on the market

0:30:480:30:50

for £150,000.

0:30:500:30:51

That top valuation would mean a potential pre-tax figure of £71,000.

0:30:510:30:58

That's not bad. But Ceri and Neil intend renting,

0:30:580:31:01

so what kind of income could the house bring in?

0:31:010:31:05

On rental, I believe the rental valuation of this property should be

0:31:050:31:09

around £650 per calendar month.

0:31:090:31:11

This would achieve somewhere between £550 per calendar month,

0:31:110:31:16

up to about £625 per calendar month.

0:31:160:31:20

-I think it's a bit low...

-Yeah... For the size of the property.

0:31:200:31:23

And for the market.

0:31:230:31:25

We've had somebody waiting for us to finish for the last six months.

0:31:250:31:28

-Yeah.

-So they are happy and we are hoping...

0:31:280:31:32

-They will hopefully be moving in by the end of the month.

-Yeah.

0:31:320:31:36

In that case, let's use the highest figure of 650 per month.

0:31:360:31:41

That would mean a yield of just over 9%, which is pretty darn good.

0:31:410:31:45

But this is just the halfway house. They also have the house next door.

0:31:450:31:49

Next door, we haven't actually started on yet.

0:31:520:31:54

That's our next... We might have a week off in between,

0:31:540:31:56

but that's our next job. And then we might get another one.

0:31:560:32:00

-A one-bed bungalow.

-A one-bed bungalow, yeah.

0:32:020:32:05

Today, Lucy is in the county known as the Garden of England -

0:32:070:32:13

Kent - in a town just over 30 miles from London,

0:32:130:32:16

around about an hour's train journey away.

0:32:160:32:19

The property I'm here to see is close to Maidstone town centre,

0:32:190:32:23

with all its shops and restaurants, and it's also just a ten-minute walk

0:32:230:32:27

from here to Maidstone's two train stations,

0:32:270:32:30

which is Maidstone East and Maidstone West.

0:32:300:32:33

Here it is. It's this two-bedroom mid-terrace house,

0:32:330:32:36

just over the road here.

0:32:360:32:37

And the guide price for the property? Well, it was £125,000.

0:32:370:32:42

So, straight from the outside pavement into the lounge area.

0:32:440:32:48

And as you'd imagine, is quite small inside but there's a lot you can do

0:32:480:32:53

to improve a place like this, starting with removing this.

0:32:530:32:57

Whatever it's hiding behind...

0:32:570:32:59

Let's have a look. Oh, dear.

0:32:590:33:00

No, just a rather ugly old gas fire behind there,

0:33:000:33:04

which will certainly need to be removed.

0:33:040:33:07

Through here into the kitchen area,

0:33:070:33:10

which is exactly the same size, almost, as the lounge.

0:33:100:33:14

Now, again, it's really dated.

0:33:140:33:16

You could do so much to update this. And the kitchen,

0:33:160:33:19

the sinks and the units are all a bit old.

0:33:190:33:22

The flooring, it's just tatty old lino.

0:33:220:33:24

The stairs leading to upstairs, and through here, I've got a feeling...

0:33:240:33:30

Yes, look, that is a really dark cellar.

0:33:300:33:34

I am going to get my trusty torch and investigate.

0:33:340:33:40

Wish me luck.

0:33:400:33:42

Well, I'm just climbing down these rather precarious stairs

0:33:420:33:47

into a rather spooky cellar.

0:33:470:33:49

It's a bit smelly as well.

0:33:490:33:52

Now, this is a small house,

0:33:520:33:53

not much more than just a two up, two down, really,

0:33:530:33:56

so you could think about converting

0:33:560:33:58

this cellar space into extra living space. Now, there are lots of things

0:33:580:34:03

you have to take into account first.

0:34:030:34:05

For example, those stairs there, they are just too steep.

0:34:050:34:09

It would need a proper staircase which complies to building regs.

0:34:090:34:12

Then there's the issue of light and ventilation.

0:34:120:34:15

Look - there's a window. That is brilliant.

0:34:150:34:18

But you're below ground, so you've got damp to contend with, too.

