Episode 58 Homes Under the Hammer


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Episode 58

Martin Roberts, Dion Dublin and Martel Maxwell meet the developers who have purchased homes in Epsom in Surrey, Wolverhampton and Ashton in Cornwall.


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LineFromTo

Hello, and welcome to the show. Now, investing in property

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does come with its risks, but if you get it right,

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it has been shown to be a proven way to make money.

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Yes. If you do your research, it will increase your chances of making that

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right decision with your dough.

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So, why not get a handle on things and head down to your local

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property auction?

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Now, for those who are more experienced,

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they know that property auctions can be a happy hunting ground.

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Yeah, and for those that are not so experienced,

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-let's hope that's something they'll learn along the way.

-Yes.

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So what did today's property buyers lay their hands on?

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Let's find out.

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In Epsom, I'm getting hands on in a flat where the renovations can't start

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soon enough.

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It needs...just helping them get started.

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In this Cornish bungalow,

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there's an issue that has me at breaking point.

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As has some of the floor. That is not good at all.

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And in Wolverhampton,

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this house has a mystery that has me knocking for answers.

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What is that hiding?

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All these properties have been sold at auction,

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

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under the hammer.

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Thank you.

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This is Epsom, in Surrey, which lies at the foot of the North Downs,

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about 15 miles from London.

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Epsom was once a spa town,

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famous for its magnesium sulphate rich water,

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which came to be known as Epsom salts.

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During the spa period, horse racing on the Downs was a big attraction

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and continues to this day,

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with Epsom Racecourse hosting the famous derby.

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So will the property I'm here to see go the distance and be a sure bet?

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Or will it be off the pace and a bit lame?

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I'm around a mile from the centre of Epsom,

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which has its own train station.

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This is the A24, and it's only a short drive to access the M25.

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So this really is a great location for a commute into London.

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The property I'm here to see, it's in this building here.

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It's a first floor, two-bedroom flat

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with a guide price of £150,000 plus.

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Let's go look.

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First impressions, the foyer is in good nick.

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I'm wondering about any communal cleaning charges that might apply here.

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OK. Inside, small hall area.

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Someone's used it to hang up their coats.

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On this side, some interesting rooms going on, and I'll come back to that in a minute.

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But first of all, this side of the flat.

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So, a really nicely-sized reception area, good proportions.

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And then you have your kitchen, which is dated.

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Could do with coming out.

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It's separate from your reception room.

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It's quite fashionable to have things open-plan,

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but it might not work in this flat.

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It's not always the solution.

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And then a small, pretty poky bedroom. I'd say that's a single bedroom,

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pushing it to call it a double.

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But this size here is great.

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You've got your central heating, double glazing, you know, it's unloved.

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It needs...just helping them get started.

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It needs a lot of TLC.

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Over in the corner here, I've sort of spotted a bit of a damp issue.

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Now, it may be as superficial as mildew. This place hasn't been lived in for a while.

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That could be the issue.

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Or it could be something more fundamentally wrong.

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It could be something to do with the guttering.

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But you need investigating that to find out what the issue is.

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But, all in all, this flat, well, so far, so good.

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# So far so good So don't turn back

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# So far so good

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# It's been hard Tryin' to find the best of it... #

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The bathroom, well, you can see it's what it is. It needs taking out.

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It's an OK space. You don't have enough room for a second shower and bath.

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The shower would have to be in the bath,

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but it serves the size of this flat pretty well.

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Back into the hall, and this room, to this side of the flat is...

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Now, this is a nice-sized double bedroom.

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Whoever lived here liked mirrors,

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and you've got your fitted wardrobes,

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which dates the place slightly, but,

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you know, it's also a great use of space.

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Your fitted wardrobes are fully with mirrors,

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almost from the floor to the ceiling. It reminds me of, you know,

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getting your legwarmers on, having a wee dance practice.

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It's like a dance studio of your own. You could do a few moves.

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So, as we say in Scotland, I think this flat is a bit of a wee dancer!

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As you can tell, I think this is a great wee flat,

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but will a local estate agent

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make as much of a song and dance about it?

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Let's see what he thought of the property guided at £150,000 plus.

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So, first impressions of the property...

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It's very sizeable, got generous rooms throughout.

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Does need some modernisation, though.

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It's going to need probably... redecorating throughout, plus a new

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kitchen and a new bathroom to get it to the kind of level where you would

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expect to be able then to sell it.

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So, once the flat is ready for the sales market,

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how much could you be looking at?

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So, when the property is completed, we would expect it

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to fetch anywhere between sort of 340 to £350,000.

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What about holding on to it as a long-term let?

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So, when the property is completed, we would expect it to bring in anywhere

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between 1,100 to £1,200 per calendar month.

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This flat, it's got a lot going for it.

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Those two bedrooms, a great location, and a good guide price.

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So I'd expect there to be a lot of interest.

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

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First floor flat.

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Not far from Epsom town centre.

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Kick-off at 150, go upwards from there.

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Who would like to start? 150 with you?

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150, 155 in front.

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160. 165.

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170. 175. 180.

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The bids were steady,

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then dropped to increments of £2,000 as interest slowed.

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We rejoin with the auctioneer looking for £224,000.

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224, well done.

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226. 228. 228, 230.

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Crunch bid. This one is a crunch one, 232.

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232. Yeah?

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Yes, no, I want you to be in unison.

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No arguments.

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230 with you.

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232, elsewhere.

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If not, 230.

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First time, second time, third and last time...

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Sold, 230.

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Hidden from our camera's view on the day were Rika and Alan, who bought

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the flat for £230,000,

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but I made sure to catch up with them and hear all about the new plans

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whilst son Sven checked out the rest of the flat.

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Rika. Pleased to meet you.

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-Pleased to meet you.

-Alan.

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-Pleased to meet you.

-So, congratulations.

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-Thank you very much.

-You've got yourself a flat.

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-Is this a first?

-It's not the first.

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It's not the first, no.

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We've been in the game for a number of years.

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About 15, 16 years so far.

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We have about 20 properties, at the moment, which we manage and let out.

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I have to ask firstly, where's the accent from?

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-It's a lovely accent.

-From Croatia, yeah.

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Mine is much stronger than my wife's, obviously.

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We've been here for a number of years, around 20 years.

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You're seasoned property buyers. Did you do all the right things?

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You came to view it? You read the legal pack?

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Yes. We... I viewed it, but it was a very quick viewing.

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We checked out the legal pack. We did everything we could, but still,

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it's not always enough.

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So was there any hidden nasties with this property?

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There is actually one thing,

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and that's that the property hasn't got planning permission,

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which basically means that this property is not

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a flat recognised by the council.

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So whoever owns the freehold here carved it up, but never got permission?

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That's correct, yes.

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They didn't ask for retrospective planning permission,

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so we are going to do that. We would like to make sure that all the

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paperwork is correct.

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What will you do if you don't get planning permission?

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There is a certificate of lawfulness, that for a residential property,

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if we can prove that the property has been used as a dwelling,

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as this one, for four or more years, that you will get retrospective,

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sort of, either planning consent or a certificate of lawfulness,

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and that will sort the whole matter out.

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Ouch! Just goes to show that even the most consummate professionals can get

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their fingers burned.

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Fortunately, Rika and Alan have that evidence the flat has been used as a

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dwelling in the form of EPC certificates and council tax bills.

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But if they can't get the certificate they need,

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they will put it back on the market.

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However, if they do, they'll start the renovations.

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We will probably do everything. We'll put in a new kitchen, new bathroom,

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new boiler.

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New floors, get rid of the wallpaper.

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The second bedroom is a bit small, so we're planning to

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bring it out a little bit.

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And take a little bit away from the reception.

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The reception is very big.

