Episode 31 Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 31

Martin, Dion and Martel check out properties in Norwich, Brynmawr and Maidstone. One has a guide price of just £8,000 but will need a pretty penny spent on it.


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Transcript


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Hello and welcome to the show.

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Now, the reason we always recommend viewing a project

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before bidding for it is that each property is truly unique.

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Yes, until you actually go inside a place,

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you don't know what kind of a state it's in.

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Does it need taking back to bare brick or just a quick lick of paint?

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Yes, but if you like what you see when you view,

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get yourself down to the auction, but buckle up,

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stick to your guns and don't go over budget.

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There is a real buzz in the auction house.

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It's fast-paced and the atmosphere is electric.

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But in a room full of bidders trying to outbid each other,

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it's crucial to keep a cool head.

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Yeah, so let's see who did that

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and find out what they bought on today's show.

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I'm in my old stomping ground of Norwich,

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but I'll be treading lightly at this three-bed terrace.

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Wish me luck!

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It's more crammed in than crampons at this tiny cottage in Brynmawr.

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Really, what you've got is this one room.

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And you can take a hike if you think I'm using this loo

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at this two-bed semi in Maidstone.

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I've heard of quirky,

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but actually seeing through the door to the toilet?

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£40,000 I'm bid.

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All these properties have been sold at auction

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and we'll find out who bought them

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and what they paid when they went under the hammer.

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Yours, sir, well done.

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DION: Today's destination in East Anglia

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is the home of Norwich City Football Club, also known as the Canaries.

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Their majority shareholder and my friend

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is famous TV chef Delia Smith.

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And Norwich is a club I started and finished my football career at.

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So, hopefully, I'm going to love this property

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as much as I do Norwich itself.

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I'm in a part of Norwich I know reasonably well.

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This particular area is called the Golden Triangle.

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It's about a ten-minute walk away from the city centre

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and you've got all the local amenities,

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restaurants and pubs you could wish for, all within walking distance.

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This is the property I'm here to see.

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It's a three-bed mid-terrace house,

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over four floors with a guide price of £250,000 plus.

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It looks OK to me.

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Norwich's Golden Triangle has been dubbed the city's Notting Hill

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and it's a conservation area, so has retained its Victorian character.

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In fact, as locations go, it's purrr-fect.

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So, what do we have?

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OK, we've got a front room here with a nice big bay window,

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nice original fireplace as well.

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That's a decent-sized front room.

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Down the hallway, stairs up to the bedrooms,

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quite steep stairs, actually, up to the bedrooms,

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into another reception room.

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Fireplace, again, very similar to the one in the front.

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Central heating and a nice big window.

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Now, I know this was previously rented out to students

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and this will have been put in to create another separate bedroom.

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For me, if you're looking to buy this property as a family home,

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you could quite easily take that out,

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have a nice big living room, lounge area.

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Now, do I go upstairs or downstairs?

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I'm going to go down.

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On the lower ground floor is the kitchen,

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which although quite charming in its own quirky way,

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really needs updating.

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There's also a good-sized room with a window,

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a bathroom and a modest-sized garden.

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There's plenty of space here,

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so you do have the option of knocking down that wall

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for open-plan living, if that's your thing.

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So, up on the first floor, we've got a decent-sized bathroom just here

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with shower over the bath as well.

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It is a bit tired, a bit old-fashioned.

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I'd definitely get that changed.

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And you've got a smaller bedroom here, with fireplace as well.

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Down the hallway, you've got a nice, big bedroom

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at the front of the property.

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Now, I have seen some steep stairs in my time.

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I'm pretty sure these wouldn't pass current building regulations.

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But I'm going to give them a go all the same.

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Wish me luck.

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# Livin' on the edge!

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# You can't help yourself from fallin'

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# Livin' on the edge!

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# Everybody! Everybody! #

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If you like living on the edge, you could keep these stairs,

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but personally, I would get them changed ASAP.

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Now, although this place was rented out previously,

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I think this could make a nice family home.

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What does a local estate agent think would be the best option

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for this lot, guided at £250,000?

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Having had a look around the property, I think it offers

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flexible accommodation for either the family market

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or also the student market, which is very popular in this area.

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The layout works currently for a student market,

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with the individual rooms.

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You would need to make sure that you adhere to certain regulations,

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include fire doors, gas safety and electric checks as well.

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For a family market I think,

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kind of, a bit of reconfiguration,

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especially on the ground floor and the basement,

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would work really, really well.

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It could go either way. But which would be more profitable?

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What could it be worth once renovated as a family home?

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Once renovated, I believe this property could achieve £385,000.

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And what if you were to rent it out, room by room, as a HMO,

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a house of multiple occupancy?

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If this property was let out to sharers as an HMO,

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I believe you could achieve around £1,500 per calendar month.

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This is a quirky house that could appeal to an investor

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or someone looking for a nice, family home.

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There's a reasonable amount of work to be done.

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I think you may have to reconfigure some parts of the house,

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but you'd definitely have to sort out those stairs

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at the top of the building.

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Let's see who was up for the challenge

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when it went under the hammer.

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Golden Triangle, good spot, a hall entrance, terraced.

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Start me off at 250.

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250,000?

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250,000?

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240, then?

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230?

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230. 235? 240?

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235, I've got. Looking for 240.

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240, I've got. 245?

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245. 250? 250. 255.

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No? At £250,000.

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Looking for 255.

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OK, at £250,000, then.

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I'll take one.

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It's got to be worth more than 250, surely?

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OK, at £250,000 then, it's yours, sir, at 250 for the first time,

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for the second time at £250,000, third and final time,

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it's going to be sold.

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Congratulations, well done, sir.

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After a very short auction,

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getting the property for the guide price of £250,000

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was chartered surveyor Arthur and partner Kirsty, who is a HR manager.

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I caught up with them back at their new property

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to find out what their plans were.

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-Arthur, nice to meet you.

-Hi.

-Congratulations.

-Hi.

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-Kirsty, nice to meet you too.

-Thank you.

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Tell us why you bought this particular property.

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It was the street that really drew us to this property.

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We only live sort of a mile down the road, but, yeah,

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a really nice, pretty one,

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and it's probably the only sort of affordable house

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-that we could get around here.

-Are you going to rent it out?

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Are you going to sell it? Or are you going to live in it?

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-We're going to live in it.

-So, it's going to be your home?

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-It is, yeah.

-Yeah. Definitely.

-But you have a home at the moment?

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We have a home at the moment,

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but we put it on the market as soon as we got this at auction,

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but it's already sold,

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so it looks like we're going to have to be living in here

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-sooner than anticipated.

-Yes, can be a little uncomfortable sometimes.

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-Yeah!

-What do you want to do with it?

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So, we're going to knock through, to make it one big living room.

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-Yeah.

-We're going to try and keep the fireplaces,

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we're going to restore the floorboards and just redecorate it.

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OK. And that's the only wall you're knocking down here?

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-On this floor, yeah.

-Good. Let's go to the basement.

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What are you going to do down there?

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We're going to knock through the dividing wall there

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and it'll be a kitchen diner, so a new kitchen

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and we're also going to put a utility in downstairs as well.

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Oh, so right at the end is going to be the...

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Oh, good idea. Very good idea.

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Tell me about upstairs, then.

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We're not going to do a lot to the bedrooms upstairs,

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because there isn't really too much to do.

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They're all in quite good condition really, so...

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-And new bathroom as well.

-Oh, yeah.

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Let's go one level up, the second floor.

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-It's a really steep staircase, isn't it?

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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Well, because they had to have a fire door at the top of the stairs,

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they've had to sort of create, like, a corridor,

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like a landing area at the top of the stairs, which takes up

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so much of the room, whereas I want to take that out

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and really open it up, up there.

