Episode 32 Homes Under the Hammer


Episode 32

The team look at a terraced house in Wolverhampton which is in a near-derelict condition, a terrace in Aberdare and a three-bedroom semi in Romford.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello and welcome to the show.

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Often, people are looking for different things

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in a property purchase.

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For some, it's a home. Others, an investment.

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But what they all have is that hope to turn it into a profit.

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Yes, and one place you might find a profitable potential investment

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is your local property auction.

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If you're looking for value for money,

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investing at a property auction

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could very well help you achieve that goal.

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That's not to say it's always a walk in the park.

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Many auction properties need extensive renovation work.

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Yes, let's see who wasn't afraid of getting stuck in on today's show.

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In Wolverhampton, a three-bed terraced house

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presents a massive challenge.

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I hadn't banked on this being quite such a mess.

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And a house I see in Romford doesn't get off to a promising start either.

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What isn't a good sign is that.

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And things don't seem to improve much

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when I see this two-bed terraced house in Aberdare.

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Well, you can see the state it's in. Not attractive at all!

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All of these properties have been sold at auction

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and we'll find out who bought them and what they paid for them

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when they went under the hammer.

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Yours, sir, well done.

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This is the fair city of Wolverhampton which, surprisingly,

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wasn't officially a city until the year 2000.

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The then government decided to get on board with the millennial fever

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that was all the rage back then and granted three towns -

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Preston, Brighton and Wolverhampton -

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city status, calling them Millennium Cities.

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This street is a 15-minute walk from Wolverhampton city centre

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and, right next door to the property,

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you have a local convenience store,

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which is great if you need to pop out and get a pint of milk.

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The guide price was £15,000 to £20,000 and the catalogue described

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the property as needing extensive modernisation and repair,

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which sounds pretty dramatic.

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Wish me luck as I look inside.

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OK.

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So, clearly, an awful lot needs done here,

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but here's your first reception room.

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It's small. Oh, dear.

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You've got glass over the place.

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The windows been smashed and there's metal grids on the other side.

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There's parts of the roof that have massive holes in it.

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Loads of letters!

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Cobwebs, but I think that's kind of a small problem

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when you see the state here.

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More holes. Holes everywhere.

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I hadn't banked on this being quite such a mess.

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And here, you can see daylight coming through the roof,

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which is quite something.

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There may well be problems with damp, with subsidence.

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The wallpaper's falling off

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but, you know, that's a minor issue again.

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And then... Oh, my word.

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This is just rubble.

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I'll try and guess what's through here.

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I'd say that's the kitchen - there's not much to talk of -

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and also a bathroom, which you would expect in a property of this age.

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You'd have to think about getting it upstairs,

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because it'd be far more desirable to a buyer.

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But if I look worried and a bit concerned, it's because I am.

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I mean, health and safety?

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I wouldn't go up there, well, even WITH this.

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Nah!

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# Hey, hey, hey, hey!

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# Ooh... #

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It's such a shame to see a house forgotten about like this.

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The state it's in is probably down to a combination

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of water ingress and poor maintenance.

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# Hey, hey, hey, hey! #

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Outside, the garden is a decent size, but the back of the property

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doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.

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Those cracks make me think the whole wing

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containing the kitchen and bathroom might need to be pulled down.

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# Don't you forget about me... #

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Now, normally at this stage,

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I'd take you for a wee tour upstairs, but we have a problem.

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The upstairs area is just one big hole,

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so we won't be venturing up there.

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# Looking back on when we first met

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# I cannot escape and I cannot forget

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# Baby, you're the one

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# You still turn me on

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# You can make me whole again... #

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Upstairs, the three bedrooms are pretty much like the rest.

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We sensibly took all the safety precautions we could,

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but I wouldn't recommend a casual tour of this place at all,

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not even to see the open-air toilet.

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# You can make me whole again. #

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Now, there's a legal clause relating to this property

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which you don't see every day,

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and I hope the buyer's done their homework

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and knows what they're getting into.

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At exchange of contracts,

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they would have paid 10% of the purchase price.

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They pay the remaining 90% when the job is done

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and that has to be done in 12 months.

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If not, they lose their deposit and they have to hand back the property,

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which is a nightmare situation.

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And, in this case,

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the house is being sold on behalf of Wolverhampton Council.

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So, after 12 months,

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an inspector from the council will come and assess the house

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to check the repairs adhere to the Decent Home Standards.

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So this house could potentially be one big gamble,

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but could it be worth it?

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Where do you even start with a project like this?

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We asked along a property expert from the auction house

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that sold it to tell us more about the house, guided at 15 to 20 grand.

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When you get a project like this,

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your first thing to do is to check out

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the stability of the property

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and the framework, because if your framework's not right,

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you're not going to be able to put anything in it.

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I think I would have the roof checked out

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and I would also sort out the wing addition at the back,

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so that we know whether it is going to need demolition and rebuild

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or a repair and rebuild.

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I would imagine that one's going to have to spend

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something in the region of £40,000 to £50,000.

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And that is being kind, with repairing the wing

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rather than knocking it down and replacing it.

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50 grand?!

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Let's hope whoever bought this stuck close to the guide price.

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Could there be any profit to be made, once renovated?

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Your normal pricing on something in this sort of road

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would be in the region of £80,000 to 85,000.

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If it's done particularly well,

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you might make a bit more on an open market,

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selling it to somebody who wants to live in it.

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I think it's fair to say this is not a project for the faint-hearted.

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Pretty much everything needs done,

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starting with the fundamentals like walls, ceilings, windows.

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But if the buyer can get it close to the lower end of the guide price,

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it might just be worth all that hard work.

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So who agreed? Let's head to auction to find out.

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Three-bedroom mid-terraced house in Wolverhampton

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on behalf of Wolverhampton Council. Start me, if you will.

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30,000, am I bid?

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25, if we must?

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At 25, thank you, sir.

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At 25, I'm bid. Is it 30 now?

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30, sir? Thank you. I've got you first at 30.

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Who's first at 35?

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35, sir? Thank you, at 35.

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40? 40.

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45? 45.

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50? No.

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At 45 on the aisle, are we all done?

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At £45,000,

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first time, second time, third and last time.

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That's yours, sir, well done.

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Hidden from view was successful bidder Amir,

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who paid £45,000 for the dilapidated terraced house.

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Amir is originally from Iran but now lives in Birmingham,

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and I caught up with him for a chat about his new acquisition.

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-Amir, congratulations.

-Thank you.

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Where to start with here?

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Let's go back to the auction, how was the auction for you?

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It was the first time I've been to an auction

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but this was good, a good experience.

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Had you looked inside this property before auction?

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I'm guessing you had.

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In the auction, I had the catalogue and after,

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I had the time and I looked at it online by internet

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and seen the location and I think, "I'll go for it."

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So, hold on, this is the first day you've been inside this house?

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Yes, that's the first time I've been inside the house.

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You'd looked in the catalogue and you'd looked at a map online?

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-Yes.

-And that was it?

-Yes.

-Now, be honest, Amir.

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When you saw this for the first time, what did you think?

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At first, I got a bit scared but after I keep my mind, I said,

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"I can do it," and I'll try to finish it.

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That's a big challenge for me.

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If I finish that, I can improve myself for next job.

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I like that positive mental attitude, Amir.

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After all, he does have a bit of experience,

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having renovated his own flat in Birmingham,

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which I imagine was really well done.

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My job is in welding.

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I'm working for the companies with cars.

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But at the moment I have to just take six months off

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and just focus in this house and the work here.

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So your time span is six months to get this done?

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I try to finish quicker than six months.

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But I put a six-month maximum.

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OK. What's your budget?

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-Around £25,000.

-OK.

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Do you have people you think who can help you?

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You have experts who can help you?

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I know a few people from my ex-job, plus their people and the builders.

