Episode 77 Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 77

A small flat in Tooting in London, a huge former care home near a large park in Liverpool and a fire-damaged house in Silverdale in Shropshire are sold at auction.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to the show.

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All sorts of people buy property at auction

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and the auction house attracts people from all walks of life.

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Yes, and the properties themselves

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are many and varied.

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There's so many things to look forward to,

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buying your home under the hammer.

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Well, the kind of properties at auction are many and varied.

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I feel like I've seen them all over the years,

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from former public toilets to water towers.

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Yes, variety definitely is the spice of life on this show.

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Let's see what's on the menu.

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The property Lucy's at is in Tooting, London,

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and it boasts three rooms.

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We'll find out what "three rooms" exactly are, on the inside.

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It's going to take me a while to look around this nine-bedroom house in Liverpool.

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It looks some size, so I'm going to get started.

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And I'm in Silverdale, Newcastle-under-Lyme,

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to see a three-bedroom semi

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that's been classified as a dangerous house.

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It doesn't look to be in too good condition from the outside.

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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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HAMMER COMES DOWN

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Lucy's in Tooting, a popular area of southwest London,

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famous for its Lido and restaurants, among other things.

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But there is a less famous Tooting,

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54 million kilometres away on Mars.

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Yep, a giant crater there is also called Tooting.

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Thankfully, Lucy's sat nav took her to the one on THIS planet.

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Well, as you can hear and see

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it's a busy road, and not everybody will enjoy overlooking a cemetery.

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But it's on the bus route, and you have amenities nearby.

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Well, I'm here to see a first-floor flat

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and it had a guide price of £210,000 plus.

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It's described as having three rooms and a kitchen and a bathroom.

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We'll find out what "three rooms" exactly are, on the inside.

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So, what have we got when you reach the top of the stairs?

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Well, there's the kitchen.

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The bathroom leads off, so not ideal straight away.

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And the layout just gets a little bit more unusual,

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the further through the flat you go.

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It's not really working, is it,

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because what do they mean by "three rooms"?

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Well, here's one of them. I think that's the lounge.

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And then, through here, well, here are the two other rooms.

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There's one of them down there.

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There's this unusual little corridor area which is quite pointless.

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And, well, a partitioned wall into a tiny little bedroom.

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So what you've got is two very, very small rooms,

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which are pretty useless, and one other room through there.

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So, straightaway, I just want to knock all this partitioning down

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and that means that you've initially just got

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a one-bedroom flat.

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But it will be a nice one-bedroom flat

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because you could have the lounge, this bedroom here,

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and the kitchen and bathroom down there.

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So this is a case in point, people -

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always view an auction property before bidding at an auction.

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We're always banging on about it, but you know we're right.

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Homework, homework and more homework.

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Now, if you were to reconfigure this flat and just have one bedroom,

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there might be space for a second up in the loft.

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But that means you'll need a bigger budget,

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and time to apply to the planning department

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and get permission from the freeholder.

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You might not even own the loft space.

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Now, back to Lucy.

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Lucy?

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Lucy!

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Now... Get out of the way!

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Oh!

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You might wonder what I'm doing rustling around in the bushes,

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but that's because I've got some great news.

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This flat comes with this garden,

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and there is a fair old garden back there.

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Yes, it needs clearing,

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and I've been trying to figure out how long the actual garden is.

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It's about ten fence panels' worth.

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So it does go on and on.

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It needs to get this shed out of the way

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because it just takes up so much of the space, but I'm so pleased that

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this flat has this outside space because in my mind,

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it's going to add that extra bit of value that this flat needs.

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To find out exactly what kind of value that could add,

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we've asked along a local estate agent to get his opinion.

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That garden adds a lot of value.

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People in London, we don't get a lot of sun,

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but we love outdoor spaces

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and I think the size of it is pretty amazing,

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considered the property that it is.

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So, yeah, I think that does add value.

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With a figure in mind,

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I would say in the region of about 15 or 20,000 on the guide price.

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This green space makes this ripe for development and reconfiguration,

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but there is a major catch.

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It comes with a short lease, with only 58 years remaining.

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The short lease can be a problem for buyers.

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Being a short lease it is quite hard to get a mortgage from lenders.

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So if you're looking to put this property onto the sales market,

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it would have to be a cash buyer that would be willing to buy it.

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Now, with the property prices in this area,

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that would be extremely difficult.

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This would decrease the property of the value by about £25,000-£50,000.

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So, this flat adds value with a garden

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but then the short lease takes it away.

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So if the lease was extended

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and the flat returned to a good spec one-bed, what could this property,

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guided at £210,000 plus, be worth?

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If it was to go into a one-bedroom flat,

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this property could sell for £390,000 to £410,000.

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No. This flat is not without its issues.

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The layout doesn't work and it's in poor condition,

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not to mention that short lease.

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Still, if you can see past that, well,

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this could be a very good investment.

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Let's see who agreed when it went to auction.

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Very popular location, I know this area.

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So, first-floor flat, great potential.

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Kick off at 200 on this?

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200. 205? 205 anywhere? 205.

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210.

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215.

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220.

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225.

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Two bidders at the back of the room went toe-to-toe for this lot.

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We rejoin at £321,000.

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321.

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Over here, 321. 323.

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Anyone else? If you're all done...

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Sold, 321. Good buy, well done.

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Are you going to go up into the loft?

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Yes? Yeah!

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Hey, auctioneer, no spoilers, please!

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Well, the successful bidder, who paid 321,000, was Charlie.

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He said he wanted to go "up in the loft" at auction.

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Let's see what his thoughts are now.

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Charlie, lovely meeting you today. Thanks for coming along.

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What's the story behind you wanting to buy this?

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Well, about two years ago, I bought a house in Brixton, in London.

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It had loads of problems with it, leases...and basically I managed to

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sort out the problems over a couple of years

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and it's gone up in value a lot. And ended up being a good deal.

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And I was sort of slaving away on selling popcorn for a company.

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I like the job, but I was like, this is not what I really want to be.

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-So, you were selling popcorn?

-I was selling popcorn, yes.

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What, literally, selling it to people?

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No, I wasn't in a cinema with a little thing, I was...

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-Like a sales manager?

-Yeah, a sales manager.

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From the KERNEL of an idea to quitting his job,

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and inspired by the success of his Brixton house,

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Charlie started working as a handyman

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to gain practical skills before buying this place.

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So, what are you going to do to this flat?

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I would be quite intrigued to find out how you're going to change

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the layout. Because it's a little bit awkward, isn't it?

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Yes. Initially, I was literally going to make it into a really

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nice one-bed and rent it out.

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And then, because I didn't think I'd be able to get planning permission,

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and now I've looked at it and I think I CAN get planning permission to go into the loft.

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So, the first thing is,

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this will become a bedroom and it's a reception room at the moment.

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In the back of the house, where the kitchen and the bathroom is,

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-that will all be ripped out and become a second bedroom.

-OK.

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And then at the front,

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I'm going to take out those lovely walls

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that someone put up about two months ago.

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They're going to be ripped down,

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and then it's going to be made into a large kitchen diner at the front of the house.

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And then, hopefully, if we get the planning permission,

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upstairs will be a bedroom and a bathroom.

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I mean, I think if you do manage to turn this into a three-bedder,

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it's the little pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,

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you've done very well.

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What about the loft space? Because you can't take it as read that you OWN the loft.

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I've read through the list. And I've shown it to a solicitor,

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and they're like, basically you're 95%, you own that loft.

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Is 95% certain enough, though?

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Charlie has been proactive -

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before the auction, he made contact with the freeholder

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to enquire about this, and that much-needed lease extension.

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And he thinks a deal is going to be possible.

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But of course, it will come at a price.

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If he chooses to negotiate there are no rules,

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and the landlord could refuse to extend,

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or charge what he or she wants.

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Alternatively, if Charlie holds on to the property for two years,

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he would have a right under law to add 90 years

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to what is left on the existing lease.

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Of course, the freeholder is still due a payment,

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but there is a formula set to work this out.

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That and the planning issues aside,

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Charlie hopes to get the work done in three months.

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So what sort of budget have you got to do all the budget work here?