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So it'll still remain a really good size,

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and the bedroom will be extended by about a metre.

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The door into the bedroom won't be off the reception room,

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but off the little hallway which we're going to create.

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That's the only sort of structural change we're hoping to do.

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But we have to get the permission of the freeholder first.

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What's your budget to carry out all the work?

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It's going to be around £20,000,

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because, initially, we didn't think of bringing that wall out.

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Although, this is not an extremely expensive exercise,

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but it will carry some sort of cost.

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Yeah, £20,000 plus, you know, let's say £2,000 for a contingency.

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What's your timescale?

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We have a holiday to go to.

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We need a bit of a holiday.

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-So, maybe...

-Most of the builders are on holiday as well, so

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I would say probably eight to ten weeks, in total,

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that everything should be finished.

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Once the renovation's complete, Rika and Alan plan to sell the property on,

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but if they can't get the right price, they'll hold on to it

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and add it to their rental portfolio.

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Only time will tell. Best get on with the work

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which they'll be project managing.

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But, will son, Sven, be roped in too?

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He would like to get involved and help out as much as he can.

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He can clear out the rubbish and that sort of stuff,

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and help us bring the staging goods in, and, yeah,

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he looks forward to it as well.

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And go to the skip!

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I feel for Sven's sake we should commit to it on camera -

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is this free labour, or is he getting good pocket money?

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-There is going to be some pocket money, of course.

-Definitely.

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-Now he can't get out of it.

-Yeah!

-No!

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Best of luck, and I can't wait to see the results.

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-Thanks, Rika.

-Thank you, Martel.

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-Good luck, Alan.

-Thank you very much.

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I've got no doubt Rika and Alan will do a fantastic job

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on refurbing this property.

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But it just goes to show that, even if you do read that legal pack,

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there can be hidden nasties.

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It's always worth getting a solicitor to check over, and

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hopefully they do sort that lack of planning permission.

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You can find out what does happen later in the show.

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I'm in the village of Ashton in Cornwall,

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only a mile from the coast,

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perfect for those looking for a more rural lifestyle.

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Well, unfortunately,

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the property that was up for auction isn't quite as rurally situated as

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you might like, because it's right by the side of this very busy main road.

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But, the house itself, not bad.

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It's a bungalow. Guide price was 150 to £175,000,

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which, when I tell you it's actually got five bedrooms,

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not the two or three you might expect, suddenly

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sounding quite interesting.

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So, straight into the kitchen, which is in reasonable condition,

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with a slight glint towards sauna on the roof there.

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But...layout, it's a bit odd.

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Straight from the kitchen there into this long corridor here

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with bedrooms going off it, and then through into this room,

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where you've got this range cooker thing going on.

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Cladding on the walls.

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I mean, straightaway, it's this kind of mishmash of styles,

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fabrics, coverings, materials.

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It's this little rabbit warren that's really difficult to get your head around.

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# Run, rabbit, run

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# As fast as you can... #

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Back here in a lean-to extension is a downstairs bathroom.

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Not my ideal place for it,

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but it means living accommodation across the ground floor,

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a key selling point to a bungalow.

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This one has already been extended up into the roof space,

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and offers pretty decent head height

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as well as another bathroom.

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And down the hall, three more bedrooms, which are a bit small,

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but perfectly usable.

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So far, so good.

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Ah!

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Famous last words. So, in one of the bedrooms here...

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I presume it's a bedroom.

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Clearly a bit of an issue.

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The joists which support the floor have completely rotted away,

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as has some of the floor. That is not good at all.

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So, what's caused that? It's damp of some sort.

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What's going on? Now, there's an air brick there,

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that feels to me like that has been blocked up.

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Now, the idea of those air bricks is that they allow a flow of

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air underneath the floor.

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That's what you need in houses, lots of air flow. Gets rid of the damp,

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it stops stagnation, etc, etc.

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And any water that gets in there can be, basically,

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got rid of by that airflow.

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If they're blocked up... And it's a really easy thing to do.

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Maybe somebody's painting or cementing outside the house.

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You don't have that airflow, this is exactly what happens.

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So, first thing here, sort out the air flow, second thing,

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get somebody in to replace all these joists, and that's going to be expensive.

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# Do you think I am made of stone?

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# Cold and unfeeling. #

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One big bonus is this nice garden, but with every up

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seems to come a down.

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Here's a design idea.

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Why not convert your rainwater goods into a garden water feature?

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Yes, the house set back in this garden does look quite appealing,

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but the gutters really need down pipes installed,

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with proper drainage to avoid any issues with damp.

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And there's another thing to make me feel a bit broken-hearted about this house.

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Well, one potentially problematic legacy

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of the Cornish mining industry is that a lot of the mining residue

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was used in the construction of the properties here.

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Now, when you are buying properties in certain areas of Cornwall,

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what you will be required to do is actually have some kind of a test.

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It means drilling into the block of the construction,

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maybe the foundations, and finding out what it's made of.

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This property has had one of those tests, here, for instance,

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and in other areas.

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Bad news, furnace ash, basically, the ash from these furnaces,

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was used in the construction of some of blocks.

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And that is considered a potential problem, and it basically,

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to cut a very long story short,

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means the house is probably unmortgageable.

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Furnace ash, or black ash, like other similar materials

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can lead to damage due to chemical reactions over time.

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It appears mostly on properties built between the war and

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the 1960s, but, of course,

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many people occupy houses like this without too much concern.

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And if you need to make the property mortgageable, you can fix the

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problem. The cost? Well, that would depend on how severe the problem is.

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And if that issue was sorted, what other changes could be made here?

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Well, I've asked along a local estate agent for her opinion

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on this bungalow.

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The bungalow itself is a really, really good size.

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Quite deceiving from the outside.

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Upstairs, I think it would benefit from maybe knocking a couple of

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rooms into one, so you have a small amount of bedrooms, but larger.

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It needs updating inside.

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But I think it could be really, really nice

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once someone spend some money on it.

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So if the cash was splashed, just what kind of return

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could you expect on this bungalow, guided at 150 to £175,000?

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I think someone who bought this property, if they completely renovated it throughout

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to a really good standard and made it into a nice-sized

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four-bedroom, rather than a small five-bedroom,

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I think you could achieve around the 175 to £200,000 mark.

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That sounds like an OK return on doing the cosmetic work.

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But what kind of impact would sorting the ash in the construction have on the property value?

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If the person who bought the property was to rectify the wall issue and

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make it mortgageable, you're probably looking in the region of

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sort of 225 or £250,000.

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There are some significant issues with this place

0:18:560:18:58

that whoever bought it needed to know about before they actually put

0:18:580:19:03

their hand in the air. Let's find out who that was,

0:19:030:19:05

when it went under the hammer.

0:19:050:19:08

And this is the property in Cornwall.

0:19:080:19:10

It's a detached five-bedroom property,

0:19:100:19:13

dormer bungalow with garden and garage.

0:19:130:19:15

Somebody like to start off in the room here? Anywhere you like.

0:19:150:19:18

Somewhere in the middle of the guide price would be great. 150, 160,

0:19:180:19:21

whatever you like. In your hands.

0:19:210:19:23

Anyone like to have a bid on this at 160?

0:19:230:19:25

Thank you, 160. 65, somewhere else, if I can?

0:19:250:19:28

We have 160 seated.

0:19:280:19:30

165 now?

0:19:300:19:31

165 here at the front.

0:19:310:19:33

170. 175?

0:19:330:19:37

No? At £170,000, we call it for the first time.

0:19:380:19:41

At 170.

0:19:410:19:43

Second time at 170. 175 now?

0:19:430:19:46

£175,000 against you now.

0:19:460:19:49

Or anywhere else in the room.

0:19:490:19:50

I'll call it for the first time, let's be quite clear, 175 here.