0:34:180:34:23

So it's not an easy job, and you really have to weigh up the costs

0:34:230:34:27

versus the potential added value, and decide whether converting this

0:34:270:34:31

cellar is really worth going to all the bother and expense.

0:34:310:34:35

Good point, Lucy,

0:34:350:34:37

because some might think their money would be better spent trying to move

0:34:370:34:41

the bathroom upstairs. Currently, it's at the back of the house

0:34:410:34:45

in what looks like a small extension.

0:34:450:34:48

There is an obvious place to put it at the top of the staircase

0:34:480:34:52

where there is a large cupboard.

0:34:520:34:54

Either side of that is the bedroom, one overlooking the back garden...

0:34:540:34:59

..the other overlooking the road.

0:35:030:35:06

The central heating looks fairly new

0:35:060:35:08

but would need checking by a Gas Safe engineer.

0:35:080:35:13

Outside, the roof has no obvious bowing, and the tiles look OK,

0:35:130:35:18

but it looks like the garden hasn't seen any green fingers lately.

0:35:180:35:22

A good tidy-up should regenerate some valuable outside space.

0:35:220:35:27

# Oh, oh

0:35:280:35:30

# Ah, ah, ah

0:35:300:35:32

# Oh, oh, oh

0:35:320:35:34

# Ah, ah, ah

0:35:340:35:36

# Oh, oh, oh

0:35:360:35:38

# Ah, ah, ah... #

0:35:380:35:40

The window frames look beyond a coat of gloss,

0:35:400:35:43

and back to the subterranean room, is it worth the cost of conversion?

0:35:430:35:48

We called on a local property agent to help with this question and to

0:35:480:35:52

get a view on the Maidstone property market.

0:35:520:35:56

It's a really busy town at the moment. Over the last two years,

0:35:560:35:58

the market's really picked up.

0:35:580:36:00

We are having a huge influx from the London market, which is fantastic.

0:36:000:36:04

So it's great for selling. But the problem we've got is,

0:36:040:36:06

there's a real massive supply and demand issue. So as soon as

0:36:060:36:09

something is coming on right now, it's, you know, competitive

0:36:090:36:12

for buyers, and there's a lot of offers being made on any one

0:36:120:36:15

property at any one time.

0:36:150:36:16

And what about the prospects of selling or renting this property?

0:36:160:36:21

A lot of double glazing needs doing.

0:36:210:36:23

Everything, basically, completely restarting,

0:36:230:36:25

but it's got a lot of potential.

0:36:250:36:27

Is the basement considered part of that potential for conversion

0:36:270:36:31

-to living space?

-With the height of the basement you've got and the

0:36:310:36:34

natural light that comes through, it could be used potentially as a third

0:36:340:36:37

bedroom or as another reception room, just opening this property

0:36:370:36:40

right up.

0:36:400:36:41

The agent considers a basement conversion would cost between

0:36:410:36:44

£5,000 and £10,000.

0:36:440:36:46

What effect would that conversion have on the property's value?

0:36:460:36:50

With the property as is, without the cellar,

0:36:500:36:53

you would be looking at £850 per calendar month.

0:36:530:36:56

If the cellar was converted,

0:36:560:36:58

you'd be looking at around £875 per calendar month.

0:36:580:37:01

What about the sales market?

0:37:010:37:03

The property without the cellar being done, you'd be looking at

0:37:030:37:05

about £200,000. With the cellar being converted,

0:37:050:37:08

anything up to £210,000.

0:37:080:37:10

This terraced house is in a handy location,

0:37:150:37:18

it's close to the shops and the town centre, also it's got those

0:37:180:37:21

two train stations and it's got the bonus of the cellar. So let's see

0:37:210:37:25

who bid for this one when we head to auction.

0:37:250:37:28

On to lot 37. Two-bedroom house for improvement.

0:37:280:37:31

Amended guide price - £125,000 plus.

0:37:310:37:35

120, can I say?

0:37:350:37:36

120, we are on the way.

0:37:360:37:38

123 now?

0:37:380:37:40

123. 123 I have.

0:37:400:37:42

The bidding quickly passed the guide price

0:37:420:37:45

and we rejoin it at 146,000.

