A small garden with planning permission in Canterbury in Kent, a flat in London's Crystal Palace and a bungalow in the village of Branthwaite in Cumbria are sold at auction.
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Hello, and welcome to the show.
Now, when attending a property auction,
you're always going to come across a varied bunch of people.
Yes, from professional property developers to first-timers who are
probably trying to do their best poker face.
Yes, they should all have one thing in common, though -
they should have done their research before attempting to buy
their next home under the hammer.
Now, it's not just the punters that are varied at auction.
No, the lots are just as mixed.
Houses, flats, commercial premises, plots of land, all on offer.
Yeah, so let's see what went under the hammer on today's show.
Coming up in historic Canterbury,
there could be a surprise or two
hidden underneath this building plot.
Buried treasure, remains - who knows what?
And I discover something completely unexpected in this one-bed flat in
London. Loads of space.
It can only be a good thing.
And if you're after a bit of retro,
how about this three-bed bungalow in Cumbria?
Could this be a remote-controlled fire?
-All these properties have been sold at auction, and we'll find out
who bought them and what they paid when they went under the hammer.
In the 13th century,
an unusual group of characters made their way to the town of Canterbury,
in Kent - and, no,
they weren't the crew
from the very first series of Homes Under The Hammer!
They were pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales,
making their way to see the shrine of Thomas Becket and the spectacular
Pilgrims still tread these paths,
and Canterbury is one of the most-visited towns in Britain
and still the seat of the Anglican Church.
Well, in the heart of beautiful historic Canterbury,
literally under the shadow of the cathedral,
is the auction lot that I'm here to see.
£120,000 to £125,000 is the guide price,
and I'm not going to tell you any more.
So, why the mystery?
I don't know, looks all right, doesn't it?
Yeah, quite a lot of house for the money.
Yeah. But that's not it!
That's not the auction lot, THIS IS!
It's the garden, including that bit at the end, and nothing else.
As you can see, it's quite narrow.
Say about three metres...
It's about - oh, I don't know - 16 or so metres long,
probably smaller than the average garden in the UK.
£125,000 for this?!
The plot is about 48 square metres, and if you bought it for £125,000,
well, that's £2,500 per square metre,
so why is this little garden giving London prices a run for their money?
Well, you've probably been watching the programme for long enough
to know that there is a reason, of course,
why the guide price was set so high,
and that's because this little plot of land has actually got
full planning permission for the creation
of a detached two-bedroom house.
Now, something like that so close to the centre of Canterbury with
the additional bonus of a parking space, well,
fully built that's going to be worth a lot of money.
So, definitely, it makes sense.
A slight downside is that you are in a conservation area,
so you're going to have to use traditional materials
and it's going to have to look the part.
So that's going to add to the build cost.
Even so, as small as it is...
..sometimes nice things come in small packages.
# Little things mean a lot... #
This tiny space has been approved for a two-floor,
two-bed detached property, seen here in these plans.
But it's not the plot's size that worries me.
You'll need to consider access to the build, and this lane does seem
a little on the snug side.
Still, Canterbury is one of the most affluent areas in the UK,
so this little lot could make you a pot!
Well, no, I'm not just helping out with the gardening,
I'm just illustrating a point, or rather, searching for something,
because this plot of land is within an area of archaeological
significance, which basically means
there could be things under the ground here
which are exactly that - archaeologically significant.
Buried treasure, remains - who knows what?
An archaeologist would have to supervise the works
as you started digging down,
just to make sure there wasn't something buried there.
It potentially adds to the cost and also, if something is found, well,
that throws up a WHOLE LOAD of potential issues!
Hm, chances are you're not going to be sitting on a little gold mine,
but a local estate agent can tell us
if this £120,000 to £125,000 guided lot
is a hidden treasure.
The first impressions of the plot was quite impressive.
It's a nice-sized plot.
Certainly large enough to accommodate
a two-bedroomed detached property.
What might the two-bed cost to build?
Well, planning permission has been given for a detached two-bedroom
house with parking, so I suspect the build-out cost
would be about £130,000.
So, assuming you got it for the guide,
and it's a £255,000 potential outlay, is it worth it?
I think once completed to a good standard,
this house should achieve something
along the lines of £315,000 to £320,000.
Well, I bet this little item's really got you thinking, hasn't it?
Because behind this wall, an unassuming little garden
could be a real pot of gold for somebody.
Let's find out who bought it when it went under the hammer.
As rare as hen's teeth to get building plots
in the centre of Canterbury.
It's in the conservation area, um,
and it's of a standard construction and design,
so nice and easy to build.
Do you want to start me at 100 and we'll sort of move up from there?
I got him first, so 105.
115. 115, 120.
118, I'm told. 120.
122 now if you wish.
122, may I see?
£120,000 I've got, and two I'm looking for...
At 120, I have, then, on my left for the first time...
120,000 for the second...
Third and final... 122.
Just in time, sir. 122, 124.
You thought you'd bought it. 124, 126.
Holding on to the last second doesn't help very much.
124, I've got.
For the first time... 124 for the second time...
126. 128. 127,
you've been with it from the beginning. 127, if you like.
127. Now 128, if you like.
At 127,000, I will be selling for the first time...
£127,000 on my left for the second time...
Third and final time, at £127,000, all done?
Yours at 127, sir, and your number is S143.
Two grand over the guide price at 127,000.
The successful bidders were dad Tony and his son Paul.
A lot of money for this little lot.
What's the plan? Paul, Tony, great to meet you both.