0:19:500:19:54

Second time at 175,000.

0:19:540:19:57

Are you sure you're done? Third and last time at £175,000.

0:19:570:20:02

Yours at 175. Thank you very much.

0:20:040:20:06

The successful bid was made by Bernard.

0:20:060:20:08

He's semi-retired, and used to live and work in Orpington, Kent,

0:20:100:20:15

which is a fair trek away.

0:20:150:20:18

So I was keen to find out why he spent £175,000 on this bungalow.

0:20:180:20:23

-Bernard, great to meet you.

-Hi.

-Congratulations.

0:20:240:20:27

Tell me why you wanted to buy this place?

0:20:270:20:30

Well, firstly, I was looking for a house in the area to be near my

0:20:300:20:34

relatives - my brother and people who live down here.

0:20:340:20:36

So I was looking for a property in the area.

0:20:360:20:38

And this actually became... When I saw it the first time, I thought,

0:20:380:20:44

"Oh, I like the look of that one."

0:20:440:20:46

And then, of course, I found it was going up for auction, so...

0:20:460:20:51

..well, went there and had a go, and here we are.

0:20:510:20:53

So, the house, though... Let's say what are we going to do to it.

0:20:530:20:57

Right, well, obviously there are a few issues. That's the reason

0:20:570:21:01

why it came up for auction.

0:21:010:21:02

There was, at some point, when they did the... They did various...

0:21:020:21:07

..drilled various holes around to check the concrete, the base,

0:21:070:21:10

and everything else. And there seems to be one of them which failed

0:21:100:21:14

at the front,

0:21:140:21:15

but I thought the issues here were not great enough to be of a major

0:21:150:21:21

problem. I thought it's something that can be easily fixed.

0:21:210:21:24

It's just a question of how much the property is going to cost,

0:21:240:21:28

and how much I'd go to.

0:21:280:21:30

But it seems to me that there was enough here that was viable,

0:21:300:21:34

that I'd think, "No, this is OK."

0:21:340:21:36

And also, I could move into it, live in it now

0:21:360:21:39

if I really wanted to, without doing anything.

0:21:390:21:42

But, presumably, it limited your options for finance?

0:21:420:21:45

Yes, the main thing is dealing with

0:21:450:21:49

the essential problem that's there.

0:21:490:21:51

And get it back to a point where it is mortgageable again.

0:21:510:21:55

I think the fundamental things, I can do something about now,

0:21:550:22:00

like blocking up the air vents underneath the house and everything,

0:22:000:22:03

no airflow.

0:22:030:22:06

The first thing I did when I got here was to break them all open to let

0:22:060:22:10

the air get back under the house.

0:22:100:22:11

-Good call.

-It's been drying out quite nicely since I've opened it all up.

0:22:110:22:16

Simple solutions! What about sorting out

0:22:160:22:20

the problems with the stonework? What's the steps for that?

0:22:200:22:22

Right, well, as far as the foundation goes, that needs to be a point where,

0:22:220:22:28

until we do a little dig down there to find out, well, what's the issue

0:22:280:22:32

with it, it might just need digging out and refilling.

0:22:320:22:36

I've already looked at things about the possible drainage issues,

0:22:360:22:40

because all the water has to run away from the house.

0:22:400:22:43

Well, it is, to a certain extent,

0:22:430:22:45

but it wasn't helping if you had no downpipes, or missing,

0:22:450:22:49

and water flushing straight into the walls of the house.

0:22:490:22:52

So, they're an easy fix.

0:22:520:22:55

So, what about, those are the big things,

0:22:550:22:58

what about the internal bits that you...?

0:22:580:23:01

Internally, yeah, it needs a bit of a face-lift, really.

0:23:010:23:05

The first issues will be having the floors, having it repainted,

0:23:050:23:10

doing a few other bits and pieces around the place to sort that out

0:23:100:23:14

and make it tidy. The double glazing,

0:23:140:23:16

there's condensation gone down the inside, so that all need to be...

0:23:160:23:21

..sorted out.

0:23:210:23:23

And then, of course, just trying to make it,

0:23:230:23:26

trying to put some of me into it.

0:23:260:23:28

So what's the budget for all the work you've got planned?

0:23:280:23:30

Well, I'm thinking roughly may be about 25,000.

0:23:300:23:34

To do a half decent job on it.

0:23:350:23:38

But then, I don't know, it could come out less than that.

0:23:380:23:41

But I doubt that it'll come out more.

0:23:410:23:43

-What about a timescale?

-Erm...

0:23:430:23:46

I hadn't set a timescale.

0:23:460:23:47

I thought, "Yes, I'll do this gradually over a year."

0:23:470:23:51

-Essential things.

-Living in it at the same time?

0:23:510:23:53

Yeah. But...

0:23:530:23:55

..the major issues, get those done early on,

0:23:560:24:00

so I'm going to take things one step at a time.

0:24:000:24:02

Sounds good.

0:24:020:24:04

And then move in, which is great.

0:24:040:24:05

Well, congratulations, and good luck with it.

0:24:050:24:07

-We look forward to seeing how you get on.

-Yes. OK.

0:24:070:24:10

Well, Bernard moving down to Cornwall to be closer to his family

0:24:120:24:16

and hopefully relax, but a bit of work to do before he can do that,

0:24:160:24:20

to sort this place out.

0:24:200:24:21

I'm a little bit concerned that that budget isn't going to be enough,

0:24:210:24:25

especially to sort out that problematic wall.

0:24:250:24:28

How will he get on?

0:24:280:24:30

We'll find out later in the show.

0:24:300:24:31

Coming up, I want to try and do the splits at this house in Wolverhampton.

0:24:330:24:38

If you put a wall along here, make that a bedroom, and that a bedroom.

0:24:380:24:43

And find out if Bernard's bungalow has been a big rebuild.

0:24:460:24:49

So, literally, I've taken the whole floor up.

0:24:500:24:53

Time to head back to Epsom in Surrey, where,

0:24:580:25:00

just a mile from the town centre,

0:25:000:25:02

I saw this first floor two-bedroom flat with a guide price

0:25:020:25:05

of £150,000 plus.

0:25:050:25:08

Straight away, I was keen as the foyer looked well cared for.

0:25:100:25:14

And inside the flat, it was pretty good too.

0:25:140:25:16

A bit shabby, but the reception area had generous proportions.

0:25:160:25:20

Though I thought the separate kitchen would need to stay,

0:25:220:25:24

there was barely enough space to swing a cat in the first bedroom,

0:25:240:25:28

but there was space for a bit of Swan Lake in the other.

0:25:280:25:31

It reminds me of, you know, getting your legwarmers on,

0:25:320:25:34

having a wee dance practice, like a dance studio of your own.

0:25:340:25:37

Do a few moves!

0:25:370:25:39

PLIE-ased with their successful bid of 230 grand

0:25:400:25:44

were professional property developers Rika and Alan,

0:25:440:25:47

who planned to renovate the flat and sell on.

0:25:470:25:50

But even the best laid plans of professionals can go awry at times.

0:25:500:25:55

We checked out the legal pack. We did everything we could, but still,

0:25:550:26:01

it's not always enough.

0:26:010:26:02

And so was there any hidden nasties with this property?

0:26:020:26:06

There is actually one thing,

0:26:060:26:08

and that's that the property hasn't got planning permission,

0:26:080:26:10

which basically means that this property

0:26:100:26:13

is not a flat recognised by the council.

0:26:130:26:16

So whoever owns the freehold here carved it up, but never got permission?

0:26:160:26:19

That's correct, yes.

0:26:190:26:21

Cool customers Rika and Alan didn't seem too worried about the potential

0:26:220:26:27

spanner in the works,

0:26:270:26:28

and thought they could turn the flat around in eight to ten weeks at a

0:26:280:26:32

cost of 20 grand.