0:37:450:37:49

£146,000 I have.

0:37:490:37:50

148 I'm looking for.

0:37:500:37:53

148 I have.

0:37:530:37:54

150. 150 now.

0:37:540:37:56

150 I have.

0:37:560:37:59

152 now. 152 for any of you.

0:37:590:38:01

152 I'm looking for.

0:38:010:38:03

Are we all done at £150,000?

0:38:030:38:06

All done. I shall be selling for the first time...for the second time...

0:38:060:38:10

third and final time...£150,000...

0:38:100:38:13

Sold, madam.

0:38:130:38:15

With that top bid at the auction was Sally, along with her husband Phil,

0:38:150:38:18

who conveniently owns a window-fitting company,

0:38:180:38:21

which also undertakes some building work.

0:38:210:38:24

Sally and Phil are major shareholders in this property

0:38:240:38:28

but this is very much a family project, so Lucy met up with two of

0:38:280:38:32

the other investors,

0:38:320:38:34

sons Alex, wearing the stripes, and older brother Dan, to find out more.

0:38:340:38:39

Guys, congratulations. Well done.

0:38:420:38:44

-Thank you.

-So, whose idea was it to buy this at auction?

0:38:440:38:48

That was my mum's.

0:38:480:38:49

-Right, so you guys weren't actually at the auction, were you?

-No.

-No.

0:38:490:38:52

So, is it going to be all four of you

0:38:520:38:54

involved in this family business?

0:38:540:38:55

Yeah, it is. And also, my sister, who lives abroad at the moment,

0:38:550:39:00

she contributed towards buying the property as well.

0:39:000:39:04

-So, five of you?

-Yeah.

-Fantastic.

0:39:040:39:07

Now, I can see, Alex, that you're dressed to kill today and you're

0:39:070:39:11

-obviously in the industry.

-Yeah, I am in fact an electrician,

0:39:110:39:14

so I'll be looking at the electrics and also I can look at the plumbing,

0:39:140:39:18

but I'm a jack-of-all-trades.

0:39:180:39:20

-I've got experience in all areas of building, really.

-And Dan?

0:39:200:39:24

I come from a bit of a...

0:39:240:39:26

Well, mainly an administration background.

0:39:260:39:29

I've just started working with my dad, and he is always...

0:39:290:39:32

Him and my mum have always said they want to do this sort of thing

0:39:320:39:36

and I've obviously grown an interest in it as well.

0:39:360:39:39

I'm really looking forward to it.

0:39:390:39:40

So, guys, what is the plan?

0:39:400:39:42

Is it to get in here, rip it apart,

0:39:420:39:44

do everything you can to add value and get out again?

0:39:440:39:48

Or do you want to both live here?

0:39:480:39:50

No, I won't be living here. I've got my own house.

0:39:500:39:54

But I don't know about you.

0:39:540:39:55

I think there was ideas of maybe you living here.

0:39:550:39:58

-Really?

-Yeah, me and my partner,

0:39:580:40:01

we are looking at getting our own place very soon, so I guess

0:40:010:40:06

it just depends on how we both like it when...

0:40:060:40:11

-And the value, if it's in your range at the end.

-That's it.

0:40:110:40:14

-You've got to buy it off them, then.

-Yeah, exactly.

0:40:140:40:16

So, tell me what you are going to do. I'm dying to hear your plans,

0:40:160:40:19

considering you've got a window company,

0:40:190:40:21

conservatories, and all of that.

0:40:210:40:23

-You can really sort of, like, go for it here, can't you?

-Yeah.

0:40:230:40:26

One of the main things we want to look at is taking

0:40:260:40:29

the chimney breasts out,

0:40:290:40:32

just to make the rooms a bit bigger.

0:40:320:40:35

And also put an upstairs toilet in the cupboard on the landing.

0:40:350:40:40

Now, that is a great idea.

0:40:400:40:42

Chimney breasts, talk to me about that, because I know these rooms

0:40:420:40:46

aren't the biggest, but it's a lot of work for sort of that much space.

