With a spotlight on a lengthy renovation of a Grade II listed house in London's Camden, as well as shorter projects in Coatbridge in Scotland and Bootle on Merseyside.
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Hello and welcome to the programme.
Now, when it comes to choosing property,
it's very easy to get bogged down with all the choice.
But, you know what? Just clear your head,
think about your priorities and get on with it.
Yes, find an area, set your budget, and of course, do your research.
And then you might just get what you want under the hammer.
Many properties go under the hammer every week.
Some are ready to move into.
Others require that little bit of TLC.
Yes, those are the ones we love.
So, what did today's buyers go for? Let's find out.
In Camden, Lucy saw this property,
which was in need of the royal treatment.
Well, you can tell from the outside it's certainly not going to be a
palace on the inside.
It would be a right royal pain to remove the wallpaper
in this maisonette in Coatbridge.
You've got your textured walls and your textured ceilings.
And in Bootle, you wouldn't have to fork out the King's ransom for this
Well, the low price doesn't necessarily mean poor quality.
All these properties have been sold at auction and we'll find out who
bought them and what they paid for them
when they went under the hammer.
Sold! Well done.
Camden, London, NW1.
The place to see and be seen since the 1970s when a certain market was
set up in a former timber yard.
Today, Camden retains its alternative image
and its appeal hasn't diminished.
As far as property goes, it's only getting more desirable.
The property I'm here to see is on a road that's been described as mixed.
A jumble of gorgeous Georgian terraces, some commercial property,
lots of flats and, unfortunately,
there's sometimes a lot of traffic along here.
But you've got St Pancras International just down there,
Camden Lock five minutes only over there.
It's convenient, if not the quiet
side street location everybody wants.
And, I tell you what, that is not a first impression that
anybody wants because this is the property that I'm here to see today.
It's derelict, it was a four-storey former shop
and had a guide price of 475,000.
The building has clearly been lying empty for a very long time.
Sensibly, Lucy has checked the structural report and it states the
building has been adequately supported and it's safe to enter.
Well, you can tell from the outside it's certainly not going to be a
palace on the inside.
And I was right.
Now, you can see this was the original shop area.
The new plans that have been drawn up with the lot that's gone to
auction state that this is going to be one dwelling,
one family home now, and I think that's how we should treat it.
Although, my goodness, you could not imagine living here in this state.
You've got these old metal props holding up the ceiling.
It's just completely derelict and decayed inside.
In actual fact, I can see daylight coming out over there.
# I have no say on my decay... #
The general state here is pretty appalling and it looks like
it's seen its fair share of unwanted visitors.
But the bones of the building are really rather attractive.
Lovely elegant banisters and spindles on the stairs,
as well as delicate woodwork on the windows.
There are two good-sized adjoining rooms on the first floor,
but again they're in very poor condition.
Moving up, the top floor has a similar layout and a similar story.
and the sad destruction of a once-gorgeous Georgian house.
The most obvious issues are up here on the top floors
where over the years water has got in destroying the ceilings,
the woodwork and rotting joists.
But when we come to the basement, well, that is when it really gets
bad because there's a wall that has apparently
failed making it bulge outwards so much so that it's potentially a
The words underpinning, serious defects and significant
expense are ringing in my ears,
and whoever takes this on needs to spend and tread carefully.
Our intrepid cameraman managed a few shots of the lower ground floor and,
well, from what we can see, it's in terrible condition.
So, what could you do down here?
How about digging out the sizeable garden and getting
some bi-folding doors onto a patio,
or extending the rear a bit further?
But before you start thinking about reconfiguring this space, there's
something you need to know.
Now, I know this place looks like a complete mess but whoever takes this
on cannot come in here, rip it all out and start again.
And that is because this property is Grade II listed.
Now, with that, you have to adhere to certain rules and regulations.
First of all, you can't just come in
here and slap any old plaster on the wall.
Uh-uh! No, you've got to use the traditional old lath and plaster.
And that can be quite costly.
But it does look beautiful.
You've also, where you see original features, got to keep them,
like skirting boards, door frames etc.
So, whoever takes this on has got to think carefully.
They won't be able to come in here and just do it up as they want to.
It's got to stay pretty much the same as it would've been years ago.
But I think that's a good thing.
# Oh, baby, baby
# I'll look after you... #
It's great to see that so much effort goes into preserving old
buildings like this one and protecting the street scene.
The exterior of the property will have to retain a semblance of the
shop frontage and the proportions
of the rooms have to remain the same.
But restoring and replacing features
on a like-for-like basis is an expensive business.
We invited along a local estate
agent to see if he thought it was all worthwhile.
In my opinion, I think it is a great opportunity.
Most properties have been maximised already and it's quite unique to
find properties where you can come in and do your own
touches to it.
It's true that opportunities like
this in the area don't come along every day.
But what about the house itself?
After a complete refurbishment, the property would be of good value
and provide an excellent house for a family.
There's no denying it would be a magnificent family home, but
there's so much to be done.
Could it be a good investment
considering its guide price of 475,000?
Depending on the end specification, I would expect the property to
resell in the region of £850,000 to £900,000.
I believe the property would rent
for in the region of £3,300 per calendar month.
A rare opportunity, a blank canvas, a project,
all descriptions that could be applied to this place.