0:26:320:26:33

Not forgetting their two grand contingency.

0:26:330:26:36

So, would these pros show us how it was done when we returned just eight

0:26:370:26:41

weeks later?

0:26:410:26:43

# This is how we do it. #

0:26:430:26:45

The changes in the flat are truly stunning,

0:26:570:27:00

and the real triumph here is the new layout of the entrance hall.

0:27:000:27:04

By nicking some space from the reception room,

0:27:040:27:07

the kitchen and bedroom are now accessed through the hall,

0:27:070:27:10

rather than the living space.

0:27:100:27:12

There's now some much-needed built in storage,

0:27:120:27:14

and moving the wall in the living room means more space in previously

0:27:140:27:19

poky bedroom.

0:27:190:27:21

Rika and Alan really have shown us how it's done.

0:27:270:27:30

And I'd expect nothing less from a couple of pros.

0:27:300:27:33

But the burning question is,

0:27:330:27:35

did they manage that retrospective planning permission?

0:27:350:27:38

This property has been established as a flat.

0:27:390:27:43

I don't see that there are any problems with it.

0:27:430:27:45

There is indemnity insurance in place at the moment by the

0:27:450:27:49

freeholder. However, the new buyers could have their own policy as well.

0:27:490:27:54

So that would be acceptable to most lenders.

0:27:540:27:58

The freeholder's indemnity insurance policy will cover Rika and Alan in

0:27:580:28:03

the event that the flat would have had to be reverted back to part of the original house,

0:28:030:28:08

which means the flat will be mortgageable when it goes to market.

0:28:080:28:13

With the planning situation, a development can become immune

0:28:130:28:16

from planning enforcement if no action has

0:28:160:28:19

been taken within a specified time limit.

0:28:190:28:22

In this case, four years.

0:28:220:28:24

My advice? Talk to your local planners first.

0:28:240:28:27

It saves everyone a lot of unforeseen issues.

0:28:270:28:31

-Talking of which...

-We had the extra costs that we had to pay to the

0:28:310:28:36

freeholder premium for getting permission to make an alteration to

0:28:360:28:41

the flat, to move the stud wall about one metre, to extend the second bedroom.

0:28:410:28:47

So, negotiating a price for permission ended up costing them.

0:28:470:28:51

But how much? And how did that impact the 20 grand budget?

0:28:510:28:55

Did they use that all-important two grand contingency?

0:28:550:28:58

So, it went to £30,000. With £2,000 contingency!

0:29:010:29:03

So it was £32,000 for the works alone.

0:29:030:29:08

Obviously, we had to pay a premium to the freeholder for extending the

0:29:080:29:13

second bedroom. That was an additional £5,000

0:29:130:29:16

with all the legal fees included.

0:29:160:29:18

But it was worth it. We can see where the money went,

0:29:180:29:21

and, hopefully, it will be recognised, and hopefully,

0:29:210:29:25

we'll be able to sell this, and somebody will find it a nice home.

0:29:250:29:29

I'm sure finding a buyer for this gorgeous flat won't be hard.

0:29:310:29:35

Their new builder has really delivered the goods, and bang on schedule too.

0:29:350:29:39

But what about apprentice, and son, Sven? Did he get stuck in?

0:29:390:29:43

School had already started, so he had to go back to school.

0:29:440:29:49

He was not happy about that.

0:29:490:29:50

He likes doing bits and pieces, and helping out.

0:29:500:29:54

He's always hands on.

0:29:540:29:55

So it wasn't the fact that he tried to get out of it.

0:29:550:29:57

It was more the fact that, really, there wasn't an opportunity.

0:29:570:30:00

Well, maybe next time, Sven.

0:30:000:30:02

But first, let's see how Rika and Alan have done on this one.

0:30:020:30:06

They've spent £267,000 on the flat,

0:30:060:30:10

but do two local estate agents think it's worth it?

0:30:100:30:13

Let's start with the agent who saw it earlier on.

0:30:130:30:15

They've made a number of changes,

0:30:160:30:18

they've done really, really well with what they've done.

0:30:180:30:20

Especially where they've given themselves,

0:30:200:30:22

in the second bedroom, a little bit of extra space.

0:30:220:30:24

It really does change things.

0:30:240:30:25

It now makes it two doubles rather than a single and a double.

0:30:250:30:28

I love the big windows.

0:30:280:30:29

And the bright feel to it.

0:30:290:30:31

It feels really airy.

0:30:310:30:33

And it just feels modern and clean.

0:30:330:30:35

There's a lot of young professional buyers

0:30:350:30:37

moving out from London to get a little bit more

0:30:370:30:39

for their money in this area,

0:30:390:30:41

and they will certainly appreciate a good quality finish.

0:30:410:30:44

That sounds pretty unanimous to me.

0:30:440:30:47

But what about the values?

0:30:470:30:49

Could Rika and Alan see a return on their 267-grand investment?

0:30:490:30:53

If we were to bring it to the market,

0:30:550:30:57

we would expect it to come on for around the sort of £350,000 mark.

0:30:570:31:00

And we'd look to really have offers in and around that level.

0:31:000:31:03

I would value this property at £350,000.

0:31:030:31:06

-That's great.

-That's brilliant.

0:31:060:31:08

We hoped for that sort of figure.

0:31:080:31:10

We had some valuations as well before that came slightly lower,

0:31:100:31:14

at the 330 mark,

0:31:140:31:17

but we believe that 350, in the region of, it's great.

0:31:170:31:21

Very pleased.

0:31:210:31:23

The couple's 15 years in the field are evident,

0:31:230:31:26

in that potential profit of 83 grand before taxes and fees.

0:31:260:31:30

But, come on, guys, give us some tips.

0:31:320:31:34

Be brave. Work out the finances in advance.

0:31:350:31:40

And know exactly how much you can spend,

0:31:400:31:43

because there is always a risk involved.

0:31:430:31:46

But you can prepare yourself, and minimise it.

0:31:460:31:49

# I want to ride my bicycle

0:31:520:31:54

# I want to ride my bike

0:31:540:31:58

# I want to ride my bicycle

0:31:580:32:00

# I want to ride it where I like. #

0:32:000:32:04

DION: Wolverhampton in the West Midlands

0:32:040:32:06

has long been an area of manufacturing.

0:32:060:32:09

Indeed, if you were riding a bike in the 1970s,

0:32:090:32:12

chances are it was made in the city of Wolverhampton.

0:32:120:32:15

Nowadays, it focuses its engineering prowess into the aerospace industry,

0:32:170:32:22

and as a university city,

0:32:220:32:24

is developing the next generation of engineers to continue its cycle on.

0:32:240:32:29

I'm just a ten-minute walk away from the centre of Wolverhampton.

0:32:320:32:36

And we have got, on this very busy main road,

0:32:360:32:38

student accommodation there,

0:32:380:32:40

student accommodation there, and here we are,

0:32:400:32:43

a semidetached house with a guide price of £50,000,

0:32:430:32:47

and it's got three bedrooms.

0:32:470:32:49

Sounds like it's got to be worth a look.

0:32:490:32:51

Nice surprise.

0:32:540:32:56

As soon as you come in, a little portrait here.

0:32:570:33:00

Original Minton tiles.

0:33:000:33:02

Really nice feature.

0:33:020:33:04

Then you step up into the hallway,

0:33:040:33:07

and, let me just check to see if they continue.

0:33:070:33:10

Yeah, they continue all the way down the hallway.

0:33:100:33:13

First reception room on my right-hand-side, it's a good size,

0:33:130:33:16

nice high ceilings.

0:33:160:33:18

Don't like the look of those walls, though.

