Three couples take on properties in Wednesfield near Wolverhampton, Sydenham in London and Chatham in Kent in the hope of making some money.
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Hello, and welcome to the show.
Now, buying a property for a financial investment
can seem like a daunting prospect.
Yes, but if you do your homework, you could be onto a winner.
Yes, and one place you could find yourself a property bargain
is at your local property auction.
Property auctions are a great place to pick up a potential bargain.
Yes, but one thing you've got to remember is always stay calm.
Let's find out if any of today's buyers
got an attack of auction fever.
Here's what they bought...
Today in Wednesfield, this semi has got me feeling poetic.
RSJ... Open the door on a summer's day!
Whereas in Sydenham, this maisonette had me lost for words...
The thingy there, what's it called again? Socket! That's it. Thank you.
Answers on a postcard, please!
And in Chatham, the rooms in this end terrace left me pondering.
It's too big, you don't need it!
All of 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.
I'm in the historic village of Wednesfield,
just two miles from the city centre of Wolverhampton.
In the 19th century, the blacksmiths of Wednesfield
specialised in traps for winning game.
Traps of all shapes and sizes were exported,
so Wednesfield became the trap-making capital of the world.
So, will somebody snare a bargain with this property?
I'm here to see.
# We're caught in a trap... #
In the auction catalogue,
it says it's got three bedrooms and a guide price of £78-83,000.
It also says it's a semidetached.
It looks more like an end of terrace to me.
Interesting though, let's have a look.
# Look into my eyes, can't you see they're open wide?
# Would I lie to you, baby?
# Would I lie to you? #
Very typical layout of a house of this era.
Look at this, all original stained glass as well.
Very, very cool.
It's a little bit tight.
Here are your stairs going up to the bedrooms.
Come down the hallway, you've got a front room, really big bay window,
and more stained glass as well at the top.
Very, very smart. OK, some may say
that's retro that's going round the top of the wall.
It's not, it's original.
And there's a gas fire as well, and I'd want to get rid of that.
But it's a good-sized front room.
Bit further down the hallway, you've got a very tight kitchen.
Very small, very compact.
There's a little bit of damp in the corner
by the back door that goes out.
And then you come into the dining room.
Another gas fire in here as well.
OK, so you've already got a door in place.
Out into the back garden. And you've got a dining room.
And on the other side of this wall, you've got a kitchen.
So you've got a kitchen, and you've got a diner...
Kitchen. Diner. If you say it quick -
kitchen/diner - that's what you've got to try and achieve!
What I would do is try and make better use of these two spaces.
This is how I'd do it. Wall not needed.
Open the door on a summer's day!
But will it be all sunshine and roses upstairs?
OK, upstairs to the three bedrooms.
But before we have a look at those, this is the family bathroom.
And it's not a bad-sized family bathroom at all.
You've got a bath, sink, and a toilet just behind the door.
No shower, though. So I'd be inclined to take that out,
put a brand-new suite in, try and get a shower in the bath as well.
There's enough space, without a doubt.
Enough space in there. Bedroom there,
which is looking out onto the back garden.
And again, it's a double bedroom.
Lots of space in there.
You've got a box bedroom just there. A bit tight, that one is.
But these two bedrooms here are good sizes. And as I'm looking,
both these rooms at the same time,
I can see they are identically... Been decorated...
You've got the carpets which are green, the fireplace is green,
the walls are the same colour, the ceiling is the same colour...
Somebody enjoyed that colour scheme!
Into the main bedroom at the front of the house, nice big bay window.
Really nice big bay window.
There are a few cracks just up there,
but I think that's just the age of the house.
I wouldn't think that's anything to worry about.
Get it checked out, of course, as always.
I do like these original doors, all over the house.
And these handles as well.
They are original handles, they've been here from day dot.
These are Bakelite handles.
This is a really nice house, it feels solid.
It hasn't been lived in for a while, but I think this would be a really
good project to get hold of.
Did you know that Bakelite was one of the first plastics?
No? Well, me neither!
Well, will an agent from the auction house who sold it be in the know
about this lot, guided at £78-83,000?
The property is in not too bad condition.
I think it's probably been, by the look of it,
lived in by an elderly person,
and I suppose it's seen better days in terms of...
..standard of workmanship and stuff like that.
But to bring it back into habitable condition,
it's not going to take an awful lot of work.
I think this could be a nice home for a couple or a small family.
But it could also be a nice, simple one for a first-time investor.
Could there be scope for profit
if you get it for somewhere near the guide price?
I would envisage it selling in the region of £120,000 to £130,000.
Typical with this style of house is the layout.
There's also a few original features like the stained-glass windows still
in, which is really nice. It does need a bit of a tweak, though.
For me, I think a kitchen/diner's
going to work a lot better for modern living.
But if you got it for anywhere near that guide price,
I think you could be on to a bit of a winner.
Let's find out who agreed with me when it went under the hammer!
This next lot is a freehold, three-bedroom, semidetached house.
Start me if you will. 90,000?
What to buy this will be! At £80,000, and thank you.
At 80,000, I'm bid, is it?
At 90 now. At 80,000, I'm bid, is it 90?
This lot got off to a slow start,
but gradually crept up with a few interested parties.
We rejoin the bidding at £107,000.
No? Are we all done, then?
Could I see your number, please, sir?
Number 780 is 108,500.
Is it 109? 109.