0:40:460:40:51

It's a lot of work but we've got the manpower on the firm,

0:40:510:40:54

so it's not going to be too much...

0:40:540:40:58

We can all really crash into it.

0:40:580:41:00

It'll be good for adding value to the property that we can do it for,

0:41:000:41:03

-I think.

-What is the budget?

0:41:030:41:05

The budget - we think it's quite a good one - 12 grand.

0:41:050:41:11

And how long do you think it's going to take you to do the work?

0:41:110:41:14

We are looking at two months.

0:41:140:41:17

But hopefully nothing longer than that.

0:41:170:41:19

Right, something I want to talk to you about, really seriously about.

0:41:190:41:22

-The cellar.

-Yeah.

0:41:220:41:25

It's going to cost a bit of money to sort out.

0:41:250:41:28

What do you intend doing with it?

0:41:280:41:30

We just want to totally damp-proof it and plaster around all the walls,

0:41:300:41:36

probably put...

0:41:360:41:38

a permanent ceiling on it as well.

0:41:380:41:40

It doesn't worry us. It's something that's just got to be done.

0:41:400:41:43

I knew you'd say that. Nothing worries you, does it?

0:41:430:41:46

You're quite confident about this, aren't you?

0:41:460:41:48

Definitely. Like I said...

0:41:480:41:51

it's just something we know we've got the experience to do, and it's

0:41:510:41:55

just something we're really going to crash into and it'll be good fun

0:41:550:41:59

to do, not just hard work.

0:41:590:42:01

Is he going to be bossing everyone around, do you think?

0:42:010:42:03

Well, it's my mum, so I doubt it.

0:42:030:42:05

-Really?

-Yeah, it's her little baby.

0:42:050:42:09

It's her project. So she'll be telling me where to go and I'll just

0:42:090:42:12

-be doing what I'm told.

-I know her and my dad have always sort of

0:42:120:42:15

planned this, but I think it's been

0:42:150:42:17

more her idea and I think when she's been thinking about it, she didn't

0:42:170:42:22

even think that it would be something that the whole family

0:42:220:42:24

would be involved in, so that's just made it even better for her.

0:42:240:42:28

-It's been fantastic meeting you today. Good luck.

-Thank you.

0:42:280:42:31

Hopefully, you can do this within the eight weeks and we can come back

0:42:310:42:34

-and see what it's like.

-Of course.

-Congratulations.

0:42:340:42:36

-Thank you very much.

-Thanks very much.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

0:42:360:42:39

Well, Dan and Alex have bought this house along with the rest of their

0:42:390:42:43

family in the hope that it'll be the first of many big projects for them,

0:42:430:42:48

but they've got a lot of work to do first and, well,

0:42:480:42:51

they're not just planning a simple job here,

0:42:510:42:53

they want to remove all those chimney breasts, fit out the cellar,

0:42:530:42:57

and a loo upstairs, but at least fitting the new windows,

0:42:570:43:00

that shouldn't be an issue for them.

0:43:000:43:02

So let's find out how they all get on later in the programme.

0:43:020:43:06

Well, we might have seen how one of the properties turned out today

0:43:090:43:13

so far but what about the other two?

0:43:130:43:15

-Have the projects gone to plan?

-I think we should find out.

0:43:150:43:19

It was in the Derby suburb of Allenton where I first saw

0:43:210:43:25

a three-bed semi which I won't forget in a hurry.

0:43:250:43:28

Well, there's a real

0:43:310:43:33

strong smell as you come through the door, very potent smell of...

0:43:330:43:37

It's animals, cats or dogs or something but it's quite strong.

0:43:370:43:41

# And I smell

0:43:410:43:44

# Trouble

0:43:440:43:46

# I smell trouble... #

0:43:470:43:52

Yes, I can still smell it now.

0:43:520:43:55

Even once you've got past the smell, its troubles didn't end there,

0:43:550:43:59

with cracking and damp.

0:43:590:44:01

But if you could look beyond this,

0:44:010:44:03

underneath wasn't a bad three-bedroom house.

0:44:030:44:07

The people who took the deep breath and plunged into this first

0:44:080:44:11

joint-venture property were professional decorator Simon

0:44:110:44:15

and his former clients, Judith and her husband Colin.