It's a challenge, that's for sure.
And not one for the cautious or cash-strapped.
This home has been neglected for so long,
it demands serious investment to bring it back to life.
Let's see who made the commitment at the auction.
Big corner premises, shop, resi, not going to go below 400 anyway.
400 anyway? Thank you.
410, 415, 420.
The shocking condition didn't put buyers off, and the bids flew in.
We rejoin at 531,000.
531, 532, 533.
532, first time, second time, third and last time, are we all done?
532, well done.
The successful bid of 532 grand came from Londoner John.
So he won't be fazed by the busy road, but will he be fazed by this
project of epic proportions?
Lucy went along to find out.
-John, lovely to meet you today, congratulations.
There is so much to talk about with this property,
I don't really know where to begin.
I suppose I want to know why you wanted this.
The principal reason is to have it as my own family home.
The children have already selected which bedrooms they want.
But, yes, it's a daunting task to actually look at this premises now
and say, "Well, how's it going to turn out?"
Myself, I'm an architect.
-So working as an architect, working with buildings all my life.
And specifically period architecture.
I think we could achieve it.
I mean, this is an architect's dream.
Surely? To get their hands on something like this?
No, it's an architect's nightmare!
Nightmare because there are so many rules and regulations.
We've got to obviously adhere to the regulations of planning authority,
English Heritage, it's a listed building,
it's in a conservation area.
Hence I've got a lot to do, lot to achieve and there's lots of
people going to be following my every move.
# Every step you take I'll be watching you... #
Including us, now, John!
He is going to need all of his
expertise and creativity for this project,
so what does he have in mind?
The garden is quite large for a property in Central London.
The way the plan form is - it fans out to the rear.
And what I'm looking for is to put a basement room and keep the actual
garden itself at the existing level.
Wow, I mean, that is such an interesting idea.
What made you think of doing something like that?
It's just a matter of size.
This building is 1,750 square feet of accommodation.
Now, I can probably increase that by near on 700 square feet.
So what is the room going to be?
It's going to be the living space,
there's going to be a kitchenette adjoining it, not the main kitchen.
The main kitchen is going to be within the hub of the original
period style of house.
Remember, we've got eight principal rooms in this building.
Those principal rooms cannot change in their volumetric area,
they cannot be subdivided.
This is something that English Heritage
adheres to and wants to protect.
So by bringing the new building into the family house,
it allows me the luxury of actually reforming spaces more to a
contemporary style and modern living standard.
Ambitious plans indeed.
More conveniently, on the top floor,
there will be a master en-suite bedroom.
On the first floor, two bedrooms
with the new bathroom on the half landing.
The ground floor will be the dining room and main kitchen and then a
further two bedrooms in the lower ground floor,
which will lead through into the large living room.
And all of this work not forgetting the listed status of the property
and the need to protect what was originally built here.
This sounds amazing, but it also sounds expensive.
I think you've got to be as passionate as you are
about property to want to take something like this on,
because, you know, pound signs, pound signs,
it's going to cost you a fortune to do!
I mean, we're talking about probably the whole thing,
I've got to spend £400,000.
-It's a Grade II listed building and
it has its value once it's restored.
Absolutely, I mean, I'm thinking way over the million mark by the time
you've done what you're going to be doing here.
I would estimate, yes.
Well, it would have to be to give me satisfaction that I have not
-overspent on the property.
How long is it going to take you to finish the project?
I want to finish it within 12 months.
That's the ideal time for me.
-Good luck with this.
-Thank you again.
John's plans are sensational.
A subterranean living room? I love it!
That listing will be tricky to work with but if anyone can
manage it, an architect can.
Find out how this exciting development goes
later on in the programme.
Scotland now and the North Lanarkshire town of Coatbridge
which boasts the world's first iron hulled vessel, the Vulcan,
launched in 1819.
It was a horse-drawn passenger barge used on the Forth and Clyde Canal.
Thankfully, public transport methods have sped up a bit since then.
This residential street's just a ten-minute walk
from the train station with a direct line to Glasgow,
so it's an ideal spot for commuters.
Now, this is our property.
It's a three bed which had a guide price of £45,000 plus.
But you don't access it off the street.
You access it up this alleyway.
Or as we say here in Scotland, a wee closie.
Or also just a close which is a
shared passageway in a block of flats.
They usually allow access to the back of the building which is where,
in this case, the door to the maisonette is.
So the front door is, well, it's all a bit back to front.
# Back to front, front to back
# Will you come backwards with me
# Backwards with me... #
Inside, you have a wee square area before you come into a small hall.
And then, so the first room you come to is a bathroom.
The good news is there's room for a bath,
sometimes you just get a shower and WC.
But that might be your only bathroom.
That's not everyone's cup of tea, to have it downstairs.
But there might be one upstairs.
And then through to a reception room which is a really, really good size.
Really good size.
Not sure how I feel about the decor. It's very majestic.
You've got red contrast against blue and a bit of gold.
But the place is very, very dated.
But seems structurally in good order so far.
Can't smell any damp.
You've got your textured walls and your textured ceilings.
But that could easily change with a bit of a face-lift.
And your windows look in good order.
They're double glazing, you've got radiators,
you just want to check that the central heating's up to scratch.