0:33:180:33:20

We'll come back to that.

0:33:200:33:21

You've got your stairs going up to the bedrooms,

0:33:210:33:24

central heating, which is good.

0:33:240:33:26

And, like I said, those original Minton tiles continue.

0:33:260:33:30

Another reception room there.

0:33:300:33:31

I can't see any central heating in there.

0:33:320:33:34

Then you go to this really grand kitchen, massive kitchen, actually.

0:33:340:33:40

No hob or anything, but it's a really nice size.

0:33:400:33:43

It's not in great condition.

0:33:430:33:44

You would have to start again in here,

0:33:440:33:47

and at the end, you've got a sort of box room there.

0:33:470:33:50

It may have been a utility room

0:33:500:33:51

where you keep your cans and your tins.

0:33:510:33:54

Or you could make it into a downstairs toilet,

0:33:540:33:56

which would be handy.

0:33:560:33:58

I'm pretty sure a house like this, a grand house like this,

0:33:580:34:01

was a family home back in the day.

0:34:010:34:04

But...

0:34:040:34:06

More recently, I'm taking a guess that this was a shared house.

0:34:060:34:12

And that would make sense,

0:34:120:34:14

because you've got student accommodation that way,

0:34:140:34:16

and that way. And maybe this was the same.

0:34:160:34:19

# And you see my writing on the wall

0:34:190:34:22

# Writing on the wall... #

0:34:260:34:29

And the writing might also be on the wall for the boiler.

0:34:290:34:33

I've also got some concerns

0:34:330:34:34

about what to read into the state of the walls

0:34:340:34:36

in the front reception room.

0:34:360:34:38

I just wanted to show you something, and let you hear something.

0:34:390:34:43

Listen to this. Now, this is a solid wall.

0:34:430:34:46

Yeah? Agreed? And down here you've got normal skirting boards.

0:34:460:34:50

Albeit very small. But that's all normal.

0:34:500:34:52

Over on this side, you've got...

0:34:520:34:54

..some boards, and inverted skirting boards, I like to call them.

0:34:550:35:00

My big question is...

0:35:000:35:02

What is that hiding?

0:35:030:35:06

# It's a mystery

0:35:060:35:08

# Oh, it's a mystery

0:35:080:35:10

# I'm still searching for a clue

0:35:100:35:15

# It's a mystery... #

0:35:150:35:19

So, upstairs into the three bedrooms,

0:35:200:35:23

and this one is at the back of the property.

0:35:230:35:26

A good-sized bedroom, looking out onto the back garden.

0:35:260:35:28

Family bathroom here.

0:35:280:35:30

It's seen better days, I would say.

0:35:300:35:32

Get those tiles off, get that bathroom and get that sink out,

0:35:320:35:35

start again. Something nice and fresh and new in there.

0:35:350:35:38

Down the hallway, second bedroom, good...

0:35:380:35:41

In fact, this is a very big bedroom, actually. Nice high ceilings.

0:35:410:35:45

And then a little bit further down the hallway,

0:35:450:35:47

we've got the master bedroom.

0:35:470:35:49

But this is a student area, so let's think,

0:35:490:35:53

how can you maximise your money?

0:35:530:35:55

You could actually make this bedroom, because it's so big,

0:35:550:35:57

you could make it into two,

0:35:570:35:59

and as you've got a single bed in here already,

0:35:590:36:02

this gives you an indication of how big the bedrooms would be.

0:36:020:36:05

So if you were to put... Let's have a look now.

0:36:050:36:08

You put a wall along here, make that a bedroom and that a bedroom,

0:36:080:36:12

it would come sort of this way, along here.

0:36:120:36:15

Stop about here.

0:36:150:36:16

You'd have a door here, going into that bedroom,

0:36:160:36:20

and a door here, going into that bedroom.

0:36:200:36:23

One bedroom becomes two bedrooms, more income from the students...

0:36:230:36:28

Money well spent, I would say.

0:36:300:36:33

To get those extra financial gains for a house of multiple occupancy,

0:36:440:36:48

first, you need to make sure

0:36:480:36:49

you comply with the local council regulations.

0:36:490:36:53

This can dictate the amount of shared bathrooms

0:36:530:36:56

and things such as adequate fire escapes and smoke detectors.

0:36:560:37:00

By splitting that bedroom, you could end up with

0:37:000:37:02

as many as six separate rooms in this house.

0:37:020:37:06

What does an agent from the auction house that sold it think?

0:37:060:37:09

As far as the property is concerned,

0:37:100:37:13

the conversion to bedsits should be fairly straightforward.

0:37:130:37:17

Up to a certain number, you find that there is no planning required.

0:37:170:37:22

However, if they try to be a little overzealous

0:37:220:37:25

and get some more rooms out of it by subdividing rooms,

0:37:250:37:29

they may find that they would need to obtain proper permission.

0:37:290:37:33

Yes, you should always check out the regulations with your council

0:37:330:37:36

to find out if you require a HMO licence.

0:37:360:37:39

Would that be the best option?

0:37:400:37:42

The house had a guide price of £50,000.

0:37:420:37:45

So what kind of value could it achieve?

0:37:450:37:48

First, as a single house for resale.

0:37:480:37:51

I would imagine that you'd achieve

0:37:510:37:53

something in the region of £130,000, £135,000?

0:37:530:37:59

Well, if you were to get it for anything like the guide,

0:37:590:38:01

there could be a smart profit.

0:38:010:38:04

What about my notion of making this a student rental?

0:38:040:38:07

What could you make if all five rooms were let?

0:38:070:38:11

Probably in the region of £20,000 to £22,000 per year.

0:38:110:38:16

However, that would also include for any outgoings such as gas,

0:38:160:38:21

electricity, that type of thing.

0:38:210:38:23

I think this house is perfect for student accommodation.

0:38:250:38:29

That could be a fantastic return on your money.

0:38:290:38:33

Let's see who saw the pound signs when it went under the hammer.

0:38:330:38:36

Next lot is a fairly substantial freehold, semidetached house,

0:38:390:38:44

at £50,000, am I bid?

0:38:440:38:46

At £50,000, to get a starter, buy this or bid.

0:38:460:38:49

At 50,000. How good is it? 60 now.

0:38:490:38:51

At 60? Thank you, sir, at 60.

0:38:510:38:53

Is it 70 now? At 70 and thank you.

0:38:530:38:56

Is it 80? 75?

0:38:560:38:58

75, madam, thank you.

0:38:580:38:59

I've got you first at 75.

0:38:590:39:01

After a bit of a slow start, things hotted up.

0:39:010:39:04

We rejoin the bidding, going up in halves at £104,000.

0:39:040:39:09

104, 104 and a half?

0:39:090:39:12

105? 105.

0:39:120:39:14

105 and a half?

0:39:140:39:17

No? £105,000.

0:39:170:39:19

Are we all done, sir? Definitely?

0:39:190:39:22

Thank you. One, two, three...

0:39:220:39:25

105,000.

0:39:250:39:27

And so for over double the guide price at £105,000,

0:39:290:39:34

a successful bid was made by Abby.

0:39:340:39:37

She works in retail,

0:39:370:39:38

and was bidding on behalf of her London-based auntie, Jean.

0:39:380:39:42

I met her back at the house to find out a little bit more.

0:39:420:39:45

Abby, nice to meet you.

0:39:470:39:48

Nice to meet you too.

0:39:480:39:49

You've got yourself a very nice property, I think.

0:39:490:39:52

Thank you very much.

0:39:520:39:53

Now you've got it, what are you going to do with it?

0:39:530:39:55

We want to convert all the rooms to bedrooms,

0:39:550:39:57

so it's a multiple occupancy, and we want to try and target students.

0:39:570:40:01

Was this your university?