0:44:150:44:19

With Colin away, Judith outlined how the partnership was formed.

0:44:190:44:23

When he was decorating with us last, he talked about what he was doing

0:44:230:44:27

and he'd got this house in Derby and when he went home we thought,

0:44:270:44:29

"That would be quite good." And I think we've always fancied doing

0:44:290:44:32

something but with Simon doing it, we thought, what a great idea, to go

0:44:320:44:35

into partnership, and that is where we are now.

0:44:350:44:37

So, the plan was that Simon would do the work while Judith, with some

0:44:370:44:41

help from daughter Claire, would oversee and coordinate

0:44:410:44:44

the refurbishment. Sounded like a good plan but I was initially

0:44:440:44:47

worried that it wasn't just the house that was showing signs

0:44:470:44:50

of cracks.

0:44:500:44:52

New kitchen, new bathrooms...

0:44:520:44:53

Yeah, new bathroom, might try and salvage a bit of the kitchen.

0:44:530:44:57

See how we're doing on the budget, to be honest.

0:44:570:45:00

And I don't think you should.

0:45:000:45:02

Tell us more. You want to get rid of the kitchen altogether?

0:45:020:45:05

-I think so.

-No, you want to keep it all.

-I think so.

0:45:050:45:08

# I smell trouble

0:45:080:45:11

# Way up there ahead of me... #

0:45:110:45:14

Let's hope that this wasn't a sign of things to come because they -

0:45:140:45:18

I mean, Simon - had a lot of work

0:45:180:45:21

to do here and they had given themselves a 10- to 15-grand budget

0:45:210:45:25

and a three- to four-month timescale.

0:45:250:45:27

Now, 16 - yes, 16 months later - we are back.

0:45:300:45:34

No changes outside, so ready,

0:45:380:45:41

take a deep breath...

0:45:410:45:42

..and breathe.

0:45:520:45:54

Never have I been so pleased to say the words

0:46:000:46:04

"it's fresh and clean".

0:46:040:46:06

But who won the battle of the kitchen?

0:46:100:46:12

I think that Simon might have been happy to leave it as it was,

0:46:140:46:17

but I think a kitchen is a lady's domain so it's nice to have

0:46:170:46:21

a nice kitchen to work in.

0:46:210:46:23

And as you can see with it now, it's made so much difference.

0:46:230:46:26

Still got the cooker hood, yes!

0:46:260:46:28

Yes. He saved the cooker hood and cleaned it up.

0:46:280:46:31

So I think he feels he's got a little victory.

0:46:310:46:34

It is. It is. 1-0 for the men.

0:46:340:46:36

No.

0:46:360:46:38

Now, now, you two, I think you've both got it right.

0:46:380:46:42

They were in total agreement with the plans for upstairs,

0:46:420:46:45

keeping the bath and replacing everything else.

0:46:450:46:48

And the bedrooms? Well, there are more of them.

0:46:550:46:59

The large bedroom has been split into two to make this

0:47:000:47:03

a four-bed house. Interesting.

0:47:030:47:07

The room was huge. It already had two doorways in it, so...

0:47:070:47:11

it looked like, you know, in one way, out the other, kind of thing.

0:47:110:47:14

And there was actually marks on the ceiling where it had been divided

0:47:140:47:17

into two before. The wiring was already there for it,

0:47:170:47:21

so it was quite a simple operation just to build the wall, board it

0:47:210:47:24

and plaster it, really, and then we've got an extra bedroom.

0:47:240:47:26

And with the garden laid to lawn,

0:47:260:47:29

this former dog's dinner of a property is now the cat's whiskers.

0:47:290:47:33

But how did they get rid of that awful smell?

0:47:330:47:36

There was a few ways we tried to get over it.

0:47:380:47:40

We started with some normal bleach on the floorboards,

0:47:400:47:44

which did absolutely nothing.

0:47:440:47:46

It just made it smell...bleachy.