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So, it will be a nice room up there.

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It's just the obstacle that is the stairs leading up to it.

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We're going to get some advice and see what they say,

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but it's not at the top of our list. We want to make it liveable first.

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Probably do that in a few months' time.

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There is certainly plenty to be getting on with,

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but Kirsty and Arthur have some experience

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as they've already renovated a property

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which they currently rent out,

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so hopefully their estimates are bang on.

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What's the budget for all the work?

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35-40,000.

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We made a bit of money on the house that we've just sold,

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so that's sort of funding all the work that needs to be done.

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Where will most of that money go?

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The kitchen, in the basement, I think is where it's all going to go.

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And who's going to do the work?

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We'll do as much work as we can.

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-Kirsty's good at painting.

-Yeah!

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But, yeah, some of it we'll have to get people in to do.

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The house that we did up before, we found a few contacts through there,

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so we know that they're good at what they do,

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so we'll use them and hopefully,

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-they'll be around in a few weeks to do that, so...

-The key, isn't it?

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The key is trying to find people that you can trust to do a good job.

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-Definitely.

-Well, I know that Kirsty will be doing the painting.

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-What are you going to be doing?

-I'm taking down the walls.

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Oh, you see!

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-Destruction.

-Yes.

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-Hammer.

-Easy stuff, yeah.

-Sledgehammer and get stuck in.

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-Yeah.

-How long are you hoping the work's going to take?

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-I think six months.

-Yeah.

-About six months, we would say.

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And that's with you two mucking in, and all your mates?

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-Yeah. That's it!

-Definitely.

-As many people that we can get in to do it.

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Are you roping in any of your family as well?

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We're not local, so, no, no.

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Lucky for them, they're not close enough to help out with the work.

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-So, where's home for you?

-I'm from Staffordshire.

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-And yourself?

-And I'm from Solihull, which is just south of Birmingham.

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But why Norwich? Cos it's so far away.

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Yeah, the company that I work for, sort of international company,

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so I applied to their HQ and then you get put out there

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in different places and I was asked to go to Norwich,

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so I happily accepted, Kirsty came with me.

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Yeah. My job let me go there as well, so...

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Having been here before,

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a long time ago when I was playing for Norwich City, lovely area,

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really good area this is. Very nice people in Norwich.

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I'm trying to give you a quick history lesson

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on how nice it is here and what a good idea it was to move here.

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As you may have noticed, it's an area I'm very fond of,

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so in my book, it's a very good decision.

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But I'll stop banging on about Norwich and let them get on with it.

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So, what's the first thing you're going to do?

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Kitchen. Kitchen, yeah.

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At the moment, it's got really horrible stuff,

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that I don't know if it works,

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so we need to sort that out first and we really think the basement

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has value to be added, so we're trying to make that nice.

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-Is that a bit of pressure off Kirsty, then?

-Yeah.

-Yes!

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I'm not sure who's the boss, but I can guess.

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Listen, I wish you both well.

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Arthur, good luck, sir. Hope it works out for you.

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-Thank you.

-Kirsty, good luck.

-Thank you.

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So, this is going to be Kirsty and Arthur's new home,

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but they have got a lot of work to do,

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as well as sorting that steep staircase out,

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right at the top of the building.

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Just how much of the budget will that staircase take up?

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You can find out how they get on later on in the programme.

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MARTIN: Today, I'm around 30 miles north of Cardiff

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in the South Wales market town of Brynmawr.

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Its name translates from Welsh simply to mean big hill,

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and though once a coal and iron mining area,

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with plans for the Circuit of Wales motor-racing track

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to be built nearby, there are hopes that this area

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is revving itself up for a potential economic boom.

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But currently, I'm just hoping the weather improves.

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# Why does it always rain on me?

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# Is it because I... #

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Well, right by the side of this busy road and this even busier roundabout

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is the property I'm here to see.

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Now, it's down by this little path that the word little

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takes on the whole new meaning when it comes to the property itself.

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Because it's this, a one-bedroomed cottage.

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OK, but here's the really interesting thing.

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The guide price,

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just £8,000.

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Yes, just eight.

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That's got to make it one of the cheapest properties in the UK.

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Let's take a look around inside.

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Something tells me it's not going to take long.

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8,000. 8,000?!

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That's just well, well, it's just...

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# You're unbelievable! #

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Right, pretty much as predicted, then.

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Downstairs, really what you've got is this one room.

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I mean, storage radiators, that's good.

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Upstairs, I think I shall avoid investigating up there,

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those stairs look really, really dodgy.

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Through to the kitchen...

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OK.

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Seen better days.

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I mean...

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Wow.

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Still, what do we expect for that guide price?

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Small, pokey, tiny, it's all that and more.

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Cats couldn't even jiggle in here, let alone swing.

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# Live-a-live-a-live-a little!

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# Live-a-live-a-live-a little!

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# Live-a-live-a-live-a little! #

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It's wider at the front than the back, how does that work?

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And as for the stairs,

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they're more suited to a ship's cabin than a house.

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Nope, it's just not working.

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I'm even beginning to think it might be overpriced!

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Wait a minute, where's the smallest room in the house?

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Well, out the back of the property, this little building.

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Now, this is not a garden loo.

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This actually, believe it or not,

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is the only toilet and bathroom facilities...

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..in the property.

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So, one of the first things we're going to have to consider

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is bringing this inside.

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Unfortunately, I can't see anywhere where it would go.

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An extension is definitely on the cards.

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# And I feel so all alone

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# No-one's gonna fix me when I'm broke. #

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No, I don't think anyone's going to miss this.

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And even when you're inside this outside toilet,

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you're still outside, because the roof has fallen in.

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This has to go.

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So, could you reclaim a bit of the garden and still have room

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for an extension at the back of the house?

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And out front, there could also be room for improvement.

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But being a terrace,

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any development would involve party wall agreements

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with both neighbours, which can be costly.

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Now I'm starting to wonder about this one.

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Perhaps it's not the potential bargain of the year

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it first appeared to be.

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What does a local estate agent think?

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The guide price of £8,000. Wow, what a steal!

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I've never seen a property in this area go onto the market

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at a guide price of so little,

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so it might actually one of the cheapest properties

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sold in the area to date.

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It does lend itself to being extended and if that was the case,

0:17:190:17:23

you could obviously make things a lot more usable

0:17:230:17:26

and incorporate a bathroom

0:17:260:17:28

and you know, maybe add another bedroom,

0:17:280:17:31

so you could potentially have a two-bedroom mid-terraced house

0:17:310:17:35

and it would be ideal then for a family or first-time buyer.

0:17:350:17:39

Building this house up and out is likely to cost considerably more

0:17:390:17:44

than what was an £8,000 guide price,

0:17:440:17:46

so what sort of value might it reach?

0:17:460:17:48

It's a one-bedroom house.

0:17:500:17:51

In this area, you could be looking on the open market

0:17:510:17:54

anything around £35,000.

0:17:540:17:57

If you were to extend the property and make it

0:17:570:17:59

into a two-bedroom mid-terraced house,

0:17:590:18:01

then on the upper market, you'd be looking at achieving

0:18:010:18:04

anything around £65,000.

0:18:040:18:06

Claustrophobia, the fear of confined spaces.

0:18:090:18:13

If you're one of the 10% of the UK population who that affects,

0:18:130:18:18

then this property really isn't for you.

0:18:180:18:21

However, you know what,

0:18:210:18:22

at that guide price, it's an interesting proposition, isn't it?

0:18:220:18:26

Hmm.

0:18:260:18:28

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

0:18:280:18:31

Small one-bedroom property.

0:18:310:18:34

Needs everything doing to it. Well, I say everything doing to it.