No. You've been a great bidder, sir, but with you, sir, at 109,000.
Your number again was...? 780, or is 780.
One, two, three...
Congratulations, that property is yours, Mr 780.
Mr and Mrs 780 on the day,
paying £109,000 for the property,
were maintenance engineer Kevan and wife Debbie,
who is a PA for a construction company.
The couple live locally,
so I caught up with them to find out their plans
for their new acquisition.
-Kevan, nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you. Debbie, nice to meet you too.
-Nice to meet you.
-BOTH: Thank you.
Tell me who is responsible, then, for finding this house?
Deb was the one that found the property.
Are you taking the credit?
I am taking the credit, yes!
Now, are you happy with what she found, or...?
I'm very happy with what she found, yeah!
It ticked many of the boxes, so she contacted me after she'd viewed it,
and she said it was really nice, so, yeah.
What were you buying the house for?
It's kind of a medium-term sort of investment, so, you know,
we intended to turn it quite quickly,
and get it on the rental market as soon as we can,
and then maybe a bit further down the line,
we'll look at maybe selling it on.
OK, so is this your first venture together?
Have you got any more ventures, or...?
We have other ventures.
We've got another one that we're refurbing at the minute -
we're just waiting for the builders
to come in and do an extension on it.
And we've done two others in the past, which we've lived through,
-haven't we, basically?
-We've lived in them.
"We've lived through them." What, hell or heaven?
-Extension work and building work all around,
and so we know what's coming when we do that kind of thing, so...
But we love it. We love, you know, weekends,
-we love being here with rollers in our hands.
-Getting stuck in.
We love it, yeah. Just great fun.
Now, each to their own,
but these two sound like gluttons for punishment.
And it won't just be rollers at the ready either!
Much of the work we will be doing ourselves.
We've got the kitchen waiting to install.
Here, all the decor work, we'll be doing ourselves as well.
Building work, if needed, we call people in, you know,
we've used people before
and we'd love to use the same or similar people again.
You know, your main trades - your electricians and your bricklayers.
-The rest of it we'll do ourselves.
So tell us... OK, let's start upstairs.
Go on, just for a change, let's start upstairs.
-What are you going to do upstairs?
-Just basically decor,
just tidy it all up.
I think the bathroom will pretty well stay as it is.
It needs some more tiles put in on it and a shower putting in.
But aside from that, it's really just updated,
bringing it up to date.
What other plans down here, then?
Well, the flooring, original flooring, looks really nice.
Same in this room. And the back room will stay as it is.
Obviously, fires need to be replaced. From a rental point of view,
we're probably looking at leaving the fireplaces,
but obviously changing the gas fires.
Picture rails, as well, will probably stay.
-The stained-glass windows...
-..will remain as well.
Just nice original features.
-Pretty cool the stained-glass, isn't it?
-Nice to see, yeah.
And you've got it at the front door as well.
-Lovely front door.
-That'll frame the door. Very, very cool.
Kitchen... It's a little bit tight.
Any plans to make that a little bit bigger?
Well, potential to knock the wall out into the dining room,
so we could do that, make it a kitchen/diner which, you know,
in modern-day terms, what most people seem to want.
So we could do that quite easily.
-Happy with that, Debs?
-Yep, I want to knock the wall down, if we do it!
-Is that right?
-It's my job. Absolutely.
She's handy with a sledgehammer, so watch out!
# Stop, Hammer time! #
I certainly will. Kevan and Debbie will spend the next six
to nine months renovating the house,
and while they still need to hammer out the exact budget,
they're thinking five or six grand to do the work,
seven maximum, if they decide to open up the kitchen/diner.
Mind you, they'll need to earmark some of the cash
for the upstairs decor.
Two bedrooms upstairs are identical!
Identical, are you keeping them like that or...?
No, no! We'll change it, that's my job, the decor.
-Oh, is it really?
-Choosing the paint...
So, tell us, what do you want to do?
I don't know yet. I'll just see if there's some nice wallpaper
out there, and we'll do a feature wall,
and just make it a bit more attractive when you walk in.
-Do you do wallpapering as well?
Look at these two, I might take a card!
Listen, I know you're going to get on well.
I wish you all the best.
-Good luck, Kev.
-Debs, good luck.
-Thank you very much, thank you.
I do like them. Genuinely a very nice couple.
And they've got a project that needs a bit of graft,
but by the sounds of it, they are grafters
cos they're looking to do a lot of the work themselves,
which should help with keeping the budget down.
My big question is, will they have a kitchen and a diner,
or will it be a kitchen/diner?
You can find out how they get on and what they choose
later in the programme.
This is Sydenham in southeast London.
Crystal Palace Park lies to the west,
Dulwich Village to the north, and Forest Hill to the east.
It's a district that has lots of green spaces
and good transport links into Central London,
just eight miles away.
Well, just a couple of minutes' walk from Lower Sydenham train station,
with easy access by rail into Central London,
is the maisonette I'm here to see.
Three bedrooms, guide price £100,000 plus.
That sounds very, very cheap.
There must be a reason.
Of course, cheap is a relative term,
but this is London, and compared to neighbouring properties,
100K around here is a steal.
Let's head up to this first-floor flat to check it out.
So, what have we got? Oh, double-glazed front door.
That's a good start. In fact, looking around, the bathroom there.
Nice condition, the bathroom, actually.
But you've got double-glazed windows,
so that is going to save you a good expense for sure.