-Nice to meet you.
-Now, there's probably a lot of people at home
watching, going, "I've got to sell my garden!"
Cos it seems like a massive amount of money that you just paid
for what is a pretty small, average UK-sized garden, isn't it?
It's in the centre of Canterbury.
-It's got a lot of potential.
It's a plot where a sizeable house can be built on, and we're hoping to
-make it quite a nice build and...
It seemed like a good idea at the time, so...
I'm not giving you a hard time. No, you've done the right thing.
Of course, the real reason it went for that money was
that it's got planning permission, isn't it?
The additional thing is it's got a car parking space as well.
-So, dragon's teeth in Canterbury centre.
Yeah. So, we've got a father-and-son team here.
Have you done projects together before, or what?
No, it's the first time we've ever done anything together, really.
-But he needs to get something under his belt in terms of a career
or something to, you know, develop his life, and so this came up...
"Well, cheers, Dad! I was completely worthless up until this point."
-Yeah... No, no. He works...
-Thank goodness, eh?
Your dad stepped in and life's going to be good from this point on!
-Some sons do have them, eh, Paul?
What can you do?
In Paul's defence, he has had several other purposes,
including erecting gazebos, but not building houses.
And what does Dad do? What do you do? What's your job?
Oh, I'm retired, I used to be in insurance, for many, many years.
-The good thing is, a lot of his friends are contractors.
-You know, they're in the trade.
-And so there's the potential
of using those as part of the project.
But a new build, no experience at all?
No experience at all. Then again,
I suppose, you have to start from somewhere, don't you?
Well, yes, but normally kind of...
Well, look, I have jumped in the ocean at the deep end,
-Yeah! Well, probably a bit, yes.
# Throw caution to the wind
# Take a deep breath and jump right in. #
So, sink or swim time for Paul.
Dad Tony has some property experience,
so Paul will be able to get some guidance,
but dealing with conservation and archaeological requirements,
and a tricky little site...
Well, it's not going to be easy.
Had you seen the plot before you bought it?
But we knew roughly where it was.
Oh, that's all right, then. Now, look, you spent, you know,
over £100,000 on a bit of land that could have been anywhere.
But I've lived here for 28 years. I know Canterbury very well...
-Do you know the road?
-Yeah, I knew the road.
I know there was no dump over the road,
I knew there was no pylon going overhead.
The only thing I didn't know is where exactly the plot was
-and the measurements of it all.
the specific location does throw up a few issues.
What do you know about those?
Um, in the planning, we have to have an archaeological dig.
-Someone from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust
will be here whilst we're doing the foundations to make sure there's
nothing underneath this land.
If you do find something, that's a nightmare?
It could be a nightmare, but hopefully not.
I mean, there hasn't been anything found in this area so far,
we've found out, and, um, if there is,
then they have to write up on it and dig it up...
Sure. But is it yours if you do find pots of gold?
-Pass, I wouldn't know.
I don't think I actually know the answer to that question!
-No, neither do I, no!
-I believe so.
-Well, that'd be good.
-I believe so, yeah.
Subsequent digging reveals that they may be disappointed.
The Treasure Act 1996 stipulates that you can't just flog
any coins or objects you discover.
They have to be declared and offered to a museum to buy,
although there might be a reward.
In terms of their own war chest,
the pair have a £140,000 budget
and aim to have the two-bed built in five months.
What value will it have, do you think, when it's done?
Paul is taking some soundings from three local agents and
we were working around 325,000...
-But they're sort of heading up towards 350 if it's a decent build.
They're heading more than what we think, so, yeah.
So, there could be 100 grand in it.
-If we do make a reasonable amount of money,
I'm happy to put all of that back into the next project.
-Oh, great, OK.
you know, I think he could do a great job.
-It's lovely to meet you both. Good luck with it.
-Thanks very much.
-I'm looking forward to seeing how you get on.
Well, sometimes property is just a numbers game,
and crazy though it seems
at first glance, it does seem that the numbers stack up with this tiny
plot of land. How will Paul get on building his house here?
You can find out later in the show.
South London now and Crystal Palace.
The area has plenty of good amenities, like Crystal Palace Park,
and it's pretty well placed with good transport links.
Believe it or not, this quiet residential street
is not too far from Crystal Palace town centre,
and it's on this street we find our property.
We have got a one-bed,
first-floor flat with a guide price of 170 grand plus.
Let's go and see what you get for your money.
I understand that the block has some concrete construction,
such as floors, ceilings and roof.
It's always worth checking with an independent mortgage advisor,
as some lenders might treat this as a nonstandard construction.
Perhaps it has a bearing on the reasonable-sounding
guide price for a purpose-built flat in London.
So, you're in through the door and you get a little...hallway,
which I wasn't expecting.
I have gone straight through a cobweb, though,
so nothing's happened in here for some time!
So, geographically, we've got
kitchen and lounge.
I'm going to start in here.
Right. What a good-sized bedroom.
I can see that these windows are relatively new.
And you know what? As I look outside,
I can see some garages and a little bit of garden.
I'll explore that a little bit later.
I also like the flooring as well. It looks in pretty good condition.
So, you could sand it, polish it,
varnish it, bring it back to its best,
put carpets in - not bad at all in here.
Back over to the hallway area.
It's very small.
It's to be expected, it's a one-bed flat.
It is in reasonable nick, though, and, in fact,
the only thing not looking too great
are the rather dated storage heaters.
I'd get those changed.
Into the lounge and kitchen area.
Kitchen first. Follow me into the kitchen.