0:40:010:40:03

Yeah, I just graduated, September.

0:40:030:40:05

-Did you do well?

-Yes, I got a 2:1.

0:40:050:40:07

Look at you, showing off on telly!

0:40:070:40:09

THEY LAUGH

0:40:090:40:10

-Thank you.

-Is this your first venture, together with your auntie?

0:40:100:40:14

-Yeah.

-And did you want something this big,

0:40:140:40:17

or did you just want something for students?

0:40:170:40:19

Well, I was thinking something small at first,

0:40:190:40:21

but she was thinking more multiple occupancy, big,

0:40:210:40:24

so this was perfect, really.

0:40:240:40:26

So I suppose, dive in the deep end, it's better, isn't it? So...

0:40:260:40:30

-You're not messing about. You've gone for it, haven't you?

-Yeah!

0:40:300:40:33

Well, she might only be 22,

0:40:350:40:36

but she's really stepping up to the plate here,

0:40:360:40:39

and having been a recent graduate in Childhood and Family Studies,

0:40:390:40:43

she's completely switched on

0:40:430:40:45

to what students need in their accommodation.

0:40:450:40:48

New kitchen, new bathroom.

0:40:480:40:50

Another bathroom down here to cater

0:40:500:40:52

to the extra bedrooms we're adding in.

0:40:520:40:54

So this will be your...

0:40:540:40:56

-Extra bathroom.

-Extra bathroom here.

0:40:560:40:58

And the two rooms you've got down here,

0:40:580:41:00

what are you going to do with that? Are they going to be...?

0:41:000:41:02

-Bedrooms as well.

-Both bedrooms?

0:41:020:41:04

-Yeah.

-Upstairs, any changes upstairs at all?

0:41:040:41:06

Potentially, may be looking at splitting the front bedroom.

0:41:060:41:08

Because of how big it is.

0:41:080:41:10

That's what I was thinking. That's what I was thinking!

0:41:100:41:12

-Good on you.

-Then, obviously that's an extra income from another person.

0:41:120:41:16

What I have noticed, as I'm walking around myself, the very front room,

0:41:160:41:20

some plasterboard, and it doesn't look great.

0:41:200:41:23

We're not sure what's behind it, but we think it's hiding something,

0:41:230:41:26

so we planned it into the timescale and the budget

0:41:260:41:30

just in case it does add extra time and money to everything.

0:41:300:41:34

What kind of budget are we talking about?

0:41:340:41:36

We want to say 30.

0:41:360:41:38

Along with Auntie Jean's budget of 30 grand,

0:41:390:41:42

Abby's project managing should keep her busy for around six months,

0:41:420:41:47

with a plan to have the house ready for occupation

0:41:470:41:49

in time for the next academic year.

0:41:490:41:52

Have you still got pals at uni?

0:41:520:41:54

Yeah, yeah.

0:41:540:41:56

Some of them, like, my friends I've met through other people.

0:41:560:41:59

They've lived in houses, they used to live in halls.

0:41:590:42:01

-So they prefer to get together...

-And get a shared property.

0:42:010:42:05

Yeah. You're in already. That's fantastic.

0:42:050:42:08

All you've got to do is send a few texts out.

0:42:080:42:10

-"I've got a property for you."

-Basically!

0:42:100:42:13

-Are you excited?

-Yeah, definitely.

0:42:130:42:15

Is this something that you want to do? Is this a one-off?

0:42:150:42:18

No, it's something I've always had an interest in.

0:42:180:42:20

It's always something, like, how am I going to get started?

0:42:200:42:22

I don't really have the money.

0:42:220:42:24

But, obviously, with my auntie's support

0:42:240:42:26

like, I can get to know what it's like,

0:42:260:42:28

what I need to do, then I'll have the experience to do it myself.

0:42:280:42:31

I think this is a really nice place.

0:42:310:42:33

A really nice place. If you get it right,

0:42:330:42:36

I think it's going to be money well spent.

0:42:360:42:38

I hope you make lots of money,

0:42:380:42:39

and Auntie Jean just gives you a little bit too!

0:42:390:42:42

-Good luck, Abby. I wish you all the best.

-Thank you very much.

0:42:420:42:45

That is a brave and mature young lady.

0:42:460:42:49

Taking on a property of this size for her first project,

0:42:490:42:53

at the age of 22, wow!

0:42:530:42:55

What I will say, though - she knows the area.

0:42:550:42:57

She knows there is a demand for more student property.

0:42:570:43:01

My only concern is that plasterboard in the front room.

0:43:010:43:05

What's behind there?

0:43:050:43:06

And has she set aside enough money to put it right if needed?

0:43:060:43:10

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

0:43:100:43:13

Well, we're often told that good things come in threes.

0:43:170:43:19

I wonder if that's the case for the properties on today's show?

0:43:190:43:22

That's absolutely right, Martin.

0:43:220:43:23

Well, we know how one buyer got on.

0:43:230:43:25

-So how about the other two?

-Yes. That wait's over.

0:43:250:43:27

Let's find out how they got on.

0:43:270:43:29

Back to the Cornish countryside now.

0:43:290:43:31

I saw a bungalow which had two bedrooms on the ground floor,

0:43:330:43:36

as well as plenty of living space.

0:43:360:43:38

It had also been extended up into the loft to add another bathroom

0:43:410:43:44

and three further bedrooms.

0:43:440:43:46

So far, so good.

0:43:480:43:50

Ah!

0:43:510:43:53

Famous last words. The joists which support the floor

0:43:530:43:56

have completely rotted away, as has some of the floor.

0:43:560:44:00

That is not good at all.

0:44:000:44:03

And there was even more to be worried about, as this bungalow,

0:44:030:44:06

as is common in properties like this in Cornwall,

0:44:060:44:09

had been tested to see if its walls and foundations

0:44:090:44:12

had been made with mining waste, generally known as Mundeck.

0:44:120:44:16

Everything hinged on the results of the board test,

0:44:160:44:18

so what would its presence mean?

0:44:180:44:21

Bad news, furnace ash.

0:44:220:44:25

Basically, the ash from the furnaces

0:44:250:44:27

was used in the construction of some of these blocks.

0:44:270:44:29

And that is considered a potential problem, and it basically,

0:44:290:44:33

to cut a very long story short,

0:44:330:44:35

means the house is probably unmortgageable.

0:44:350:44:37

This didn't stop Bernard from buying this property for £175,000.

0:44:380:44:45

He planned on moving to Cornwall to retire near his family,

0:44:450:44:48

who live in the area, and none of the property's faults put him off.

0:44:480:44:51

I thought the issues here were not great enough

0:44:520:44:57

to be of a major problem.

0:44:570:44:59

I thought it's something that can be easily fixed.

0:44:590:45:01

It's just a question of how much the property was going to cost,

0:45:010:45:05

and how much I'd go to.

0:45:050:45:07

And also, I could move into it

0:45:070:45:08

and live in it now if I really wanted to.

0:45:080:45:11

Without doing anything.

0:45:110:45:12

Bernard thought all the work would be done in around 12 months.

0:45:120:45:16

But we are actually heading back, well, quite a bit later than that.

0:45:160:45:20

It's been three years,

0:45:200:45:23

so I think we're overdue a visit to see how Bernard has been getting on.

0:45:230:45:27

# Settle down

0:45:290:45:31

# Don't settle down without me

0:45:310:45:35

# No, no, settle down

0:45:350:45:38

# I'll settle down for good

0:45:380:45:41

# Yeah, settle down

0:45:410:45:45

# I'll settle down around you

0:45:450:45:49

# Yeah, settle down

0:45:490:45:52

# I'll settle down for sure, yeah... #

0:45:520:45:58

Bernard hasn't done too much to the property,

0:45:580:46:01

besides putting in some new windows where the old ones had failed,

0:46:010:46:04

and a general lick of paint throughout.