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You've got obviously the renewing of the lease,

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which I think will be about £70,000, which is quite chunky,

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but, you know, I think it's reflected in the price.

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Then for all the downstairs, sort of around £10,000,

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and then the loft, I'm sort of... I'm hoping to get it under...

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somewhere between £25,000 and £30,000.

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-OK.

-And that's sort of where I'm looking at at the moment.

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So you are looking at potentially doing this up to then sell on?

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Yeah. I'm looking to do up to sell on, but whatever happens

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I'm going to keep it for two years,

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just the way my mortgage is, I've got a fixed rate for two years.

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Anything that you are worried about with having purchased this building?

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-Yeah, the whole thing really!

-HE LAUGHS

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You were filling me with confidence. Now you're worrying me!

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Was that all just a load of chat?

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Well, it's just obviously I've never done it before,

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so everything's like...

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-new. Yeah.

-LUCY LAUGHS

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You sounded so confident for a minute there.

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"Yeah, I'm going to do this, do that.

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"Oh, actually, it's all worrying me!"

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Yeah. Every single little bit is obviously worrying me because

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I've never done any of it before. And it's all completely new.

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So what did your family think when you decided to sort of give up your proper job, your monthly wage?

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I didn't actually tell them. I just sort of...

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I told them after I'd given up my job.

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It is the second job I've quit,

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and I remember how good it was the first time. I was,

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"I've got to do that again."

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-You've got to try and hold this job then, OK?

-This one?

-You need to keep this job.

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No, but I will because it's me, you know, it's...

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I can... If I don't, it's...

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I've got a big loan and stuff to deal with,

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so I really need to do it properly.

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Sometimes you've got to take the risk to get the gain,

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and I think that you should take that risk.

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Yeah, because it's...

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Don't tell anyone I said that.

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No!

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-Lovely meeting you.

-Brilliant.

-Good luck with this whole project.

-Thanks. Thanks a lot.

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From popcorn to property.

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Charlie's a brave man, quitting his job and starting afresh.

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He's got his ideas, but there's still a few unknowns here.

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Will he get permission to convert the loft,

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and how quickly will he manage to extend that lease?

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Liverpool's Victorian architecture isn't limited to the city centre.

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Imposing houses in the east are now part of a conservation area.

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Just across the road from Newsham Park, which is just there,

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on this street, which is full of grand houses,

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and it's one of those grand houses

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I'm here to see today, and here it is. It's a bit of a monster.

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And we're only two miles away from the centre of Liverpool as well.

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It's a former care home,

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it's got four floors, and a guide price of £190,000.

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It looks some size, so I'm going to get started.

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# I'll be home, my darling... #

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OK, if you can hear a beeping, that's just the alarm,

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so don't worry about that.

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But look at this flooring. Originally tiled floor,

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very in keeping with the outside of the property as well.

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Really high ceilings, even more detail as well there.

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You've got a really large sort of lounge area to the front

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with a massive bay window, which WOULD be letting light in

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but it's all boarded up, or it's got grilles round the front of it.

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To my right, you've got a big room there with a huge hatch as well,

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I'm pretty sure that is connected to the kitchen.

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You've got stairs going up, stairs going down.

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So, pop pickers,

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we'll start at the bottom and chart this nine-bedder

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all the way to the top.

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MUSIC: Pick Of The Pops Theme

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In the basement, a new entry today,

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floodwater in the laundry

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by the twin toilets.

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Also, at the front of the house,

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the blue storeroom, and a curious black bottle

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by the window.

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Bringing up the rear, it's a peach room

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with dehumidifier.

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Now we're climbing to the ground floor.

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If it's china in your hands you want,

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there's a WC and a wash basin.

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Back at the rear, kitchen, store,

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and I was right about that hatch.

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We're climbing again but the half landings ain't half confusing.

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So on the first floor, and its other half,

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there's two bathrooms and four bedrooms.

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Bedroom number nine has the green, green paint of home.

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Number eight is mellow yellow.

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Seven has got a purple haze.

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Number six is peachy.

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Up the stairs to the top five, just past the shower room,

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number five is pink void.

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Number four is all right

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and staying bright.

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At three, it's lavender blue.

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And two, it's pale pink

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and green skirting.

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And number one, it's blue room

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from up in the rafters.

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One thing I did notice is that this place has got a lift.

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You're probably thinking, fantastic!

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But it doesn't look the newest lift I've seen in some time,

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and it could be a bit of a problem.

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Tenants could get stuck in there, maintenance costs...

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For me, I would make it fire safe, board it up.

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I wouldn't want it being used.

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OK, this used to be a care home,

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so I'm thinking the electrics and the heating will be in good order,

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which is good for your budget.

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I think the bill for rewiring a place of this size

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or putting central heating in

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would dwarf the average refurbishment budget.

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I'd want to know what is causing that basement flooding.

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It might need re-tanking.

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Having walked around this place, a lot of you may be thinking,

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why not turn it into flats?

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And you could turn it into flats, but for me,

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the configuration just doesn't lend itself, and those split levels,

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I think it could be a lot of hard work for little gain.

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Now, for me, this place is screaming out to be a HMO,

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but it has its pros and cons.

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Cons being, you'd need to put fire doors in,

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you'd have to make it safe, bathrooms, kitchens,

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you'd have to apply to get a change of use as well,

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and get a HMO licence.

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And then, you've got to find your tenants

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and you've got to manage them.

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They're just a few cons.

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The pros are - and there's a lot of them

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so I'll just get the most important one -

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is they can be incredibly lucrative, and that's the key.

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HMOs, or houses of multiple occupancy, are common in this area.

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And that's hardly surprising because properties of this size

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aren't normally inhabited by just one family.

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We called in a local estate agent

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to see if he could shed some light on ways of improving the living space.

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There are a number of other additional rooms

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that could be turned into bedrooms.

0:17:130:17:15

It could even make its way up to an 11-bedroom property.

0:17:150:17:18

And that would really maximise the income.

0:17:180:17:20

What income could you expect from a good HMO room?

0:17:200:17:25

An en-suite HMO room in this area,

0:17:250:17:27

I'd be looking to achieve £110 per week.

0:17:270:17:30

With 11 rooms, that could generate an income of 58 grand a year.

0:17:300:17:34

What about reselling the property once it's been refurbished?

0:17:360:17:39

Once this property's been completed and the works have been carried out

0:17:410:17:43

to a high standard, I would expect to achieve a figure of around £300,000.

0:17:430:17:48

It's a popular area, a good location and a good rental income,

0:17:480:17:51

so should be very popular.

0:17:510:17:54

The potential here is huge.

0:17:540:17:56

And whoever got their hands on this is definitely on to a winner.

0:17:560:18:00

Let's find out who that was when it went under the hammer.

0:18:000:18:02

So, 147, we're back off to Liverpool.

0:18:020:18:05

Leasehold semidetached, four-storey building, 14 rooms.

0:18:050:18:08

1.118 of an acre.

0:18:080:18:09

Start me at 165.

0:18:090:18:11

Nice looking building. Anyone here for it, 165...?

0:18:110:18:14

There he is. Good afternoon, sir.

0:18:140:18:17

165. 165, I'm bid. 170.

0:18:170:18:19

Lady's bid at 170.

0:18:190:18:20

Good afternoon, madam.

0:18:200:18:22

175, sir.

0:18:220:18:23

80.

0:18:250:18:26

85. 90.

0:18:260:18:28

95.

0:18:280:18:29

190, madam, on my left.

0:18:290:18:33

195, anywhere else?

0:18:330:18:35

190, I'm bid. First up at 190.

0:18:350:18:38

Second time at 190.

0:18:390:18:40

And last time, anybody else?

0:18:400:18:42

At £190,000,

0:18:420:18:43

are we all done?

0:18:430:18:45

OK, then.

0:18:450:18:47

Yours. Well done, madam.

0:18:470:18:49

Another happy buyer.

0:18:490:18:51

And this time, the happy buyer was Sarah,

0:18:510:18:55

who's been a property developer since 2014.

0:18:550:18:58

She paid 190 grand for what is now her 11th property.

0:18:580:19:02

Most of her other ten properties are, yes, you've guessed it, HMOs.