Through the front door... Kitchen there.
Now, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed.
It feels a little bit pokey.
It's got this very strange, sort of, thing on the end there.
Nice views over the garden,
but I wonder if there is something we can do about that,
cos you've got, like, this glass here which is letting more light
into the kitchen there, but it's just a bit weird.
Then through into the living room.
I'd like to see some kind of nice fireplace there.
At the moment, it's like breeze blocks.
I don't think that necessarily works. But, you know,
it's not in bad condition.
I mean, you could theoretically just rent this out pretty much as it is.
A few issues here. That's actually quite a useful thing.
Somebody's actually taken off the...the thingy there.
What's it called again? A socket.
That's it. Thank you.
Answers on a postcard, please. It is a good way to check out
what the condition of the electrics is.
Obviously, be very, very careful if you do that.
So that wiring is definitely something you want to consider,
maybe needing updating in the not too distant future.
You have got nice views out the garden here as well.
You know, for a maisonette-type flat thing,
I've seen a lot worse.
Yeah, and before you write in, yes,
I did make sure the power was switched off before I touched the
inside of the socket.
Wiring of the old standard colours before they changed in 2006 can be
detected where you see a red wire,
but always get a certified electrician to check things out.
Now, on to the rest.
There are two small bedrooms.
The second has a really unusual shape.
Fitting in furniture will need thought.
But what is really good
is this maisonette comes with its own garden.
It might be a bit of shrubbery at the moment,
but I do think it could be a cracking space.
And it is London, and the guide is only £100,000 plus.
What, really?! And there is even more.
So, upstairs, and you find the third bedroom.
And a nice additional feature for the flat for sure.
All you need to check, though, is that it was A -
done with the freeholder's permission, and B -
done to building regulations.
So that includes things like the strength of the floor,
the staircase, fire escape routes and things like that.
But, on the face of it, it looks pretty good.
And it is just a nice additional bonus
to what is already a pretty good flat.
# You're just too good to be true
# Can't take my eyes off of you. #
-Stop the music!
Ah, let's take a moment to think.
So, as yet, I haven't seen anything which explains why this flat is,
or seems, a lot cheaper than similar properties in the area.
Well, as usual, there is a reason for that,
and that is the fact that this place actually comes with a relatively
short lease. There is only 20 years left on the existing lease.
However, the good news is that what's called
a Section 42 notice has already been issued.
Now, normally you'd have to own a house for two years before you can
apply for that, but the process is already undergoing,
and that's actually really good news for whoever buys this place.
However, as you'll no doubt know if you are a regular viewer,
the shorter the lease, the more expensive it is to extend.
So a very short lease like this could be pretty pricey indeed.
I'm told that the figure could be £30,000,
which actually sounds on the cheap side.
So, cue that Too Good To Be True number again.
# You're just too good to be true
# Can't take my eyes off of you. #
And we invited a estate agent to cast his eye over this maisonette
guided at £100,000 plus.
I think it is a great little flat.
I love maisonettes because
you get your own front door,
a garden as well,
and a lot of space for your money.
What about the short lease?
Does he see it as an issue for the property?
Short leases are a massive issue now, more these days than ever.
The problem is that one can't get a bank or building society to lend on
them, therefore one has to extend the lease prior to actually getting
finance on it. So from a first-time buyer's perspective,
any cash buyer coming in, which it will need to be to buy as is,
will need to consider that a buyer will want that lease extended.
So, could the buyer sell this property on in the future
without the lease extended?
You could sell it without lease extension, indeed.
We do sell without lease extensions, but the value is massively impacted.
So, just how much of an impact does the lease have?
Let's hear the numbers.
The value of this property, once it has been refurbished,
would be around 250,000 with a short lease,
and around 330,000 with a long lease.
So, not a bad flat at all,
but that short lease does mean it would be cash buyers only.
However, with the lease extension process already under way,
if you can get through that little hurdle,
potentially some good money to be made on this one.
Let's see if who agreed when it went under the hammer.
Who'd like to kick off on this?
In the aisle, 125?
On the phone? 125.
Down here. 125.
30, with you.
There was quite a bit of interest, and bidding was slow but steady,
climbing by £2,000 increments.
We rejoin at 160,000 - well past the £100,000-plus guide.
160. Standing up.
And the bidding went up and up, and we rejoin again at 182,000.
182, in the front.
184. 184, either of you?
If not, it is going down here at 182.
You are going to lose it. 184?
If not, 182.
First time, second time...
Third and last time...
Sorry, all the bidders.
But at least you had a crack. Well done.
# Give it a go, give it a go
# Give it a go, give it a go... #
Ready to take a punt on this property was Kim
and her husband Sean,
who picked it up for well over the guide price at 182,000.
Kim is a full-time property developer,
and this will be her eighth renovation.
While Sean took a look around the maisonette,
I spoke to Kim about their purchase.
Kim, lovely to meet you.
Tell me why you wanted to buy this little place.
First of all, it is local.
It is about ten minutes' drive to where we live.
And secondly, as you can see, it's in very good condition.
So, in terms of the house itself, though,
what are you planning to do to it?
Except the bathroom, which is in quite a good condition,
and the windows,
we're changing everything.
New carpets, new flooring, new kitchen,
rewiring, new boiler, and painting.
I mean, I like the flat.
The only thing I don't think is quite right is the kitchen.