0:18:340:18:36

The roof's actually pretty good, but otherwise needs complete renovation.

0:18:360:18:40

5,000 to get it started.

0:18:400:18:42

Five, surely, come on. Four. Somebody shout me a figure.

0:18:420:18:45

I don't care where we start. Thank you, four I've got you at four.

0:18:450:18:48

Now five, can I see? Five.

0:18:480:18:49

Six, seven.

0:18:490:18:51

Seven, eight, nine.

0:18:510:18:53

Ten, 11.

0:18:530:18:55

I've lost you. 11, thank you, 11. 12? 12.

0:18:550:18:58

13. 14.

0:18:580:18:59

At 14,000. 15 I'll take from anybody.

0:18:590:19:02

It's 14,000. 14,500 if it helps you.

0:19:020:19:04

14.5, thank you, new bid at 14.5.

0:19:040:19:07

15 and back to you.

0:19:070:19:08

15, if you like. 15, thank you, 15.

0:19:080:19:11

15.5. 15.5.

0:19:110:19:13

16. 16?

0:19:130:19:15

At 15.5 for the first time.

0:19:150:19:18

At 15.5 second time.

0:19:180:19:20

Third and last time at £15,500.

0:19:200:19:24

Yours, sir, well done.

0:19:240:19:25

And paying the whopping £15,500 were Graham and Lima.

0:19:260:19:33

Graham runs a key cutting and shoe repair business and has three shops.

0:19:330:19:38

His Estonian wife Lima looks after the book-keeping in the business,

0:19:380:19:42

and she's been keen to encourage Graham to forge a new career path

0:19:420:19:46

in property developing.

0:19:460:19:48

# Hey, I put some new shoes on and suddenly everything's right

0:19:480:19:54

# I said... #

0:19:540:19:55

Graham, Lima, great to meet you both.

0:19:550:19:57

Congratulations.

0:19:570:19:58

I am quite relieved you're not, like, 6ft4 or something.

0:19:580:20:01

It helps!

0:20:010:20:03

So, tell me why you wanted to buy this rather small little property.

0:20:040:20:09

Well, we've been entering the property market

0:20:090:20:14

since the middle of last year.

0:20:140:20:16

And we were sort of going round and round and round this area,

0:20:160:20:21

and this property was for sale in the September auction last year.

0:20:210:20:26

At the auction, we bid for it but got outbid.

0:20:260:20:29

-It went for £16,500.

-Wow.

0:20:290:20:33

So, we bought something else.

0:20:330:20:35

That was above your budget? £16,500?

0:20:350:20:38

-Well, this has a value. Everything has a value.

-Of course.

0:20:380:20:41

-We felt it was a bit over the...

-Yeah.

0:20:410:20:45

In February auction, we were surprised to find it was back in.

0:20:450:20:50

So, we've had another go.

0:20:500:20:52

And we got it for £15,500.

0:20:520:20:54

-Well done.

-So, somewhere, thank you very much.

0:20:540:20:56

-Which made all the difference!

-Yes, £1,000 made all the difference.

0:20:560:21:00

So, what was it that made you want to carry on pursuing it?

0:21:000:21:03

Was it just the price or...? Because it does have a charm.

0:21:030:21:06

I have to say, Graham likes something quirky

0:21:060:21:09

and he likes challenges.

0:21:090:21:11

It is a challenge, isn't it? To see what we can do with it.

0:21:110:21:15

Graham and Lima live over two hours away in the Midlands,

0:21:160:21:20

but they have other properties in the area,

0:21:200:21:22

so will use one of these as a base when working on the house.

0:21:220:21:26

Graham is currently studying law,

0:21:260:21:28

which might be useful here, methinks.

0:21:280:21:30

And he's also been reading up about the property's history.

0:21:300:21:33

Apparently in the early 1800s, when all these were built,

0:21:350:21:39

the builder started at both ends, got his measurements wrong...

0:21:390:21:44

-No!

-Ended up with this.

0:21:440:21:46

-No!

-I have been told that twice, independently.

0:21:460:21:48

One of the things that we found out from the neighbours was that,

0:21:500:21:54

in the early days, this was lived in by a family,

0:21:540:21:58

mum and dad and four children.

0:21:580:22:00

-Four?

-In this little place.

0:22:000:22:02

Wow!

0:22:030:22:04

That's amazing. A family of six in here.

0:22:040:22:07

Makes you think, doesn't it?

0:22:070:22:09

But that's the past, what's going to happen to it in the future?

0:22:090:22:13

We'll have the new roof line up here.

0:22:130:22:15

What we want to do is increase the footprint, obviously,

0:22:160:22:19

so we're going to boost the front out, up to the roof line,

0:22:190:22:22

and come just up at the back.

0:22:220:22:25

Right. When you say push out, you mean, what?

0:22:250:22:28

-Take out the wall, or what?

-This has got to come down.

0:22:280:22:30

-What, the whole thing?

-Yeah.

-Knock the whole house down?

0:22:300:22:33

More than likely. My architect said it's really a demolition job.

0:22:330:22:36

-Oh!

-And then a new front wall up, over.

0:22:360:22:41

Build up the rear wall, and we'll have a living room, stairs up,

0:22:410:22:46

kitchen area, and upstairs, one bed with en suite.

0:22:460:22:51

There will be room for a hand basin, toilet and a shower.

0:22:510:22:55

Crikey! Graham makes it sound simple.

0:22:550:22:57

But he's going to need planning, party wall agreements,

0:22:570:23:00

and of course, demolition and building between two other houses

0:23:000:23:04

will involve some practical difficulties.

0:23:040:23:06

So, what's the budget, then?

0:23:080:23:10

-25.

-25.

0:23:100:23:12

That's to do this whole rebuild?

0:23:120:23:13

Well, it is one wall at the front, over the top,

0:23:130:23:17

-extending back up.

-Right.

0:23:170:23:19

So, Lima, what is your involvement going to be?

0:23:190:23:22

Well, I found out on previous property that I can paint,

0:23:220:23:25

I can clear rubbish, a lot of cleaning, cups of tea,

0:23:250:23:29

so I will do what I can.

0:23:290:23:31

And what will you do?

0:23:310:23:33

In my younger days, I did everything bar the essential trades.

0:23:330:23:38

Gas, electricity, plumbing.

0:23:380:23:39

So I can plaster, I will probably put the timbers in,

0:23:400:23:44

and the floorboards, and site manage.

0:23:440:23:47

Right. Well, it's all very exciting.

0:23:470:23:49

-Yes.

-I think, I imagine we will see a transformation when we come back.

0:23:490:23:53

How long is it going to take?

0:23:530:23:54

Well, would you think about six months,

0:23:540:23:56

-would be reasonable?

-Yeah, that seems good to me.

0:23:560:23:59

-Yeah.

-We'll come back in six months, then.

0:23:590:24:01

-Yes.

-Listen, best of luck to you both.

0:24:010:24:03

-I can't wait to see...

-Thank you.

-..how it all turns out.

-Goodbye.

0:24:030:24:08

Well, renovating this place is going to be a bit more of a challenge

0:24:110:24:14

than the repairs that Graham's used to.

0:24:140:24:17

And of course, they do have to get

0:24:170:24:18

that all-important planning permission.

0:24:180:24:20

Still, tune in later to find out

0:24:200:24:22

if they manage to put the heart and soul back into this house,

0:24:220:24:26

and of course, if they manage to heal it.

0:24:260:24:28

MARTEL: Still to come, it's a case of size versus scent

0:24:300:24:34

at this two-bed semi in Maidstone.

0:24:340:24:36

I like the size of this room. It really smells of damp.