0:19:020:19:06

MUSIC: There She Goes by The La's

0:19:060:19:08

She met up with me, so I could find out

0:19:110:19:13

what her intentions were for this, her largest property to date.

0:19:130:19:17

-Sarah, nice to meet you.

-Lovely to meet you, too.

0:19:190:19:21

-Congratulations.

-Thank you very much.

0:19:210:19:23

Firstly, this is a monster.

0:19:230:19:26

-Yeah.

-Tell me why you wanted to buy it.

0:19:260:19:28

So, it's progression, basically.

0:19:280:19:30

At the minute we're dealing with sort of seven-bed HMOs,

0:19:300:19:33

and we want to move onwards and upwards.

0:19:330:19:35

So this has got huge amounts of potential to develop into, hopefully, 11 bedrooms.

0:19:350:19:40

-So did you know straightaway as soon as you came in what you wanted to do?

-Yeah.

0:19:400:19:44

There's lots of space where we can put en-suites in the rooms,

0:19:440:19:47

the kitchens can be moved around, so we get big kitchen-living rooms.

0:19:470:19:50

And then there was a lot of reception rooms

0:19:500:19:52

which weren't being utilised as bedrooms at the minute.

0:19:520:19:55

So we're going to convert those into bedrooms,

0:19:550:19:57

with the en-suite rooms.

0:19:570:19:58

So how about the communal areas? How many of those will there be?

0:19:580:20:01

So, communal areas, there will be two kitchens,

0:20:010:20:05

both with dining rooms in.

0:20:050:20:06

And then also a separate communal lounge.

0:20:060:20:09

Wow! You must have so many pictures going on in your head.

0:20:090:20:12

Yeah. It's been quite a thing with the architect to go round,

0:20:120:20:15

look at floor plans. It's taken a long time to sort of think about

0:20:150:20:18

the best way to utilise all the space.

0:20:180:20:20

A lot of HMOs going on in this area. It fits really well

0:20:200:20:24

and we're not having to do too much structural work.

0:20:240:20:26

And who's going to do the work for you?

0:20:260:20:28

Have you got a team of builders? Are you going to get stuck in yourself?

0:20:280:20:31

No, not me! Yeah, I've got a fabulous group of builders

0:20:310:20:33

who've been working on my other projects.

0:20:330:20:35

So they're going to move in here as soon the planning's through,

0:20:350:20:39

and hopefully sort of three to six months

0:20:390:20:41

for them to turn the place round.

0:20:410:20:43

-Really? That short a time?

-Yeah. That's the plan.

0:20:430:20:46

And what's your budget to get all the work done?

0:20:460:20:48

So, it's actually a leasehold building at the minute

0:20:480:20:51

-and there are 68 years left on the lease.

-OK.

0:20:510:20:54

Before it went to auction, we had a chat with the council about it

0:20:540:20:56

because the council own the freehold.

0:20:560:20:58

They have agreed to sell me the freehold,

0:20:580:21:01

so we have to get an independent valuer in to come and value that.

0:21:010:21:04

So, depending on what that comes through as,

0:21:040:21:06

we're hoping between 50,000 and 70,000.

0:21:060:21:09

OK. That's healthy.

0:21:090:21:11

-Yeah. Healthy budget.

-That's a healthy budget.

0:21:110:21:13

-We want a nice place.

-Yeah, exactly.

0:21:130:21:15

What kind of finish are you looking for? What kind of finish?

0:21:150:21:17

So, we tend to go for whitewash walls,

0:21:170:21:19

then a feature wall of some colour,

0:21:190:21:21

nice, brand-new furniture, pictures on the walls.

0:21:210:21:25

A young professional sort of vibe.

0:21:250:21:27

So what was your background? How did you get into property?

0:21:270:21:30

Always had an interest, and then went to university for five years

0:21:300:21:32

to study to be a vet. Of all things, as you do.

0:21:320:21:36

So, I qualified as a vet and I was working for three years.

0:21:360:21:39

Very much enjoyed the practice, working as an equine vet.

0:21:390:21:43

But realised that I really wanted to be my own boss

0:21:430:21:45

and a lot of the on-call work,

0:21:450:21:47

it just wasn't working out on the work/life balance.

0:21:470:21:51

So, the plan is to get the properties up and running,

0:21:510:21:53

so financially that I'll be stable from those.

0:21:530:21:56

And then after that, hopefully doing some voluntary vet work, possibly abroad.

0:21:560:22:00

Really? So you'd like to go and take your qualifications...

0:22:000:22:03

Yeah. It's a long degree to do to not use.

0:22:030:22:05

So, I'm sort of thinking five years I trained to be that -

0:22:050:22:07

really enjoy it but being my own boss

0:22:070:22:09

is what I want at the end of the day,

0:22:090:22:11

so if I can volunteer abroad, then that'll be great.

0:22:110:22:13

Good for you. Is it just you in the property world? Have you got a partner?

0:22:130:22:16

Yeah, my boyfriend's in the property world as well.

0:22:160:22:18

There you go, you see.

0:22:180:22:20

He's actually busy today doing three barn conversions at home.

0:22:200:22:23

One of which will be for us

0:22:230:22:24

and the other two will be for his two sisters.

0:22:240:22:27

-Wow!

-Quite a lot on our plate at the minute.

-Good for you.

0:22:270:22:29

Yeah, you can say that again.

0:22:290:22:32

It's not as if she doesn't have any bathrooms or bedrooms to worry about here,

0:22:320:22:36

without adding three barn conversions!

0:22:360:22:38

Sarah's energy levels are impressive. So what are her plans?

0:22:380:22:42

Six of the bedrooms will have nice en-suite shower rooms,

0:22:440:22:47

and then the other bedrooms will be sharing two shower rooms, and then

0:22:470:22:51

another two toilets as well in the basement by the communal areas.

0:22:510:22:54

So does that mean two different tariffs,

0:22:540:22:56

one with an en-suite and one without?

0:22:560:22:57

Yeah. So, the double rooms with the en-suites,

0:22:570:22:59

we're looking between £95 and £100 per week.

0:22:590:23:01

Potentially able to get couples in those rooms,

0:23:010:23:04

rather than sort of single occupants.

0:23:040:23:06

And then the other rooms, which are slightly smaller,

0:23:060:23:08

that don't have the facilities of the en-suites,

0:23:080:23:10

we're looking at £80 to £85.

0:23:100:23:12

Sarah, tell me about the basement.

0:23:120:23:14

-There's a little bit of a...

-Yes.

0:23:140:23:16

We arrived today, and I was walking around turning the lights on

0:23:160:23:19

and I heard quite a loud dripping noise.

0:23:190:23:21

So we rushed downstairs and yes, it appears that the water system

0:23:210:23:24

hadn't quite been drained down properly, as they thought,

0:23:240:23:27

so we've had a little bit of a flood in the basement. But not to worry.

0:23:270:23:31

-Not going to be a problem?

-Not a problem. It's all getting ripped out down there anyway.

0:23:310:23:34

-Oh, so you're starting from scratch down there.

-We're having to re-tank, there's damp issues anyway,

0:23:340:23:38

so what's a bit more water to add to it?!

0:23:380:23:42

Fair enough. Fair enough. Tell me about the ground rent.

0:23:420:23:45

Yes, so, my solicitor picked this up, actually,

0:23:450:23:48

when we were going through the legal pack prior to the auction.

0:23:480:23:50

And it's quite romantic. One red rose is the annual ground rent.

0:23:500:23:54

-That's incredible, isn't it?

-Yeah. Yeah. I like that.

0:23:540:23:57

-A romantic gesture!

-Yeah, definitely.

0:23:570:24:00

Sarah, I wish you all the best. You've got all the answers, hope it works out for you.

0:24:000:24:03

-Thank you very much.

-Pleasure.

0:24:030:24:05

Now, that is one confident lady.

0:24:060:24:08

She knows what she wants and how to achieve it.

0:24:080:24:10

This project is not for the faint-hearted.

0:24:100:24:13

One thing she HAS got spot on is changing it into a HMO.

0:24:130:24:16

I think that's the right way to go.

0:24:160:24:18

How will she get on? We shall find out later in the programme.

0:24:180:24:21

Coming up, in Silverdale, I sense problems...