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But I'm trying to do myself as much as I can,

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but if I need a help, I will call them.

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What do you want to do to the place?

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First, a good clean. Give it a good clean.

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Take the wallpaper out, put the new plaster, central heating,

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kitchen and bathroom.

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Just slowly, step-by-step, go to front and see what's happened next.

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There's a big crack at the back of the property,

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what did you think of that?

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I will contact council.

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They will send some people to have a look.

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If they say that's OK, I can fill the crack and sort it.

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If not, I have to move to a different plan.

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Maybe I take that part out and build again.

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And that costs more money.

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So, worst-case scenario, they come back and say,

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"You're going to have to knock down walls."

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It's more than you even thought.

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What would you do?

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-I have to call back home and ask my family if they can help me.

-OK.

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So Plan B is to phone home and ask for a bit of help...

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-Yes.

-..with money?

-Yes.

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In this case, it's not the Bank Of Mum And Dad,

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it's the Bank Of Brother.

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But, hopefully, it won't come to that.

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Amir, there's a clause attached to this which doesn't often come up

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and that's that you pay your 10% deposit at auction

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but you don't have to pay the remaining 90%

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until you've renovated.

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You're aware of this?

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I didn't know that 90% I have to pay when I finish the house,

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but I knew that until 12 months, I have to finish this house

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after they put the house to my name.

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So, although there's so much to be done in the house,

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it's a good news day for you in that

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-you thought you had to pay the whole price?

-Yes.

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The downside is if you don't renovate this house

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in accordance with the Decent Homes Standard

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within 12 months, you have to let them keep the 10% deposit

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and you have to hand back the property.

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Yeah, this is the bad news.

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But I'm pretty sure in six months, I will finish this house.

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-I believe in you.

-Thank you.

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-You can do it. Good luck, Amir.

-Thank you.

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As a first investment property, Amir's got his work cut out for him.

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I mean, that's putting it mildly.

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EVERYTHING needs to be done, and within 12 months,

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and on a very small budget, and the margins are pretty tight.

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Do not get me wrong - I admire his enthusiasm,

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but I can't help but think Amir's being a bit naive.

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I hope he proves me wrong. We'll find out later in the show.

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Romford is a town in the East London borough of Havering.

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Apparently, in the 1930s, this area staged quite a remarkable event.

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Punters attending the greyhound races at Romford Stadium

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were witness to a different kind of animal whizzing around the track,

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because they had cheetahs racing there.

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This experiment didn't go to plan,

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as the cheetahs just weren't as interested in chasing the lure,

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so only two races happened.

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Although I'm not sure I believe this,

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I think it was because the cheetahs...

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were actually CHEATING.

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Anyway, let's move on to today's property.

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And the property I'm here to see

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is on this very busy and noisy main road.

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The house is a three-bed semidetached house

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with a guide price of 250 grand.

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Now, this is a good start.

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Off-street parking.

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Yes, it's not in a great condition, but what isn't a good sign is that.

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Let's hope it's not a sign of things to come.

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Let's check out inside.

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OK. That's good news. It's not as bad as I first thought.

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There is a hallway there but I'm going to go this way

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into a decent-sized lounge.

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I would want to get some brand-new windows in

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and we have got central heating as well.

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Not quite sure...

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HOLLOW THUMPS

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I like that sound, I like that sound,

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because you could incorporate this room

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to make a really good-sized lounge.

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Take this out completely.

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Round here, you've got a disappointing kitchen, actually.

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Not in great condition, very old-fashioned, and it's tiny.

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It just doesn't seem to fit

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the potential of a really nice-sized lounge.

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Then you've got this really small kitchen.

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You wouldn't really fit anything else more in here,

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no more cupboard space, cos it is tiny and restricted.

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The potential in that side of the house is very good.

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But the kitchen has disappointed me.

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# I can only disappoint you

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# Always... #

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By switching things up and doing a bit of rejigging,

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you could maybe make this kitchen flow right through

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into the main living area,

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which would make a massive difference.

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Right, the bedrooms - you've got two good-sized bedrooms

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just off this landing here.

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I can see in the bedroom at the back, it's a good size,

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and you've got some fitted wardrobes,

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which I think you'd need to take out and put something modern in there.

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The bedroom at the front of the house is more or less the same size.

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Good space, room for a double bed, no problem.

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Looking out on the front of the house.

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And the third bedroom is more of a box bedroom.

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In the corner there, it looks like it's damp but it's not.

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It's more mould.

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Maybe that's because this house has been closed up,

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there's been no airflow.

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And the bathroom.

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I'm disappointed in the bathroom.

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Like downstairs, and the kitchen,

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it just seems to be a little bit too small for the house.

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Apart from the bathroom and the kitchen,

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I'm pretty happy with this place.

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Yes, I am.

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# Please convince me... #

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I know I don't sound that sure right now...

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# Tell me so it makes sense to me

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# How much better it's all gonna be

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# And please, please, please convince me... #

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But we're not finished here,

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as I haven't had a chance to explore out the back yet.

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As you come out, you've got a good-sized back garden as well.

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It's in a bit of a mess.

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Needs some work doing to it but...

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..not too bad. What I am thinking is that lean-to conservatory

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has seen better days.

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I'd be inclined to knock that down

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and get a brick-built extension done.

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You could possibly maybe bring it out to as far as here.

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Check on the planning, of course, but it would be worth looking into.

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And you still have a good-sized back garden as well.

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It's positive out here.

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Finally, something to put a smile on my face.

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By extending out here,

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you'd solve the issue of the small kitchen

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and maybe even add a downstairs loo as well.

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# Things are looking up, oh, finally! #

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Time to see if a local estate agent shares my new-found enthusiasm

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for this East London house,

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guided at £250,000.

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A rear extension would be a good asset.

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If there's a possibility of doing a loft extension, and an en-suite,

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then that would add value to the property.

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So it would certainly be worth looking into.

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Adding a bedroom in the family market does make sense.

0:18:180:18:22

But if you were looking to sell this on for a profit,

0:18:220:18:24

would there be enough added in the sales figures

0:18:240:18:27

to make the expense of a loft conversion worthwhile?

0:18:270:18:30

As a three-bed with a ground-floor extension,

0:18:300:18:33

the agent thinks it would be worth around 380 grand.

0:18:330:18:38

If the property was extended to the rear

0:18:380:18:40

and a fourth bedroom was provided,

0:18:400:18:41

I would expect it to achieve in the region of £425,000 to £450,000.

0:18:410:18:47

So not as bad as I first thought.

0:18:490:18:52

But one of the first things I do

0:18:520:18:54

is I'd get some decent, double-glazed windows in,

0:18:540:18:58

as it is quite noisy out here.

0:18:580:19:01

One of the things I do like about this project is it's got the scope

0:19:010:19:03

to extend out the back as well.

0:19:030:19:06

Good venture, this, I like it.

0:19:060:19:08

Let's find out who else did when it went under the hammer.

0:19:080:19:11

Er, 300 anywhere?

0:19:120:19:14

If not, you tell me. Where do we start?

0:19:140:19:17

Cor, house in London, under 300!

0:19:170:19:20

260,000. Are you sure?

0:19:200:19:23

Thank you. Yes?

0:19:230:19:24

260,000. 260.

0:19:240:19:27

Standing up, 265...

0:19:270:19:29

There were a few interested bidders at this early lot.

0:19:290:19:33

We rejoin at £298,000.

0:19:330:19:37

298, 300. 300 down here.

0:19:370:19:40

302, elsewhere?

0:19:400:19:42

You're going to lose it.

0:19:420:19:44

First time.

0:19:440:19:45

Second time.

0:19:450:19:47

Third and last time, if you're all done?

0:19:470:19:49

Sold, 300. Goodbye.

0:19:520:19:54

Out of the sight of our cameras was Singh,

0:19:540:19:57

who paid 300 grand for this house.