0:24:360:24:39

MARTIN: And we'll find out what Graham and Lima

0:24:410:24:43

are keeping shtum about in South Wales.

0:24:430:24:46

I don't want to say any more!

0:24:460:24:48

DION: Back to the city of Norwich in East Anglia.

0:24:540:24:57

Situated in the desirable Golden Triangle area

0:24:580:25:01

was this three-bed terrace house over four floors

0:25:010:25:04

that went to auction with a guide price of 250 grand plus.

0:25:040:25:08

Now, inside was in pretty good condition,

0:25:090:25:12

but the layout had been chopped and changed over years,

0:25:120:25:15

and was left feeling quite boxy.

0:25:150:25:18

Now, I know this was previously rented out to students,

0:25:180:25:21

and this would have been put in to create another separate bedroom.

0:25:210:25:25

For me, if you're looking to buy this property as a family home,

0:25:250:25:28

you could quite easily take that out,

0:25:280:25:30

have a nice big living room, lounge area.

0:25:300:25:33

The lower ground floor was a touch more rustic,

0:25:340:25:37

and could definitely do with some modernisation.

0:25:370:25:39

On the first floor was a second bathroom and two bedrooms.

0:25:410:25:45

Or what I like to call base camp.

0:25:450:25:47

Now, I have seen some steep stairs in my time,

0:25:490:25:52

and I'm pretty sure these wouldn't pass current building regulations.

0:25:520:25:56

Crampons at the ready for these stairs

0:25:580:25:59

if you wanted to reach that third bedroom.

0:25:590:26:02

Climbing up the property ladder were Arthur and Kirsty.

0:26:030:26:06

They had just sold a property to buy this one at auction

0:26:070:26:10

for bang on the guide price of £250,000.

0:26:100:26:13

I reckon they've done well,

0:26:130:26:15

because this property is in Norwich's Golden Triangle.

0:26:150:26:18

It was the street that really drew us to this property.

0:26:190:26:22

We only live sort of a mile down the road, but, yeah,

0:26:220:26:25

really nice pretty one, and it's probably the only sort of

0:26:250:26:28

affordable house that we could get around here.

0:26:280:26:31

I have to say, I like the sound of their plans.

0:26:310:26:33

Especially for the basement.

0:26:330:26:35

We're going to knock through the dividing wall there

0:26:360:26:38

and it will be a kitchen diner, so a new kitchen,

0:26:380:26:41

and we're also going to put a utility in downstairs as well.

0:26:410:26:43

Oh, so, right at the end, is going to be the...

0:26:430:26:45

Oh, good idea.

0:26:450:26:47

They had a decent budget of 35-40 grand to make their changes.

0:26:470:26:52

And they were going to do a fair bit of the work themselves

0:26:520:26:54

while living there over a six-month period.

0:26:540:26:58

It's now two years later and we're back.

0:26:580:27:01

Wow, what an incredible transformation.

0:27:110:27:13

Losing that central wall has made all the difference,

0:27:130:27:16

and I do love that colour scheme.

0:27:160:27:18

The small study at the back has also had a stylish makeover,

0:27:220:27:26

but what about the basement?

0:27:260:27:27

Another wall down and it just gets better.

0:27:320:27:35

What was two outdated rooms is now a really trendy kitchen diner,

0:27:350:27:40

and I love that they've kept the original fireplace.

0:27:400:27:43

It looks brilliant.

0:27:430:27:44

The upstairs is looking stunning,

0:27:490:27:51

with a roll-top bath and mosaic tiles.

0:27:510:27:54

And the two bedrooms on the first floor

0:27:570:27:58

are looking nice and bright and have brand-new carpets.

0:27:580:28:02

The house is looking amazing. I'm tempted to move in myself.

0:28:040:28:07

But I am sure living in it, while renovating it,

0:28:070:28:10

wasn't a walk in the park.

0:28:100:28:12

It wasn't particularly comfortable when we didn't have a kitchen

0:28:130:28:17

and a very horrible bathroom,

0:28:170:28:18

so that was probably the biggest challenge.

0:28:180:28:21

The second-biggest challenge was finding a configuration

0:28:210:28:25

for the replacement stairs from the first to the second floor

0:28:250:28:28

that would actually work in practical terms,

0:28:280:28:31

and also to get building regulations.

0:28:310:28:33

It may have been a challenge, but they have done it.

0:28:360:28:39

By changing the level of the landing,

0:28:420:28:44

there's so much more space for the stairs

0:28:440:28:46

without eating into that attic bedroom.

0:28:460:28:48

More importantly, they are safe to climb,

0:28:480:28:51

but they've had their work cut out.

0:28:510:28:53

Hopefully, they haven't gone over budget.

0:28:540:28:56

So, the original budget was £40,000.

0:28:570:29:01

And I came under it pretty much with every aspect apart from the kitchen.

0:29:010:29:05

Because that went about £10,000 over.

0:29:050:29:07

My overall spend was £47,000.

0:29:070:29:10

It's not ideal,

0:29:110:29:13

but what they have achieved for that is pretty spectacular.

0:29:130:29:16

And Arthur kept the costs down by doing what he could himself

0:29:160:29:20

and brought in certified tradespeople

0:29:200:29:22

to do the jobs he couldn't.

0:29:220:29:24

So, it's more or less gone to plan, but why did it take so long?

0:29:240:29:28

To be honest, six months was a completely unrealistic timescale.

0:29:290:29:32

I hadn't really thought about it before I was asked

0:29:320:29:35

because it was one of those things, it takes as long as it takes.

0:29:350:29:37

So, yeah, it took about two years.

0:29:370:29:40

It may have taken two years, but is it worth it, now it's done?

0:29:400:29:44

I'm really happy with how it's finished up, and really proud of it.

0:29:450:29:50

I just don't know what I'm going to do with all my spare time now.

0:29:500:29:53

It's a brilliant job, no two ways about it.

0:29:540:29:58

So, it's time to find out what two local estate agents

0:29:580:30:01

make of the results of two years' hard graft

0:30:010:30:03

and the £297,000 spent.

0:30:030:30:06

I think it's a really good property.

0:30:080:30:10

The kitchen in particular is a great feature to the home.

0:30:100:30:13

The bathroom's superb and we've got some really nice sized bedrooms.

0:30:130:30:16

So, I think we've got a really good character property

0:30:160:30:19

in a great location.

0:30:190:30:20

Impressions are really good. It's got a great modern finish.

0:30:200:30:22

I think it's been made the best of what they could,

0:30:220:30:25

to maximise the kitchen space,

0:30:250:30:26

you've got good reception space from the sizes.

0:30:260:30:29

It's really maximised what's here.

0:30:290:30:30

I know this road really well and it's amazing what he's done.

0:30:300:30:34

This house could definitely prove popular,

0:30:350:30:37

but of course, it's not for sale.

0:30:370:30:39

But humour me, what could it achieve, if it was?

0:30:390:30:42

I'd place a value on this at £425,000.

0:30:430:30:47

With the successful viewing events and so on,

0:30:470:30:50

that could easily sort of go upwards.

0:30:500:30:52

The sale value for this property would be £475,000.

0:30:520:30:55

That's better than I was hoping.

0:30:550:30:58

I bought this with a view to it being 325-350.

0:30:580:31:03

So, I am over the moon with those figures.

0:31:030:31:06

And it's no wonder.

0:31:060:31:07

That top figure of £475,000 could mean a profit, minus taxes and fees,

0:31:070:31:13

of, wait for it, 178 grand.

0:31:130:31:16

Now, that could come in handy.

0:31:160:31:18

475, that's very tempting to have that lump sum, but no,

0:31:180:31:22

I will certainly stay here in the meantime.