0:24:220:24:25

There's just something not quite right.

0:24:250:24:30

You know you get a feeling?

0:24:300:24:31

And could Sarah's HMO turn out to be a no-go?

0:24:340:24:38

The planning application actually was rejected, originally.

0:24:380:24:41

Time for a trip back to Tooting,

0:24:450:24:47

where Lucy saw a flat in an upper conversion

0:24:470:24:49

that was described as having a kitchen, bathroom and "three rooms".

0:24:490:24:53

What do they mean by "three rooms"?

0:24:550:24:57

Well, here's one of them. I think that's the lounge.

0:24:570:25:00

And then, through here, well, here are the two other rooms.

0:25:000:25:04

There's one of them down there.

0:25:040:25:06

There's this unusual little corridor area, which is quite pointless.

0:25:060:25:11

And, well, a partitioned wall into a tiny little bedroom.

0:25:110:25:14

A reconfiguration of the layout seemed to be a good idea.

0:25:160:25:19

There was potential living space in the loft,

0:25:220:25:24

if ownership could be established.

0:25:240:25:27

It was something new owner Charlie had already taken legal advice on

0:25:270:25:31

before paying £321,000 for the flat.

0:25:310:25:36

But the flat wasn't without risk, having a short lease of 58 years,

0:25:360:25:40

and the loft extension depended on planning and freeholder permissions.

0:25:400:25:45

But Charlie was a bit of a risk taker,

0:25:450:25:47

having chucked his full-time job in popcorn sales

0:25:470:25:51

to hopefully become a serial developer.

0:25:510:25:53

-OK, you've got to try and hold this job now, OK?

-This one?

-You need to keep this job.

0:25:560:25:59

Yeah, I know, but I will because it's me, you know.

0:25:590:26:01

It's... I can...

0:26:010:26:03

If I don't, I've got a big loan and stuff to do this,

0:26:030:26:06

so I really do need to do it properly

0:26:060:26:09

-so erm... Yeah, I think I'll have no problem holding this one.

-Yeah.

0:26:090:26:12

Anything that you are worried about with having purchased this building?

0:26:120:26:15

Yeah, the whole thing, really!

0:26:150:26:17

Charlie had been working as a handyman to learn some skills,

0:26:180:26:21

but this project would definitely need the professionals.

0:26:210:26:24

Charlie's timescale was dependent

0:26:240:26:26

on those planning and freeholder permissions.

0:26:260:26:28

So we've returned just over a year later

0:26:280:26:31

to see if the former popcorn salesman

0:26:310:26:34

has pulled off something spectacular or something a bit more corny.

0:26:340:26:38

It's all changed here.

0:26:410:26:44

The old kitchen and bathroom has now become a double-aspect bedroom.

0:26:440:26:49

And next door, the former lounge has also been made into a bedroom.

0:26:490:26:54

So, what about those two tiny rooms at the end of the hall?

0:26:540:26:57

That is SO much better.

0:26:580:27:00

Now we have a very nicely presented open-plan kitchen/living room.

0:27:000:27:04

Every inch has been maximised,

0:27:040:27:07

and there is even a little breakfast bar.

0:27:070:27:09

But that's not all this flat has to offer, because...

0:27:090:27:12

MUSIC: Higher by The Saturdays

0:27:120:27:14

# I'm gonna lift it, lift it higher

0:27:140:27:17

# I'm gonna lift it, lift it higher... #

0:27:170:27:21

Charlie has his loft extension,

0:27:210:27:23

and the light and feel of space is fantastic.

0:27:230:27:26

As well as a smart bedroom, he has a beautiful bathroom.

0:27:270:27:31

And along the corridor, there is a wet room,

0:27:340:27:37

making this ideal for sharers.

0:27:370:27:39

Getting permission for the dormer proved a real sticking point

0:27:390:27:43

due to the roof facing a different direction to the neighbouring properties.

0:27:430:27:47

It took three applications before it was approved.

0:27:490:27:52

Charlie has encountered problems with his first builder,

0:27:540:27:57

which cost him time and money,

0:27:570:27:59

so the whole process has taken 13 months so far,

0:27:590:28:03

with some work still to do outside.

0:28:030:28:05

However, Charlie has used the delays to his advantage.

0:28:050:28:10

Yeah, so when it happened,

0:28:100:28:11

the builders came in and then planning permission failed,

0:28:110:28:13

so the builders had got no work, so I started finding them work and

0:28:130:28:16

from that, I've sort of got a team of like ten guys now, who I do other

0:28:160:28:20

jobs with, so we are actually about to start our second loft conversion.

0:28:200:28:23

And we do sort of anything, you know, internal decorating, painting,

0:28:240:28:28

outdoor paving, basically we can do anything anyone wants,

0:28:280:28:31

which has sort of come out of nowhere

0:28:310:28:33

and I am obviously learning a lot about it,

0:28:330:28:35

but my skills are more in the project management,

0:28:350:28:37

just making sure you have the right people doing it,

0:28:370:28:39

and it's better than sitting at a desk, what I used to do,

0:28:390:28:42

so I quite like it.

0:28:420:28:43

Charlie may have found a job he enjoys and one he won't quit, then.

0:28:430:28:47

Despite wanting to do more of the work himself,

0:28:470:28:50

he quickly realised it was best to get in professionals

0:28:500:28:53

for the right standard of finish.

0:28:530:28:55

This also included the finishing touches to the decor,

0:28:550:28:58

and it just so happens his friend Alex is an interior designer.

0:28:580:29:02

Charlie and I have known each other for quite a long time, since we were much younger,

0:29:030:29:07

so we're quite used to spending lots of time together,

0:29:070:29:10

and I definitely felt confident being able to boss him around

0:29:100:29:13

and delegate when I wanted things done on the project.

0:29:130:29:16

She did everything inside, and I just sort of carried out the work

0:29:160:29:20

to her specifications, really. But it's worked really well.

0:29:200:29:22

I'm really happy with it

0:29:220:29:24

and I don't think I could have done it this well.

0:29:240:29:26

Well, I KNOW I couldn't have done it this well.

0:29:260:29:28

I'm happy with the flat.

0:29:280:29:30

I'd like to put some additions to it to make it a bit more homely.

0:29:300:29:35

But I think, as a basic starting point,

0:29:350:29:37

I think it's worked really well.

0:29:370:29:39

Alex may have had her hands tied a bit, because Charlie's budget

0:29:390:29:44

for the internal furnishings was a tight £3,000.

0:29:440:29:47

The flat was stripped back to bare brick,

0:29:480:29:50

and ceilings had to be lowered

0:29:500:29:52

to accommodate the steel support for the loft conversion.

0:29:520:29:54

In total, the building work has amounted to 66,000

0:29:540:29:58

of his total £100,000 budget, which seems great

0:29:580:30:01

until you factor in one more thing -

0:30:010:30:03

his plan to extend that 58-year lease,

0:30:030:30:06

which he estimated would cost £70,000.

0:30:060:30:10

We looked into extending the lease

0:30:110:30:13

and I eventually decided to buy

0:30:130:30:15

a share of the freehold with downstairs.

0:30:150:30:18

It was easier, and actually not going to cost a huge amount more.

0:30:180:30:21

So we now own the freehold as well.

0:30:210:30:23

Charlie's share of the freehold came to 42 grand,

0:30:230:30:26

so coupled with his £66,000 renovation budget

0:30:260:30:29

and his £3,000 interior design costs,

0:30:290:30:33

he's gone over his original £100,000 budget by 11,000.

0:30:330:30:37

But what a cracking job.

0:30:370:30:40

Will two local estate agents agree?

0:30:400:30:43

Having had a look around the flat, I think it's a really lovely property.

0:30:430:30:46

The owners have gone to the trouble to dress the flat as well, which

0:30:460:30:48

makes a big difference, and really makes it feel really welcoming.

0:30:480:30:51

The layout of the flat works fairly well.

0:30:510:30:54

I think that the kitchen/living room area does feel a little bit compact,

0:30:540:30:57

but other than that it's a nice flat.

0:30:570:31:00

I think the loft conversion's very good because there's lots of light.

0:31:000:31:03

Quite often with loft conversions,

0:31:030:31:04

we find that they're lacking in light.