Now, I spotted a wee door here.
So off your living area you have this kitchen, which is a good size,
and separating the two, you have a stud wall.
This could come down,
not a big job and then everything would be very open plan.
The downside of that is, effectively, you just have one
massive room and a bathroom downstairs.
And it's not what everyone desires.
Some people want to close the door on their kitchen,
have it self-contained, keep in those cooking smells.
But this is a good size and could really benefit, obviously,
from a new kitchen, it would just make all the difference.
So I love the space so far.
I'm just wondering if there's another bathroom upstairs.
# So, oh, no
# Oh, no
# Not in that old-fashioned way... #
Fashions come and go but I think this could benefit from some nice,
clean lines and smooth walls.
Now, a brilliant bonus which I didn't quite expect
is the size of this garden.
It is a bit of an odd shape, it's an L-shape.
You have the shed which has seen
better days but you could take that down.
Now, I love the layout in that you could have this as the garden,
keep this as your garden but over there, you've got a
ready-made off-street parking area if you wanted to do so,
especially if parking is tricky in the area.
It's a really handy thing to have
and you have your gates leading off the road.
And, you know, it's just a great selling point for a family.
And not too overgrown compared to many auction property gardens.
So, happy days!
When you're looking at the property, what do most people want?
Good, solid building? We've got that.
Family sized garden? We've got that.
Off-street parking? Yep, we've got that.
All we need now is that upstairs bathroom.
Upstairs, you've got a first good-sized double bedroom,
and then opposite, you've got a bigger bedroom.
This might be the master bedroom.
Yes, it's incredibly dated, with the jazzy carpets,
but that's all easily fixed.
Now, through to the third bedroom, and what I do love about this,
it's a bit unusual that you have two floors above a house below.
I just like it, it's just a bit unusual.
So this third bedroom, you know what I'm thinking, don't you?
I've not come across that bathroom,
so you don't have a bathroom upstairs.
You have three pretty good-sized rooms and I'm struggling to find
negatives on this house apart from the fact I'd love to see a
bathroom upstairs. It would just serve a family so well.
Now, that master bedroom through there,
you could afford to lose a wee bit of space there, put on an en-suite.
And then you could even think about knocking through a door from this
side so, effectively, you have a Jack and Jill bathroom.
It very much depends what you're buying this house for.
If it's your forever home, you might want to spend a bit more cash.
Or you might want to sell it on and add some value.
If you're renting it out, maybe not so much.
But it's not the biggest of problems to have that your bathroom's
downstairs when the rest of the house is so good.
Before making a major change like adding a bathroom,
you'd probably need the freeholder's advice.
However, this property is not a freehold.
It's ex-local authority and there's
no management company attached either.
Regardless, an investor needs to research demand in the area,
and what the ceiling price would be.
Seems like a cue to ask an agent from the auction house who sold it.
I don't think the property requires
a lot of work to bring it up to standard.
Really, probably, carpets, a bit of redecoration, new kitchen,
new bathroom, should be good to go.
I would say the only drawback of the property would be the fact the
bathroom is actually downstairs.
Most modern families maybe looking for at least a shower room
or en-suite upstairs.
Hmm. Before getting carried away and spending money,
you need to know what this maisonette, guided at £45,000 plus,
could sell for once renovated.
In the resale market,
I would imagine a sales price of between 70 and £75,000.
And for rental,
probably somewhere between 550 and £575 per calendar month.
This house has a fantastic amount of space.
Yes, it's dated, but if you can see past that,
then there's scope to create a perfect family home,
especially when you consider that lovely garden outside.
Let's find out who agreed when it went under the hammer.
The upper maisonette. Anybody here at £45,000?
We'll move on, if there's no bids. 40 bid. At £40,000 I've got.
40 I've got, 42 now.
44, 44 bid.
46. 45? 45, 46?
46 bid, 47?
47 bid, and a half?
After a bit of a sticky start, two bidders fought for this maisonette.
We rejoin at £49,500.
49 and a half?
50? 49 and three quarters?
49 and three quarters, 50, anyone?
At 50 I'm bid now, at 50 bid, at 50 bid, are we done?
At £50,000, against you two.
50, a half, or a quarter?
50 and a half, 51?
50 and a half here, it's with you, against you two, first time.
Second time, I'm selling it, all done.
All out, it's all yours, sir.
After some cagey bidding, the property went to Jamie for £50,500.
Local builder, Jamie, was at the auction with his wife, Arlene,
but he's flying solo today and I can't wait to hear his plans.
Jamie, pleased to meet you.
Thank you very much.
So, I love this property.
It feels like it's going to be small, and it's really big.
It is, there's plenty of room.
Three bedrooms is a great thing to have as well.
So, yeah, it's a winner.
Yeah. So tell me a bit about you, Jamie.
Is this something you do?
No, I run a rendering business and floor screening,
so I kind of just do this on the side.
I've got a few flats now,
my wife will do them all up, painting and stuff.
And I'll do all the plaster and that will be us,
we'll get it back looking bang-on.
And you mentioned your wife, it's a bit of a team effort?
It is, yep. She's really good with paint and stuff like that,
so she'll come in and get all that designed,
yeah, and it'll look really nice.
So, how many properties would you say you've done over the years,
and how many years, when did you get into this?