0:31:220:31:25

In this case, the Golden Triangle seems to be the golden ticket,

0:31:250:31:29

but does Arthur have any golden advice

0:31:290:31:31

for any other budding developers?

0:31:310:31:34

Look at it round a couple of times before going to auction

0:31:340:31:38

and take a builder to give you a rough estimate

0:31:380:31:41

on all the different aspects of the pricing, and also a surveyor.

0:31:410:31:46

-MARTEL:

-I'm in the county town of Maidstone in Kent.

0:31:490:31:52

Maidstone lies at the heart of the Garden of England,

0:31:520:31:54

referred to as such because of its many fruit orchards and top gardens.

0:31:540:32:00

The area is steeped in history,

0:32:000:32:02

but also benefits from a bustling high street with lots of shops,

0:32:020:32:06

bars and restaurants.

0:32:060:32:08

It's only 20 minutes from London's St Pancras,

0:32:080:32:11

so it's also a popular commuter town.

0:32:110:32:13

# You never know

0:32:130:32:15

# In the Garden of England... #

0:32:170:32:20

This street is just a 15 minute walk from the town centre,

0:32:200:32:23

and just around the corner is an historic building.

0:32:230:32:27

But I'm not sure it will be the biggest selling point

0:32:270:32:30

for the property I'm here to see. Built in 1819, it's...

0:32:300:32:32

Well, it's the prison.

0:32:320:32:35

From those brick walls to the ones I'm going to see,

0:32:350:32:38

and it's a two-bedroom semi with a guide price of £185,000-£195,000.

0:32:380:32:44

Here it is.

0:32:440:32:45

Into our hallway.

0:32:480:32:49

Interestingly, this has the type of flooring

0:32:490:32:52

that you might associate with an alleyway that ran beside a house,

0:32:520:32:56

perhaps they've incorporated this into the house,

0:32:560:32:59

so you come through a really lovely archway.

0:32:590:33:02

Straight ahead, steep stairs.

0:33:020:33:05

Here we have a reception room, which is really nicely proportioned.

0:33:050:33:09

It feels quite solid.

0:33:090:33:11

A fireplace, which I like a great deal.

0:33:110:33:14

Could add some character, if you renovated it a wee bit.

0:33:140:33:17

There's double glazing, central heating, all plus points.

0:33:170:33:21

Through to our kitchen. Very tired, dated.

0:33:210:33:24

Probably needs to come out.

0:33:240:33:26

But, again, a decent size.

0:33:260:33:28

A really decent size.

0:33:280:33:29

The bathroom, perhaps typically for a property of this age,

0:33:290:33:33

is behind the kitchen on the ground floor.

0:33:330:33:36

Not ideal. It would be good to have it along with the bedrooms,

0:33:360:33:39

and a couple of cupboards, big cupboards, almost tiny little rooms,

0:33:390:33:44

that I didn't expect.

0:33:440:33:46

It really feels like there's wasted space here

0:33:460:33:49

that you could do so much with.

0:33:490:33:51

I don't really like very steep, narrow stairs,

0:33:510:33:55

and I think I'd try to move them

0:33:550:33:57

and perhaps have a better layout as a result.

0:33:570:33:59

You could even extend the kitchen sideways into the garden,

0:34:010:34:04

there's certainly space for it.

0:34:040:34:06

Upstairs to our bedrooms.

0:34:080:34:11

The first, decent size.

0:34:110:34:13

Seems solid enough.

0:34:130:34:14

Through we come to another really well-proportioned bedroom,

0:34:140:34:19

which actually has an en-suite.

0:34:190:34:21

So here's the en-suite. It's not quite like any I've seen before.

0:34:210:34:24

I've heard of quirky,

0:34:240:34:25

but actually seeing through the door to the toilet?

0:34:250:34:27

That's most unusual.

0:34:270:34:29

I think that needs to go. Stud partition could come down,

0:34:290:34:32

make extra space, and there's a real feeling

0:34:320:34:35

that with careful consideration you could have a family bathroom

0:34:350:34:39

that's accessible to both bedrooms.

0:34:390:34:41

# We're against privacy... #

0:34:410:34:44

What's more is that there is already plumbing up here,

0:34:440:34:47

so it shouldn't cost the earth to install something

0:34:470:34:50

a little bigger and a lot more private.

0:34:500:34:53

If you really wanted to expand this place,

0:34:530:34:55

there might be potential in the loft, but, wait,

0:34:550:34:58

there is another option, as this place also has a basement.

0:34:580:35:02

Actually, it's a really good space down here.

0:35:030:35:06

It feels like it's been used for something before,

0:35:060:35:08

because you've carpet coming down from the stairs,

0:35:080:35:11

and then this room, a decent size, no window,

0:35:110:35:15

building regulations mean that that couldn't be used as a bedroom,

0:35:150:35:19

and, through here, I like the size of this room.

0:35:190:35:22

It really smells of damp, but, you know,

0:35:220:35:24

that might just be because it's been uninhabited for a long time.

0:35:240:35:28

Now, it does have a window,

0:35:280:35:30

so you might be thinking, aha, third bedroom.

0:35:300:35:33

But basements can be a challenge to meet building regs.

0:35:330:35:36

The window has to qualify as an escape route

0:35:360:35:39

and ceilings need to be fire resistant as safety measures.

0:35:390:35:42

And, last but not least, there's tanking required.

0:35:420:35:46

So it has potential, but it's not without its issues.

0:35:470:35:50

Let's see if a local estate agent could get excited about this house,

0:35:510:35:55

guided at £185,000-£195,000.

0:35:550:35:59

The property needs a complete overhaul.

0:36:010:36:03

For me, there's a lot of potential with it.

0:36:030:36:05

With the basement, I would definitely convert it, tank it out,

0:36:050:36:08

make that into a third bedroom.

0:36:080:36:10

That's quite a big job, and expensive as well.

0:36:100:36:12

But if you do it, you'll definitely get the repercussions from the price

0:36:120:36:15

when you come to selling it.

0:36:150:36:17

Tanking a cellar involves applying a waterproof coating

0:36:170:36:20

to the surface of the walls and floor.

0:36:200:36:22

It prevents water ingress, making the walls watertight,

0:36:220:36:26

and stopping the cellar from becoming damp and mouldy.

0:36:260:36:29

The agent estimated tanking costs at between 10-15 grand,

0:36:300:36:35

but will an extra bedroom add that much value?

0:36:350:36:39

Once renovated, this property as a two-bed,

0:36:390:36:41

would sell for roughly £250,000.

0:36:410:36:44

With a full conversion, converting into a three-bedroom home,

0:36:440:36:47

the property could achieve anywhere between

0:36:470:36:49

£300,000 and £310,000.

0:36:490:36:51

My verdict on this property is it's in need of refurbishment

0:36:520:36:56

and could definitely benefit from some layout tweaks,

0:36:560:36:59

but with the bonus of that cellar, it really has potential.

0:36:590:37:02

Let's find out who agreed when it went to auction.

0:37:020:37:05

Lot 76.

0:37:050:37:07

It's a semidetached house for improvement and what shall we say,

0:37:070:37:10

start me at 180? 180,

0:37:100:37:12

you wouldn't be wasting your time. £180,000 anywhere?

0:37:120:37:15

170 then. 170, thank you.

0:37:150:37:18

£170,000 I have.

0:37:180:37:20

172.

0:37:200:37:21

After a slow start, the bidding does get going.

0:37:210:37:24

We join at £191,000.

0:37:240:37:27

191.

0:37:270:37:29

He's running out of money in the front row. 192 is behind you.

0:37:290:37:32

193.

0:37:320:37:33

194.

0:37:330:37:34

195.

0:37:340:37:36

At £194,000 then, for the first time, £194,000 for the second time.