0:19:570:20:00

I met him back at the pad to find out his plans.

0:20:010:20:03

-Singh, nice to meet you.

-Nice to meet you, mate.

0:20:040:20:06

-How you doing?

-Congratulations.

0:20:060:20:08

-Nice place, loads of potential.

-Yes. Lots of space here.

0:20:080:20:11

So was it you that found this, Singh?

0:20:110:20:13

It was my brother-in-law who looked into this.

0:20:130:20:16

-He's the one who found it.

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

0:20:160:20:18

What was it about this place that attracted you in?

0:20:180:20:20

It's the area. It's coming up, the area.

0:20:200:20:23

I don't live too far from the area. So I know the area well.

0:20:230:20:26

Was it this kind of property you were looking for?

0:20:260:20:29

Yeah. This is what I do.

0:20:290:20:31

I'm a builder by trade, so I do building properties and stuff.

0:20:310:20:35

What did you see, then? As soon as you came in here

0:20:350:20:37

and you've got a builder's brain, haven't you?

0:20:370:20:39

What did you think as soon as you came in?

0:20:390:20:41

Nice and spacious, needs some work done to it, nothing we can't do.

0:20:410:20:45

Not an awful lot really, is there, that needs to be...?

0:20:450:20:48

Just a bit of make-up, really.

0:20:480:20:49

Bit of make-up? I like that one! Not heard that one before.

0:20:490:20:52

I might use that one.

0:20:520:20:54

OK, Singh, tell me, a little bit more detail,

0:20:540:20:56

what you're going to do down here first.

0:20:560:20:58

Downstairs, we want to create an extra shower

0:20:580:21:01

in the bottom bathroom and extension.

0:21:010:21:03

So, the bathroom, where are you going to put the bathroom?

0:21:030:21:05

-Just where the old kitchen is.

-OK.

-In that area.

0:21:050:21:08

And you're extending that way?

0:21:080:21:11

Yes, 4.5 metres out.

0:21:110:21:12

-Planning?

-Planning has already been submitted, yes.

0:21:120:21:15

-Has it, really?

-It's been about three or four weeks already.

0:21:150:21:18

-Ah, so you're forward planning?

-Have to.

0:21:180:21:20

It takes about two months for the council to come through.

0:21:200:21:23

With all his experience in the building trade,

0:21:240:21:27

Singh knows it's best to get those plans in ASAP.

0:21:270:21:31

He isn't just stopping downstairs

0:21:310:21:33

and hopes to add a fourth bedroom and en suite bathroom

0:21:330:21:36

in that loft space.

0:21:360:21:37

He also hopes to get a bigger family bathroom

0:21:370:21:40

by removing the chimney breast in the bedroom

0:21:400:21:43

and pinching more space from the bathroom.

0:21:430:21:45

Sounds like a lot of work that's not going to come cheap.

0:21:450:21:49

So what's your budget for the whole project?

0:21:490:21:51

I mean, we're looking at around about 50K.

0:21:510:21:53

-£50,000 to spend?

-That's right.

0:21:530:21:56

Cos most of the works we do ourselves anyway.

0:21:560:21:58

It was just the materials and a bit of labour.

0:21:580:22:00

-Got you.

-Most of the work will be done by myself

0:22:000:22:02

and my brother-in-law.

0:22:020:22:04

And how long is it going to take you, if it's mainly you?

0:22:040:22:06

I think it's probably about five months, I reckon.

0:22:060:22:09

But I'm away for three weeks with the family holiday.

0:22:090:22:11

-Where are you going on your holiday, by the way?

-India.

0:22:110:22:14

-Oh, really?

-Yeah.

-You lucky man!

0:22:140:22:16

Is that while it's all cold here, we're freezing here

0:22:160:22:18

-and you're going off to the sun?

-It'll be cold there as well.

0:22:180:22:21

-Oh, will it?

-It'll be cold. There's winter.

0:22:210:22:23

It's not as cold as here but it's cold.

0:22:230:22:24

What kind of temperatures would it be there?

0:22:240:22:26

That time, probably mid-20s.

0:22:260:22:28

Oh, we feel sorry for you, Singh! Eh?

0:22:280:22:31

In your shorts and T-shirts!

0:22:310:22:33

Over there, it's probably colder in the morning and evenings

0:22:330:22:35

but during the day, the sun comes out and it's quite nice.

0:22:350:22:38

So will that be in the middle of this renovation?

0:22:380:22:40

-It will be, yes. That was pre-planned already.

-Gotcha.

0:22:400:22:44

Will you leave people here working on this?

0:22:440:22:46

Depending on what stage I get to, hopefully decorating and stuff,

0:22:460:22:49

I have a couple of guys in there.

0:22:490:22:50

Are you happy with the way things are going so far?

0:22:500:22:52

Yeah, so far, so good.

0:22:520:22:53

All the planning has been submitted, so hopefully within the next month,

0:22:530:22:56

we'll hear from the council.

0:22:560:22:59

Going to get the overalls on?

0:22:590:23:01

Definitely. We're all coming in, starting tomorrow.

0:23:010:23:03

-Are you really?

-We are, yeah.

0:23:030:23:05

OK, I'm going to say goodbye and get out of your way.

0:23:050:23:07

-Lovely.

-Good luck.

-Thank you very much.

0:23:070:23:09

Good luck, Singh. Cheers.

0:23:090:23:10

So Singh doesn't seem to have any reservations

0:23:130:23:15

about this project at all, and I'm kind of with him.

0:23:150:23:19

He wants to do a loft extension and a single-storey extension

0:23:190:23:23

to about here,

0:23:230:23:25

but he's given himself a healthy 50 grand budget

0:23:250:23:28

AND he's going to be doing a lot of the work himself.

0:23:280:23:31

I think he'll be fine.

0:23:310:23:32

You can find out how he gets on later in the programme.

0:23:320:23:35

Coming up, I'm off to Wales to see a house

0:23:360:23:38

that looks better out than in.

0:23:380:23:40

If that bit was, you know, OK...

0:23:400:23:43

HE SIGHS

0:23:440:23:45

..this bit really isn't.

0:23:450:23:46

And we return to Romford,

0:23:480:23:50

hoping the house is finished, inside and out.

0:23:500:23:54

I'm happy with the result.

0:23:540:23:55

-MARTEL:

-It was back in the Millennium City of Wolverhampton

0:24:000:24:03

where we first came across a three-bed terraced house that was...

0:24:030:24:07

Well, OK, let's not pull our punches.

0:24:070:24:09

It was in an awful state.

0:24:090:24:12

Truly awful.

0:24:120:24:13

-# Tell it like it is

-Oh, tell it!

0:24:140:24:18

# Tell it... #

0:24:190:24:21

I hadn't banked on this being quite such a mess.

0:24:220:24:26

And, here, you can see daylight coming through the roof.

0:24:260:24:30

And then... Oh, my word!

0:24:300:24:32

This is just rubble.

0:24:330:24:35

I'll try and guess what's through here.

0:24:350:24:37

I'd say that's the kitchen and also a bathroom,

0:24:370:24:41

which you would expect in a property of this age.

0:24:410:24:43

You'd have to think about getting it upstairs

0:24:430:24:45

because it would be far more desirable to a buyer.

0:24:450:24:49

But if I look worried and a bit concerned, it's because I am.

0:24:490:24:54

# I'm worried about you

0:24:540:24:55

# Babe, I'm worried about you

0:24:570:24:59

# Babe, I'm worried about you, baby

0:25:000:25:02

# And you better be worried about me... #

0:25:020:25:05

Well, there was so much to worry about -

0:25:070:25:09

holes in the floor, holes in the ceiling, holes in the walls.

0:25:090:25:13

Great if you want an open-air toilet.