0:31:040:31:06

But they've done quite an intelligent job

0:31:060:31:07

with where the windows have gone.

0:31:070:31:09

So the agents like the flat,

0:31:090:31:10

and think that sales-wise, it would be worth around £500,000,

0:31:100:31:14

which would give Charlie a £68,000 pre-tax profit.

0:31:140:31:17

But his ideal plan is to rent it out,

0:31:190:31:20

so what kind of figures could he achieve?

0:31:200:31:22

This flat would rent

0:31:250:31:26

for approximately £1,850 per calendar month.

0:31:260:31:29

I think this flat could rent for £2,000 per calendar month.

0:31:290:31:32

I was hoping for 1,800 a month,

0:31:320:31:35

so 1,850 or 2,000 is really good.

0:31:350:31:40

So I'm really happy with that.

0:31:400:31:42

The top figure of two grand a month

0:31:420:31:44

would give Charlie around 5.5% yield.

0:31:440:31:47

Charlie hopes to rent this out for a year

0:31:470:31:49

whilst he has a fixed-rate mortgage,

0:31:490:31:52

and then sell on if the market is right.

0:31:520:31:55

So, after all the experience gained,

0:31:550:31:57

is Charlie ready to repeat the exercise?

0:31:570:31:59

I am totally skint now, so er...not for a while.

0:32:010:32:04

But I would love to do it again because I've made so many mistakes and learned so much,

0:32:040:32:10

I think, touch wood, it'll be a lot easier the second time,

0:32:100:32:13

so I kind of want to do it again,

0:32:130:32:15

to put into practice everything I've learned.

0:32:150:32:17

And would Alex be up for working with him again?

0:32:170:32:21

I think that all depends on how this one turns out.

0:32:210:32:24

But it's gone well so far, so optimistic.

0:32:240:32:27

Yeah, I don't think I would have ended up

0:32:270:32:29

with as nice a house without Alex's input.

0:32:290:32:31

She's made it really nice.

0:32:310:32:32

-So, yeah, I hope you want to work with me again.

-Yeah.

0:32:320:32:36

Silverdale in Newcastle-under-Lyme was for many centuries

0:32:430:32:46

known as a coal-mining area.

0:32:460:32:49

When the pits closed, the landscapers moved in

0:32:490:32:52

and the former colliery is now a country park.

0:32:520:32:55

Well, the guide price for the property I am here to see

0:33:020:33:06

was just £30,000, which, for a three-bed semidetached,

0:33:060:33:10

doesn't sound like a lot of money to me.

0:33:100:33:13

The reason? Well, it doesn't look to be in

0:33:130:33:15

too good condition from the outside.

0:33:150:33:18

Boarded windows and cracked glass are never a good sign.

0:33:210:33:26

And I also spy a concrete base,

0:33:260:33:28

which could signify this house is of non-standard construction.

0:33:280:33:32

Just occasionally, properties that look pretty awful from the outside

0:33:320:33:35

turn out to be a bit of a surprise

0:33:350:33:37

when you walk through the front door.

0:33:370:33:38

But that's not the case here.

0:33:400:33:42

It's bad.

0:33:420:33:44

But what have we got? Well, there's that sort of little porchy thing

0:33:440:33:47

on the outside there that you'd definitely want to get rid of,

0:33:470:33:49

into a fairly claustrophobic little entry bit.

0:33:490:33:53

And then you've got, oddly, a shower and sort of...

0:33:530:33:55

Is that a toilet as well? No, just a shower, that's a bit weird.

0:33:550:33:58

Just there.

0:33:580:34:00

Living room, well front living... No, it's not.

0:34:000:34:02

I'd say it's a living room because it's got a fireplace.

0:34:020:34:04

That's weird. It's a kitchen.

0:34:040:34:06

Wow! Nothing at all is what it seems in this property.

0:34:060:34:10

Through from that kitchen/living room to the real living room at the back here.

0:34:100:34:16

Nice open fire in here. We like that.

0:34:160:34:19

Glassy stuff leading out to a lean to-ey thing out there.

0:34:190:34:23

But there's just something not quite right.

0:34:230:34:29

You know you get a feeling?

0:34:290:34:31

The downstairs area is certainly very unappealing.

0:34:350:34:39

The pieces of this property puzzle

0:34:390:34:41

are slowly coming together in my head,

0:34:410:34:43

but my suspicions will only be confirmed by a visit upstairs.

0:34:430:34:47

POIGNANT PIANO MUSIC

0:34:470:34:49

Wow!

0:34:510:34:52

That's either very dark paint on the ceiling

0:34:540:34:57

or something a bit more sinister.

0:34:570:34:59

You've guessed it, it's something a lot more sinister.

0:34:590:35:02

What have we got upstairs?

0:35:020:35:04

We've got a loo there, which is good.

0:35:040:35:07

A bedroom towards the front of the property there.

0:35:070:35:10

Another bedroom towards the back.

0:35:100:35:13

And you've guessed what's going on here - we've got severe fire damage.

0:35:130:35:17

Now, this is unusual. You would normally expect fire damage

0:35:170:35:20

to be downstairs because fires invariably start in the kitchens,

0:35:200:35:24

maybe the living room, where there's that open fire.

0:35:240:35:27

But clearly, this is the epicentre of where

0:35:270:35:32

the fire in this property was,

0:35:320:35:35

and you can see the kind of damage it's done.

0:35:350:35:37

Windows broken, blown in with the wind,

0:35:370:35:40

we've got holes in the floor here.

0:35:400:35:42

I mean, I'm treading quite gingerly.

0:35:420:35:44

Fire and the ensuing water damage from extinguishing it

0:35:450:35:48

mean it's what you CAN'T see that you have to consider.

0:35:480:35:53

There could be structural issues - damaged timbers, electrics,

0:35:530:35:57

and then factor in that this place was lying empty

0:35:570:36:00

for a length of time before the fire.

0:36:000:36:02

There could be a lot to fix

0:36:020:36:04

before you even get to the regular renovation challenges like layout.

0:36:040:36:07

And obviously, the biggest issue is this.

0:36:120:36:14

It's upstairs. There is, well, a toilet. That's it, though.

0:36:140:36:18

The shower room is downstairs,

0:36:180:36:19

and obviously you'd like to have those on the same floor, ideally.

0:36:190:36:23

But for the life of me, I can't figure out

0:36:230:36:25

how you would achieve that,

0:36:250:36:27

how you could increase the size of the bathroom.

0:36:270:36:30

One option could be to put the bathroom,

0:36:300:36:33

shower and toilet and bath into that bedroom there.

0:36:330:36:37

But you'd lose a bedroom,

0:36:370:36:38

with the resulting drop in the value of the property, or rental potential.

0:36:380:36:41

Take out this wall, stick it in... No, it just doesn't work.

0:36:430:36:46

HE HUFFS

0:36:460:36:47

Yes, I'm definitely flummoxed.

0:36:470:36:49

So, I think it has to stay pretty much as it is.

0:36:490:36:52

Despite its drawbacks,

0:36:540:36:55

this is a three-bedroomed house in a popular location for £30,000.

0:36:550:37:01

We called on the services of an agent

0:37:010:37:03

from the auction house that sold the property.

0:37:030:37:06

# And I can't find a reason to change... #

0:37:060:37:12

If this was my property,

0:37:120:37:13

I would look to maybe taking some walls down

0:37:130:37:17

to create a larger kitchen, maybe add in a utility room,

0:37:170:37:21

rather than the downstairs bathroom, currently.

0:37:210:37:24

I would also consider adding a new conservatory on the back.

0:37:240:37:29

I think that would add value.

0:37:290:37:31

Talking of value, what could the property be worth

0:37:310:37:33

after refurbishment?

0:37:330:37:36

Once renovated, this property would have a resale value

0:37:360:37:39

of between £50,000 and £60,000,

0:37:390:37:43

and the rental value

0:37:430:37:45

would be in the region of £550 per calendar month.

0:37:450:37:48

Well, it's a nice location, but this is a house

0:37:500:37:53

that's certainly not for the inexperienced or faint of heart.

0:37:530:37:57

Lots of work required to sort this one out.