0:37:360:37:42

I thought you were going to do that.

0:37:420:37:45

195.

0:37:450:37:46

My dentist pulls teeth faster than you.

0:37:460:37:48

196, 197.

0:37:480:37:50

No? At £196,000,

0:37:500:37:53

the gentleman in the dark blue shirt for 196 for the first time.

0:37:530:37:57

£196,000 for the second time.

0:37:570:38:00

For the third and final time, you're out in the green, are you all done?

0:38:000:38:03

Sold at £196,000.

0:38:030:38:06

The successful bid of £196,000 came from Bernie.

0:38:060:38:10

Bernie is a busy man, and he's been on the show twice before,

0:38:100:38:15

most recently when I met him at his acquisition in Dover.

0:38:150:38:19

Not only does Bernie have a portfolio of around 30 properties,

0:38:190:38:23

he also owns an IT recruitment agency

0:38:230:38:26

and runs children's homes with his wife. Despite his full-on schedule,

0:38:260:38:31

he managed to meet me back at his latest project.

0:38:310:38:34

Bernie, fantastic to see you.

0:38:340:38:36

-Lovely to see you.

-Again.

-Again, indeed.

0:38:360:38:39

Congratulations on your newest property.

0:38:390:38:41

Talk me through this property.

0:38:410:38:43

This property is obviously a bigger one,

0:38:430:38:45

there's a lot more work to do here.

0:38:450:38:46

The other one was a straight in-out kind of job.

0:38:460:38:49

This one's got to do walls, move staircases, moved...

0:38:490:38:54

but we're still very pleased with it.

0:38:540:38:56

And our normal approach is the more we can do,

0:38:560:39:01

the more that needs doing,

0:39:010:39:02

obviously the more profit

0:39:020:39:05

that a property makes, so...

0:39:050:39:07

Very optimistic about this one.

0:39:070:39:08

Yeah. Tell me what it is that you plan to do.

0:39:080:39:10

Both the staircases are kind of in the middle of the property.

0:39:100:39:14

Obviously at both ends, top and bottom of the staircases.

0:39:140:39:17

If we can move them against the wall and then we can open up the property

0:39:170:39:20

and make it a lot lighter, airier, more open-plan down here.

0:39:200:39:25

And on the next floor up, then we'll be able to put a bathroom,

0:39:250:39:30

more or less in the space that the staircase's currently wasting.

0:39:300:39:35

The kitchen hopefully will move into where the bathroom is,

0:39:350:39:38

and then this will become a through lounge with the existing lounge

0:39:380:39:42

so that's the other side of the wall behind you.

0:39:420:39:44

And, then, downstairs and the lower floor...

0:39:440:39:47

..we'll have one bedroom and another room.

0:39:480:39:51

That room won't have a window in it,

0:39:510:39:54

so it could equally be used as a games room, as an office.

0:39:540:39:58

That'll be down to the people that buy it.

0:39:580:40:00

We'll just make it all nice and modern and clean.

0:40:000:40:02

Wow, that is quite the list,

0:40:030:40:05

and Bernie aims to get all that work done for a budget of 35-40 grand.

0:40:050:40:10

But, with his trusty builder pal on board, it shouldn't be a problem.

0:40:100:40:14

We have to give a bit of a hero's mention to the guy who helps you.

0:40:160:40:19

To my friend and builder Ray.

0:40:190:40:22

-Yeah.

-And his team, of course.

0:40:220:40:25

Ray is invaluable.

0:40:250:40:27

His input is invaluable, isn't it?

0:40:270:40:29

-Yes.

-You're the brains behind the finances and Ray comes in

0:40:290:40:34

-and he's fantastic, isn't he?

-I said to him,

0:40:340:40:37

look upon it as I am the good-looking one of the arrangement,

0:40:370:40:40

and Ray does all the work.

0:40:400:40:42

You've both got a certain charm, Bernie.

0:40:420:40:44

Is there anything that's worrying you in particular?

0:40:440:40:48

No. No, I wouldn't say there's anything that's worrying me.

0:40:480:40:51

This property does have the pleasure of being next door

0:40:510:40:55

to a funeral directors. That might put some people off.

0:40:550:40:58

But we've had issues with a property in the past

0:40:580:41:01

-that's been opposite a cemetery.

-A funeral directors is a shop.

0:41:010:41:04

If it had to be next to something, it would be nicer, I guess,

0:41:040:41:08

to be next to a newsagent than a funeral directors, but...

0:41:080:41:11

It's a mild concern.

0:41:110:41:13

It's nothing, nothing major.

0:41:130:41:15

Now, there's another building which is not next door but not far away,

0:41:150:41:19

around the corner, a short walk, and that's a prison.

0:41:190:41:21

-Yes.

-Does that give you any doubts or worries?

0:41:210:41:25

If you can have a pretty looking prison,

0:41:250:41:28

it's quite a pretty looking prison.

0:41:280:41:30

The wall is obviously old-fashioned, kind of castley image,

0:41:300:41:34

rather than barbed wire and...

0:41:340:41:36

-..railings and things.

-Yeah.

-So, that one doesn't actually worry me.

0:41:370:41:42

How long do you want the turnaround to be?

0:41:420:41:45

I would like the turnaround to be next Tuesday, obviously.

0:41:450:41:48

But I think that might be a bit optimistic,

0:41:480:41:51

given the amount of work doing here.

0:41:510:41:53

Optimistically, I would say three months.

0:41:530:41:56

I anticipate it'll take four.

0:41:560:41:58

Well, you've got the experience. You know what can be done.

0:41:580:42:01

You've taken on worse.

0:42:010:42:02

Oh, considerably.

0:42:020:42:04

Yes, and indeed bigger projects than this one.

0:42:040:42:09

Best of luck, Bernie. Can't wait to see what you do with the place.

0:42:090:42:12

-Congratulations again.

-Thank you very much.

0:42:120:42:15

So another property for experienced developer Bernie,

0:42:170:42:20

and he's got some big plans to turn this round,

0:42:200:42:23

but will his builder Ray be able to transform that cellar into something

0:42:230:42:27

more homely, creating a third bedroom and a good family bathroom

0:42:270:42:32

on the first floor? You can find out later in the show.

0:42:320:42:35

We've seen what's happened to one of the properties,

0:42:380:42:41

but we've still got two to catch up with.

0:42:410:42:43

Yes, did they stick to the script

0:42:430:42:45

or did it all unravel in the final act?

0:42:450:42:47

Time to find out.

0:42:470:42:49

Let's go back and see.

0:42:490:42:50

Time to get back to the market town of Brynmawr,

0:42:520:42:55

around 30 miles north of Cardiff, where I saw this teeny,

0:42:550:42:59

tiny one-bed cottage that had a guide price to match.

0:42:590:43:04

Just £8,000.

0:43:040:43:07

# I-I-I-I-I'm not free

0:43:070:43:12

# Oh, but I'm cheap... #

0:43:120:43:13

OK, £8,000

0:43:150:43:16

is still a fair amount of money, but not for a house.

0:43:160:43:19

However, on closer inspection,

0:43:190:43:21

this began to seem less and less of a bargain.

0:43:210:43:24

Downstairs, really what you've got is this one room.

0:43:250:43:31

It may have been small, but it did have everything one person needs.

0:43:320:43:36

Even if it wasn't all under one roof.

0:43:360:43:39

This actually, believe it or not,

0:43:420:43:44

is the only toilet and bathroom facilities in the property.

0:43:440:43:49

-16?

-When it came to auction, they may have gone way over the guide,

0:43:510:43:55

but Graham and his wife Lima still bought the property for £15,500,

0:43:550:44:01

and the pair had some big plans for this little house.