And you know what? This isn't a bad-sized kitchen at all.
It's bigger than what I was expecting,
it's not in great condition,
it has been left for some time,
but if you were to take all this out
and put a brand-new kitchen in here -
maybe just a nice white and black kitchen -
it'd really smarten this place up.
And through that big pane of glass,
I can see a good-sized lounge.
Let me have a look at this. Let me have a look at this,
let me see what we've got. Again, loads of space.
Wasn't expecting the bedroom to be so big,
wasn't expecting this lounge to be as big as it is,
kitchen's a decent size.
You got to remember, it's a one-bed flat,
so if there is a little bit of space and you're a little bit surprised,
it can only be a good thing.
The combination of words "big" and "flat"
can often be exaggerated in the London property market,
but this former housing association flat at 568 square feet
is big in London.
# It's a good thing
# Such a good thing... #
Plus, there's the gem I spotted from the bedroom -
a garage. That's got to be a bonus point.
If you've got a car, bang it in there, keep it safe.
If you haven't - storage!
There is one fly in the ointment, though - a short lease
of just 53 years.
So, that means this one is more than likely going to be for a cash
investor. Getting a mortgage on it will be tricky,
maybe not even possible.
So time to ask along a local estate agent
to give us his thoughts on this lot guided at £170,000 plus.
What does he think about the area?
It's a lovely residential area,
very popular amongst commuters and families.
We're about a mile away from the town centre,
which, again, very popular.
You have the Crystal Palace Triangle where you can find an array of local
amenities, such as local restaurants, coffee shops,
convenience stores, and there's also some outdoor space via Westow Park.
Plus, there's a bit of communal space outside, too, and that garage,
which you could rent out if you wanted to.
What about the other features on this property?
The property, in general, is in good condition.
The layouts are quite good, the proportions are quite good.
It does need a bit of modernising, but that's about it, to be honest.
Currently guided at £170,000 plus, the agent thinks this flat -
once refurbished with an extended lease - could be worth 350 grand.
I think it could make a nice,
easily-maintained rental, and the agent thinks so, too.
He estimates the rental income to be £1,200 per calendar month.
Let's find out who was interested when it went under the hammer.
Flat with a garage.
And you'd have a garage, so looking for 180 upwards.
202, very precise.
Looking for 206 elsewhere.
If not, 204, first time...
206 at the back.
Nearly got it. 208, madam.
With you. Yes?
Yeah, 208. 210.
210 at the back,
right at the back, first time...
Third and last time...
Sold. 210, right at the back.
The flat was purchased by property investor Jarum.
He sent along Anne-Marie, who has project managed several
of his properties over the past two years.
Anne-Marie, nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you, Dion.
-What were you doing before you were doing
-I was actually a children's centre manager,
and then I took redundancy,
and then I decided to start a property company.
So, what was your inspiration, then?
You know, you've been in the classroom
and you got made redundant,
then you went straight into property developing.
Well, first it was my dad.
-In terms of doing the... In terms of doing construction work.
-But also watching Homes Under The Hammer.
See... See, that's the correct answer.
-Tell me about your dad, then. What did your dad do in order to...?
-When my dad first came to England...
..he came to the construction world.
-OK. From where?
-Yeah, so, he came over and he worked in...
You know, he was doing carpentry for a long period of time.
-So that's where it all started.
The last property Anne-Marie renovated for Jarum
was a five-bed house, so this one should be a doddle.
And what has he said to you?
What does he want to do with it?
So, he's sent the plans over to me for me to have a look at,
so this is how it usually works.
So, what he wants me to do, he wants me to do a full renovation.
-OK, so, we're going to start by ripping everything out completely.
-What we plan to do is to turn the kitchen into a bedroom...
Now, I wasn't expecting that!
-So, this is going to be another bedroom?
-It's going to be a second bedroom.
-OK, all right.
-So, what we plan to do is to take down this wall here...
-Bringing it backwards this way.
-So that rather than making it a cheeky double,
we'll make it into a proper double bedroom.
Right, a decent-sized double bedroom.
A decent size, yeah.
-So, we're going to change the doorway.
It'll be from the passageway.
-As the other bedroom as well.
-So, what we will do with the property,
we'll bring it up to a high spec...
-..so that he can flip it at the end.
-So he's in and out, isn't he?
-He is, yeah.
-Bathroom staying as is?
In terms of where the toilet and the sink and the bath is, yes,
but we will rip everything out and upgrade it all.
-In here, we'll fit the kitchen along the back wall.
-So it'll just go straight across the back.
As the property is a leasehold,
checks with the freeholder will be necessary to see if permission to
change things around is needed.
It might even cost to get that permission.
Fitting the kitchen along here with concrete floors and ceilings
might be tricky, because moving a kitchen also means re-routing
the drainage, pipework - and don't forget that ventilation!
Building regulations will also have to be followed
and checked by Building Control where appropriate,
so client Jarum will leave Anne-Marie to take care of all that.
Cos making this into a kitchen's no easy job.
-Who's going to do the work?
-Well, I have a team
-And we've been working together for a while now.
-So we've done other renovations as well,
so I want to use them again for this one.
-Because they take pride in their work.
Which is huge, isn't it?
Yeah. They're trusted workers and I know that, you know,
they will get on with it.
And what kind of properties have you done apart from this to date?
So, a property in Deptford.
-It was a four-bedroom property...
-Oh, wow, a lot bigger!
-And we turned it into a five.
We added two shower rooms to it and we upgraded everything.
