A few days after I returned home the researcher from Homes Under The Hammer was on the phone, sorting out dates for filming, and wanting to know a bit about me, why I had bought the property and my property experience. I guess the best car crash telly is where someone, not necessarily but more than likely a first time auction attendee buys a lemon. This was no lemon!
They had a date set for filming which unfortunately was some three weeks after completion. Normally we like to get in fast, do the refurb and get the tenant in as soon as possible. Our best is two weeks from completion to tenant but on this occasion I was prepared to wait for a bit of free publicity. More importantly however I booked in the second filming so that we could flip or let as soon as the work was completed.
They wanted four hours of my valuable time. On the day I was ahead of schedule so I nipped to the beach to enjoy my lunch. I was confused to see people filming the North Sea in January. I thought they were from the local college doing media studies until the same car and crew turned up outside the property.
A quick tour of the property, I retired to my car to do some work and then if it moved or even didn’t move they filmed it. Up the street, down the street, across the street, the mould in the bathroom, the holes in the ceiling, the appalling décor etc etc. I’d turned up in a T shirt to do a bit of self promotion though that was given short shrift “this is the BBC don’t you know!”
After a while the presenter Martin arrived, though to be honest I was hoping it would have been Lucy Alexander. He did his various bits to camera and then it was my time. One take Wallis nailed it as I walked up to the property, walked into various rooms for a studious appraisal and then the interview. Usual stuff from Martin though much to his annoyance I kept calling him Richard: a senior moment.
Soon after the agent turned up to look around and value the property and give her valuable opinions. The estate agent, let’s call her Gill, as that’s her real name had brought her manager for some moral support, though she like me just giggled as Gill walked up to the property, around it etc and then did her interview.
Now this is where the fun starts as we’d been working with this firm for a long time and have a good working relationship with them, so while Gill gave her best performance and suggested values when complete and likely rental income let’s just say that they were fair but the right side of fair. Cheers Mrs Bouquet, though Gill did confess to hating doing the whole thing.
The luvvies packed up and it was time to unleash the builder. Steve, as that’s his real name had already viewed the property and given me a quote for the work. Again I’d been working with him for a while so he knew what to do to get it habitable and ready for letting or a flip. I gave him the keys and let him get on with the work.
Fast forward four weeks and we are all finished and ready for the post refurb filming. A slightly smaller film crew and no Martin or was it Richard, so I had to pretend to be replying to his questions. Usual stuff, walk up to the property, walk around property and look suitably enthused.
The two agents arrived, filmed and gave values and likely rental income. One agent was from out the area which was slightly left field but Gill was there having taken time off in the morning to visit the hairdressers! Again Gill was brilliant. Never again she vowed!
Then it was more interviews as they hit me with the valuations and rental. Both said that we’d done a good job, and though there was a £10k difference in values the mid price would see a 122% uplift on the purchase price. Not a bad return over eight weeks I thought. Yes there were refurb costs but if it sold at that value, that would still be a very healthy return.
The luvvies left and promised to let us know when the editing was done and when it would be aired. No news yet peoples.
The view had always been to buy and flip and if it didn’t sell then refinance in six months. So we struck a deal with my fave agents, thanks Clare and all the girls @ The RMS Dream Team, and for once she was selling a property for me not getting me to buy one with one of those cheeky offers.
Within two weeks we had a buyer keen to move into the area though they couldn’t afford the full price. Note to self: it feels very odd when your price is being dropped when you are used to encouraging the vendor to accept less than the asking price though she seemed genuine, had a Decision In Principle in place so all system go.
All was going swimmingly until the survey! It was down valued “expensive for the area” and had a very long conditions list. Suffice to say the issues were easily resolved, the buyer found some extra cash to contribute and on reflection, the surveyor had probably had a row with his wife that morning, so was looking for all the negatives. Still the quick sale became a medium term sale.
Contracts have just been exchanged and soon the funds will be released to go shopping again.
I’ll keep you posted as to when I make my debut on BBC1
As a postscript, we’d just napped another at auction and just finished the paperwork and yes you guessed it I heard those words “Would you be interested in filming for Homes Under the Hammer?” To be continued…………………