0:25:130:25:16

And there was no doubting this house had certainly reached rock bottom.

0:25:160:25:21

So why would you take on such a large project?

0:25:210:25:23

Well, there were incentives from the council,

0:25:240:25:26

allowing you to pay just 10% of the hammer price

0:25:260:25:29

and then paying the other 90%

0:25:290:25:32

once you'd completed it to a standard checked by the council.

0:25:320:25:36

Sounds good, but of course, there was a catch.

0:25:360:25:39

That has to be done in 12 months.

0:25:390:25:41

If not, they lose their deposit and they have to hand back the property,

0:25:410:25:46

which is a nightmare situation.

0:25:460:25:48

So the clock was ticking from the moment the hammer fell

0:25:490:25:52

on Amir's £45,000 purchase.

0:25:520:25:56

And, having not viewed the property,

0:25:560:25:57

he was initially unaware of the daunting task he faced.

0:25:570:26:01

Now, be honest, Amir - when you saw this for the first time,

0:26:010:26:05

what did you think?

0:26:050:26:06

At first, I was a bit scared but after I keep my mind, I said,

0:26:060:26:10

"I can do it," and I'll try to finish it.

0:26:100:26:13

That's the big challenge for me.

0:26:130:26:15

If I finish that, I can improve myself for the next job.

0:26:150:26:18

Iranian-born Amir was a welder by trade,

0:26:190:26:22

so I guess he was used to fixing things

0:26:220:26:25

and putting them back together again.

0:26:250:26:27

But this was a massive task he'd set himself

0:26:270:26:30

with just a 25-grand budget and he'd taken six months off work

0:26:300:26:35

to fully focus on the rebuild.

0:26:350:26:37

# And I'll put you together again. #

0:26:380:26:42

And now, eight months on, and we're back.

0:26:530:26:55

This is truly astonishing.

0:27:110:27:14

Remember, I couldn't even get into this kitchen space

0:27:140:27:17

and the bathroom beyond was just a complete unknown.

0:27:170:27:20

And, upstairs, it's hard hats off to you, Amir.

0:27:360:27:40

Three great bedrooms, but what about that loo with a view?

0:27:400:27:44

Well, that's now a great shower room.

0:27:490:27:52

Mind you, I don't mind looking out onto that garden now.

0:27:520:27:55

That's amazing!

0:27:550:27:56

# I'm gonna fix the world up

0:27:580:28:01

# Up for you! #

0:28:010:28:03

# I'm gonna fix the world up

0:28:040:28:07

# Up for you! #

0:28:070:28:09

# I'm gonna fix the world up... #

0:28:100:28:13

So where did Amir start with this tremendous transformation?

0:28:130:28:17

The project was really big and so many rubbish in the back garden

0:28:170:28:22

and the basement and also so many rubbish from the house.

0:28:220:28:27

15 skips, and that's the biggest challenge I had.

0:28:270:28:31

Once 15 skips had been filled,

0:28:320:28:34

he just had the minor issue of rebuilding this place...

0:28:340:28:37

..with the end gable wall top of the agenda.

0:28:390:28:41

# Crackin' up

0:28:410:28:44

# Like a worn-out shoe... #

0:28:440:28:46

The crack was on the wall and we just take the wall out

0:28:460:28:51

and rebuild again.

0:28:510:28:53

The effort Amir has put in here is Herculean,

0:28:530:28:56

but with the need to complete the job to an acceptable standard

0:28:560:29:00

for the local council in a 12-month timescale,

0:29:000:29:03

he was under pressure to get it all done

0:29:030:29:06

but, luckily, he wasn't completely alone

0:29:060:29:09

in tackling this gigantic task.

0:29:090:29:12

I have two friends, Kasim and Simon,

0:29:120:29:15

and they mostly helped me and I'm really grateful.

0:29:150:29:18

That help has meant he thinks he's only a couple more weeks from

0:29:200:29:23

finishing it off totally and then he can put it on the resale market,

0:29:230:29:27

but his timescale slipped slightly.

0:29:270:29:30

So what about his budget?

0:29:300:29:31

My budget was £25,000 but at the end we finished with £35,000,

0:29:320:29:39

and plus I drove every day from Birmingham to Wolverhampton

0:29:390:29:43

and that's cost around £3,000 fuel money.

0:29:430:29:46

£38,000 spend on top of his agreed 40-grand purchase price

0:29:470:29:52

will eventually take the cost of this remarkable rebuild £83,000.

0:29:520:29:59

So is this house now suited to the local market?

0:29:590:30:02

What do two property experts think?

0:30:020:30:04

First, the expert who saw it last time.

0:30:040:30:07

This is my second visit to this property and, boy, what a change!

0:30:070:30:11

He's transformed it into

0:30:110:30:14

a nice little three-bedroomed terraced property.

0:30:140:30:18

My first impressions of the property is,

0:30:180:30:20

obviously, it's been refurbished to a good standard.

0:30:200:30:23

I think the refurb has been well thought-out and planned,

0:30:230:30:27

and the results show.

0:30:270:30:29

Amir really needs to sell this house on to pay off an outstanding 90%

0:30:310:30:36

of the purchase price he still owes.

0:30:360:30:39

But with his final outlay being £83,000, will he make any money?

0:30:390:30:43

If the property's placed on the open market to sell,

0:30:450:30:47

then I would imagine that it would achieve in the region of £100,000.

0:30:470:30:51

As a resale, I would expect the property to achieve £95,000.

0:30:510:30:56

I was happy.

0:30:560:30:57

Up to £100,000.

0:30:570:31:00

But if it's a little bit less, I am happy.

0:31:000:31:03

And so he should be

0:31:040:31:05

because there's a potential pre-tax profit here of £12,000 to £17,000,

0:31:050:31:11

minus taxes and expenses, of course.

0:31:110:31:13

And he certainly deserves to get some reward for all this hard work.

0:31:130:31:17

As a first development project, this was a real baptism of fire.

0:31:170:31:21

So would he ever consider doing it again?

0:31:210:31:23

When everything is sorted,

0:31:260:31:27

I take a small holiday and then maybe I do again

0:31:270:31:32

because quite I enjoyed this job.

0:31:320:31:34

-MARTIN:

-I'm 22 miles north-west of Cardiff today,

0:31:360:31:40

in the town of Aberdare.

0:31:400:31:42

# It's just a hop, skip and a jump

0:31:420:31:44

# To where my baby's at

0:31:440:31:46

# It's just a few more hops and I'll be bopping with that cat. #

0:31:460:31:51

And as with most towns in South Wales,

0:31:510:31:53

coal and iron were the main industries here.

0:31:530:31:56

But now, nestled amongst the hills and valleys,

0:31:560:31:59

this is just a pleasant place to live.

0:31:590:32:01

Well, just a hop, skip and a jump from the town centre

0:32:020:32:05

is the property I'm here to see, on this nice residential street.

0:32:050:32:08

Now, I've done a bit of research and the average house on this street

0:32:080:32:12

sells for £54,000.

0:32:120:32:14

So, at the auction, when you see something on this street

0:32:140:32:17

that's a guide price of 22,000 for a two-bedroom mid-terrace,

0:32:170:32:21

you've got to think to yourself, "Ooh, that's interesting."

0:32:210:32:24

Looks pretty good from the outside. Recently pointed. Nice stonework.

0:32:240:32:27

Double glazing. It's looking good.

0:32:270:32:31

Hm.

0:32:310:32:33

OK. Interesting little porch area here.

0:32:330:32:36

And then through into, well, basically one large living area.

0:32:360:32:42

Open-plan stairs up to the bedrooms.

0:32:420:32:44

Now, nowadays, building regulations say you can't have this kind of

0:32:440:32:48

staircase with the open back, they are quite dangerous.

0:32:480:32:50

Small children, especially, potentially falling through there,

0:32:500:32:53

and especially with this huge gap.