So, this is a small one?
-Yeah. Compared to that one, yeah.
-This is a small one.
But I'm doing another one at the moment in Camberwell.
-A three-bedroom turned into four.
-Adding a shower room again.
-You love adding, don't you?
-You love to add things!
-Add value, of course!
I'm also doing a property in Brixton as well.
Fantastic. So, when we come back and we come and visit you and
-everything's finished and plush...
-..what kind of flat
can we expect when we come through the door?
You can expect something that is up-to-date,
it will be a smooth finish...
He doesn't usually use bright and powerful colours, however...
OK, so he keeps it simple.
-However, when we have done furnished properties,
he does like to use green and...
-Oh, does he?
-Yeah. Yellows and that kind of thing.
-So, we might see a bit of colour when we come back?
-You might do,
-as the accent of the room...
-As opposed to the general colour.
And what about the timescale? How long is it going to take to turn
-Um, it should take eight weeks.
It might be less, it might be more.
It depends on what we come across when we're doing the work.
Yes. Ie, taking the floors up, are there going to be any problems?
-And what about the budget, how much is it going to cost?
Well, I don't actually hold
the purse strings on the budget - he does.
-OK? So we've yet to discuss that.
Yeah! Listen, get that in sharpish.
-Get that in sharpish!
You need to know how much you're working with.
-In and out.
-Anne-Marie, good luck.
-Thank you very much.
-I wish you all the best.
-Thank you, Dion.
So, this is a relatively small project for Anne-Marie.
She's done a lot larger, so this really should be a walk in the park.
What I would do is find out what budget she's working with ASAP,
so she knows exactly where to spend that money.
I am intrigued to find out what that second bedroom's going to look like.
Is it going to be cheeky, or is it going to be charming?
You can find out later in the programme.
Still to come... In Cumbria,
I meet a couple who may struggle with their planned renovation.
We are very, very good at making things worse.
And in Crystal Palace, did Jarum sort out a lease?
I offered them £10,000,
they offered me to buy a lease extension at £100,000.
We're heading back to lovely Canterbury now, where earlier,
I cast my eye over this plot of garden
that came with planning permission
to build a two-bedroom house.
# I walk alone... #
Just as well I was alone - not much room for anybody else!
Probably smaller than the average garden in the UK!
But building in the centre of ancient Canterbury
could pose some unique problems.
This plot of land is within an area of archaeological significance,
which basically means there could be things under the ground here which
are exactly that, archaeologically significant.
Buried treasure, remains - who knows what?
It was property treasure that Tony and his son Paul were after.
Yours at 127, sir.
But as I found out, there were just a few tiny problems!
Have you done projects together before or what?
No, it's the first time we've ever done anything together, really.
-Had you seen the plot before you bought it?
But we knew roughly where it was.
# Treasure! #
There can't be any less promising starts to a development story.
But full of enthusiasm,
the pair of intrepid novice builders set themselves a maximum budget of
140 grand and a timescale of five months.
Well, we're back two years later to see if this story has turned into
a Canterbury cautionary tale.
Well, I have to confess,
I was doubtful what would be here on my return,
even after two years.
But Tony and Paul have certainly delivered the goods.
This tidy detached house has a well-appointed kitchen,
a cosy living room complete with under-stairs cupboard,
and they've even squeezed in a downstairs loo.
Underfloor heating runs throughout the ground floor.
It's flat-pack furniture only up this tight stairwell,
where upstairs the compact layout accommodates
two bedrooms and a bathroom.
The outside space is limited to an area for off-road parking,
but in central Canterbury, this is worth its weight in gold.
So it looks like a cracking little house,
fitting snugly onto the garden plot.
But I'll wager there's a good reason why it took so much longer to build
than anticipated. Over to Paul.
The land is tiny, so, therefore,
getting every inch out of the property has been a struggle.
We've also had a problem with the back garden,
of their garden being 600mm higher than ours,
which meant that we've had to tank the back of the property,
which caused a struggle with what tanking system to use,
how to implement it and how to get it involved in the build.
And also we've had problems with getting water out
into the main road - foul and surface drainage.
As is so often the case,
it's the things you don't see that cost time and money.
The soil level next door being two feet higher
meant waterproofing the walls was necessary to prevent damp.
Dad Tony adopted a hands-off approach but was always there
if Paul needed help.
My dad helped quite heavily
with the stuff like party wall agreements,
which were a lot more technical than I thought they would be.
A lot of the investing side of it he's helped me with, um,
but it's mainly been me working alongside builders on this project.
Because it's so different to anything I'd done before,
I've had to learn really fast with some very helpful builders and very
helpful people that know the trade very well.
They've been patient with me, I've been patient with them.
Patience is key, I presume, in this industry!
Um, and, yeah, it's been a big learning curve,
one big learning curve.
So, what about that archaeological survey - did it cause any delays?
We had to have an archaeological dig on site when we did the footings.
That all went a lot easier than expected.
Good news for the house-building team,
as the only item unearthed was a common type
of Victorian smoking pipe.
Unfortunately, things weren't as straightforward with the budget.
They planned to spend £140,000 on top of the purchase price
but extra costs brought their total outlay to almost 288,000.
Lots of money spent on tanking,
party wall agreements with surveyors,
delays in construction and stuff, which has cost us time and money.
But it's been a good experience nonetheless.
This might be a good time to call in two local property experts.
Will their valuations ease Paul and Tony's pain?
Well, I think they've made the best use of the space available.