-It's really small, isn't it?
-Are you planning to leave it as it
-is, or are you going to open it up a bit?
We are going to open some stud walls there, which is quite stuffy.
-But otherwise, we are just keeping it as it is.
And is the idea with this one to do it up and sell it on,
or to rent it out?
Depends. We will need agent advice, yes, yes.
So, if it doesn't sell,
we have an option of renting it out.
And what is the budget for the work?
-Up to 20,000.
That's a really decent budget for all the work,
and they aim to get their builders in and out in just three weeks.
Yeah, you heard me right, three weeks!
Now, obviously, one of the reasons I guess it was such
a keen price was the lease issue, the short lease.
Did you know all about that?
We had the legal packs checked by the solicitors beforehand.
So we knew there was only 20 years left on the lease.
-They served a notice.
-I mean, so it was in the process already, so we took it over.
In terms of that process, to get the lease extended, right,
do you have any idea how much it is going to cost, to extend the lease?
Yes, yes. It was in the legal packs.
-Oh, it was? OK. The actual amount.
-30,000, is that right?
-Yeah. And that extends it 99 years.
That's not actually as much as it could have been, is it?
That's not a bad price.
No, it wasn't a bad price at all, no.
So, remind me what you paid at auction, in terms of the price.
We ended up paying for 182.
-Were you happy with that?
-I was very happy, yes.
And with the 20-odd you are spending on it...
So you are only in it for about, with an extension of the lease,
and the works, about 230 or so.
240, because we're having to pay for the seller's agent fees
-and legal costs.
-You knew about that, did you, as well?
-OK. So, 240, then.
Do you know how much it will be worth when that's all done?
So, 80 grand in it, perhaps.
And are you doing this all on your own,
or have you got other people involved?
My husband is also...
Because he was bidding at the auction, is that right?
Yes, we went together and he was the bidder.
Right. And what kind of skills do the both of you have?
Do you have sort of building skills, anything like that?
We are good DIY people, so just some, maybe, painting.
But you work on your projects together, do you?
Oh, yes. We do overlook the project.
Yeah, good. Well, listen, congratulations.
-Good luck with it.
-Look forward to seeing how you get on.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
Well, Kim certainly seems to have done quite well with this place,
even with that 30 grand for the lease extension.
I think there is money to be made here.
But three weeks to sort the place out, including doing a full rewire?
That's going to be tight. How will she get on?
You can find out later in the show.
Coming up, I visit an end terrace in Chatham that was in quite short
supply of sunshine.
It's just really dark because there isn't a big window there.
Back in Sydenham, we'll discover
if trouble came a-knocking in Kim's maisonette.
We received Counter Notice from the freeholder.
Back to the Wolverhampton area now, and the village of Wednesfield,
where I saw this lot that went to auction with a guide price of
It was listed as a semi, but I have to say,
it looked more like a terrace to me.
That aside, it was a typical '30s house packed with typical original
features. And the other typical thing about it was it had
a good living space but a pokey kitchen.
You know where I am going with this.
So, you've got a kitchen and you've got a diner.
If you say it quick - kitchen/diner -
that's what you've got to try and achieve.
# If you conceive it You can achieve it
# That's why I believe in you And I believe in me! #
The rest of the house worked just fine as it was,
with a decent family bathroom,
a standard box room, and two double bedrooms.
Or was I seeing double?
As I'm looking, both these rooms at the same time, I can see they are
identically... Been decorated...
You've got the carpets, which are green,
the walls are the same colour, the ceiling is the same colour.
Somebody enjoyed that colour scheme.
Local couple and part-time property developers Kevan and Debbie
enjoyed this enough to buy for 109 grand on auction day.
The keen DIY-ers were going to be sympathetic
to the original features,
but were open to adding some more contemporary touches.
Kitchen - it's a little bit tight.
Any plans to make that a little bit bigger?
Potential to knock the wall out
into the dining room, so we could do that,
make a kitchen/diner, which, in modern-day terms,
what most people seem to want, so we could do that quite easily.
-Happy with that, Debs?
-Yeah. I'll knock the wall down if we do it.
-Is that right?
She is handy with a sledgehammer, so watch out.
The couple had five to six grand to spend, but could stretch to seven
to cover the cost of the kitchen/diner.
And they thought they'd manage the work in six to nine months.
So when we returned a year later, did they manage it?
And had Debbie been busy with that sledgehammer?
Kevan and Debbie have really struck the right balance
between old and new,
opening up the kitchen and separate reception room,
while maintaining classic features of the house,
like original wood flooring and stained-glass windows.
Upstairs, the sympathetic renovation continues.
The original fireplaces have been restored and the feature wall adds a
stylish modern touch.
It's a slick renovation from head to toe.
The last time we spoke, they had planned to do the work themselves.
So, was that the case?
And did a Debbie actually manage to get her hands on that sledgehammer?
Kev did most of the graft, but I did help where I could.
I helped with putting kitchens together, wallpapering, decorating,
painting... But you did the hard bit, didn't you?
Done a reasonable amount. You've done your fair share.
So, you know, we are a team, so that's what we do.
Unfortunately, Debbie didn't get to use her sledgehammer
on that dividing wall, as it required an RSJ steel beam
Kevan did re-plumb and damp proof the kitchen.
I'm really impressed that both he and Debbie repainted
the entire exterior of the house,
plus they have transformed the garden for good measure.