The first one, I bought at auction, was probably about 25 years ago.
But I don't have a lot of time because of running the business,
so I want to make a bit more time for doing this because I enjoy it.
But probably over the years, about 15?
It's amazing. What's your goal for them,
do you sell them on or do you rent them out?
Rent, always rent them.
Yeah, you can get a good rental market money now.
So just rent them out and try to get them paid off.
You know, and then buy others.
Jamie has been treating property development as more of a hobby
whilst running his business.
But he's hoping to grow his portfolio of eight properties
with the help of his wife, Arlene.
So, what's the plan for this one?
Plan from here is to take the kitchen out, take the bathroom out,
strip wallpaper, carpets, all these wee old-fashioned things,
re-plaster it all.
Paint it all, new kitchen, new bathroom.
New carpets throughout.
Get it all painted up, make it quite modern.
Do you have any changes in mind for the layout?
I did think about putting an extra toilet and sink upstairs,
an en-suite, in the main bedroom.
I haven't looked into that enough to see if I'm going to go ahead but we
do have a big family bathroom here anyway.
I think it would be really good if I could fit one in,
we'll just need to wait and see how that will work out.
It would be amazing. It feels like you've got three really big,
good-sized bedrooms upstairs.
To have a bathroom would just be the icing on the cake.
It really would, yeah.
That would suit all the families as well, that are going to rent it.
So it would be great for that.
-What's your budget?
I think we should achieve that.
And then if we go for the en-suite, it might push it over budget a bit.
But look at the benefits in having the extra toilet, so,
we'll see how that works out.
And because you work, you've got your own business,
this will be something that you, I guess, fit in when you can?
How will you manage that, is it weekends, after work?
Nights and weekends, basically.
Any day I can take off from the business, I'll come round here and
-get stuck in.
-How quickly do you hope to get it done?
Hopefully eight weeks.
That's good. I mean, a lot of people would say eight weeks if they were
committing to it full-time.
-What's your secret?
-I work really hard! That's basically it.
That's the lesson. You're a grafter.
-Get stuck in.
-Well, Jamie, I can't wait to see the results.
-Best of luck.
-Thank you very much.
Jamie knows exactly what this property needs.
A great face-lift so he can rent it out.
And with his experience, I don't envisage too many problems.
But you never do know.
You can find out how he gets on later in the show.
Coming up, in Bootle, I saw this terraced house that didn't exactly
capture my imagination.
It's obviously not in the sparkling condition you might hope for.
And back in Coatbridge, we'll see if Jamie's plans worked like a dream.
It all had to come off to take the plaster work.
It was a nightmare.
Earlier in the show, Lucy was in the happening London Borough of Camden.
And just five minutes from the famous Camden Lock was this
It had been a shop with accommodation above.
But now it was derelict in some parts and verging on dangerous.
The guide price was 475,000.
The only plus so far was that the building was in a conservation area
and already had planning permission.
Now, you can see, this was the original shop area.
The new plans that have been drawn up
with the lot that's gone to auction
state that this is going to be one dwelling, one family home now.
Although, my goodness, you could not imagine living here in this state!
# Show me love
# Show me everything
# I know you've got potential
# So baby let me in... #
There was bags of potential and the ample space did bode well
for a family home.
But the bulging wall on the lower ground floor and the fact the
property was Grade II listed was certain to throw up a few issues.
Fast forward to auction day and architect, John,
picked it up for 532,000.
And while he intended it to be his dream family home,
he was under no illusions when it came to the reality.
It's an architect's nightmare.
Nightmare, because, you know, there are so many rules and regulations.
It's a listed building, it's in a conservation area.
Hence, I've got a lot to do, a lot to achieve,
and there's lots of people going to be following my every move.
So John will be going above and beyond
when it came to the restoration.
But he'd be going low
when it came to extending the footprint of the house.
What I'm looking for is to put a basement room and keep the actual
garden itself at the existing level.
The lower ground extension and renovation was expected to cost a
hefty 400 grand in total with the project scheduled to last a year.
So did it all go to plan?
Well, we're back, six and a half years later!
# I know we can get higher
# There's levels to your love
# Yeah, there's levels to your love
# And I know we can get higher
# There's levels to your love
# And I keep on climbing up... #
John may have waved goodbye to the timescale,
but hello to stylish contemporary living.
The renovation is complete, as is the lower ground extension.
And since we can, let's take advantage of the resident expert
to see how it was achieved.
This was the old garden which was
dug out and we created what is now a family room.
What I've achieved here is to expand the actual natural area of the
building by 750 square feet and then here, we've got a lot more light,
it's become the patio garden.
And then, of course, we put the original garden back on this roof.
The lower ground extension has its access through the newer part of the
building, while the existing lower ground floor
is accessed through the main house.
The bulging wall has been reinforced to make it structurally
sound and there are two good-sized rooms.
Up on the first floor, the two bedrooms have been painstakingly
restored and the conservation officer insured mouldings,
architraves and skirtings have all been specially reproduced to fit the
1830s style of the house.
So with so much attention to detail,
there must have been some challenges.
# There's levels to your love and I keep on climbing up... #
I suppose the lathe and plaster was the trickiest in a historical sense.
And the old shop front which, unfortunately,
is not a replica of an 1830s window which I truly wanted to have.