I like the size of the bedrooms,
they're very good, and the place is very contemporary and nicely fitted
-This property would appeal to young professionals in Canterbury.
It could also be mature students
studying at one of the universities.
The total spend was 288,000,
so what value would they put on the house on the resale market?
I would estimate the resale value of this property
to be between £280,000 and £290,000.
The resale value, I would think,
would settle around the £300,000 mark.
Roughly about the ballpark I thought of.
I'm hoping with the future gate that we'll put outside with parking might
-increase the value further.
-A sale at 300,000 would leave Paul and Tony
with a relatively slim 12 grand profit, minus selling fees and tax,
perhaps not the greatest result for two years' work.
Will the rental figures be any cheerier?
The rental value of this property
would be about £950 per calendar month.
I would anticipate the rental value of this property to be between £950
and £1,000 per calendar month.
But, again, roughly the ballpark figure.
I reckon we can get a bit more.
I had a flat in Canterbury,
a two-bedroom flat that gets 1,100, so,
-you never know.
-A rental of £1,000 per month would mean a return on
investment of just over 4%.
The original plan to sell the house has been shelved for the time being,
but Paul thinks that he could capitalise
on the booming short-term holiday rental market in Canterbury.
Tony's biggest hope for this project
was it would kick-start a new career for Paul.
This project has changed my career path slightly to now working with
interior design architects.
I'm now back at university studying.
So not necessarily in this industry of building new builds,
but in the industry definitely itself.
I'm in Cumbria, on the edge of the Lake District,
five miles from the town of Workington.
The property I'm here to see is in Branthwaite, a semi-rural village.
It might not have a lot of amenities,
but it definitely scores in other ways.
If you love the idea of country living
but don't fancy being isolated,
this could be the perfect spot,
because it's such pretty countryside,
you've got lots of neighbours around,
and a lovely little village pub just a stone's throw away.
I might move here myself.
So, the property I'm here to see is this -
it's a three-bed bungalow with a guide price of £150,000 plus.
Let's go look.
The first impressions here are good -
there's a drive and a garage at the end of it,
so plenty of parking and an easy maintenance front garden.
Inside and into quite a spacious porch area,
a great place to hang up your coats, put your shoes.
Now you have the hall area.
I can see various rooms going off.
First up, at this end...
..you have a kitchen, and it's a really nice size.
Great proportions, but very dated.
You'd want to bring in a new kitchen here.
But I tell you what - the thing that strikes me first about this place is
it's been well loved.
It's clean. It's maybe not been updated for decades,
but look at those carpets!
Coming through the hallway...
..into a reception room - again, a really nice size.
And then you've got the street - nice to watch people go by.
It's quite a sleepy village with a quiet feel, but enough going on.
You've got your double-glazed windows to keep out the noise of
passing traffic. You've got central heating and then...
Ah! Now we're talking.
Could this be a remote controlled fire?
Ah! All of the sudden, I'm back in, what, the '70s, the '80s?
I think it's time for a pina colada.
# Yes, I like pina coladas... #
Of course, I'm only joking!
It's a bit too early for me anyway.
But it was a good excuse to use this epic song and have a closer look at
the kitchen. At the other end of the house, you have your bathroom.
Now, it's a good size.
For me, the layout doesn't quite work.
You come straight into your shower.
It could be moved around a bit, a new bathroom,
but as I'm looking at it, it looks like it's brand spanking new.
I know it's not, but this house has really been well cared for.
Pretty jazzy wallpaper there.
Through to your hall, and you've got covered space on your left
and then a good-sized double bedroom.
It's your master bedroom because you've got a wee en suite.
It's got in your shower, your WC and a basin.
So that work really well as your master bedroom.
It's not huge, but, you know, it's a decent size.
And then your second bedroom is a smaller double.
You could get a double bed in there, not much else.
And your third bedroom is a bit bigger.
It's a good size and also, you know,
see all this taking up so much space,
it's the fitted wardrobes, you've got your dressing table drawers,
really going around all of the walls, apart from the window.
And if you took that out, this would feel so much more spacious,
but what astonishes me is this was...
This is probably '80s, it reminds me of the late '80s,
and if this has been here for 30 plus years,
then someone's really cared about this house,
and the very good thing
about that is if somebody's cared for, loved their house,
there is more chance they would have fixed any problems.
A leaky roof, burst drains.
And that means that a potential buyer is in with a good chance of
inheriting a good house.
So far, this is a straightforward looking refurbishment.
New kitchen, new bathroom, new decor, perhaps a rewire.
So, is there anything else to do?
Now, as with all bungalows,
you do have the option of going up, and there is your loft.
You could think about adding a fourth bedroom up there,
but you'd need planning permission, you'd need to put in windows,
you'd need to put up a stair.
There is space here to put in a stair, so you could think about it,
but it's a big costly job.
Is it worth your while?
You need to do your research to figure out if there is a market
for four-bedrooms in the area and if you would add more profit,
more value to this property by doing it.
Otherwise, you might just want to keep it for storage space.
Also, it's worth bearing in mind
that only 1% of houses built last year were bungalows,
so this house type is becoming rarer.
But, with the growing elderly population,
they're increasingly sought after.
So trying to give this place an upstairs
could well be a waste of money.
Outside, the garden has a decent sized plot.
It's neat and easy to maintain,
but maybe not the green little haven
you'd perhaps expect of a country garden.
There is a feature, though, that you might not be so surprised
to find in a country property.
It's a big tank full of oil, and you'll find that every garden
in this area has one, either full of oil or LPG,
which stands for liquid petroleum gas.