0:46:040:46:06

Plain sailing so far, although he did have to get stuck in

0:46:080:46:11

when it came to the rotten floor in this room.

0:46:110:46:14

# Whatever I can do, I will

0:46:140:46:18

# Cos I'm good like that... #

0:46:180:46:22

That corner here was where the floor had rotted.

0:46:220:46:25

So, literally, I've taken the whole floor up.

0:46:250:46:29

Completely replaced it with new joists, everything.

0:46:290:46:33

And then re-floored it with new laminate flooring.

0:46:330:46:37

Painted all the walls, so it's now a little living room now,

0:46:370:46:41

where you can sit down and read the paper, or read a book,

0:46:410:46:43

whenever you like.

0:46:430:46:45

# Yeah, yeah, settle down

0:46:450:46:47

# I'll settle down for sure, yeah... #

0:46:470:46:53

A lot of the issues in this house

0:46:530:46:54

were caused by the absence of guttering and pipe maintenance,

0:46:540:46:58

which Bernard has sorted out.

0:46:580:47:00

But he's been relaxed about the mine waste issues,

0:47:000:47:03

since, out of nine samples,

0:47:030:47:05

only one came back as possibly being affected.

0:47:050:47:08

And since he's not selling on, he's in no hurry to tackle it.

0:47:080:47:12

I haven't set a timescale on it.

0:47:120:47:15

I know roughly how much it will cost to do it, and probably,

0:47:150:47:20

maybe 10,000 to 15,000.

0:47:200:47:23

But that's at the top end.

0:47:230:47:24

Bernard also plans on re-concreting the driveway

0:47:260:47:28

at some stage in the future.

0:47:280:47:30

So when that's been done,

0:47:300:47:32

he'll have the repairs made

0:47:320:47:33

to the furnace ash affecting the front wall.

0:47:330:47:37

He originally had a total budget of £25,000.

0:47:370:47:40

So how much of a dent has the work he's done so far made in that?

0:47:400:47:44

To be honest with you, it's less than 2,000.

0:47:440:47:47

If I'd had the floor, someone in to do it, yes, it would have cost me,

0:47:470:47:51

probably, a lot more.

0:47:510:47:52

If it's something I can do, I am retired now,

0:47:520:47:56

so I need things to do in my retirement!

0:47:560:47:59

Things like that suit me fine.

0:47:590:48:01

There's one thing, when you've been working day in, day out,

0:48:010:48:06

and you don't really have the chance to do things,

0:48:060:48:09

I want to take advantage of it, just for a little while.

0:48:090:48:13

So I can sort of get up when I want to, do whatever I want to do,

0:48:130:48:16

and just relax.

0:48:160:48:18

So I'm having the holiday now that I haven't had for years,

0:48:180:48:22

so there you go.

0:48:220:48:23

Bernard has been living near his brother,

0:48:250:48:27

and been able to take in all the nice outdoor spots

0:48:270:48:30

that Cornwall has to offer over the last three years.

0:48:300:48:33

This seems like it's been a wise purchase.

0:48:330:48:36

As far as I'm concerned, I'm glad I bought the house.

0:48:380:48:41

I got a feeling about the place when I bought it.

0:48:410:48:45

And I think if you're buying a place to live in it,

0:48:450:48:48

it's what your heart tells you.

0:48:480:48:50

You think, "Yes, I like this, I really feel I could live here."

0:48:500:48:53

I like the area, I've got family down here.

0:48:530:48:56

So, no problem.

0:48:560:48:58

I'm happy.

0:48:580:48:59

Well, Bernard might be settled, and isn't planning on selling,

0:49:000:49:04

but what would the agents recommend he should do

0:49:040:49:07

to get the best price

0:49:070:49:09

if he wanted to make a profit from this property?

0:49:090:49:12

Let's hear from the agent who saw it last time.

0:49:120:49:15

If Bernard was going to sell the property,

0:49:150:49:18

I would suggest a new kitchen,

0:49:180:49:20

new bathroom,

0:49:200:49:21

maybe new flooring, just general redecoration.

0:49:210:49:24

And how does the other agent think any potential sales here

0:49:260:49:29

would be affected by the front wall still containing mining waste?

0:49:290:49:33

At the moment, it is fine.

0:49:330:49:35

It's not causing any structural anomalies to the property.

0:49:350:49:39

But it's just something to bear in mind in the future, going forward,

0:49:390:49:43

if he was to ever sell the property, get it looked at, get it fixed,

0:49:430:49:46

get a clean bill of health,

0:49:460:49:48

and it can be back up to full market value.

0:49:480:49:49

Bearing in mind that Bernard has spent

0:49:510:49:53

a total of £177,000 on it already,

0:49:530:49:56

and could spend as much as £20,000

0:49:560:49:58

on a new drive and sorting out the front wall,

0:49:580:50:02

what exactly would be full market value

0:50:020:50:04

for this five-bedroom bungalow?

0:50:040:50:08

If it was all mortgageable,

0:50:080:50:09

all fixed, I would market the property at £230,000.

0:50:090:50:12

If the structural issues were to be sorted,

0:50:120:50:14

and the property was improved,

0:50:140:50:16

I would recommend a guide price of around £250,000.

0:50:160:50:19

It's not even in my mind, what I can make on this.

0:50:190:50:22

My point is, I thought, "Yes, I want a nice house

0:50:220:50:25

"that will suit me for my retirement."

0:50:250:50:28

At the end of the day,

0:50:280:50:30

I know that I'm going to be happy, and, also, obviously,

0:50:300:50:34

I'm with family nearby.

0:50:340:50:36

And, um...

0:50:360:50:38

It sort of makes a big difference.

0:50:380:50:40

Well, Bernard, I hope you enjoy your retirement

0:50:410:50:44

on the beautiful Cornish coast.

0:50:440:50:46

Within easy reach of Wolverhampton University

0:50:540:50:57

was where I looked at this three-bed semi

0:50:570:51:00

with two public rooms, and, given its location,

0:51:000:51:04

I think the writing was on the wall for its future, as well as its past.

0:51:040:51:08

I'm taking a guess that this was a shared house.

0:51:100:51:14

With potentially five letting rooms on offer, a large kitchen, bathroom,

0:51:140:51:19

and room to add more, this was surely destined to be a HMO.

0:51:190:51:23

Or a house of multiple occupancy.

0:51:230:51:26

And it was bought for £105,000

0:51:260:51:28

as a joint venture between Abby and her Auntie Jean.

0:51:280:51:33

Having only just graduated from the nearby university,

0:51:330:51:37

Abby was well placed to know what was required, and, as such,

0:51:370:51:41

was going to oversee the spending of Jean's 30-grand budget.

0:51:410:51:45

She hoped to complete the work in around six months,

0:51:450:51:48

ready for the next academic year.

0:51:480:51:51

Is this your first venture together with your auntie?

0:51:510:51:53

-Yeah.

-And did you want something this big,

0:51:530:51:55

or did you just want something for students?

0:51:550:51:58

I was thinking something small at first,

0:51:580:52:00

but she was thinking more multiple occupancy, big.

0:52:000:52:03

So this was perfect, really.

0:52:030:52:06

I suppose, dive in the deep end, it's better, isn't it? So...

0:52:060:52:09

You're not messing about, you've gone for it, haven't you!

0:52:090:52:11

Yeah!

0:52:110:52:13

# Go for it, yeah

0:52:130:52:16

# Go for it, yeah... #

0:52:160:52:20

So, did they really go for it?

0:52:200:52:22

Well, just under seven months on, and we are back.