0:44:010:44:04

What we want to do is increase the footprint, obviously,

0:44:060:44:09

so we're going to push the front out, up to the roof line,

0:44:090:44:11

and come just up at the back.

0:44:110:44:15

Right. When you say push out, you mean, what?

0:44:150:44:18

-Take out the wall or...?

-Basically, all this has got to come down.

0:44:180:44:21

-The whole thing?

-Yes.

-Knock the whole house down?

0:44:210:44:23

More than likely.

0:44:230:44:24

Their other plans included, of course,

0:44:240:44:27

getting the outdoor bathroom back inside the main house.

0:44:270:44:31

But as it was a mid-terrace property, any building work

0:44:310:44:34

would be subject to getting a party wall agreement from both neighbours.

0:44:340:44:38

So, would Graham and Lima get permission to get

0:44:420:44:45

the party started on their renovation project

0:44:450:44:48

that had a £25,000 budget and a six-month timescale?

0:44:480:44:52

Let's find out.

0:44:520:44:53

# It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

0:44:570:45:00

# Cry if I want to

0:45:000:45:02

# Cry if I want to

0:45:020:45:04

# You would cry too if it happened to you... #

0:45:040:45:08

Three years on and the house is still just a shell,

0:45:120:45:15

but that doesn't mean that nothing's been done.

0:45:150:45:17

The house has been demolished and rebuilt with extensions

0:45:170:45:21

at the front and rear and there is now space to fit a bathroom inside.

0:45:210:45:25

An archaeological survey Graham and Lima were obliged to undertake

0:45:290:45:33

before beginning work revealed a large fireplace

0:45:330:45:37

which has opened up the living area.

0:45:370:45:39

It wasn't all good news,

0:45:420:45:43

as the dig did put them three grand out of pocket and delayed

0:45:430:45:47

the beginning of the build, and, after that, well,

0:45:470:45:50

things didn't get much easier.

0:45:500:45:53

The main complication was something called the Party Wall Act

0:45:530:45:56

which means that when you work like this,

0:45:560:46:00

you have to engage party wall surveyors for here

0:46:000:46:05

and next door and next door.

0:46:050:46:08

The building owner has to pay for all the surveyors

0:46:080:46:12

and before you know it, you're embroiled in endless litigation

0:46:120:46:18

and surveyors and problems and it becomes quite a hodgepodge.

0:46:180:46:24

# You would cry too if it happened to you... #

0:46:240:46:28

The party wall issue took up quite a bit of time and money,

0:46:290:46:33

but it turned out the law degree Graham has

0:46:330:46:36

now graduated from came in handy.

0:46:360:46:38

He even wrote his thesis on the Party Wall Act,

0:46:380:46:42

but even when they were able to start building,

0:46:420:46:45

luck still wasn't on their side.

0:46:450:46:47

We were going to have a construction called S-I-P, SIP construction,

0:46:480:46:54

which is two sheets of OSB board with foam in the middle and they're

0:46:540:46:59

structural and you put the whole building up, including the roof,

0:46:590:47:03

in these panels.

0:47:030:47:05

So we paid for that, £23,000, and the day before delivery,

0:47:050:47:11

the firm in Scotland went into administration.

0:47:110:47:14

That was a tough blow, not just in the financial stakes,

0:47:140:47:19

but the idea of using OSB, or oriented strand board,

0:47:190:47:24

would have helped gain a few vital dimensions inside the property.

0:47:240:47:27

However, they've bravely picked themselves up

0:47:270:47:30

and carried on using the traditional cavity wall block construction

0:47:300:47:34

and expect the house to be completed in nine months,

0:47:340:47:38

taking the timescale to almost four years.

0:47:380:47:41

It's undoubtedly been stressful and taken way longer than anticipated,

0:47:410:47:46

but what have all these setbacks cost them?

0:47:460:47:49

We thought about 20, certainly to demolish and build.

0:47:500:47:53

I remember you saying on camera, £25,000.

0:47:530:47:54

OK, 20-25.

0:47:540:47:57

We've probably nearly trebled it.

0:47:570:48:00

I don't want to say any more!

0:48:020:48:03

It speaks for itself.

0:48:050:48:07

At least they're managing to be cheerful.

0:48:070:48:09

Graham and Lima seem to have been very unlucky so far.

0:48:090:48:13

In the end, Graham reckons he's spent 40 grand,

0:48:150:48:18

with another £10,000 to complete.

0:48:180:48:21

But it's not over until the agents sing.

0:48:210:48:23

So, what do two local ones think of Graham and Lima's

0:48:230:48:27

£65,500 investment?

0:48:270:48:30

The property is sort of unusual with it being the fact that

0:48:300:48:33

it's a one-bed. It's very sort of cottagey and small.

0:48:330:48:36

It's very sort of cosy, quaint feel about the property.

0:48:360:48:40

They've made some sensible alterations,

0:48:400:48:42

so I think I would have done very similar to what they've done.

0:48:420:48:45

My first impressions of the property, they've utilised the space

0:48:450:48:47

they have quite well. It's very well proportioned.

0:48:470:48:50

I think they've done everything they can to maximise the space

0:48:500:48:52

in the property without losing the garden at the front, also.

0:48:520:48:55

It may not be the investment of the century,

0:48:550:48:58

but the agents are happy enough.

0:48:580:49:00

And if Graham and Lima were to put it on the market currently,

0:49:000:49:03

it could be worth between 15 and 35 grand.

0:49:030:49:07

But if they complete the renovation to a good standard,

0:49:070:49:10

that could rise to 50,000.

0:49:100:49:12

So how do they feel about the numbers?

0:49:120:49:14

As Graham kept saying, he's not doing it for profit.

0:49:160:49:19

Unlike me!

0:49:190:49:20

It may have started out as for profit,

0:49:210:49:24

but those were the good old days.

0:49:240:49:26

Good thing it's not for profit,

0:49:270:49:29

as the couple could stand to make a £15,500 loss.

0:49:290:49:34

But as they're planning on holding on to the property long-term,

0:49:340:49:37

what income could they see on the rental market?

0:49:370:49:40

They could be looking between about 325 to 350 per calendar month.

0:49:400:49:44

If the property were to be placed on the rental market,

0:49:440:49:47

I would expect it to achieve around £350-375 per calendar month.

0:49:470:49:51

Oh, I'm pleasantly surprised.

0:49:510:49:53

I didn't think, given its size, that it would command that.

0:49:530:49:57

So, jolly good.

0:49:570:49:59

It's in fact a relatively good yield of almost 7%,

0:49:590:50:03

so all is not lost.

0:50:030:50:05

But how are they feeling after the long journey here?

0:50:050:50:08

I feel...quite positive about the whole experience and...

0:50:090:50:15

..all the way through, I would not be beaten.

0:50:160:50:19

I was constantly advised to shove it on the market, get shot of it,

0:50:190:50:23

but I want to see it through and I will.

0:50:230:50:25

Time to return to the county town of Maidstone in Kent,

0:50:300:50:33

where I saw this two-bed semi guided at 185 to £195,000,

0:50:330:50:40

just a stone's throw away from Maidstone Prison.

0:50:400:50:43

Inside, there was a decent sized reception room

0:50:450:50:48

with some nice original features

0:50:480:50:51

and a kitchen that would need to go.

0:50:510:50:53

With a downstairs bathroom at the rear of the property,

0:50:530:50:56

it was pretty standard fare.

0:50:560:50:59

But the steep stairs weren't great

0:51:000:51:02

and seemed to upset the flow of the living space.

0:51:020:51:05

Upstairs, the smaller of the two bedrooms was unremarkable,

0:51:050:51:09

but the larger master room was a room with a view

0:51:090:51:12

I'd rather not have.