The conservation officer requested that it was a replica of a 1945 shop
window which was put in after the Second World War when this building
suffered bomb blasts.
So that was one of my conflicts with the conservation officer.
I wanted to be true to the historic value of 1830, yet he said,
"No, we want to see how the building has evolved over the years."
So that was one of our issues.
John has overseen every part of this project,
designing the extension and project managing the build.
However, it was gaining permission
that caused the initial delay of 18 months.
There were further delays securing the funds for the project, but
the renovation on the original house was able to start three years ago
with the extension build starting 15 months ago.
Ultimately, John and his family decided not to live here
so the house will be going on the market,
hopefully recouping some of the overspend on his £400,000 budget.
I've spent on the project well over £1 million.
The love of putting it in has taken it out of all proportion.
My only safety factor was the belief that property prices were increasing
over the years. As the market stands right now,
we all know that it's extremely difficult.
Properties aren't moving at the moment,
so I've got to be prepared to wait a little longer before I can see a
return on the property.
Despite all the delays and demands of complying with the planners,
John has managed a fantastic finish here and although he has spent
almost double what he intended,
he has created something unique and amazing.
However, the property market, as we know, can upset the best of plans.
Let's find out what a local estate
agent thinks of John's stunning project.
My first thoughts on the property are that the styling is very much up
to spec, up to the latest fashions.
The size of the property's fantastic,
it's got a lovely family room on the lower part of the rear of the house
and it's a lovely mix of old and new.
The property ticks a lot of boxes
but will the price be right for John to sell?
He's spent approximately £1.5 million on the house in total.
So, what could it be worth on the sales market?
If I was to market this property, I'd put a guide price of £2,750,000.
2.75, it's probably, in a good market, the right price.
That valuation would mean a potential profit of approximately
£1.2 million minus taxes and fees.
And the agent thinks it could rent out for £7,000-£7,500 per month
giving him a yield of around 6%.
Would that persuade John to hang on to the house?
Well, I might have to if I can't actually sell the property.
It's an option that I can consider.
After facing demanding conservation restrictions and endless delays,
John has managed to rescue a
derelict building and make something special.
So, how does he feel now it's complete?
It's like anything you create.
Any artist that creates anything invariably
lets it go at the end of the day.
If I was doing a painting, it would be the same thing.
So, I've got to accept that and move on.
Otherwise, life becomes boring.
You want to go to the next chance, the next auction, the next venture,
and that's what I'll be doing.
Bootle is just to the north of Liverpool and the town has been
dominated for over 100 years by the River Mersey.
Due to its valuable port,
Bootle was targeted by German forces during World War II, making it the
most bombed borough in the UK.
Thankfully, much of the original housing stock,
including these terraces, survived.
Just imagine for a moment I'm in London walking down a street almost
identical to this.
The houses here would probably be £600,000 to £800,000.
But I'm not in London. I'm in Bootle.
The houses, they're exactly the same.
The guide price for this one, though, £35,000-£40,000.
Well, the lower price doesn't necessarily mean poor quality.
OK, so, walking through the door it's obviously not in the sparkly
condition you might hope for, but it doesn't seem too bad.
It doesn't smell damp.
Carpets have been taken out, which certainly saves you a bit of effort.
Central heating looks quite old so you might want to replace that.
But a fairly standard layout.
You've got a little corridor here.
You've got your front living room there and an open space where a
fire could go, which is nice.
And the stairs up to your bedrooms.
Through to the rear room. Now, just a tip here.
I know I sort of go on about open plan all the time,
but I would be looking at taking that wall out to create one really
nice-sized room here.
You don't need two separate rooms. Take that out.
It would really dramatically improve the feel here because
then you'd go through there and you've got your kitchen.
It doesn't look to be in too bad condition, actually.
But I think if you did that to make this really massive space here,
a relatively small house would certainly feel really nice and big.
So, all in all, it's a great start.
# Let's get it started
# Yeah, yeah #
You needn't get started.
You can just keep the two rooms.
I get it that not everyone likes open-plan.
Sometimes you need a room that you can keep child-free,
or a quiet one for them to do their homework.
That could be nice. But if you do open it up,
at least the kitchen would be separate.
So no annoying kitchen noises to compete with the telly.
However, some new flooring and a general spruce-up is needed.
So upstairs, a strange kind of layout.
It doesn't feel quite right.
I'm sure you can sort it out, though.
You've got this little landing area here,
and down these steps, there's a massive cupboard here,
which I think that the old heating system used to be in.
There's a combi boiler downstairs now, so that is actually
a bit of spare space. The bathroom is there.
Why not again knock these walls together to create a really massive
bathroom, which would be good.
The bedrooms actually work really well.
Some people might contemplate possibly turning this
into a three bed, again,
with some internal modifications you could do that.
I quite like the feel of it as it is.
If you've got that massive room downstairs and two really good-sized
bedrooms, to me that makes it a very, very liveable house
if you can get away with that number of bedrooms.
Nothing much to report here.
You've got the bay window there.
Signs of damp in that corner.
Probably something simple like a gutter that's loose outside.
So nothing too much to report.
And in general, it's a great house.
There really is nothing wrong with it at all.
This house does have something slightly unusual about it.
It's a leasehold property, which is more common in flats.