It's not the most attractive of features,
but with the British winters, it's a necessity.
We invited an estate agent along
to share his local knowledge and to get
an idea of the financial prospects of the bungalow going forward.
It's a good property, it is well laid out, the structure looks fine.
It's ideal for some renovation and modernisation.
And how about the option of converting the roof space?
Personally, I wouldn't advise that.
Most people want three bedrooms. Four bedrooms is a luxury,
maybe a personal thing.
Once it's been dragged into the 21st century,
what would the property rent for?
Once updated, I would estimate that this property would rent
for in the region of £800 per calendar month.
And for sale on the open market?
In terms of resale value, this is a very popular area.
I would estimate this probably would sell for in the region of £260,000.
This is a lovely bungalow with loads of charm, and unless there are any
hidden nasties, all that really needs is cosmetic work
to make it sing.
Let's find out who wanted to give it that face lift
when it went to auction.
What a property, this.
Three-bedroom detached bungalow, it's a sought-after village,
easy access to Cockermouth, Walkington,
Whitehaven and the Lake District National Park.
Anybody at 150?
140? We'll move on if there's no bids.
140 here. At £140,000 in fives...
At 140 bid.
At 140 bid, are we done?
At... 145, 150.
With the guide price passed,
the bids continue to where we rejoin at £174,000.
174. 174 bid, 175.
175 bid, 176...
177. Shake of the head.
176 with you.
Second row from the back.
First time. It's against you right the back...
Second time at 176 in the checked shirt.
Third and final time, all done...
Back in at 177.
Thought you might. 178.
I'm here to sell, for the first time...
Second time with you, sir.
Third and final time.
Fair warning, I'm selling...
Yours, sir. Can I have your paddle number, please?
The top bid of 178 grand came from Ryan,
a retired mechanical engineer, with his wife of 33 years, Alison,
a recently retired teacher.
They've refurbished three properties before, but the bungalow was their
first successful auction purchase.
Alison, pleased to meet you.
-Hello, pleased to meet you.
-Brian, pleased to meet you, too.
-So, is this the first or the first of a few?
This is our third.
We've done the previous two close to where we live and this is a little
-bit further out.
-And do you know this area reasonably well?
Yes, he's grown up here, so he knows it really well.
So, we sort of selected areas where we knew the area,
we sort of knew the locale,
and then this was the first village property we've done.
What was it about this that you wanted?
We were trying to move up a little bit,
up market from your regular sort of terraced or semi,
and this was just a good opportunity to do it.
We had two properties in mind at the auction - this was the first,
our first choice, and luckily we got it, so...
We're just dying to get cracking.
What was the auction experience like for you?
As soon as he started bidding,
cos he plays games when he's at auctions,
and as soon as he started, my heart starts going boompty-boompty-boom,
And I was thinking, "We're going to lose it, he's not going to bid."
And then he decided, "Oh, I'll step in now."
In my uni days, I was trying to fund my uni by buying and selling cars
through the auctions. I have bid at auctions before.
Aha! This might be their first successful property auction bid,
but clearly Brian has developed a technique.
So, now they've got it,
they plan to get it done up for resale in three to six months.
So, will they be hands-on?
We're very, very good at making things worse.
Alison with a crowbar and a hammer is great at knocking kitchens out,
but the clever bits we get teams in, and they do the proper work.
It sounds like you both like to get your sleeves up and really get
involved. Has it been plain sailing with the properties so far?
Yes and no. In the last property, we smashed the kitchen out
and on the very last load, I broke my ankle stepping off a step.
I raced motorbikes, I raced cars,
I did all sorts of crazy things, and of all things to break my ankle on
was a step. And it was the last load -
that was the frustrating thing -
and it obviously put the whole project back.
Yeah! I know we're laughing, but it's not that funny, really.
-It was hilarious.
-It wasn't funny at the time!
-Oh, it was.
-Hopefully, no breakages this time.
-What work are you planning with the house?
We'll be knocking the kitchen and the bathroom out, initially.
-And a fire.
-And a fire.
Stripping the floors and seeing what we find.
I'm very much... I like neutrals.
I don't like patterns.
So, I think we'll neutralise it.
But maybe have a bit of a wow factor in the bathroom and kitchen.
What's your budget?
Budget, we think is around about the £25,000 mark.
It's not all just cosmetic changes, though.
Even a nice house like this can benefit from making improvements
in energy saving. Buyers often look at the EPC,
the energy performance certificate rating, before they buy a house,
since an energy inefficient house can prove to be an expensive one.
We're going to try to improve the EPC value
with loft insulation and underfloor, hopefully.
Speaking of loft,
is there any chance of getting another bedroom in there?
That is possible. I haven't had the opportunity yet to get up
in the loft, to measure the height,
but that is something we're going to consider.
Possibly putting another bedroom on.
Again, it depends on the numbers.
That hall's quite nice for maybe quite a modern spiral staircase up.
It could make something... Because that space could be a bit of
a wasted space, so... Maybe put a staircase up.
But until he's poked around up there and got his tape measure out...
It depends what the market can stand.
I really can't wait to see the transformation and best of luck.
-Thank you, Alison.
-Thank you very much.
Alison and Brian have got themselves a peach of a property
here. They've got a really healthy budget,
and with nothing fundamentally wrong with the house,
I'm expecting a real wow factor
when it comes to that transformation.
You can find out how they do fare later in the show.
Well, earlier on in the show, we saw how one of the buyers got on.
But what about the other two? How did their projects get on?