0:51:120:51:14

So here's the en-suite.

0:51:140:51:15

It's not quite like any I've seen before.

0:51:150:51:17

I've heard of quirky, but actually seeing through the door

0:51:170:51:20

to the toilet? That's most unusual.

0:51:200:51:22

I said it was unusual!

0:51:270:51:29

Anyway, what made this house special was the additional space

0:51:290:51:33

at the top and bottom, and converting either

0:51:330:51:36

would lend itself to extra living space.

0:51:360:51:38

Successful property developer and entrepreneur Bernie

0:51:410:51:45

saw the opportunity and nabbed the property

0:51:450:51:49

for 196 grand on auction day.

0:51:490:51:51

With over 30 properties already under his belt,

0:51:510:51:54

he and trusted builder Ray were ready to whip this one into shape.

0:51:540:52:00

You're the brains behind the finances and Ray comes in

0:52:000:52:04

and he's fantastic, isn't he?

0:52:040:52:07

I tend to look on it as I'm the good-looking one of

0:52:070:52:10

the arrangement and Ray does all the work.

0:52:100:52:13

Bernie had assigned good old Ray 35 to 40 grand to do the work,

0:52:140:52:19

and as for timescale...

0:52:190:52:21

I'd like the turnaround to be next Tuesday, obviously!

0:52:220:52:25

I think that might be a bit optimistic,

0:52:250:52:28

given the amount of work doing here.

0:52:280:52:30

Optimistically, we'll say three months.

0:52:300:52:33

I anticipate it'll take four.

0:52:330:52:35

Well, we've returned six months later

0:52:350:52:38

to see how Bernie and Ray got on.

0:52:380:52:40

By moving that central staircase,

0:52:490:52:52

the whole downstairs has been utterly transformed.

0:52:520:52:55

The kitchen has been moved to the rear of the property

0:52:580:53:00

and the result is truly stunning.

0:53:000:53:02

The basement is now a usable family living space and,

0:53:100:53:13

like the rest of the house, it's been rewired,

0:53:130:53:16

re-plastered and has new carpets and brand-new double glazing throughout.

0:53:160:53:21

Moving upstairs, the bedrooms are looking much fresher,

0:53:240:53:28

and that glass fronted en-suite is gone.

0:53:280:53:30

In fact, by nicking a bit of space from each room,

0:53:320:53:35

combined with moving the staircase,

0:53:350:53:38

there's enough room for a family bathroom!

0:53:380:53:41

So, Bernie, just how do you move a staircase?

0:53:410:53:44

I personally have absolutely no idea because the lads come in and do it.

0:53:440:53:48

It's actually a lot easier than you'd think.

0:53:480:53:52

To start with, you just destroy it and that literally takes a morning,

0:53:520:53:56

and then you've got a carpenter

0:53:560:53:58

building the new one in a different place,

0:53:580:54:01

cutting an appropriate sized hole in the ceiling.

0:54:010:54:04

It's surprisingly not difficult.

0:54:040:54:07

You make it sound so easy, Bernie.

0:54:090:54:11

Were there any challenges at all?

0:54:110:54:12

The work in moving the stairs and shuffling the rooms

0:54:140:54:17

is the biggest change that people would observe,

0:54:170:54:19

but it wasn't actually that big a task for the lads.

0:54:190:54:22

Sometimes when you start taking things apart

0:54:220:54:26

you discover all manner of horrors.

0:54:260:54:28

We came across a four-foot snake skin in one property that we did!

0:54:280:54:33

Never did find its owner.

0:54:330:54:35

Now, that would be a Homes Under The Hammer first.

0:54:360:54:39

S-s-so, was he s-s-satisfied with all the work done

0:54:390:54:42

by Ray and his team?

0:54:420:54:44

I'm very happy with the team.

0:54:460:54:47

We've done many properties now and they do do a cracking job,

0:54:470:54:51

so I don't get my hands dirty.

0:54:510:54:53

Closest I've come to is moving a mouse and poking at the keyboard

0:54:530:54:56

and looking after the spreadsheets behind it all.

0:54:560:54:59

He's looked after them well,

0:55:000:55:02

as the project's come in at just £1,000 over budget

0:55:020:55:05

and the work on the house itself took four months.

0:55:050:55:08

But there was a slight delay as the builders were working on multiple

0:55:080:55:12

properties. So how does he feel now it's finished?

0:55:120:55:16

As I always say, when we start these projects,

0:55:160:55:19

it's a case of wipe your feet on the way out to keep the road clean.

0:55:190:55:22

Looking at it now, it's a lovely home.

0:55:230:55:25

I'm very, very pleased with it.

0:55:270:55:28

Will the professionals be as pleased with the property's transformation?

0:55:300:55:34

Let's see what two local estate agents made

0:55:340:55:37

of Bernie's £237,000 investment.

0:55:370:55:40

The property's been refurbished to a really high standard.

0:55:400:55:43

I think that the neutral colour is perfect

0:55:430:55:46

for any first-time buyer or investor.

0:55:460:55:48

The layout is perfect to really maximise the surface area

0:55:480:55:52

on offer, so it's really, really good.

0:55:520:55:54

I think it's a great house.

0:55:540:55:56

I think it's had some great improvement works done throughout.

0:55:560:55:59

Decorated to quite a high standard.

0:55:590:56:01

Obviously, some work's been done in the cellar,

0:56:010:56:04

which does give a bit more reception space.

0:56:040:56:06

It's a great house, all in all.

0:56:060:56:07

Bernie purchased the house for £196,000

0:56:070:56:11

and has spent 41 grand doing it up.

0:56:110:56:14

So, will he make a profit on the £237,000 costs?

0:56:140:56:19

I believe the resale value of this property would be on a guide from

0:56:200:56:24

£230,000 to £250,000.

0:56:240:56:27

I would suggest the resale value would be between 240 and £250,000.

0:56:270:56:33

That top figure of 250 grand would mean a potential profit

0:56:330:56:37

of £13,000 minus taxes and fees.

0:56:370:56:41

So how does Bernie feel about the result?

0:56:410:56:43

Very disappointed in that, given we've had two other

0:56:470:56:52

local estate agents come in who both agreed on

0:56:520:56:56

a 310 price, aiming at 300, so...

0:56:560:57:00

The value of £310,000 is based on the basement room

0:57:000:57:04

as a third bedroom, but currently the security bars

0:57:040:57:08

above the window would prevent escape in case of fire,

0:57:080:57:11

so, according to building regulations,

0:57:110:57:14

they'll have to be removed before it can be classified as a bedroom.

0:57:140:57:18

Something to get trusted builder Ray on to, but what comes next?

0:57:180:57:22

What's next for Bernie? We have two houses that are currently wasteland

0:57:220:57:27

with a couple of broken supermarket trolleys on it

0:57:270:57:31

that needs...they need to be built.

0:57:310:57:32

We have a few properties like this one up for sale.

0:57:320:57:36

On a personal note, in three weeks' time,

0:57:360:57:38

I have a family wedding in Las Vegas to look forward to,

0:57:380:57:41

so, on a personal note, my hope is to survive!

0:57:410:57:45

Well, there you go. Sometimes property developing

0:57:500:57:53

can feel like a marathon and not just a sprint.

0:57:530:57:55

It can require stamina and endurance to cross that finish line.

0:57:550:57:59

Yes, so join us next time for more Homes Under The Hammer

0:57:590:58:01

-and we'll find out who's got what it takes.

-Bye-bye.

-Goodbye.

0:58:010:58:04

Martin, Dion and Martel check out properties in Norwich, Brynmawr and Maidstone. One has a guide price at auction of just £8,000 but will need a pretty penny spent on it to bring it up to scratch.