They have done a great job, but what's been the hardest bit?
For me, the biggest challenge is just the tiredness.
You get exhausted, you are working full-time,
you come here in evenings and weekends.
The other thing was the damp.
We decorated, we had finished, and then damp came up,
so then we had to rip skirting boards off and start again.
Kevan and Debbie have been incredibly thorough,
but was it attention to detail like that that caused them to overrun on
-We have done more than we originally set out,
so that has taken us longer anyway.
I have had to have a bit of time out cos I had a bad back,
so it took me out of the equation for a while.
So once I got back into it, managed to now get it finished off,
and here we are, just two or three months over our original timescale.
Let's hope Kevan's back has made a full recovery.
But is their seven-grand budget in perfect health?
The original budget was around 7,000.
We've actually spent just under 12,000.
We've gone for a high spec just purely because we thought
it might give us a better return
when we decide what we are going to do with it.
Kevan and Debbie had planned to rent it out,
but they are not too sure now.
Maybe two local estate agents can help them out.
What did they make of the couple's £121,000 investment,
starting with the agent who saw it prior to renovation?
This is my second visit to the property,
and, wow, hasn't it changed?!
It has been transformed from
a very tired property
to one that is now top-notch.
The standard of finish has been very good, high standard.
For example, in that reception room at the front,
you've got that wooden floor, and the bathroom and the kitchen has
been done really nice.
They've retained the original doors. So it's been really good.
And anybody that is looking to buy the property
are just going to be able to move straight in.
Like me, the agents think this is a lovely property.
So could Kevan and Debbie make a profit
on their 121-grand investment?
If they are going to resell the property,
I would imagine that they will achieve something between £135,000
The valuation of the property for me would be an asking price of
£145,000, and I would certainly expect to get a figure of £143,000.
£143,000 could see the couple achieve a profit of 22 grand,
minus taxes and fees.
The agents thought it could rent for
between £600 and £650 per calendar month.
That's a yield of almost 6.5%.
Now you've got the figures, guys, what do you think?
We are aiming more at selling it rather than renting,
so we are going to consider the figures
and make our final decision as to what we are going to do.
So, they are still undecided at the moment,
but they have a lot on their plate, as they still have to focus on
finishing the other property they bought to renovate.
But how do they sum this one up?
-Yeah, we have had a lot of fun doing it,
we've enjoyed the experience. We'd definitely do it again.
We are going to do it again,
and we may well do it again after the next one, so, yeah,
-we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Chatham in Kent has seen a lot of investment over the last few years.
The dockyard, marina and naval history
give this place a lovely vibe,
and it has been proven to be a good place to invest in recent years.
So, will some property buyer's ship come in today?
On the border of Chatham and Walderslade is the property
I am here to see. It is in end-of-terrace,
three-bed house with a guide price of £140,000 plus.
This is it. My first impressions are, if this is your main entrance,
there is no access for vehicles.
Also, some pretty steep stairs and a distinct lack of windows.
Let's go look.
# Take it step by step... #
I find it a bit strange that a family-sized house would have
as many steps.
It wouldn't be ideal for anyone with mobility issues or getting
a pram up and down.
This end terrace used to be a local authority house,
and it looks like it has been through some rough times.
# And take it step by step. #
Interesting front door.
Listen. A bit of a...
It's like a prison door.
I come in, and off the hallway,
you have a toilet with a sink, which is always great for guests,
or not hoiking yourself upstairs to a bathroom -
assuming there is a bathroom upstairs.
And the kitchen, this is a great size.
Yeah, I'm always banging on about knocking down walls,
open-plan living, but sometimes there is no need
when it is as big as this.
A real sociable area, no problem getting in your dining table.
You could really benefit, obviously, from a new kitchen.
Back door leading to the garden.
I will investigate that further later.
Through your hall, a bit of dead space under the stairs
you could think about making into some storage space.
And a good-sized reception room.
But what strikes me here is it is a room of two halves,
and this half is good,
because you've got your patio doors that lead out into the garden.
This half, not so good.
It is just really dark because there isn't a big window there.
I noticed some other houses had put another window in,
so it seems that planning permission would be possible.
I think that's a great idea.
# Hey, let the sunshine in
# Come over right away
# Hey, let the sunshine in Brighten up my day... #
Upstairs to a really good-sized...bedroom. Really good.
I like the long window - a wee bit different,
loads of light coming through. And the size!
When you look at this cupboard area, it's big, almost too big.
You don't need it. Upon reflection,
maybe you could get an en-suite in here.
It would add something to this room.
A shower room or you might even have room for a proper bath and shower.
It would certainly add a bit of wow factor.
And then you have a smaller, much smaller room, a single.
This place has got family house written all over it.
You could get a cot in there, or you could have a study.
And you have a bathroom upstairs - it is a good size,
maybe pushing it to get a shower and bath separately,
but just now you've got your shower in your bath.
It just needs modernisation.
And through to a really good-sized double room.
So, the layout really does work for family living especially.
Yes, you could put an en-suite in,
depends if it is not too big a job.
Looking into plumbing first - you might not have the budget.
There's so much work that needs done that is just cosmetic.
Taking the woodchip off the wall and giving this place a real facelift
could add fantastic value.
It just goes to show you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.
The stairs did put me off and so did its rather neglected appearance,
but outside, well, this book has a promising plot.
Talking of plots...