0:37:570:38:00

Let's see who fancied taking on a bit of a project

0:38:000:38:03

when it went under the hammer.

0:38:030:38:05

Want to sell this one, can we say £20,000 start?

0:38:080:38:12

17? I'll take it.

0:38:120:38:14

£17,000.

0:38:140:38:15

On the front row.

0:38:150:38:16

At 17.

0:38:160:38:18

18. 19. 20? 20. 21.

0:38:180:38:22

The bidding is quick for this bargain basement property.

0:38:220:38:26

We rejoin it with the auctioneer looking for 33,000.

0:38:260:38:30

33, sir?

0:38:300:38:32

Yeah, 33.

0:38:320:38:35

33,500.

0:38:350:38:36

34? 34.

0:38:360:38:39

34,500.

0:38:390:38:41

35.

0:38:410:38:43

Sure? 35,000, bid's on the second row.

0:38:430:38:45

£35,000 once, then.

0:38:450:38:47

£35,000 twice.

0:38:470:38:49

Third and last time. £35,000...

0:38:490:38:53

-HAMMER COMES DOWN

-Your lot, sir. Well done.

0:38:530:38:55

The new owners of this fire-damaged house are old friends Jim and Celia,

0:38:560:39:00

who have a very interesting reason for buying it.

0:39:000:39:04

I met them back at the property to hear their story.

0:39:040:39:07

# Friends

0:39:070:39:08

# I got friends... #

0:39:100:39:12

-Celia, Jim, great to meet you both.

-Thank you.

0:39:130:39:16

-Congratulations.

-Indeed.

0:39:160:39:18

So, tell me why you wanted to buy this place.

0:39:180:39:21

Because he hadn't got a roof over his head.

0:39:210:39:24

Oh, right. Tell me more.

0:39:240:39:26

Well, I'd been living in Chester

0:39:260:39:27

for 33 years as, like, an unwritten janitor.

0:39:270:39:31

And the landlord decided, 86, he's going to retire.

0:39:310:39:34

It was a listed building,

0:39:340:39:35

it had to be renovated and all the occupants had to go.

0:39:350:39:38

And just at that time, I became ill,

0:39:380:39:39

and this lady turned around and said she'd look after me.

0:39:390:39:42

Oh, wow! You ended up looking after him?

0:39:420:39:45

Oh, yes. I'm twice his age.

0:39:450:39:47

-Right.

-I looked after him.

0:39:470:39:50

How do you two know each other, then?

0:39:500:39:53

Well, I crashed my car, the one and only time,

0:39:530:39:56

somebody recommended me to Jim,

0:39:560:39:58

I got in touch with him

0:39:580:40:00

and he was going to do it up, and then I heard that

0:40:000:40:03

he'd been on his own over Christmas,

0:40:030:40:05

so I rang him and said, "What the hell were you playing at?"

0:40:050:40:08

"Why didn't you tell me and then you could have come

0:40:080:40:11

"and had Christmas dinner instead of being on your own?"

0:40:110:40:13

So, he said, "Well, I never thought, but I could come now, if you like."

0:40:130:40:17

-Aww!

-Later, when of course he had to get out, I said,

0:40:170:40:20

"Well, look, I've got a spare room, you can have a roof over your head."

0:40:200:40:25

-Wow.

-And I ended up looking after him.

0:40:250:40:28

-Wow!

-And I've been lumbered ever since.

0:40:280:40:30

Talk about damsel in shining armour!

0:40:300:40:32

You rode in to save him.

0:40:320:40:34

-Damsel?! An old biddy!

-I've had to do the polishing of the armour though.

0:40:340:40:37

But now it's changed, obviously. I'm nearly 88. And he looks after me.

0:40:370:40:42

-Anything wrong, you know, he sorts me out.

-Right.

0:40:420:40:45

# Thank you for being a friend... #

0:40:470:40:49

It was Jim who purchased the house, on the understanding

0:40:490:40:52

that they would both live there eventually.

0:40:520:40:54

They also have a close network of friends and family who live nearby.

0:40:540:40:59

# Thank you for being a friend

0:41:020:41:05

# I wanna thank you

0:41:050:41:07

# Thank you for being a friend... #

0:41:070:41:09

Because she looked after me, the basic essence was a case

0:41:090:41:11

that she would have somewhere as a return for looking after me.

0:41:110:41:15

-Oh, wow!

-So that was the concept which we worked on.

0:41:150:41:19

I didn't think I would be still around, but I am.

0:41:190:41:22

And now I'm in a position where to some extent I can do something,

0:41:220:41:27

look after her in a modest way.

0:41:270:41:29

-That's brilliant.

-Yeah.

0:41:290:41:30

So what's the story about buying this place, then?

0:41:300:41:33

-Neither of us can get a mortgage. I'm too old.

-Right.

0:41:330:41:36

And Jim... Without an income - it's based on income,

0:41:360:41:40

which he hasn't at the moment - he can't get a mortgage.

0:41:400:41:44

So basically, this came within your price range and your budget.

0:41:440:41:47

Yes. Within a capital price range, with the understanding, of course,

0:41:470:41:50

-that we're going to spend a lot on it.

-Yep.

-That's the point.

-Right.

0:41:500:41:53

Setting aside a budget of £10,000,

0:41:530:41:56

Jim and Celia hope to have the renovation completed in six months.

0:41:560:42:02

Jim will do all the work,

0:42:020:42:03

although Celia is determined to help in any way she can.

0:42:030:42:07

Top of the list is to make the place safe and secure.

0:42:090:42:12

If the building is causing a danger or blighting an area,

0:42:120:42:15

then the local council has powers to ensure repairs

0:42:150:42:18

or demolition can be carried out at the owner's expense.

0:42:180:42:21

The council had served notice on this as a dangerous property,

0:42:220:42:26

which had been declared in the legal pack.

0:42:260:42:29

So, Jim will be getting windows and fences sorted urgently.

0:42:290:42:33

What was it about this house that you liked?

0:42:370:42:39

I think I was a bit mesmerised at the state of it.

0:42:390:42:42

And I walked upstairs and I looked through the small bedroom

0:42:420:42:47

and I looked at the views across the way

0:42:470:42:49

and I thought to myself, "That's lovely views."

0:42:490:42:51

And we'd seen other properties,

0:42:510:42:53

and none of them had the sort of feel that

0:42:530:42:56

this one did, even though we had to bear in mind

0:42:560:42:58

that it was in such a state.

0:42:580:43:01

So what about the layout of the toilet facilities?

0:43:010:43:03

The toilet upstairs and the shower room downstairs.

0:43:030:43:06

-What are you going to do about that?

-It's ridiculous.

0:43:060:43:08

There's a toilet upstairs but no hand basin.

0:43:080:43:11

You can't have a toilet without a hand basin.

0:43:110:43:13

So we're going to put a sliding door,

0:43:130:43:15

so that we can put a wash basin in the upstairs toilet.

0:43:150:43:18

And also, I'd like to have a downstairs toilet as well

0:43:180:43:23

because I don't like going upstairs at my age.

0:43:230:43:26

Well, listen, congratulations. Good luck with it.

0:43:260:43:29

-Really look forward to seeing how you get on.

-Thank you very much indeed. Appreciate it.

0:43:290:43:32

Well, what a lovely story.

0:43:340:43:35

But a lot of work needed to sort this place out,

0:43:350:43:39

and I'm really not sure that £10,000 budget is going to cover it.

0:43:390:43:44

You can find out how Jim and Celia get on, though, later in the show.

0:43:440:43:48

We've found out how one property's turned out.

0:43:520:43:54

The clock is ticking - let's find out how the other two got on.

0:43:540:43:57

Will there be champagne corks popping

0:43:570:43:59

or will things have fizzled out?

0:43:590:44:01

Let's have a look.

0:44:010:44:02

Back now to Liverpool, where earlier,

0:44:040:44:06

I looked at this nine-bedroom house close to Newsham Park,

0:44:060:44:10

bought by Sarah for 190 grand.

0:44:100:44:12

Sarah, a former vet, had already got ten other properties

0:44:140:44:17

and intended turning this one into her biggest HMO,

0:44:170:44:20

which is a house of multiple occupancy.