Yes, let's find out.
Let's head back to Crystal Palace, in south London,
where I saw this first-floor one-bed flat guided at £170,000 plus.
Inside was in reasonable nick.
And while the bathroom was a little small,
the 568-square-foot former housing association flat was large,
in London terms.
Let me have a look at this, let me have a look at this.
Let me see what we've got. Again, loads of space.
You got to remember, it's a one-bed flat.
So if there is a little bit of space and you're a little bit surprised,
it can only be a good thing.
Another good thing with this flat was the garage included in this lot.
# I don't like flies in my ointment
# And that's what you are. #
Yes, the flies in the ointment here
were the partly concrete construction
and the short 53-year lease.
Both potential issues with mortgage lenders.
However, that didn't stop Jarum paying £210,000 on auction day.
And he sent along his trusty project manager Anne-Marie
to discuss the plans for the flat.
What we plan to do is to turn the kitchen into a bedroom.
So this is going to be another bedroom?
-It's going to be a second bedroom.
-OK, all right. OK, good.
So, what we plan to do is to take down this wall here.
-Bringing it backwards this way.
-So rather than making it a cheeky double,
we'll make it into a proper double bedroom.
# Cheeky girls... #
This not so cheeky renovation was expected to take eight weeks.
-And the budget?
-I don't actually hold the purse strings
-on the budget.
-OK? So we have yet to discuss that.
So how much would it cost,
and would the lease and part-concrete construction
throw up any issues?
We're back just ten weeks later to find out.
# We never go out of style
# We never go out of style... #
Now this flat is one cool customer.
I love the contemporary styling and the new open-plan living space.
What was the kitchen is now bedroom number two.
It was created by stealing a bit of space off the living area.
The master bedroom, just like the rest of the flat, looks stylish.
And the mirrored wardrobes
help create that feeling of space and light.
To top it all, there's a sleek, new bathroom suit.
So they've managed to carry out their plan,
and very cool it looks, too.
It's a big deal moving plumbing, drainage, and wiring.
So moving the kitchen could have been a challenge,
especially with the concrete construction.
How did it go? Anne-Marie and Jarum are here to fill us in.
It worked out really well, actually.
Because once we pulled up the floors,
there was enough space for us to be able to run wires underneath.
When we checked the structure of the ceilings,
the way that the ceiling is,
it was easier for the electricians
to be able to run the wires through
as opposed to it being a complete concrete ceiling.
# We never go out of style
# We never go out of style... #
So luck was on their side, and as it turned out,
any changes to the layout
were allowed on the lease,
so they didn't have to get permission from the freeholder.
But remember that fly in the ointment?
That short 53-year lease - has it been resolved?
So I'm in the process of extending the lease at the moment.
So I offered them £10,000,
they offered me to buy a lease extension at £100,000.
And hopefully we're going to meet somewhere in the middle.
More towards a realistic valuation.
I expect I'll end up paying between £30,000 and £35,000
for a lease extension.
If you own a short-lease property for two years,
you have the right to add 90 years to what's left,
subject to the price being agreed.
Extending a lease can be complicated.
So we'd recommend having a solicitor.
Or there is also free, independent advice
from the Leasehold Advisory Service, which is government funded.
However, as Jarum wanted to sell the flat on,
hopefully he and the landlord can negotiate a deal
that will give Jarum a profit.
If you recall, we didn't know how much the budget was going to be.
When I bought it, I had planned on spending about £25,000 on it,
at the very most.
Eventually, I think we spent £35,000
simply because we wanted that high-end finish.
That does cost a little bit more.
But I firmly believe that people are out there that are willing
to pay for that extra niceness, as it were.
Well, niceness is definitely something they've achieved.
But will two local estate agents agree?
And will they have nice things
to say about Jarum's 245-grand investment?
It's been done to a very high spec.
All the fixtures and fittings.
The colours, the scheme, the white in the kitchen, the bathroom...
It all looks very, very top notch.
And that's in sitting with what clients expect in this sort of area.
Selling points, I think first-time buyers love the kitchens.
Normally, the open-plan space, just a big living area.
The standard of finish seems really good,
they dressed it up really well,
which does make a difference to some buyers,
especially for vacant property.
I think the layout works quite well because the bedrooms are still quite
two good sizes.
And even though the lounge is now open-plan,
you've still got space to have a table
and to have, you know, sofas in there as well.
So it actually works a lot better than what it was originally.
All very positive.
So with the £210,000 purchase price and the £35,000 spent,
would the flat make a profit if put on the market right now?
I expect the value to be in the region of £280,000.
The retail value of this property
with a short lease would be £275,000 to £300,000.
Without extending the lease,
Jarum could still be looking
at a profit of £55,000 minus taxes and fees.
However, the agents agree the sales figure would rise with a lease
extension - up to 350 grand.
So spending 35 grand on a lease extension could increase the profit
to around £70,000.
He'll have to weigh that up.
But what's his initial thinking on the figures?
£350,000 has certainly surpassed expectation.
Very pleased with that.
Another successful project for this dynamic duo.
So, is there more work on the horizon?
Oh, Anne-Marie is absolutely fantastic.
She is doing another project for me as we speak, and hopefully that one
will be completed on time and within budget as well,
just like the other few that she's done for me.
So, yeah. Definitely a long-standing relationship,
-and look forward to doing many more together.
We're back on the Cumbrian coast and the village of Branthwaite.
It was here we first came across a three-bed detached bungalow.
With great views, it was actually in really good order.