0:52:220:52:25

That's a pretty impressive kitchen, with bags of personality,

0:52:330:52:37

and the rear utility room is now a plush new shower room.

0:52:370:52:41

Great minds, eh, Abby, great minds!

0:52:430:52:45

But what about the five lettable rooms?

0:52:450:52:47

Have they been given the personal touch?

0:52:470:52:50

Each room that we have here is also named after my great grandparents,

0:52:520:52:56

so we've got, like, for example,

0:52:560:52:58

Richard, or Dorothy, and, obviously,

0:52:580:53:00

each room has its own different theme.

0:53:000:53:02

So, downstairs, say hello to Dorothy.

0:53:050:53:07

Merris, hi, Merris.

0:53:100:53:12

And luckily, neither Dorothy nor Merris

0:53:120:53:15

are hiding anything behind

0:53:150:53:17

the strange boarding I saw on my first visit.

0:53:170:53:19

All the walls were as sound as a pound.

0:53:210:53:24

While, upstairs, we have Sam.

0:53:240:53:25

Hello, Sam.

0:53:250:53:26

Effeginia, which has remained as one bedroom.

0:53:310:53:34

Which just leaves bedroom number five, Richard.

0:53:350:53:38

And they all share a bathroom called Dion.

0:53:430:53:46

No, they don't,

0:53:460:53:48

I'm just trying to get in on the act!

0:53:480:53:50

Who did Abby call in to do the work?

0:53:500:53:52

# Call me in a sweet design Call me... #

0:53:520:53:57

The majority of the work has been done by the builder that we found.

0:53:570:54:00

It took us a long time to find him, because, like,

0:54:000:54:02

a lot of the builders we had before

0:54:020:54:04

wanted us to tell them what we wanted to do,

0:54:040:54:07

which we didn't really know.

0:54:070:54:09

We wasn't sure. We needed them to sort of advise us.

0:54:090:54:12

And, obviously, we found our builder.

0:54:120:54:14

He knew what he was doing straightaway.

0:54:140:54:16

And once they found the right builder,

0:54:160:54:19

the bulk of the work was complete within their six-month timescale.

0:54:190:54:23

There's a back garden that still has some finishing off to do,

0:54:230:54:26

tidying up, planting, etc.

0:54:260:54:28

But how involved did Abby and Auntie Jean get?

0:54:280:54:31

I have a job that I do full time, I work in retail.

0:54:320:54:35

So where as I was meant to play a huge role,

0:54:350:54:37

because of her living in London and not here,

0:54:370:54:39

it sort of had to switch up,

0:54:390:54:41

and she had to spend the majority of her time down here.

0:54:410:54:44

But, in the long run, it was better,

0:54:440:54:45

because then I learned properly how to do stuff from her.

0:54:450:54:49

And she learned some stuff along the way.

0:54:490:54:51

And, very wisely, Jean took a course on how to run a HMO.

0:54:520:54:57

Meanwhile, Abby's full-time job and returning to study

0:54:570:55:01

meant Jean took over,

0:55:010:55:03

but she still managed to be involved in this project.

0:55:030:55:06

So how did the partnership work?

0:55:060:55:08

Working with my aunt has been interesting.

0:55:100:55:12

She's a bit of a perfectionist.

0:55:120:55:14

Say, if something was put in a certain way,

0:55:140:55:16

I'd be like, "I don't mind that."

0:55:160:55:18

She'd be like, "No, no, it's got to be done this way."

0:55:180:55:20

We managed to compromise and get through it, so it's been good.

0:55:200:55:24

And if there was perhaps a slight change in the roles played here,

0:55:240:55:27

there was also a change in the thinking

0:55:270:55:29

of what the house could be used for.

0:55:290:55:31

After speaking to the landlords that have HMOs,

0:55:310:55:34

we realised that it would be better for us to let to professionals,

0:55:340:55:38

because then we could have longer tenancy agreements.

0:55:380:55:41

Whereas, probably, every two years,

0:55:410:55:42

we've got to find new tenants from students,

0:55:420:55:45

and they're not going to be living here for a full year,

0:55:450:55:47

just during term time.

0:55:470:55:48

Totally get that.

0:55:500:55:51

Student lets aren't for everyone.

0:55:510:55:54

Financially rewarding, but hard work.

0:55:540:55:56

Talking about money, though...

0:55:570:56:00

Our original budget was £30,000.

0:56:000:56:02

We increased it a bit,

0:56:020:56:03

just in case the walls in the reception rooms

0:56:030:56:05

needed extra work doing.

0:56:050:56:07

But, in the end, we only spent £23,000.

0:56:070:56:09

That is good going, as it includes the building work,

0:56:110:56:14

materials, carpets, furniture,

0:56:140:56:16

but there were another £5,000 in fees.

0:56:160:56:20

Money well spent. Well, what do two local property experts think?

0:56:200:56:24

It's my second visit to the property.

0:56:260:56:28

And, yep, they've really done it out well.

0:56:280:56:31

I think the layout of the property is very good,

0:56:310:56:33

because you've created an extra shower room downstairs.

0:56:330:56:36

So you've got shower rooms on both floors,

0:56:360:56:39

you've got a nice big kitchen.

0:56:390:56:41

Yeah, the layout works really well.

0:56:410:56:42

This is Abby and her auntie's first property venture together.

0:56:440:56:47

But is it a financially successful one,

0:56:470:56:50

with an outlay of £133,000 on the house?

0:56:500:56:54

I would feel that they would achieve

0:56:540:56:57

something between £170,000 and £175,000.

0:56:570:57:01

Fully occupied, you're going to be looking in the region of £170,000.

0:57:010:57:05

So a potential pre-tax profit of between £37,000 and £42,000.

0:57:050:57:11

But it's the rentals that's really important here.

0:57:110:57:14

We have one single in the property,

0:57:140:57:15

which is going to be in the region of £90 per week,

0:57:150:57:18

and the doubles do vary slightly in sizes,

0:57:180:57:20

but they are going to be anywhere up to £120, maybe £130 per week.

0:57:200:57:24

The smaller rooms in the property

0:57:240:57:27

would rent out at £90 to £100 per week.

0:57:270:57:31

And the larger rooms would be in the region of £110 to £115.

0:57:330:57:38

The figures for the rental values of the room are quite good.

0:57:380:57:42

They are similar to ours, so that's great.

0:57:420:57:46

Those figures will equate

0:57:460:57:48

to an annual income of around £25,000 to £30,000,

0:57:480:57:51

or a yield of about 20%.

0:57:510:57:54

Good on you, girls.

0:57:540:57:55

So will this property partnership continue?

0:57:550:57:58

Yeah, definitely, I would work with her again.

0:58:000:58:02

It's been fun to learn more about each other,

0:58:020:58:04

especially seeing as she doesn't live here.

0:58:040:58:06

You know, spending a bit more time with each other.

0:58:060:58:09

So, yeah, looking forward to the next one, definitely.

0:58:090:58:12

Well, it's not unusual to have the odd hiccup here and there

0:58:140:58:17

when it comes to property developing.

0:58:170:58:19

Yeah, that is true.

0:58:190:58:20

But if you do it right, the returns can be rewarding.

0:58:200:58:22

Indeed, they can.

0:58:220:58:23

So join us next time for more auction stories

0:58:230:58:26

on Homes Under The Hammer.

0:58:260:58:28

-ALL:

-Goodbye.

0:58:280:58:29

A husband-and-wife team add sparkle to a three-bedroom flat in Epsom in Surrey, a niece and aunt team up to refurbish a house in Wolverhampton and a semi-retired man buys a bungalow in Ashton in Cornwall to be near his brother. Martin Roberts, Dion Dublin and Martel Maxwell talk to the developers and hear their plans to see what they want to do with their homes bought under the hammer.