0:44:200:44:22

This has got huge amounts of potential to develop into, hopefully, 11 bedrooms.

0:44:250:44:29

And who's going to do the work for you? Have you got a team of builders

0:44:290:44:32

-or are you going to get stuck in yourself?

-No, not me. Ha-ha!

0:44:320:44:35

Yeah, I've got a fabulous group of builders

0:44:350:44:37

who've been working on my other projects,

0:44:370:44:38

so they're going to move in here as soon as the planning's through.

0:44:380:44:41

And hopefully, sort of three to six months

0:44:410:44:44

for them to turn the place round.

0:44:440:44:46

-Really? That short a time?

-Yeah. That's the plan.

0:44:460:44:48

In fact, we're back just over a year on, so it did take more time.

0:44:490:44:54

And there aren't 11 rooms.

0:44:540:44:57

But we do have Sarah's top ten,

0:44:570:44:58

so let's do the countdown from the top.

0:44:580:45:01

MUSIC: Top Of The Pops Theme

0:45:010:45:04

And missing any bedrooms with tenants, at number nine,

0:45:050:45:08

what WAS ginger peachy is now yellow counterpane with matching chairs.

0:45:080:45:14

Number eight, last time, pink with green skirtings,

0:45:180:45:22

now gingham style by the three poppies.

0:45:220:45:25

And lavender blue gets replaced by an en-suite.

0:45:250:45:29

Down the landing, and purple haze has left the building

0:45:320:45:35

to be replaced by number seven,

0:45:350:45:38

yellow and grey harlequins with rejuvenated shower room.

0:45:380:45:42

Down to the first floor, six is tenanted, so on to number five.

0:45:440:45:50

Which had the green, green paint of home.

0:45:500:45:53

It's now olive-green, and desk with a view.

0:45:530:45:56

The last first-floor bedroom is number four,

0:45:590:46:02

with "We fade to grey".

0:46:020:46:04

But the bedrooms aren't the only changes up here.

0:46:080:46:12

Out with mellow yellow, and in comes communal kitchen with twin toasters.

0:46:120:46:17

The ground floor's three bedrooms are all occupied

0:46:200:46:23

but we CAN see the communal lounge,

0:46:230:46:26

with four two-seaters.

0:46:260:46:28

In the basement, twin toilets move over for the laundry and loo.

0:46:300:46:35

And finally,

0:46:380:46:41

what was a flooded basement is now

0:46:410:46:45

a new lower ground kitchen

0:46:450:46:49

with oodles of drawer space.

0:46:490:46:52

But what happened to bedroom number 11?

0:46:540:46:57

The planning application actually was rejected originally

0:46:570:47:01

for the 11 bedrooms.

0:47:010:47:02

Despite having written confirmation previously from the council

0:47:020:47:06

to say that we would be OK for change of use.

0:47:060:47:08

However, it was the local residents and local councillors that had the

0:47:080:47:11

issue, so I had to hold a residential meeting. And from there,

0:47:110:47:15

we discussed the plans for the property

0:47:150:47:18

and the local residents wanted private bathroom facilities

0:47:180:47:21

for each individual person,

0:47:210:47:22

so we went back to planning with ten bedrooms, ten bathrooms,

0:47:220:47:25

and that was then put through.

0:47:250:47:27

So, unforeseen planning caused the six-month delay.

0:47:270:47:31

I had wondered if that lift might be a maintenance liability,

0:47:310:47:35

so what have they decided to do?

0:47:350:47:37

It was decided in the end that the maintenance issues and the potential

0:47:370:47:40

that tenants on a Sunday night could get stuck in the lift,

0:47:400:47:43

we decided to fireboard over it and get rid of it.

0:47:430:47:46

There was talk of purchasing the lease,

0:47:460:47:49

and therefore avoiding

0:47:490:47:50

paying the one red rose ground rent.

0:47:500:47:53

What happened there?

0:47:530:47:56

It's Liverpool City Council that own the freehold of the building.

0:47:560:47:59

So my solicitor has been liaising with them to purchase the freehold.

0:47:590:48:02

Which we now have agreed, which including their solicitors' costs,

0:48:020:48:06

is £12,500.

0:48:060:48:08

So, have you gone over budget?

0:48:080:48:10

The original budget was 50,000 to 70,000.

0:48:100:48:12

We have gone over budget, to 85,000,

0:48:120:48:15

but that does include the additional bathroom facilities that were

0:48:150:48:18

necessary for planning and also the buying of the freehold.

0:48:180:48:21

It's that time again to find out what two local estate agents think

0:48:220:48:26

of the property and its values.

0:48:260:48:29

My first impressions of the property

0:48:290:48:30

is the developers have done it very, very contemporarily.

0:48:300:48:33

Lovely colours,

0:48:330:48:35

ideal for young professionals. And quite on-point really.

0:48:350:48:38

The kitchens are really very, very modern and clean and hygienic.

0:48:380:48:44

And the bedrooms have got good space.

0:48:440:48:47

Standard of finish is to an acceptable level,

0:48:470:48:49

it's not fantastic.

0:48:490:48:52

But really, when you overspend, that cuts into your profit.

0:48:520:48:55

So I think all in all, a good job.

0:48:550:48:58

If Sarah wanted to sell, what kind of market would it appeal to?

0:48:580:49:02

The demand for properties

0:49:020:49:03

like this from investors is huge at the moment.

0:49:030:49:06

Our overseas market is fabulous.

0:49:060:49:09

It's going to achieve around about 10% or 11% as a return for them from

0:49:090:49:13

their investment. So all in all, there are a whole cross-section

0:49:130:49:17

of people who would be interested in this type of investment.

0:49:170:49:20

Sarah's total investment amounts to 275 grand.

0:49:200:49:24

The rental on a property like this per room

0:49:240:49:26

is around £60 to £65 a week.

0:49:260:49:29

And per calendar month, around about £350.

0:49:290:49:33

Roughly speaking, you'd be talking £240 per calendar month per room.

0:49:330:49:37

We are actually getting a lot more than that.

0:49:370:49:39

The two bedrooms that have the bathrooms across the corridor

0:49:390:49:42

are £95 per week. The double rooms with couples in,

0:49:420:49:46

which we've got four of, are £130 per week.

0:49:460:49:49

And the other four bedrooms are £105 per week.

0:49:490:49:52

So Sarah is getting an annual yield of just short of 20%.

0:49:520:49:56

Wow! But if she were to sell...?

0:49:560:49:58

In the sales market, this property would be very, very popular to investors.

0:50:000:50:03

I would think we would be looking to achieve

0:50:030:50:06

between £325,000 to £350,000.

0:50:060:50:11

As far as sales market is concerned,

0:50:110:50:13

there would be no difficulty in finding a buyer at around £320,000.

0:50:130:50:17

Again, with the top figure,

0:50:170:50:19

a potential profit, before taxes and expenses, of 75 grand.

0:50:190:50:23

What do you think, Sarah?

0:50:230:50:25

Well, my thoughts on those valuations are that it's a difficult property to value.

0:50:250:50:30

Because nobody would purchase a property to live in themselves,

0:50:300:50:33

so the real value is as a business.

0:50:330:50:35

And the way it's set up and running as a business

0:50:350:50:38

and the rates that I'm getting, I've actually had it commercially valued at 450,000.

0:50:380:50:42

But why sell something that's generating that level of income?

0:50:420:50:46

You'd just want to invest in more like it.

0:50:460:50:49

We're already on with another investment property just over the road from here,

0:50:490:50:52

which is going to be a six-bedroom en-suite HMO as well.

0:50:520:50:55

Sarah, do you ever rest?

0:50:550:50:57

By the way, how are the three barn conversions going?

0:50:570:51:00

Myself and my boyfriend, Josh, are moving into our new-build barn

0:51:000:51:03

this week. That's an ongoing project for 18 months,

0:51:030:51:05

but we are really looking forward to that.

0:51:050:51:08

And also, a bit of a break and going on holiday.

0:51:080:51:10

Well, if you do get bored,

0:51:100:51:12

you can always do some voluntary veterinary work.

0:51:120:51:14

Back now to the former mining village of Silverdale,

0:51:170:51:21

Newcastle-under-Lyme.