So, in theory, you would need to seek permission from the freeholder
if you are going to make any structural changes.
As for the lease, there's 800 years left on that, so no worries there.
At the rear of the property here,
you've got what you can only call a low-maintenance area.
This is basically a little patio with concrete.
But, hey, useful space.
Now one thing you might have noticed is the exterior of the property
is covered in this pebble dash. If you look at the bottom there,
it's actually sticking out from what
was the original face of the building.
This was added on, I guess, relatively recently.
It's actually insulation.
It does make the house quite energy efficient.
Whether you like it or not in terms of how it looks is another thing.
# Oh, boy, you look good to me
# But looks aren't everything... #
You are right. Looks aren't everything.
And that's advice to live by.
But did a local estate agent like the look of this house?
We invited one along to give us his
thoughts on this mid-terrace guided at £35,000.
The property itself is a good, sturdy two-bedroom property.
Kitchen and bathroom you could almost live with.
Tidy up the tiling, tidy up the flooring, tidy up the decor,
but really not spend a great deal
because it's almost lettable as it stands.
But how much would it rent for?
I wouldn't expect there to be any difficulty obtaining
£425 per calendar month.
So, with a fairly minimum spend of say two grand
you could get this one up and running,
and perhaps be looking at a yield of around 12%.
Now, what about the sales market?
It wouldn't be unusual for a house like this,
after it was smartened up a little bit,
to be on the market at around about 46,00, 47,000.
So for £35,000 to £40,000, would you buy this place?
Well, the yields certainly stack up.
And it's a good, solid house.
Nothing wrong with this one. Let's see who agreed and bought it when it
went under the hammer.
Two-bedroom mid-terrace house.
Your guide on this is 35 to £40,000.
No? Shall we say 30?
Does 30 feel more comfortable?
It does to this lady at the front. At 30 we are up and running.
Can I take 31?
31, 32? 33?
The bids flew back and forth in the room, and we rejoin at £39,500.
39 and a half, sir.
Thank you. 40. Go on, you're nice.
I'll make it 39 and three quarters.
No? 39 and three quarters, this is your bid right now.
Anybody want to make this £40,000?
OK, here we go then. At £39,750, for the very first time.
It's this lady's at 39,750.
For the second time. Last chance, anybody else?
Here we go. Third and final time, £39,750, you're going to get it.
Sold. Well done. 39,750.
A very unusual number to end on.
# How bizarre
# How bizarre, how bizarre... #
£39,750 might not be a nice round number,
but it clinched the property for former GP, Andrea.
Andrea has two daughters, Celia and Harriet.
We met Andrea and Harriet before at another Bootle property
after they did some serious research looking into 25 properties.
So I met them at the second one to find out what their plans are for
-Tell me why you wanted to buy this place?
Well, it was my sister's idea,
but she's working today so she couldn't come.
She lives in London.
She's worked in London for the last seven or eight years and she could
never afford a property down there.
But she still wanted to get on the property ladder.
So we thought, mum lives in Liverpool, if we get a house that's
cheap in Liverpool, mum can help us manage it.
It also means that she gets a property that she wouldn't be able
-to get where she is now.
-And so why Bootle?
Well, my now husband was born and bred in Bootle.
And so he knows which streets to avoid.
Local knowledge proved invaluable on the last project,
which was completed around seven months after purchase.
But the plan wasn't originally to buy two houses.
My mum accidentally bought two when she was originally going to buy one.
What do you mean accidentally bought two?
She got a bit happy putting her hand up at the auction!
I was very frightened of going to the auction to start with.
-And the other house was the one that was top of the list.
This was our number two.
And I just had a feeling about it.
I just thought it was right.
I just got the call after the auction saying,
"We actually bought two, so did you want one this time?"
-Can you afford two?
-Well, I've got an inheritance.
So it's savings that I don't actually need.
OK. Wow. You end up with two.
That's auctions for you. You got a bit of auction fever.
Yes. John did take me out before I bought a third one.
Did he?! "Out now!"
You might have bought another one. It goes to show you obviously liked
-what you saw and you went for it.
Have you gone into this as a joint-venture?
Are you each having a house of your own?
This is Celia's house.
The other one is Harriet's house.
Mum flipped a coin.
Well, tossing a coin for a house is a new one on me.
And the lucky streak goes on for the girls, as Andrea's husband, John,
is going to be doing the work, as he did for Harriet.
So what's the plan?
Generally paint and decorate it, clean it completely.
But there's not major work that needs doing.
The first thing is the roof.
We've got a roofer coming to check out the roof and clear the gutters.
Mend the minor bits of damp and carpet it.
And fully put blinds up and curtains up and then rent it out.
-Rent it out?
-And who's going to manage the rental?
-You are going to do it?
Are you going to get somebody to get you a tenant or not?
No. We'll do that. John will help.
It seems like Andrea has this place all figured out.
She and Celia will spend £3,000 to £4,000 sprucing it up,
and hope to finish within two to three months.
Having caught a bit of auction fever,
will she be returning to the auctions again?
-Not at the moment.
Not until we've done these two, see how it goes.
I see. But never say never?
-Never say never.
-Well, listen, congratulations.
It's a fun story. Good luck with it.
-Look forward to seeing how you get on.