0:32:530:32:54

Not good. So I would want to work on enclosing that for sure,

0:32:540:32:58

if only for safety reasons.

0:32:580:33:00

But the room itself, I think, actually works quite well.

0:33:000:33:03

Big fireplace here - again,

0:33:030:33:05

you'd probably want to improve that and modernise it,

0:33:050:33:08

but it's not a bad-sized space.

0:33:080:33:10

And then through to the rear of the property.

0:33:100:33:13

Now, this looks to me to be some kind of single-storey extension.

0:33:130:33:17

It's housing the bathroom and loo and the kitchen.

0:33:170:33:21

And if that bit was, you know, OK...

0:33:210:33:24

-HE SIGHS

-..this bit really isn't.

0:33:250:33:27

Lots and lots of damp.

0:33:270:33:29

Well, you can see the state it's in.

0:33:290:33:31

Not attractive at all.

0:33:310:33:33

I think it's a bit more serious than that, too.

0:33:340:33:36

Let's investigate outside.

0:33:360:33:38

# I need you to see this

0:33:380:33:42

# I've found the answer

0:33:420:33:45

# It's somewhere else cos

0:33:450:33:49

# I can see

0:33:490:33:53

# The view from here... #

0:33:530:33:57

Well, bit of a trek across the garden,

0:33:570:33:59

and a bit of a handy vantage point

0:33:590:34:01

to take a look at that roof that's above the kitchen

0:34:010:34:04

and the bathroom in a bit more detail,

0:34:040:34:06

and you can see, just at first glance, it is in a right state,

0:34:060:34:10

as is the gutter. Now that is going to be causing all sorts of problems.

0:34:100:34:13

Worse than that, though, I reckon that's asbestos.

0:34:130:34:16

So, a hazard.

0:34:160:34:18

It's even worse because it's got all this moss on it,

0:34:180:34:20

which causes the surface to disintegrate

0:34:200:34:23

and that's when you have some real potential problems,

0:34:230:34:26

real serious safety problems.

0:34:260:34:28

So, it needs to go.

0:34:280:34:30

It needs to be taken away by a professional company.

0:34:300:34:32

And then you can start rebuilding this property

0:34:320:34:35

into something which is at least a watertight shell.

0:34:350:34:37

You're going to have to get rid of that anyway to get at these windows.

0:34:370:34:40

While you're up there, you're going to sort out that roof too,

0:34:400:34:42

there's even more guttering problems there.

0:34:420:34:44

Yeah, I reckon a big chunk of your budget is going to go

0:34:440:34:48

on sorting out this little bit just here.

0:34:480:34:50

The view looking towards the back of the house might not be pretty,

0:34:510:34:55

but the distant views certainly make you realise

0:34:550:34:58

that this is a great location.

0:34:580:35:00

But sorting out the extension-cum-lean-to

0:35:010:35:03

is going to be a big job.

0:35:030:35:05

Not only will it need a new roof, it may need damp-proofing,

0:35:050:35:08

insulating and then a complete kitchen needs to be installed,

0:35:080:35:12

along with new bathroom suite.

0:35:120:35:13

Upstairs, things aren't much better,

0:35:150:35:17

with the two bedrooms also in a rather sorry state,

0:35:170:35:21

with signs of damp and holes in the floor.

0:35:210:35:24

In fact, whichever way you look at this,

0:35:240:35:26

it's a back-to-basics refurbishment.

0:35:260:35:28

What's the view of the auctioneer who sold it?

0:35:310:35:33

The location of this property's great,

0:35:350:35:37

it's just above the town centre,

0:35:370:35:39

which means you can walk into the town

0:35:390:35:40

rather than having to take a car.

0:35:400:35:42

Downside, though, is that because it's so close to the town centre,

0:35:420:35:45

parking can be an issue. The house needs major refurbishment.

0:35:450:35:49

The existing extension is pretty poor.

0:35:490:35:51

It's got a roof covering which I believe is asbestos,

0:35:510:35:53

so that needs to come off, be taken off by a qualified contractor.

0:35:530:35:56

The kitchen is virtually non-existent,

0:35:560:35:58

the bathroom's pretty poor,

0:35:580:35:59

so the whole of the rear extension needs refurbishing.

0:35:590:36:03

You could extend it and create a better single-storey extension

0:36:030:36:07

out the back. Alternatively, while you're at it at it,

0:36:070:36:09

why not go up two storeys?

0:36:090:36:11

You could then put on the ground floor a new kitchen,

0:36:110:36:13

maybe a bathroom in

0:36:130:36:14

and a bedroom, possibly a bathroom upstairs as well.

0:36:140:36:17

That sounds like a great idea

0:36:170:36:18

but would it add value to a house guided at £22,000?

0:36:180:36:23

Once refurbished, in its current size,

0:36:240:36:26

this property could sell for about £60,000.

0:36:260:36:29

If this property were to be extended

0:36:290:36:31

and was then a three-bedroomed house,

0:36:310:36:33

it could sell for about £70,000.

0:36:330:36:36

And what about its rental potential?

0:36:360:36:38

If it were to be let, it would rent for about £350 per calendar month.

0:36:380:36:43

As a three-bedroomed house, it could rent for about £400,

0:36:430:36:46

maybe £425 per calendar month.

0:36:460:36:48

Ah. So, attractive on the outside,

0:36:520:36:55

a bit more work to be done once you get inside.

0:36:550:36:58

Still, if you buy it for around that guide price,

0:36:580:37:00

definitely money to be made.

0:37:000:37:02

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

0:37:020:37:05

Good buy-to-let property, just above the town centre.

0:37:090:37:13

Needing some modernising.

0:37:130:37:15

Start me at £20,000, will you?

0:37:150:37:17

20,000? Thank you, got you at 20.

0:37:170:37:19

At 20. And one now I'm looking for.

0:37:190:37:20

At £20,000.

0:37:200:37:22

One. 22? 22. 23? 23.

0:37:220:37:25

24? 24.

0:37:250:37:26

25? 26? 26.

0:37:260:37:28

27? 27, 27 there, thank you. 27.

0:37:280:37:31

28? 28. 29?

0:37:310:37:33

Perhaps surprisingly, there was quite a battle

0:37:330:37:36

for the two-bed Aberdare house.

0:37:360:37:38

And we rejoin the bidding at £37,500.

0:37:380:37:42

37.5.

0:37:420:37:43

38 now? 38?

0:37:430:37:45

38, thank you, 38.

0:37:450:37:46

38.5 behind you?

0:37:460:37:49

38.5.

0:37:490:37:50

39? 39, just one more?

0:37:500:37:53

39, thank you. 39.

0:37:530:37:54

39.5?

0:37:540:37:56

39.5?

0:37:560:37:57

39.5? Otherwise it's 39, then, on my left-hand side,

0:37:570:38:01

for the first time...

0:38:010:38:03

second time, third and last time at £39,000...

0:38:030:38:06

Sold, sir, yours, well done.

0:38:060:38:08

Number 22, is it? Thank you very much.

0:38:080:38:10

Have somebody down with you shortly.

0:38:100:38:12

# You know you're out of sight... #

0:38:120:38:14

And so, for £39,000, the man hidden at the back was Alex.

0:38:160:38:21

Alex and partner Sarah are based in Cardiff and they both joined me

0:38:210:38:24

back at the property to give me an insight into their plans.

0:38:240:38:27

Sarah, Alex, good to meet you both.

0:38:280:38:30

-Nice to meet you too.

-And you too.

0:38:300:38:32

Congratulations.

0:38:320:38:33

Tell me why you wanted to buy this place.

0:38:330:38:35

We wanted to start a portfolio in Aberdare,

0:38:350:38:38

as the prices are a lot cheaper than in Cardiff.

0:38:380:38:42

Why this property, then, for your first one?