It even came complete with state-of-the-art technology.
Could this be a remote-controlled fire?
All of a sudden, I'm back in, what, the '70s?
The '80s? OK, so it might have been state-of-the-art a while back,
and that was perhaps the biggest problem with the bungalow -
it was just all a bit dated.
# When nothing is new and There's nothing doing
# Step back in time. #
And it was bought for £178,000 by Brian and Alison
as a do-upper and sell-on project.
And they were hoping this would be a less painful experience than
previous property refurbishments.
Has it been plain sailing with the property so far?
yes and no. In the last property, we smashed the kitchen out, and on
the very last load, I broke my ankle stepping off a step.
# One step beyond! #
With a 25-grand budget and a three-to-six-month timescale,
let's hope this bungalow didn't turn out to be a step too far.
All right, OK.
Well, 3½ months later, we're back and it's crunch time.
Make or break.
It's tidy and fresh outside.
Is that a clue to what we might find inside?
Well, yes. The bedrooms are airy and bright and wardrobe free.
But what about the tired, old kitchen?
Wow, I like that.
And this really is now a state-of-the-art space.
So this is the kitchen.
Originally, it was an old '60s kitchen with dark wood units
on these two walls.
So, we decided to lighten it up, make it a more modern feel,
with more modern appliances.
We felt that the colour just lifted the whole place.
Especially with the lighting.
And it just... We absolutely love it.
-We think it's great.
The kitchen has definitely now got the wow factor.
The bathroom is pretty impressive, too.
And with a living room neatly finished
with no remote-controlled fireplace
in sight, modern is definitely the word you can now use
to describe the bungalow. So, how did it all go?
Well, when we first came to the house, we thought there was not
going to be a lot to do in it, really.
We thought maybe redecorate, new kitchen, new bathroom.
However, once we got in, we realised
-that there was going to need to be new windows.
New boiler because we took oil out and put mains gas in.
And we considered a loft conversion
to try and get it up to a four-bedroom.
But in actual fact, when we looked at the numbers,
the cost of a conversion didn't really make sense.
And also there was a restriction on headroom in the loft, so...
We didn't do it in the end.
The place does look great, and I think its simple,
modern look will appeal to the family market
and the right-sizer market, too.
But how did this husband and wife team divide the tasks?
Well, I smash it all to bits.
And Brian comes along and puts it back together again.
Which has been the tradition in these things that we've done.
But, actually, this year I sloped off to Morocco for a week golfing.
So, he had to finish all the stripping, and that took the full...
Well, 2½ weeks that took you to strip the wallpaper.
Yeah. To be fair, she's very good.
She's... With a sledgehammer, she's a demon.
# You're just another brick and I'm a sledgehammer
# You're just another brick and I'm a sledgehammer. #
So, after the sledge-hammering and the wallpaper stripping
were done, it was time to hand over to the professionals.
Which, of course, is the expensive bit.
So, where are they now with their budget?
The original budget was 25,000, but...
..with all these little problems that we found,
we have gone over that. We haven't got a final figure yet,
but I would expect it to be 30,000-some-hundred,
so I'm not quite sure yet.
Changing the heating and the new windows pushed
the budget slightly up,
and that 30 grand on top of the 178,000 spent
takes their total expenditure to over 208 grand.
So, was it worth going the extra mile?
What did two local estate agents think?
First, the agent who saw it last time.
I think that it probably has been transformed.
It was old and dirty last time I was here. It's really fresh and modern.
He's done a really great job with this property.
I think the property's been done to a high standard.
Nice and bright, modern fixtures and fittings,
good size, good location.
I think they put a good finish on the property.
There is usually the danger sometimes that people go too far
and make it more personal. This way,
someone can come in and make it their own.
I think perhaps, for the family market,
I might have lawned part of the garden.
Maybe a family would be looking for something with maybe a little bit of
a lawn area for the children to play.
Yes, a little more greenery might have been nice.
But then, the greenery and the expanse of the Lakeland Fells
is almost on your doorstep.
And Brian and Alison bought the house solely to do up and
sell on. So, how much return
will they see on their 208-grand investment?
Put this property on the market right now,
I'd probably achieve somewhere between £250,000 and £255,000.
On the sales market,
I would expect this property to achieve £245,000 to £250,000.
It's about where we thought it would be.
Obviously, we've gone over our budget a little bit, but...
-..we're quite happy with that.
-Yeah. Very pleased with that, yes.
There's a potential pre-tax profit of £37,000 to £47,000,
and the agents also thought rental values
of around £650 per calendar month could be possible,
which is a yield of just under 4%.
So, with those numbers,
it does seem the selling option is much more appealing.
But overall, how do they feel about their Cumbrian bungalow project?
It's been good fun. It's always good fun.
There are problems along the way, but that's all part of the thing.
You just have to go on with it and sort out anything that crops up.
Brian didn't break any ankles this time, so that's an added bonus.
That's a bonus, yes.
So, last time, he did.
This time, he hasn't. Result.
Well, you should've learned a few things from today's show.
Yes, every day is a school day when it comes to property developing.
So, join us next time for more pearls of wisdom
-here on Homes Under The Hammer. Bye-bye.
A small garden with planning permission in the heart of historic Canterbury in Kent, a generously sized flat in London's Crystal Palace and a beautifully maintained bungalow in the quiet village of Branthwaite in Cumbria are all sold under the hammer. Martin Roberts, Dion Dublin and Martel Maxwell meet the new owners to hear their plans, which include a new build, an extra bedroom and a possible loft extension.