-Thanks very much, Martin.
-Nice to meet you both.
How great it is that there are still parts of the UK where you can
buy your children a house as a present
without needing to be a multimillionaire.
How will the family get on sorting this place out?
You can find out later in the show.
Well, one of our buyers has finished their race.
Will the other two reach the finish line, or will they come up short?
Let's find out.
Back to eight miles east of Glasgow city centre now,
and the town of Coatbridge.
I had a look at a three bed upper maisonette guided at £45,000 plus.
I wasn't all that keen on the textured wallpaper
that featured everywhere.
And the whole place was a tad dated.
On the plus side, it did have really
good proportions and bags of potential.
And there was only one negative I could see.
So you don't have a bathroom upstairs,
you have three pretty good-sized rooms.
I'm struggling to find negatives on this house.
Outside, the property had its own good-sized garden,
plus off-street parking, which is always a bonus.
The bidders could see the potential on auction day.
Several people were interested,
but, as ever, there can only be one who succeeds.
It's all yours.
# Yeah, I'm heading for the good life... #
Ready to take on this after getting it for £50,500 was Jamie,
who runs a rendering company and started developing property 25 years
ago as a bit of a hobby.
Not so much a work-life balance as a work-work balance.
He was taking this one in his stride,
and was going to rip it out and start again.
The plan from here is to take the kitchen out, take the bathroom out,
strip wallpaper, carpets, all these wee old-fashioned things.
The decision to put a bathroom upstairs would depend on how far
Jamie could stretch his £7,500 budget.
But he was going to do most of the work himself.
So what was his formula for a successful business
and a demanding hobby?
I work really hard.
-That is the lesson?
-You're a grafter?
-Get stuck in.
And it seems to have paid off, because we're back just seven weeks
later to see what's different about this maisonette.
Jamie has managed to give this tired old home a face-lift,
re-plastering all the walls, making it look modern and clean.
He even installed a new kitchen complete with fresh tiling.
As for the bathroom downstairs, that's been modernised as well.
But did Jamie manage to fit an en-suite upstairs?
We decided not to go with the en suite, because when we did the
measurements, it was taking most of the bedroom away.
It would've been a lot of work, a lot of time,
and I didn't feel it would add any value onto the property.
Jamie decided three decent-sized bedrooms were of more value on the
rental market than an en-suite
and has concentrated on making the bedrooms more bright and modern,
with a contemporary white and grey colour scheme.
It hasn't exactly been straightforward getting here though.
The biggest challenge was removing all the wallpaper.
We were at it for ages just with scrapers, industrial strippers,
and the dreaded woodchip was on it as well.
So it all had to come off, to take the plasterwork.
It was a nightmare.
# You're finding out it's nothing quite like it seems
# You're finding out it's never quite like a dream... #
Removing textured wallpaper is a nightmare.
I feel your pain, Jamie.
And to get through it all, he drafted in help.
I brought a few of the boys in from my company
to help me with the plastering.
But we were just all clearing stuff out.
We had six pick-up loads to take away and dump.
Various guys helped me with the garden,
they cleared all this away, replastered.
So there was a good few of us got stuck in.
I have some friends that do the joinery work.
They came and charged me, so they're not that friendly!
I didn't say that!
As per your request, we've kept that bit in for you, Jamie.
But did he manage to keep to his budget of £7,500?
Very rarely does it go to budget.
We went a bit higher. We're actually on about £9,500.
That overspend put his total investment in this property
at the round sum of £60,000.
But will Jamie reap any profit back from his auction purchase?
We invited along two local estate agents
to get their thoughts on this one.
Starting with the expert who saw the property last time.
First impression is that the new
buyer has brought it up to a good standard.
The main selling points would be the size of the property.
It's good-sized accommodation.
Especially the family-sized kitchen and lounge too.
The standard of finish is good.
It's a good quality kitchen and a good quality bathroom suite that's
It does look good and it'll be appealing to a potential
buyer or a tenant.
Good news all round.
But would it have had even greater appeal if Jamie had installed an
I think an en-suite would perhaps have helped given that the main
bathroom is downstairs, but I don't think it would have added
significantly to the value, although may have added to the desirability.
Well, let's see if the sales figures would be desirable to Jamie,
even though his original intention was to rent the property.
How much could it make on the sales market?
In the resale market,
I would suggest a sales price of approximately £75,000.
On the sales market, I would expect the property to achieve
between 65,000 and £70,000.
75 would be great, but between 70 and 75, I think,
is a fair valuation.
If Jamie got that top estimate of £75,000,
that could give him a potential profit of 15 grand,
minus taxes and fees.
Now, what about on the rental market?
On the rental market,
I would expect this property to achieve in the region
of £600 per calendar month.
In the rental market,
I would suggest this property would achieve £550 per calendar month.
I've actually signed a five-year lease with someone for
£550 a month.
So they're spot on.
That means Jamie is achieving a yield of 11%,
and could stretch to 12% with the top valuation.
But having a long-term tenant is a real bonus.
So a successful job by Jamie.
Any tips for any other would-be property hobbyists?
My advice to anyone buying a property is be prepared to get stuck
in, save as much money as you can and enjoy it
because it can be a lot of fun.
Time to sail on back to Bootle now, where we saw this terraced house,
guided at 35 to £40,000.