0:51:210:51:22

Back in 2014, I looked around this three-bedroom semi.

0:51:220:51:27

Now, just occasionally, properties that look pretty awful

0:51:270:51:30

from the outside turn out to be a bit of a surprise

0:51:300:51:32

when you walk through the front door.

0:51:320:51:34

That's not the case here.

0:51:360:51:37

The property had been empty for some time

0:51:370:51:40

and had suffered significant fire damage,

0:51:400:51:43

so being of a non-standard construction and having a terrible

0:51:430:51:46

layout were the least of its problems.

0:51:460:51:48

Deciding to take on the challenge were Jim,

0:51:480:51:51

along with his friend Celia.

0:51:510:51:53

Jim paid £35,000 for what he hoped one day would be their home.

0:51:530:51:58

So what was it about this house that you liked?

0:52:010:52:04

I think I was a bit mesmerised at the state of it.

0:52:040:52:07

And I walked upstairs and I looked through the small bedroom

0:52:070:52:10

and I looked at the views across the way and I thought to myself,

0:52:100:52:14

"That's lovely views."

0:52:140:52:15

And then we'd seen other properties

0:52:150:52:17

and none of them had the sort of feel that this one did,

0:52:170:52:21

even though we had to bear in mind that it was in such a state.

0:52:210:52:24

Their original timescale was six months.

0:52:240:52:26

We are back almost two years later.

0:52:270:52:30

Jim's doing the work HIS way.

0:52:300:52:32

It is work in progress,

0:52:370:52:39

and it'll be some time before Jim and Celia get to move in.

0:52:390:52:43

If you buy a fire-damaged property,

0:52:490:52:51

bear in mind that its services

0:52:510:52:53

may have been disconnected for safety.

0:52:530:52:56

Gas and electric in particular

0:52:560:52:58

in an empty property don't make good bedfellows,

0:52:580:53:01

and are a tempting asset for squatters.

0:53:010:53:03

Jim has had to prioritise the work,

0:53:080:53:10

so he made sure the building was made secure.

0:53:100:53:13

So if anybody tried to walk into the property or anything else

0:53:130:53:16

like that, it wouldn't be hazardous,

0:53:160:53:19

as there's a dangerous properties order on the property,

0:53:190:53:22

due to the fact that the doors were all smashed and the windows were,

0:53:220:53:26

you know... It was a hazard.

0:53:260:53:28

Jim is still assessing the extent of the damage,

0:53:290:53:31

before calling in the professionals

0:53:310:53:33

to sort out the electrics and heating.

0:53:330:53:35

At present, it's difficult to be in the house for any length of time.

0:53:350:53:40

There's no water, there's no electricity, there's no gas.

0:53:400:53:44

There's nothing.

0:53:450:53:47

You might as well be in a cave, except it's got carpets.

0:53:470:53:52

So, we can see where Jim has been busy, but what about Celia?

0:53:520:53:55

I've not done very much at all.

0:53:570:53:59

Shall we say, it's been moral support.

0:53:590:54:02

Well, on a project such as this

0:54:030:54:04

moral support is a much-needed asset,

0:54:040:54:07

especially, I would imagine,

0:54:070:54:09

when it comes to sticking to the £10,000 budget.

0:54:090:54:11

How's THAT been?

0:54:110:54:14

Currently we've spent approx... approx 1,500.

0:54:140:54:17

There's a tool box with a load of receipts there,

0:54:170:54:21

which Celia'll do all the accountancy at the end of it all.

0:54:210:54:24

What are the main cost items that are still needed?

0:54:240:54:28

We're looking at the central heating, combi boiler,

0:54:280:54:31

some plastering, whatever it is that I find on the electrics

0:54:310:54:35

that needs expertise on it.

0:54:350:54:37

Then we're down to decorating,

0:54:390:54:40

so I think we're still on cue for the budget

0:54:400:54:44

that we originally turned round and thought it was going to be.

0:54:440:54:47

Jim had time in hospital himself

0:54:470:54:49

and looks after Celia, based near Manchester,

0:54:490:54:52

and sees to his elderly parents in Chester.

0:54:520:54:56

He's got to look after them and he's got to look after me as well.

0:54:560:55:00

And do this at the same time,

0:55:000:55:02

so it's taking a lot longer than we expected.

0:55:020:55:05

Although it's been unavoidable,

0:55:050:55:07

has the overrun of 18 months to get the work to this stage

0:55:070:55:11

caused any friction?

0:55:110:55:12

I've not fallen out with him.

0:55:140:55:16

Yet. For the time being.

0:55:160:55:19

-But watch it.

-That's it.

0:55:190:55:21

In 1955, Celia's first four-bedroomed house

0:55:210:55:25

in an upmarket area cost her £2,500.

0:55:250:55:28

So, how does SHE feel about the cost of this project?

0:55:280:55:31

I am quite horrified at the telephone number rate

0:55:340:55:39

of the cost of things now.

0:55:390:55:42

The cost of houses, I mean...

0:55:420:55:44

Fiddly little things like this.

0:55:440:55:47

You could have bought it for under £200.

0:55:470:55:50

So having, what, nearly 90 years of living with that knowledge,

0:55:500:55:57

it colours my outlook completely.

0:55:570:55:59

Here to perhaps colour Celia's outlook even more

0:56:020:56:04

are two property experts

0:56:040:56:07

we've invited to give their opinions and telephone number valuations.

0:56:070:56:12

What could be done is

0:56:120:56:14

the first floor to be knocked about a little bit

0:56:140:56:17

so that we've got a bathroom upstairs.

0:56:170:56:20

It's got very good parking facilities,

0:56:200:56:23

and the internal accommodation is a good size.

0:56:230:56:25

Just needs finishing off to a good standard.

0:56:250:56:28

It seems unlikely that Jim and Celia would rent the property out,

0:56:280:56:32

but let's find out if we can tempt them.

0:56:320:56:35

On completion of the works,

0:56:350:56:36

I'd recommend a rental figure in the region of £475 per calendar month.

0:56:360:56:42

Once the work's completed on the property,

0:56:420:56:45

we would place the property for rent

0:56:450:56:47

somewhere in the region of £450 per calendar month.

0:56:470:56:50

-We're not going to rent, are we?

-HE CHUCKLES

0:56:500:56:53

Then you're probably not going to sell either -

0:56:530:56:55

but we'll give you those values too.

0:56:550:56:57

However, one thing that WILL affect the valuations

0:56:570:56:59

is the non-standard construction of the property.

0:56:590:57:02

Prefabrication reinforced concrete,

0:57:020:57:05

or PRC construction, like this can be made mortgageable

0:57:050:57:08

with the addition of an outer skin of bricks to the walls.

0:57:080:57:11

Once completed by a recognised repairer,

0:57:110:57:14

an engineer will then issue a PRC certificate.

0:57:140:57:17

Jim and Celia aren't bothered about doing this work,

0:57:190:57:22

as their intention is to move in,

0:57:220:57:24

but to get the top valuation,

0:57:240:57:26

let's assume that the work has been done.

0:57:260:57:29

Once the work is completed and deemed mortgageable

0:57:320:57:35

with a PRC certificate, we would look to place the property

0:57:350:57:38

on the market somewhere in the region of £75,000.

0:57:380:57:41

On completion of the works,

0:57:410:57:44

and if a bathroom was installed on the first floor,

0:57:440:57:48

I would recommend a sale value of £80,000.

0:57:480:57:53

Fair enough.

0:57:540:57:55

HE CHUCKLES

0:57:550:57:57

-Modest words. Yeah, fair enough.

-Yeah.

0:57:570:58:00

Hopefully it won't be an issue,

0:58:000:58:01

and Jim and Celia will be able to move in before too long.

0:58:010:58:05

Well, that's it for now.

0:58:100:58:12

We'll be back with more auction action for you next time.

0:58:120:58:16

Yes, from bungalows to basements to building sites,

0:58:160:58:18

-you get it all here on Homes Under The Hammer. See you later.

-Goodbye.

0:58:180:58:21

A small flat in Tooting in London, a huge former care home near a large park in Liverpool and a fire-damaged house in Silverdale in Shropshire are all sold under the hammer. Martin, Lucy and Dion meet the new owners to hear their plans.