0:38:420:38:45

Um...well, we didn't actually see the property before we bought it...

0:38:450:38:49

-Why?

-I just liked it from the outside.

0:38:490:38:51

It was bound to be fine inside, then, isn't it?

0:38:510:38:53

Well, you know, fantastic.

0:38:530:38:55

So when did you see it for the first time inside?

0:38:550:38:57

-On the day we completed sort of thing.

-Right.

0:38:570:38:59

Drove up and had a look, which was a real shock, really.

0:38:590:39:02

-Was it?

-It was a shock, yes.

0:39:020:39:03

I thought it would be quite nice inside,

0:39:030:39:05

not in the state it was in, like this.

0:39:050:39:07

What did you think about it when you saw it for the first time?

0:39:070:39:10

I actually was quite pleasantly surprised,

0:39:100:39:12

cos I knew obviously it was going to be bad on the inside

0:39:120:39:15

but I think I was less shocked than what Alex was.

0:39:150:39:18

What were his words, exactly, or are they too rude to broadcast?

0:39:180:39:20

-He just put his hands on his head and went, "Oh, my God!"

-Ah.

0:39:200:39:24

# It's a shock to the system. #

0:39:240:39:26

Well, that's kind of what you get if you don't look inside a property

0:39:310:39:35

before you buy it.

0:39:350:39:36

At least Alex has worked in the building trade

0:39:360:39:39

and is doing a carpentry course,

0:39:390:39:41

so he may at least have the skills to turn the shock into awe.

0:39:410:39:45

I think to start with what I'd like to do is just take off...

0:39:470:39:50

take all the walls out, like the porchway to take out

0:39:500:39:54

and, upstairs, the partitions,

0:39:540:39:56

and then get an empty canvas and just take it from there.

0:39:560:40:00

Got a little job with asbestos on the roof outside.

0:40:000:40:04

So that's going to be an important job to do,

0:40:040:40:07

to get somebody in to take it away.

0:40:070:40:10

And then from there we'll just decide what to do with it.

0:40:100:40:12

Right, and in terms of the design you might come up with,

0:40:120:40:14

are you going for two bedrooms, three bedrooms, what are we...?

0:40:140:40:17

-Two bedrooms.

-Two beds, yeah.

0:40:170:40:18

-And a bathroom upstairs?

-We're going to try and put a toilet upstairs.

0:40:180:40:21

-Toilet upstairs only.

-Obviously a few issues with damp

0:40:210:40:24

in the big bedroom, any ideas what's causing that?

0:40:240:40:28

Chimney stack.

0:40:280:40:29

Builders are coming next week to, you know, roof that.

0:40:290:40:32

-Great.

-So that'll be all sorted.

0:40:320:40:35

So they don't plan an additional extension,

0:40:350:40:37

but they do have a budget of £15,000.

0:40:370:40:40

But with all the work they've got to do here, I just hope that's enough.

0:40:400:40:43

You're going to be hands-on, are you going to be knocking bits around?

0:40:470:40:49

Er, yeah, I'll do as much as I can.

0:40:490:40:52

I'll be picking up all the rubbish and sweeping down,

0:40:520:40:54

while he does all the manual work.

0:40:540:40:56

And how much of it are you going to take on?

0:40:560:40:58

-All of it.

-All of it?

0:40:580:40:59

Apart... Well, apart from the electrics and the gas, presumably?

0:40:590:41:02

I've got an electrician

0:41:020:41:03

and I've got a Corgi-registered gas safety certificate person.

0:41:030:41:07

But all the rest I'll do myself.

0:41:070:41:09

Wow. Plastering?

0:41:090:41:10

Plastering. Tiling.

0:41:100:41:12

-Domestic plumbing.

-Carpentry, obviously.

0:41:120:41:14

-Carpentry.

-So you'll be full-time doing it, will you?

0:41:140:41:17

-No, we'll be up here every weekend, I think.

-Oh.

0:41:170:41:21

I've just taken on two projects in Cardiff and, in the summer,

0:41:210:41:26

I've got a little project in America to go and do.

0:41:260:41:28

-America?

-Yeah.

-What's that?

0:41:280:41:30

Oh, just some friends want a renovation on a basement.

0:41:300:41:33

You're going out to America to restore somebody's basement?

0:41:330:41:36

-I am, actually, yeah.

-THEY LAUGH

0:41:360:41:38

-It's a free holiday.

-Well, yeah.

0:41:380:41:40

-Whereabouts is it in America?

-New Jersey.

0:41:400:41:41

New Jersey. Oh, wow.

0:41:410:41:43

So we'll be out there for a month. I'll do that and then come back

0:41:430:41:46

and hopefully it'll be done not long after that.

0:41:460:41:48

How long is it all going to take, then?

0:41:480:41:50

Well, with all the work that I have got on at the moment,

0:41:500:41:52

I'm hoping maybe eight months altogether.

0:41:520:41:55

-Right.

-So I can do other work at the same time.

0:41:550:41:58

Well, listen, congratulations to you both.

0:41:580:42:00

-Thanks very much.

-I can't wait for how it all turns out.

0:42:000:42:03

-Thank you.

-And good luck with it.

-Thanks.

0:42:030:42:06

Well, I think Alex might be taking on a little bit more

0:42:070:42:09

than he was expecting with this place.

0:42:090:42:11

That, after not seeing the property beforehand.

0:42:110:42:14

Tut, tut. How will he get on sorting it out

0:42:140:42:16

and doing virtually all the work himself?

0:42:160:42:19

Well, you can find out how he transforms this place,

0:42:190:42:22

hopefully, later in the show.

0:42:220:42:25

Investing in property is a big decision

0:42:280:42:31

and requires a lot of time, money and care.

0:42:310:42:34

Now we know how one of our buyers got on when they took the plunge.

0:42:340:42:38

-How about the other two?

-Let's find out right now.

0:42:380:42:41

We are heading back to Romford in East London,

0:42:430:42:46

where I saw a three-bed semidetached house,

0:42:460:42:49

which looked a good size from the outside.

0:42:490:42:52

However, it really turned out to be a bit of a TARDIS in reverse.

0:42:520:42:56

Big on the outside -

0:42:560:42:58

on the inside, not so much.

0:42:580:42:59

Round here, you've got a disappointing kitchen, actually.

0:43:020:43:06

Not in great condition, very old-fashioned, and it's tiny.

0:43:060:43:11

Upstairs, two of the three bedrooms were well-proportioned,

0:43:110:43:15

but the bathroom just wasn't big enough to be the only one

0:43:150:43:18

in what should be a family house.

0:43:180:43:20

The lack of space inside was counterbalanced

0:43:220:43:25

by a lot of added space outside.

0:43:250:43:28

Builder Singh, who paid 300 grand for this property,

0:43:280:43:31

planned to use it.

0:43:310:43:33

Downstairs, we want to create an extra shower downstairs,

0:43:340:43:36

and a bathroom and extension.

0:43:360:43:38

OK. So the bathroom. Where are you going to put the bathroom?

0:43:380:43:41

Just where the old kitchen is.

0:43:410:43:42

-OK.

-In that area.

0:43:420:43:44

And you're extending that way?

0:43:440:43:46

Yes. I mean, space-wise, it's lovely.

0:43:460:43:49

The area's nice, got a side alleyway.

0:43:490:43:51

It needs some work done to it, which is nothing we cannot do.

0:43:510:43:53

Just a bit of make-up, really.

0:43:530:43:55

Bit of make-up! I like that one.

0:43:550:43:56

I've not heard that one before. I might use that one.

0:43:560:43:59

Singh had already applied for planning permission

0:44:020:44:05

to extend the house at the back and also go up into the loft

0:44:050:44:08

to add a bedroom and a shower room.