It seemed to be in shipshape condition,
except it wasn't quite watertight.
Signs of damp in that corner.
Probably something simple like a gutter that's loose outside,
so nothing too much to report.
And in general, you know, it's a great house.
There really is nothing wrong with it at all.
Taking the helm was retired GP, Andrea, who'd purchased two houses,
one for each of her daughters.
Who got which was decided by the toss of a coin.
Harriet, who came to meet us with Andrea, had one house,
while this one was sister Celia's.
But that hadn't really been the plan.
Mum had accidentally bought two when she was originally going to buy one.
What do you mean, accidentally bought two?
She got a bit happy putting her hand up at the auction!
Andrea had caught a little bit of auction fever.
But, fortunately, her husband, John, stopped her from buying
a third property on the day.
Maybe to try and keep his workload down, as he would be doing all the
refurbishments and Andrea managing the rentals.
But apart from the damp issue, this house didn't need much to get
it ready for the rental market in two to three months.
The budget, set by Celia, was 3,000 to £4,000.
Nine months later, the outside looks pretty much the same.
But why don't you and I get comfy?
Let's pull up a chair...
This one will do.
..and admire all the work that's been done here.
The entire downstairs has been re-carpeted
and repainted in neutral colours.
And it was good news for Celia that, after a bit of scrubbing,
they could use the existing kitchen units.
They just installed some new appliances.
So let's throw this over to Andrea
and find out what behind-the-scenes work has taken place.
We started with the roof, to sort the damp out and the gutters.
The kitchen ceiling needed redoing fully.
And then we were going to take one radiator off,
but we took three, replaced three radiators.
We decided to use backing paper rather than skimming all the walls
because of the extra expense.
They managed to save on the expenses upstairs as well by keeping most of
the original bathroom suite.
They only changed the bath panel and fitted vinyl flooring.
And the two bedrooms?
Well, they look fresh and clean.
The only serious issue with this house was the damp upstairs,
and it looks like that's been dealt with.
We managed to fix that with sorting out loose tiles and the guttering.
I know I do go on about maintenance, but if you keep the guttering clear,
you really can save yourself a hassle.
And fix loose tiles and slates straightaway.
A stitch in time and all that.
So who was responsible for all the work here?
My husband, John, has done most of
the work with experts in when needed,
for gas, electric and the ceiling.
Ah, yes, they had to call in a plasterer as there was a bit of a
mishap with the ceiling falling in.
Thankfully no-one was injured.
Now what did Andrea do to help with the work?
I've just been here sitting on my rocker
watching and keeping John motivated.
Ah, that explains the lone chair in the reception room.
But now the work is almost complete,
with just a few finishing touches to add,
have they had any luck finding a new occupant for that rocker?
We've always wanted to rent this out long-term.
And we've already found a tenant who wants it long-term.
That will be great news for Celia.
Renovating this home took longer than expected.
So did this have an impact on their £3,000 to £4,000 budget?
Well, the budget has doubled, mainly because of fees, legal fees and the
auction house fees, because we had to, on the legal pact,
we had to pay the other person's costs as well.
With delaying starting with this because we had another property
that we were doing, council tax has crept up.
So apart from fees, which came to just over 4,000,
it was 4,000 to actually do the work.
Including those extra costs, that brings their budget to £8,000,
which gives them a total investment in this property of 47,750.
So was it all worth it?
We invited along two local estate agents to see what they made of the
terraced house, starting with the
agent who saw the property last time.
As regards the changes that they've made,
basically they've brought it back to an original standard,
but a high standard, so that the first or second viewing
for a tenant or a buyer would be a successful viewing.
After looking round the property, it's a lot bigger than I expected,
than I first thought.
The decor is consistent throughout.
Very neutral. It looks like they've done a really good job throughout.
One of the agents tells us the resale market isn't so great in the
area at the moment.
So how does that reflect in sales values on this £47,750 investment?
So I would say to sell this on,
you'd be looking at a figure around about £57,000.
I would expect it to fetch anywhere between £60,000 and £65,000.
That's roughly what we were expecting, so...
But it is for a long-term rent.
At the agents' top estimate of 65,000, that would give them a
profit of 17,250 quid, minus any taxes and fees.
But let's get those all-important rental figures.
The rental value, in my opinion,
ranges between £400 and £450 per calendar month.
I would suggest £425 a month is a very achievable figure for here.
And that fits with what we're getting, which is 450.
£450 per calendar month means they will achieve a yield of 11%,
which will go towards Celia's living costs while she works in London.
So will Andrea and her husband, John, be back at the auction soon?
John's keen to go back to the auction.
But we have a lot of work to do on our own bungalow.
Does this mean John has the auction bug?
John's definitely got the bug.
Hopefully our stories have given you food for thought.
Maybe you're even considering
heading down to your local auction right now.
Yes, but even if you're just an armchair enthusiast,
you can come along for the ride next time here
on Homes Under The Hammer.
A stunning renovation of a Grade II listed house in London's Camden, which took more than six years to complete, as well as shorter projects in Coatbridge in Scotland and Bootle on Merseyside come under the spotlight. Martin Roberts, Lucy Alexander and Martel Maxwell talk to the new owners, who are hoping to make a healthy profit.