I've seen enough overgrown gardens, not to be fazed by a few weeds.
OK, there's maybe more than a few weeds,
but I can see this layout working.
You've already got a decking area, so there is a split level,
down the slope, and it is not too steep to see how this could work.
It has got certain charm. It goes down to a little shed.
And you can't see it, but I do know there is a gate at the back,
so when you clear away all the overgrowth,
you can have some rear access. And when you look around here,
it is about seeing past the problems and seeing the potential.
# Open up your eyes
# Isn't it surprising what you'll find? #
Yes, this is one of those properties that will
need imagination, elbow grease and a couple of skips, I think.
At a guide price of £140,000 plus,
it's bursting with potential.
We asked along a local estate agent for his opinion.
There is an awful lot of work to be done here.
I would say a complete refit, everything - floorboards, walls,
ceilings, and then, you know,
kitchen, and that kind of thing has all got to be done.
There is a strong demand in the area, both for rental and for sales,
but I would certainly be targeting at the rental market,
which is even stronger than the sales market,
so therefore I'd have a regular income coming from it.
OK, so this agent thinks
the property would suit the rental market,
so let's hear valuations for both sales and rental.
I would think the resale value on this property is from £225,000 to
£250,000, and the rental value should be in the region of
£950 per calendar month.
This is a good-sized house with a layout that works.
The work that does need done seems to me to be mainly cosmetic.
For me, the main problems are a lack of windows in that reception room,
also the lack of access.
Let's find out who could see past those problems
when it went under the hammer.
It is a modern three-bedroom end-terrace house for improvement.
Where are we going to start on that one?
Be cheap at 130.
Give me 125. 125.
I am on the way. 125, I've got.
130 now, do I see?
130. 130 and five.
135. 140. 140, sitting down at the back.
145 in the middle.
145, if you like.
145. And 50.
The bids are flying in.
We leave the auction there and return at 175 grand.
178 it's against again.
178, I'm looking for.
First time at £175,000, then.
Second time at 175. Against you sitting down, third and final...
At £178,000, sitting down in the middle, for the first time.
178 for the second time.
Third and final time at £178,000, are we all done?
Yours at 178, and it's W447.
After a bit of a battle,
it was bought for £178,000 by Leslie and her partner Darren.
This will be local couple Leslie and Darren's first venture in property
development together, so I'm excited to hear their plans.
-Pleased to meet you.
-Pleased to meet you too.
Talk me through - why auction, why now, why this property?
We... Since we got together, we decided that we would like to go
down this route, and we had been to a couple of auction properties
beforehand, but never been to auction,
and saw this one, and then decided to go for the auction.
How much homework had you done before auction?
How much time had you spent looking at places?
I would say we'd probably been looking
for about nine or ten months,
realistically. We had been to a lot of open houses,
seen a lot of properties,
and we decided to eventually do this to maybe rent out or sell on,
rather than living in something.
First auction we went to, first property.
Yeah, we expected to come home with nothing and came home with this.
Fantastic. What do you both do?
Are you in the property business?
Yeah, yeah, I am.
I install kitchens, bathrooms, electrical works, plumbing works,
-bit of everything, really.
And obviously I know, in the trade,
I know loads of guys that can come over and give us a hand for cups of
teas instead of money, so that might come in handy.
Well, that is fantastic.
You will be an absolute godsend to a place like this.
-And what about you, Leslie?
-I work for the police.
-So I'm a receptionist, so very, very different for me.
I've got experience, though, doing up own properties and stuff
that I've lived in, in the past, but very basic DIY,
I'm not anywhere near the standard that Darren is, so...
Talk me through from coming in the door, what you plan to do.
-That's your domain.
-Yeah, we are going, obviously...
rip everything out,
gut everything out, including the garden, get rid of all the rubbish.
Then we're going to look at redoing and fitting a new toilet suite,
also a new bathroom suite upstairs,
new kitchen, change the layout a bit,
have a look, see if we can take down a cupboard space to make the dining
-room a bit bigger.
New carpets and flooring throughout, once we are done.
-New boiler, new windows.
-New windows, yeah.
Yes, we have got some windows that need doing.
It just feels like it could do with another window.
Inside it would bring in light and outside it would just look nicer.
Had you given that a thought?
Yeah, we'd noticed that, at the other end of the terrace, they'd
actually put another window in the front as well,
and we thought that was quite a good idea.
We're not decided on whether we are or aren't going to do that,
depends on the cost of it.
So, we are going to look into that,
but it is something that we had thought about.
These first-time developers who plan to sell this on,
have taken their time
and are willing to adapt their plans.
The en-suite and window will be decided on
once they have looked in detail at the costs.
And the budget?
-That's your... You are in charge of that.
Yeah. We originally looked at probably about 15,
but that was putting in an en-suite and stuff,
so we're now thinking maybe 10 to 12.
-Yeah, thinking 10 to 12.
-Because the labour obviously is going to be a massive factor that we
-don't have to pay for.
-Yeah, it's great.
And I guess there's certain things,
like, whether you put a window in or not
that you might edge over that 12, or...?
Possibly. We've got the funds available, so...
But obviously keeping it as low as possible,
but to look as good as possible as well.
Now, what's your timescale for turning things around?
I'm going to be doing a lot of the work around my other work I've got
booked in, so, yeah, about three to four months, you reckon?
Yeah, we've got a couple of solid days on it and then it'll be around
-Darren's current workload.