0:44:080:44:11

Now, I did say I was going to use that make-up line,

0:44:110:44:14

so it's time to head back six months later

0:44:140:44:16

to see if the makeover is complete.

0:44:160:44:19

# She's got her lipstick on Here I come, da-da-dum

0:44:220:44:25

# She's got her lipstick on Hit and run, then I'm gone

0:44:250:44:29

# Check my collar, collar Hey, hey-hey

0:44:290:44:33

# Check my collar, collar Hey, hey-hey

0:44:330:44:36

# Oh!

0:44:360:44:38

# Oh! #

0:44:380:44:40

Singh got his four-metre extension as planned,

0:44:400:44:43

which now houses a lovely kitchen.

0:44:430:44:45

It still left plenty of space in the garden,

0:44:470:44:50

and means the rest of the downstairs is very spacious...

0:44:500:44:53

..with an open-plan living room and shower room

0:44:550:44:58

under the stairs.

0:44:580:45:00

And he added more living space upstairs.

0:45:020:45:05

# Let me tell you how it works Hey! #

0:45:050:45:09

A loft conversion means there are now four bedrooms in total.

0:45:110:45:15

Three on the first floor,

0:45:200:45:23

and a family bathroom, too.

0:45:230:45:24

And on the top floor there's now a new double-aspect loft room...

0:45:330:45:37

..with another shower room next-door...

0:45:430:45:45

..which means there are now washing facilities on each floor.

0:45:500:45:53

Singh and his team have really outdone themselves,

0:45:570:46:00

even adding touches like the colour on the walls

0:46:000:46:03

that gives a house that added character.

0:46:030:46:05

He must be really happy with the end results.

0:46:070:46:09

Good feeling. I mean, what it was, what it is now.

0:46:110:46:14

It's totally...totally...

0:46:140:46:16

If you walk in through the door,

0:46:160:46:18

you wouldn't even notice. It's massively changed.

0:46:180:46:21

It's quite a massive improvement.

0:46:210:46:23

It's amazing. I mean, the whole kitchen layout,

0:46:230:46:27

it's got a lot more spacious now, as well,

0:46:270:46:29

so it's definitely much better than before.

0:46:290:46:31

Yes, I can't disagree with you, Singh.

0:46:330:46:36

But a fair amount of the credit for the work

0:46:360:46:38

has got to go to your brother-in-law,

0:46:380:46:40

who did a lot of the dirty work.

0:46:400:46:42

So what was Singh's involvement?

0:46:440:46:46

I was more of a project manager, my side of it.

0:46:470:46:49

This is a family business.

0:46:490:46:50

Me and my brother-in-law, we run it together.

0:46:500:46:52

I do a lot of the decorating stuff, plus the demolition side of it.

0:46:520:46:58

We've got a team of guys who work for us.

0:46:580:47:00

We've been running other projects as well at the same time.

0:47:000:47:03

Those other projects that he and his team are working on,

0:47:030:47:06

plus Singh's holiday to India -

0:47:060:47:08

that I've got to say I was a bit jealous of -

0:47:080:47:10

has meant he's not been bang on his five-month timescale.

0:47:100:47:14

We expected to do it in four or five months,

0:47:160:47:19

because we were away for a holiday, we had about four to six weeks off.

0:47:190:47:23

We had other projects running at the same time as well,

0:47:230:47:26

so I wouldn't say...

0:47:260:47:28

Yeah, I expected to finish kind of this time.

0:47:280:47:31

I'll forgive you for only being a month late, Singh,

0:47:310:47:34

as you got to enjoy your break.

0:47:340:47:37

But his 50-grand budget also slipped and ended up being £70,000.

0:47:370:47:41

So what happened there, Singh?

0:47:410:47:43

The reason being we have went into the fourth bedroom upstairs,

0:47:430:47:47

which is additional on what we were going to do.

0:47:470:47:50

Obviously that's put the price up on there, so I'm still...

0:47:500:47:53

I'm still happy. I'm sure I'll get my money back on the sale.

0:47:530:47:58

So I think it's probably worthwhile.

0:47:580:48:00

But will adding the loft extension help Singh get the biggest return

0:48:020:48:06

on his investment of £370,000?

0:48:060:48:09

Well, we've asked along two local agents for their opinion.

0:48:090:48:13

Quite impressed. Everything's done well.

0:48:140:48:16

The biggest selling point of this property would be

0:48:160:48:19

through lounge to the kitchen, and the garden's quite nice, as well.

0:48:190:48:22

The layout of the property works really well,

0:48:220:48:25

especially for a family coming in.

0:48:250:48:28

The skylight in the extension.

0:48:280:48:30

The light overall, the colours,

0:48:300:48:33

it's one of the best I've seen for a while.

0:48:330:48:35

So some good feedback there from the agents.

0:48:360:48:39

Singh hopes to sell this house and make a profit.

0:48:390:48:42

All in, the purchase and the work has totalled £370,000.

0:48:420:48:47

Has it been money well spent?

0:48:470:48:48

If this property was to be placed on the market at this time,

0:48:500:48:54

the initial asking price should be in the region

0:48:540:48:58

of £475,000 to £480,000,

0:48:580:49:01

and I would expect offers from £460,000 upwards.

0:49:010:49:05

The resale value of this property, between £475,000 and £500,000.

0:49:050:49:11

I think 500 is probably a bit too much for the area.

0:49:110:49:14

We were talking about 470, 480.

0:49:140:49:17

So I'll get a return.

0:49:170:49:19

If we go over 475, 480, I'll be happy.

0:49:190:49:21

His ideal £480,000 figure would give him a total profit

0:49:230:49:28

of 110 grand, minus taxes and fees, of course.

0:49:280:49:31

All in, Singh got absolutely everything done

0:49:310:49:34

the way he wanted it, made a profit

0:49:340:49:37

and even had time for a holiday in between,

0:49:370:49:39

so I would say it's been quite a success.

0:49:390:49:42

It's the first one we've done in an auction

0:49:450:49:47

and done to the max as possible.

0:49:470:49:50

We're not spending too much money on it, either,

0:49:500:49:52

so kept it within the range.

0:49:520:49:55

So I think we're happy. Happy with the result.

0:49:550:49:57

It was in the South Wales town of Aberdare where we first saw

0:50:020:50:05

a two-bed terraced house that from the outside

0:50:050:50:08

looked pretty traditional and solid,

0:50:080:50:10

but step inside the door and things started to go wrong from there.

0:50:100:50:14

This looks to me to be some kind of single-storey extension.

0:50:180:50:22

It's housing the bathroom and loo and the kitchen.

0:50:220:50:26

And if that bit was, you know, OK...

0:50:260:50:28

-HE SIGHS

-..this bit really isn't.

0:50:290:50:32

Lots and lots of damp.

0:50:320:50:34

Well, you can see the state it's in.

0:50:340:50:36

Not attractive at all.

0:50:360:50:37

# I'm in trouble You're in trouble

0:50:370:50:39

# Deep, deep trouble's going to burst our bubble

0:50:390:50:42

# And I'm in trouble Won't you save our souls tonight? #

0:50:420:50:46

Yep, this extension-cum-lean-to was a whole lot of trouble.

0:50:460:50:49

Not only was it in a sorry state,

0:50:490:50:51

it had an asbestos roof that would need to be professionally removed

0:50:510:50:55

and replaced.

0:50:550:50:57

Upstairs, the two bedrooms weren't great either.

0:50:570:51:00

Signs of damp, holes in the floor

0:51:000:51:02

and sadly lacking in character or charm.

0:51:020:51:04

All of which came as a bit of a surprise to Alex

0:51:090:51:12

and his partner, Sarah, who bought it at auction for £39,000,

0:51:120:51:17

having only viewed it from the outside.

0:51:170:51:19

# Oh, no-one knows

0:51:210:51:24

# What goes on behind closed doors. #

0:51:240:51:28

So when did you see it for the first time inside?