0:47:460:47:49

Then we got some industrial bleach,

0:47:490:47:51

which was a lot more powerful and it just fizzed and then in the end,

0:47:510:47:54

we just ended up PVA-ing it and sealing it all in.

0:47:540:47:57

And that worked perfectly.

0:47:570:48:00

Polyvinyl acetate sealant has meant that those pongs have been sealed

0:48:000:48:04

in for ever. What about all that cracking and damp?

0:48:040:48:08

Well, it wasn't bomb damage

0:48:080:48:10

from the war and it wasn't subsidence, either.

0:48:100:48:12

It was a collapsed drain that was causing the problems,

0:48:120:48:15

which has now been completely sorted and the cracks are repaired.

0:48:150:48:19

# Like everything else it all got away... #

0:48:190:48:24

And talking of going away, how often was Judith actually at the house?

0:48:240:48:29

I sat at home and waited for the photographs to come through of what

0:48:290:48:32

-he had been doing.

-A Friday visit every now and again.

0:48:320:48:36

I was never, ever going to be involved with the work within it.

0:48:360:48:39

Not till the smell went anyway.

0:48:390:48:41

That's right. Avoid it.

0:48:410:48:43

So, yeah, so...

0:48:430:48:45

Really pleased with it.

0:48:450:48:47

# I'm feeling happy now... #

0:48:470:48:49

That's good, but it was a bit of a wait to get this project completed.

0:48:490:48:53

Simon was busy with his own decorating work and the house was

0:48:530:48:57

more difficult to sort out than they first envisaged.

0:48:570:49:00

But they weren't in a massive rush.

0:49:000:49:02

It was one thing letting the timescale slip,

0:49:020:49:04

it's another keeping on top of the budget.

0:49:040:49:07

We thought it would be about 15, the top budget.

0:49:070:49:09

Anywhere from 10 to 15. And it's gone to about 18, so...

0:49:090:49:12

£18,000 on top of their 70 grand purchase price takes their total

0:49:140:49:20

investment to 88 grand.

0:49:200:49:22

So, does this house have the sweet smell of success now?

0:49:220:49:26

Let's ask two local property experts what they think.

0:49:260:49:29

After having a look around, in its current state, I think the property

0:49:330:49:36

has been presented to an excellent standard and really does make the

0:49:360:49:39

best of what's available here.

0:49:390:49:41

My first impressions are, the owners have actually done a comprehensive

0:49:410:49:44

refurb to the house. It's looking good now, from top to bottom.

0:49:440:49:47

With regard to the four-bedroom layout, personally,

0:49:470:49:49

I would have retained it as a three-bedroom.

0:49:490:49:52

I think the master bedroom was a great size,

0:49:520:49:54

gave good accommodation and I would have left it as it is,

0:49:540:49:56

rather than changing to a four-bedroom.

0:49:560:49:59

That's interesting. Sometimes, less is more.

0:50:000:50:03

Simon, Judith and her husband Colin are keen to sell this house on.

0:50:030:50:08

So, has this 88 grand investment potentially made them some money?

0:50:080:50:13

In its current condition, on today's market,

0:50:140:50:16

I would anticipate a sale being achieved somewhere in the region of

0:50:160:50:19

£105,000.

0:50:190:50:21

In terms of selling the property,

0:50:210:50:23

you are looking at around about £100,000.

0:50:230:50:25

OK, yeah, we had a valuation as well and that was more than that.

0:50:250:50:30

So there is a bit of variation in it.

0:50:300:50:32

So, I think it will go for more than that.

0:50:320:50:35

But it's all what people are prepared to pay for it.

0:50:350:50:38

A potential pre-tax profit of 12 to 17 grand is not bad for starters.

0:50:380:50:44

If they can't get a quick sale,

0:50:440:50:46

they could rent for £550 per calendar month,

0:50:460:50:49

which equates to a 7.5% yield.

0:50:490:50:52

But, overall, how do they sum up

0:50:520:50:54

their first joint property venture together?

0:50:540:50:57

I think it was more work than we ever imagined.

0:50:590:51:03

Oh... For Simon to do! Not me. As you say, I watched from afar.

0:51:030:51:07

A cup of tea goes a long way, Judith.