-Yeah, after other jobs, come back here at four...
-Yep, lots of late nights.
-..five o'clock in the afternoon and working through.
I'm actually not at work at the moment,
I've taken a year off, so I'll be here as much as I can,
pending my little boy being at school.
I can't wait to see the job you do.
I think you're both really up for it, and you'll do a great job.
-Best of luck.
They're good, aren't they?
Leslie and Darren clearly know their stuff and
not many people have researched the area and properties in it
for ten months. That said, this is a big first-time project.
Will that 10 to 12-grand budget really cover it?
You can find out later in the show.
Now, not all development projects go to plan.
No, there's always a chance that unexpected things
change timescales and budgets.
Yes, let's see if any unexpected surprises appeared
on our final two properties.
Back to southeast London now, and the district of Sydenham,
where I had a look around maisonette guided at £100,000 plus,
which seemed like a little bit of a steal as,
apart from some questionable electrics,
it was in pretty good condition.
The bathroom was fine, the two bedrooms were nice.
It had loft space and outside space too,
and really my only quibble was the kitchen.
Kitchen there. Now, I have to say, a bit disappointed.
It feels a little bit pokey.
It's got this very strange sort of thing on the end there. Nice views
over the garden. But I wonder
if there's something we can do about that.
The successful bid of £182,000, nearly twice the guide price,
was made by Kim and her husband Sean.
They planned to renovate the maisonette
with the help of their builders,
and there was only one snag - a very short lease.
But Kim had done her homework.
We had it... We had the legal packs
checked by the solicitors beforehand,
so we knew there was only 20 years left on the lease.
-They served a notice, I mean, so it was in the process already.
-So we took it over.
Kim's expectation was that the lease would be extended for £30,000 and
that she'd have the work done for under 20,000 in just three weeks.
Well, we are back two months later.
# Another day, another way
# For me to open up to you... #
Wow, the whole place looks bright,
modern and sleek with nice details like stylish radiators,
and the space is much better used.
That awkward spot at the back of the kitchen is now a sensible
utility space, but how did they achieve
an open-plan feel in that pokey kitchen?
We knocked just a mini wall down,
and then took the door off,
re-plumbing, boiler, new boiler,
and pretty much everything.
Taking away that stud wall to the hall was a good move.
The bedrooms have been freshened up in a nice neutral colour.
And the loft has been transformed
into a usable space with some extra storage.
The real bonus of this maisonette was the outside space.
The overgrown greenery has been cleared,
revealing a really charming garden.
So, given the quality of the work, has she managed to stay on budget?
We came under 20,000 budget,
which is about 15,000, 16,000,
we ended up spending.
Kim has done a great job on the maisonette
and has stayed within budget,
which would normally be good news.
the couple have had to change their plan of selling this on.
Because of this, a bit of a nasty surprise just related to the lease
extension. We have decided now...
..to rent it out for a long term.
Moves to extend the short lease had been made via a Section 42 notice
before Kim bought the property,
however not everything was as cut and dry as it seemed.
Soon after the auction,
we received a Counter Notice from the freeholder.
Now provides a premium of much higher than anticipated, so
this was the nasty surprise just waiting for us.
When we first met Kim, she believed the extension would cost 30,000,
however it transpired this figure
had not been agreed with the freeholder.
The freeholder was entitled to make a counter offer, so Kim engaged a
surveyor to give her a valuation,
which would give her a basis for negotiation.
According to the valuation report done by my surveyor,
he thinks that in the region of £158,000 is more likely.
Wow, that is a staggering five times more than the original price of the
lease. That must've been terribly disappointing for Kim.
Yes, I should have sought advice from the surveyor,
so I didn't do that,
so it was kind of my fault, but I have learned a hard lesson.
This is a cautionary tale indeed, and Kim is taking it on the chin,
knowing that she has no chance of a profit on a resale.
She paid over the guide price,
had to pay the vendor's legal and auction fees and now has a humongous
cost for the lease extension,
so what will this turn of events mean for her investment,
which is now at a total of £366,000?
We invited along two local estate agents to give us their thoughts,
starting with the agent who saw it before.
This is the second time I've seen this property.
Originally when I saw it,
there was some modernisation required, and now looking at it,
it's a complete transformation,
so the developers have done a nice job.
Coming into the property,
it's a real, good, contemporary, clean finish.
There has been some intelligent design, very nice.
Some good news, but now numbers,
how much could it go for on the resale market?
I think the resale value of this property is £310,000.
In terms of resale values, I would expect this property
to achieve on the open market £325,000.
The values are pretty much what I expected,
but we are not going to sell it
so it doesn't really matter.
They will hang on to the property for now,
as at the agents' top estimate,
they will make a potential loss of £41,000, including auction fees.
But could they make it back in yield?
The rental value of this property is £1,200 per calendar month.
For the lettings market, I would expect this property
to achieve somewhere within the region of £1,400 to
£1,500 per calendar month.
That would give Kim something in the region of 5%,
which is pretty standard for the area.
That is good news and hopefully, if the property market rises,
she may be able to recoup any potential loss in the future.
So, how would she sum this project up?
I've been to heaven and I've been to hell as well,
so it is like heaven and hell.
Between those two.
But it's definitely worth taking a small risk, but...
So, I will do it again. I will do it again, definitely.