0:51:280:51:31

-On the day we completed sort of thing.

-Right.

0:51:310:51:32

Drove up and had a look, which was a real shock, really.

0:51:320:51:36

-Was it?

-It was a shock, yes.

0:51:360:51:37

I thought it would be quite nice inside,

0:51:370:51:39

not in the state it was in, like this.

0:51:390:51:41

# Oh, no!

0:51:410:51:44

# I've got that sinking feeling

0:51:440:51:46

# Oh, no! #

0:51:460:51:48

So somewhat-shaken Alex needed to roll up his sleeves and rock on with

0:51:480:51:52

a long list of jobs that were needed to get the place back up to scratch.

0:51:520:51:57

But he did have some previous building experience

0:51:570:51:59

and was in the process of becoming a qualified carpenter.

0:51:590:52:03

With a budget of £15,000 and an eight to nine month timescale,

0:52:030:52:07

he hoped he could turn those "oh, noes" into an "oh, yes".

0:52:070:52:11

But now, over three years later, we're back.

0:52:140:52:19

And the progress?

0:52:190:52:22

Well, outside is still the same.

0:52:220:52:24

But will it be the same shocker as it was before inside?

0:52:240:52:28

Well, this characterless house now has a warm, homely feel.

0:52:340:52:38

But what about that rear extension?

0:52:380:52:40

Well, gone is the asbestos roof.

0:52:430:52:46

And the re-roofed extension houses a modern kitchen...

0:52:480:52:52

..while the old bathroom is now a utility area.

0:52:540:52:57

Upstairs, and the bedrooms are almost unrecognisable -

0:53:030:53:07

replastered, new radiators, doors, flooring -

0:53:070:53:12

the lot.

0:53:120:53:13

By putting in a corridor,

0:53:190:53:21

Alex has created space to fit a modern shower room at the end.

0:53:210:53:24

That's a clever use of space.

0:53:240:53:26

And this place clearly isn't just a refurbishment project.

0:53:290:53:32

It's a home. But why has it taken so long?

0:53:320:53:36

Well, the timescale went a little bit over

0:53:390:53:41

due to, you know, I had work, I had college,

0:53:410:53:45

I did other renovations for other people,

0:53:450:53:48

plus I went abroad to America to work,

0:53:480:53:51

did a few jobs out there for friends,

0:53:510:53:53

plus I went to Spain on a few nice little jaunts.

0:53:530:53:56

And Alex reckons there's still a couple of months of work

0:53:590:54:03

to finish off - decking out the garden and sorting out those stairs

0:54:030:54:06

to meet current building regulations.

0:54:060:54:09

The house has been Alex's family home,

0:54:090:54:12

with partner Sarah and their daughter, for a few years now.

0:54:120:54:15

And during that time, it's been a bit of a voyage of discovery.

0:54:150:54:19

Really good finds in the property

0:54:190:54:21

were the staircase and the fireplace.

0:54:210:54:24

The staircase,

0:54:240:54:26

a friend of ours told us that if I picked up the floorboards

0:54:260:54:30

in the cupboard upstairs, I would find something.

0:54:300:54:33

So, next day, came home,

0:54:330:54:35

picked up the floorboards and there was the stone stairs.

0:54:350:54:39

All bricked up and everything.

0:54:390:54:40

When I took the wall down,

0:54:400:54:42

all the render of the fireplace had come down,

0:54:420:54:45

exposing this really nice fireplace.

0:54:450:54:48

And then I took the inner part of the chimney stack

0:54:480:54:52

to find the bread oven. So all of those were amazing finds.

0:54:520:54:55

We might find something the else.

0:54:550:54:57

You know, the floor at the bottom of the stairs sounds a bit hollow.

0:54:570:55:01

Either a mine shaft or a cellar.

0:55:010:55:03

So we've got two choices there.

0:55:030:55:05

# That is waiting there

0:55:050:55:08

# For you

0:55:080:55:10

# Like hidden treasure. #

0:55:100:55:13

So the house might have hidden depths, as well as hidden charm.

0:55:140:55:18

It's a shame those old stairs go nowhere,

0:55:180:55:21

but they're certainly a quirky feature.

0:55:210:55:24

But that fireplace is a real find,

0:55:240:55:25

and the great thing about these discoveries

0:55:250:55:28

is, apart from some hard graft from him and his partner, Sarah,

0:55:280:55:32

they were free.

0:55:320:55:33

And that's always a bonus when you've got a tight budget.

0:55:330:55:36

My budget was, er... I said it was 15.

0:55:390:55:42

I think I've actually spent about 15,500 at the moment

0:55:420:55:46

and there's still a bit of work to be done.

0:55:460:55:48

So I reckon about 16,500, maybe 17,000 would cover it all.

0:55:480:55:53

£17,000 refurbishment costs, along with Alex's £39,000 purchase price,

0:55:560:56:01

takes the total spend to £56,000.

0:56:010:56:04

So perhaps by luck more than judgment,

0:56:040:56:07

Alex seems to have unearthed a gem here.

0:56:070:56:10

But what do you two local property experts think?

0:56:100:56:13

Upstairs is lovely.

0:56:150:56:17

Especially with the two-bedroom layout

0:56:170:56:19

and the shower room.

0:56:190:56:21

The property has and nice feel, it really does.

0:56:210:56:24

It looks as if it's been thoughtfully done,

0:56:240:56:27

with some nice features.

0:56:270:56:29

I think the house has been finished to a high standard

0:56:290:56:32

and it's ideal for a young couple, first-time buyer,

0:56:320:56:36

and good use of space and nice and bright

0:56:360:56:39

with the added windows in the kitchen.

0:56:390:56:41

Alex sees this as his family home for the next five years.

0:56:430:56:46

But has all his hard work paid off

0:56:460:56:48

on a property he will have invested

0:56:480:56:50

£56,000 into once complete?

0:56:500:56:53

I think we could easily achieve a figure of £75,000.

0:56:540:57:00

I believe in the sales market at this moment in time,

0:57:000:57:04

I would estimate a valuation of around £80,000.

0:57:040:57:07

80,000, I think that's about right

0:57:070:57:09

for this current value, at the moment.

0:57:090:57:11

So good solid numbers that could see a pre-tax profit

0:57:110:57:15

of between £19,000 and £24,000.

0:57:150:57:18

And with rental figures between £400 and £475 per calendar month,

0:57:180:57:22

which would generate a yield of at least 8%,

0:57:220:57:25

there's really nothing shocking about this house now.

0:57:250:57:28

This has been a real labour of love for Alex

0:57:300:57:32

and, although he might have done most of the work,

0:57:320:57:35

he certainly didn't do it alone.

0:57:350:57:37

I'd like to thank Sarah, my partner,

0:57:390:57:42

and my children and the little one for supporting me.

0:57:420:57:45

When I was down, they came and gave me a good old push.

0:57:450:57:48

# You didn't have to shake me like you did

0:57:480:57:50

# But you did, yes, you did

0:57:500:57:53

# And I thank you

0:57:530:57:55

# You didn't have to make it like you did

0:57:550:57:57

# But you did, yes, you did

0:57:570:57:59

# And I thank you... #

0:57:590:58:01

You might have guessed that property renovation projects

0:58:050:58:08

never fail to keep us hooked.

0:58:080:58:10

Yes, and if you can't get enough of our stories,

0:58:100:58:12

there's plenty more where they came from.

0:58:120:58:14

Yes, we'll see you next time here on Homes Under The Hammer.

0:58:140:58:16

-Bye-bye.

-Bye-bye.

-Goodbye.

0:58:160:58:18

A terraced house in Wolverhampton is in a near-derelict condition, a terrace in Aberdare also needs lots of remedial work, and a builder in Romford reckons he will make money extending a three-bedroom semi.