0:51:070:51:09

-I'll buy you a pint next time around.

-A couple.

0:51:090:51:13

Now, back to the Kent town of Maidstone,

0:51:170:51:19

where Lucy looked around this two-bedroom mid-terrace in need of

0:51:190:51:23

substantial work.

0:51:230:51:25

So, straight from the outside pavement into the lounge area.

0:51:250:51:29

And as you'd imagine,

0:51:290:51:30

it is quite small inside but there's a lot you can do to improve a place

0:51:300:51:35

like this.

0:51:350:51:36

Possible improvements included a kitchen refit,

0:51:360:51:39

but perhaps the most challenging thing was a potential basement

0:51:390:51:43

conversion. Lucy enlightened us in the dark.

0:51:430:51:46

It would need a proper staircase which complies to building regs.

0:51:460:51:49

Then there's the issue of light and ventilation.

0:51:490:51:52

Look - there's a window. That is brilliant.

0:51:520:51:55

Other people just as excited about windows were the bidders.

0:51:550:52:00

Sally and husband Phil had run

0:52:000:52:01

a window, conservatory and building company. They and three of their

0:52:010:52:05

children paid £150,000 for the Maidstone house.

0:52:050:52:08

Mum and Dad jetted off to Australia

0:52:080:52:11

to see daughter Emma while Lucy met up with the other two stakeholders -

0:52:110:52:15

Alex, who is an electrician, and older brother Dan,

0:52:150:52:19

who works on the administration side of his dad's company.

0:52:190:52:23

Lucy was keen to see the cellar sorted but wondered if the team

0:52:230:52:26

would be daunted by the task ahead.

0:52:260:52:29

It doesn't worry us. It's something that's just got to be done,

0:52:290:52:31

-isn't it?

-I knew you'd say that. There's nothing that worries you.

0:52:310:52:35

-Quite confident about this, aren't you?

-Definitely. It's just

0:52:350:52:37

something we're going to crash into and it'll be good fun to do,

0:52:370:52:40

-not just hard work.

-Is he going to be bossing everyone around?

0:52:400:52:44

-Well, it's my mum, so I doubt it.

-Really?

-Yeah, it's her little baby.

0:52:440:52:49

It's her project, so she'll be telling me where to go and I'll just

0:52:490:52:52

-be doing what I'm told.

-I know she didn't even think that it would be

0:52:520:52:56

something that the whole family would be involved in so that's just

0:52:560:52:59

made it even better for her.

0:52:590:53:00

So, how have the boys got on?

0:53:000:53:03

They estimated eight weeks to finish.

0:53:030:53:05

We are back after 16 weeks and a day.

0:53:050:53:08

Let's start in the garden.

0:53:080:53:10

# Money rains from the sky above

0:53:130:53:16

# But keep the change cos I've got enough... #

0:53:160:53:20

The lounge chimney breast is gone and it does make it bigger.

0:53:240:53:27

And we'll find out soon that that's not a fish tank in the corner.

0:53:270:53:31

The kitchen now has a small breakfast bar,

0:53:400:53:42

some integrated appliances,

0:53:420:53:44

and a full wall of units.

0:53:440:53:47

And the pastel colours continue.

0:53:470:53:49

The bathroom is still out back but brand-new.

0:53:520:53:56

And upstairs, where the big cupboard was...

0:54:000:54:04

..is this.

0:54:060:54:07

The neutral colour scheme continues in the carpets and the decor of the

0:54:150:54:19

bedrooms and, needless to say, there are new windows throughout.

0:54:190:54:23

But come on, Sally and Phil, tell us what happened to the damp cellar.

0:54:240:54:28

We tanked the cellar out, so we could then put a new staircase in,

0:54:320:54:36

which needed to have the new headroom here,

0:54:360:54:40

which we've done with the new glass in the roof.

0:54:400:54:43

And just thought we'd add a little quirky feature with the mural.

0:54:430:54:47

We love quirky features and now this dry room could be a games room,

0:54:490:54:54

another bedroom or indeed a wine cellar.

0:54:540:54:58

The cellar entrance is still off the kitchen but the glass tank top

0:54:580:55:03

in the lounge gives extra light and headroom lighting the stairs.