Time to return to Kent now,
and the Medway town of Chatham, where I saw this rather
neglected-looking three-bed end terrace, guided at £140,000 plus.
There were some red flags straightaway,
not only was there no vehicle access,
but the steep stairs to the property would inhibit anyone with mobility
issues, while inside, the lounge was lacking some serious vitamin D.
It's just really dark because there isn't a big window there.
# Let the sun shine
# Let the sunshine in
# The sunshine in... #
On the bright side, like many other ex-council houses,
it had good dimensions that would be ideal for family living,
even if the garden could use a tidy up
before it could be deemed child-friendly.
Cue first-time property developers Leslie and Darren,
who bought the house for 178 grand
at auction, and while Leslie's job as a police receptionist
might not have given her much DIY experience,
she had a get-out-of-jail-free card when it came to Darren's skill set.
I install kitchens, bathrooms, electrical works, plumbing works,
-bit of everything, really.
So, and obviously I know, in the trade,
I know loads of guys that will come over and give us a hand for cups of
teas instead of money, so that might come in handy.
Armed with a 10 to 12-grand budget,
a load of research and pals in the trades,
Leslie and Darren were in a great position to get started
on their first-ever project together.
But would they manage to do it
in their three to four-month timescale?
We are back just over six months later, to find out.
# I got this, I got this
# Bring on the future
# I'm gonna be all right
# So hear all this
# Say, I got this. #
In Darren's capable hands, the pair have got this renovation done,
and they have managed to squeeze in
extra dining space in the kitchen, by ripping out cupboards in the hall.
In the end, they decided not to add an extra window in the living room.
The downstairs WC and family bathroom upstairs
have both been transformed
with new suites and fresh decor.
That narrow window in the bedroom has been blocked up and replaced
with a large window, creating a superb dual-aspect bedroom.
The pair have done a totally cracking job -
after all, Darren is a pro -
but how did Leslie fare away from the desk job?
This is definitely not my normal day job but I learnt a massive amount of
skills on this job. How to paint a door correctly, how to grout,
how to lay wooden flooring. And I learnt how to, well,
the basics of fitting windows cos I watched you and a friend do it.
Sounds like Leslie was quite the apprentice,
but she wasn't the only helping hand they had around the place.
-You thought it was haunted, didn't you, at one point?
You thought something dropped out of the loft at one stage!
I did stay here a couple of nights whilst
on the renovation and I did hear a few noises in the night-time.
You heard it here first, Haunted Homes Under The Hammer.
But did they have any less-spooky issues with the house?
The biggest challenge, I would say, was the boiler.
When we took over the property, it wasn't working.
Darren and his dad had managed to get it working.
-But over a period of time,
stuff started to go wrong on it, so you replaced a couple of items.
-Then eventually, we had to replace it.
-Enough was enough.
it just stopped working and it just wasn't feasible to keep changing
stuff, so we just changed the whole boiler in the end.
Fortunately, Darren's dad is a Gas Safe engineer, so it didn't cost the
earth and they've come in right in the middle of their 10 to 12-grand
budget, spending £11,200 in total.
But did they overrun on that three to four-month timescale?
I think we're up to about six months now,
so it was slightly longer than planned.
-That was mainly due to family commitments.
I returned back to work.
And, yeah, my work went absolutely manic, didn't it?
Six months is still pretty darn good,
so with just the back garden left to complete,
will they be back at auction any time soon?
I would do it again, but I wouldn't do as big a project.
Yeah, maybe not around my work,
maybe actually take the time out and get it done in a short period of
time, because I think it would be more cost-effective.
I think, yeah,
we chose a rather large property to do for our first renovation.
Leslie and Darren have gained some valuable knowledge on their first
project, but will the house have gained in value?
Let's see what two local estate agents thought of the house
that has cost £189,200 in total,
starting with the agent who saw it last time.
It's been completely transformed.
It was a complete and utter wreck when we first saw it,
and now it has been finished and done to a really nice standard.
I think the owners have done a really good job on this property.
It is bright and airy and very modern.
I like the layout, the kitchen is really nice.
I like the bathroom, the lounge,
everything about the property, really.
The main selling point to this property would be the size,
the kitchen/dining area, and the fact that it is
like a brand-new house.
I couldn't agree more.
But what could Leslie and Darren get for it when they put it on the sales market?
I would say the resale value on this property would be between
225,000, up to £250,000.
I think, in the current market,
we could expect to sell this property for approximately £225,000.
225-250 is quite a broad gap,
somewhere in the middle, absolutely fine.
-It would be spot on for us, wouldn't it?
-What we were expecting.
If the couple were able to achieve the higher value of 250 grand,
that could mean a pre-tax profit just shy of £61,000.
Evidence that this property-developing partnership
is pretty fruitful,
but what's next for Leslie and Darren?
Definitely a rest. Have a bit of
free time to do stuff that we want to do.
Yeah, to get our life back.
Rather than be tied down to being here 24/7.
-But, yeah, bit of a break.
Have you been inspired to dip your toe
into the property-developing world?
Or do you fancy jumping in headfirst?
Whatever stage you are at, join us next time for more
inspiration here on Homes Under The Hammer.
Three couples take on properties in Wednesfield near Wolverhampton, Sydenham in London and Chatham in Kent in the hope of making some money. All need modernising, but for one couple there is a hidden and very costly surprise waiting for them. Martin Roberts, Dion Dublin and Martel Maxwell follow progress on the projects.