**Now as seen on Homes Under the Hammer Series 20 Episode 10 or see a clip on our YouTube channel at Shirley Park Under the Hammer
The house it self seemed a fairly good condition behind all the mess and clutter although it was obvious that it had not been looked after for a long time, not to mention minimal heating as it was evident the outgoing owner was living in the front room.
The extension, if you are generous enough to call it that lean to is probably more appropriate along with an out side loo that had been built around to make it inside.
On auction day the house itself while on our short list was not on top of it, as we prefer something more dilapidated, i.e. if you are going to rip out the bathroom and kitchen it doesn’t matter what condition they are currently in. We had missed a few other properties earlier on the auction day and this one for whatever reason came along at a reasonable price so ended up being the one for us.
That is probably a keep aspect to property developing is that you must buy with your head and not your heart. Set your bid limits after all you are in it to make money and must have enough to give you the budget to restore the house properly too. If the house goes over your limit don’t chase it, as it is just a downward spiral. You pay too much, you try and save on the renovation and then you can’t get maximum value because the property is not what it could be.
The mantra at auction must be any property at the right price.
The first job with the house was getting rid of all the clutter that was left. The charity shop was delighted several carloads of books and DVDs. I was less delighted with the literally thousands I spend on rubbish removal companies to take all the rest away.
Once the house was cleared we tackled the damp throughout the property by taking off the plaster inserting a chemical DPC and re-rendering the walls. We also rewired the whole house bringing it up to IEE 17th edition Amendment 3 standards. The leaking roof and chimneys were fixed. We installed real gas fire places into the front and back rooms keeping them in keeping with the age of the property. The back bedroom benefited from the installation of a combi boiler so we could remove the hot water tank giving the bedroom a little extra space. The rest besides the extension build was ‘just’ redecoration.
The extension of sorts that was existing while we could of bodged up a repair and made it ok, is not our ethos at MPC so we decided to knock it down and start from scratch. Once you knock something down however you are opening the building control can of worms and the rebuild had to be and is compliant to current building regulations. This involved digging deeper foundations for the extension that the house itself has, cavity walls complete with insulation and similarly roof insulation. To keep the aesthetics of the hose at the rear we decided to go for a low profile roof and paid extra for tiles that can cope with a shallow pitch.
The property was finished to Pauline’s usual flair; magnolia is banned on our projects! We used feature wallpaper in some of the rooms to give a luxurious feel. The extension we kept nice and bright with a white tint paint and the quality of construction and design of the extension really made the back of the house with definitive dining, living and kitchen space. The other marked change was that we moved the toilet from the very back of the house to the centre of the house which improved the flow and feng shui of the kitchen and dining area.
The house was the finished with a little furniture and pictures to help prospective buyers visualise what living in the home could and would look like.
I think we did something right as it sold easily on the first day of viewings.