0:55:030:55:08

The two-month timescale extended somewhat.

0:55:080:55:12

Why was that?

0:55:120:55:14

We had a bit of time before we actually started and got going

0:55:140:55:18

just because my mum and dad were still away in Australia but, yeah,

0:55:180:55:23

as soon as they were back, it all kicked off straightaway.

0:55:230:55:27

I think it probably took about the best part of three months but not

0:55:270:55:31

a lot over what we anticipated.

0:55:310:55:34

And the budget also went over from

0:55:340:55:36

the expected 12,000 to £19,876.

0:55:360:55:42

Let's say 20 grand for easy maths.

0:55:420:55:44

What was the worst job?

0:55:440:55:46

The worst part for me, really, was ridding the house of its

0:55:460:55:50

60-a-day habit. I had to really scrub it from top to bottom

0:55:500:55:55

before any decoration could be done. So, yeah, major work.

0:55:550:56:00

We called in two local estate agents to find out the value that the work

0:56:000:56:05

has added to the house, starting with the agent who saw the property

0:56:050:56:09

-at the beginning of the project.

-They've used the space well.

0:56:090:56:12

I really like what they've done with the basement. It could be used as

0:56:120:56:15

a games room. I really like what they've done with the cupboard

0:56:150:56:17

upstairs to give the property an extra toilet.

0:56:170:56:19

The demand for properties like this is always great

0:56:190:56:23

in this area. As long as it goes to market at the right price,

0:56:230:56:27

for rental or for purchasing,

0:56:270:56:29

there's no reason why it would stay on the market for very long at all.

0:56:290:56:33

It was mooted that Dan might buy the house from the others but he's

0:56:330:56:37

decided against it at the moment.

0:56:370:56:39

So, let's get down to business. What could this house rent out for?

0:56:390:56:43

I think this property could achieve £875 per calendar month to £900

0:56:430:56:47

-per calendar month.

-With the rental market being as strong as it is

0:56:470:56:51

at the moment, there's no reason why we shouldn't achieve 850 to £875

0:56:510:56:57

per calendar month.

0:56:570:56:59

Costs stand at £150,000 purchase and £20,000 refurb,

0:56:590:57:04

so taking the top figure, that equates to nearly a 6.5% yield.

0:57:040:57:09

So, what does that mean?

0:57:090:57:10

Don't mean a lot to us because it's never been in our mind to rent.

0:57:120:57:16

-I think that's right.

-No.

-No, we'd like to sell and...

0:57:160:57:20

-Get on with another.

-Yeah, do another one.

0:57:200:57:22

Good enough reason to find out the sales values.

0:57:220:57:25

On the sales market, I think this property could achieve £210,000.

0:57:250:57:29

On the sales market, at this moment in time, the property should achieve

0:57:290:57:32

somewhere between 200,000 and £210,000.

0:57:320:57:37

Again, that top figure gives a pre-tax potential profit of £40,000.

0:57:370:57:41

Not bad, eh?

0:57:410:57:44

-A little bit higher than we expected.

-Yeah. No...very nice.

0:57:440:57:47

Yeah. Good.

0:57:470:57:48

So, would you do it again?

0:57:480:57:50

Yes, we would go to auction to buy another investment property.

0:57:500:57:55

I found it particularly terrifying

0:57:550:57:58

but hopefully the second one won't be so bad.

0:57:580:58:03

If you're thinking about heading down to a property auction,

0:58:060:58:08

-I hope we've helped you out.

-We do like to give as much advice as we

0:58:080:58:12

-possibly can and we will keep at it.

-We will. So make sure you join us

0:58:120:58:15

-next time for more Homes Under The Hammer.

-Goodbye.

-Goodbye.

0:58:150:58:19

A couple, friends and a family of five make up the three sets of investors hoping to make money from auction property purchases. Martin is in north Wales on the coast, Dion is in Allenton in Derby and Lucy is in Maidstone in Kent. Adding bedrooms and putting in new bathrooms and kitchens are all under consideration. But will splashing the cash net the investors more money?


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