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Homes Under the Hammer sees man ‘go to town’ on Kidsgrove house and give it a ‘total transformation’

The BBC’s Homes Under the Hammer visited Kidsgrove, near Stoke-on-Trent, for today’s episode, and saw a property developer ‘go to town’ on a family semi-detached home. Gavin bought the house at auction for £110,000 and has done it beautifully, with the intention of selling it for a handsome profit.

The house was in a smart housing development, not far from the center of Kidsgrove. Although the decor of the three bedroom property is quite dated, there were no serious problems with it.

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Presenter Martin Roberts said: “Overall, this is just a really lovely family home. And if you think all auction properties are down, horrible…just in true old condition, this is a classic example of one that’s not.”

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So Gavin saw it as a “beautiful, plain and simple” project to add to his real estate portfolio. He has been working on property full time for two years, and previously part time for that. Anxious to do as much of the work himself as possible, he qualified as an electrician so that he could sort out the electricity in the houses he worked in.

He told Martin he aimed to complete the property in three to four months, at a cost of about £14,000, and would then look to sell it, to contribute to his “pension plans”. Gavin said he would get new windows, or at least change the seals, install a new kitchen and bathroom, and add more plug sockets in some rooms.

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According to local estate agent Phil Jones, once refurbished the home would be able to fetch around £160,000 on the market. Or, if Gavin chooses to rent it out, he can expect to earn around £650 a month.



Gavin was proud of the work he had done and was happy to hear that he would be able to turn a profit

One of Gavin’s biggest challenges was the 50-mile daily drive from his home in Sutton Coldfield to Kidsgrove. Over the course of the project, he will end up driving a total of 10,200 miles between cities.

Another problem he encountered in the garden was that drainage problems created a “pool” of water. He first installed a soaker in the bottom of the garden, but even that wasn’t enough, so he had to go further and add drainage systems to both sides of the garden.



Old living room, with old green sofa and green wall
Some of the decor is dated

Dealing with exchange issues meant that Gavin had to spend more time and money than he had expected. But he eventually fixed the issues and added some low-level roofing alongside the lawn to create an attractive garden.

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In all he spent about £19,000 on restoring the house, which added to the cost of the property, amounting to a total outlay of £129,000. So Gavin was keen to hear from some real estate agents what they thought he could be sold for.

Mr. Jones came home and was very impressed. He said, “I think the purchaser has done an absolutely fantastic job. The kitchen is superb, all steel brush switches and sockets make for a lovely finish to the property.”



Old kitchen with some date appliances
There were no serious issues with the kitchen, but it didn’t look very modern



New and modern kitchen
Gavin impressed the Realtors with what he did to the kitchen

Fellow real estate agent Jed Skelton agreed. She said, “I think the home has been done to a great standard throughout. The main factor of the property that jumps out at me is the kitchen/dining space in the back. It’s very modern, very well done and is a place that the market seems to be asking for.”

Jones and Skelton both agreed that the house could sell for around £160,000. That would give Gavin a profit of £31,000, before tax and expenses, which he was delighted with, saying: “It’s fantastic. Really happy with it. I think that’s what we were aiming for”.

Gavin explained how he ended up doing more housework than he originally planned, and he was glad he did. He explained: ‘It could have been rented out. It could have just been tidy up, but when we went to resell it we were planning on doing a fairly light renovation on it but it became apparent we were changing things up that needed a little work to be done.



Old bathroom with bright green toilet, basin and bath
The bathroom looked very old



New and modern bathroom
So Gavin renewed it

“Coupled that with the fact that the real estate agent said, ‘If you put a better finish on it, you’ll get your money back and a little bit more,’ we thought we’d basically go to town for a bit.”

Clearly proud of his achievement, Gavin added, “I think we’ve made a great home for a first-time buyer, or a young family’s home. Somewhere someone can come in, put their belongings down and pick up from day one.”

And presenter Martin agreed: “Gavin has done a great job updating the house just right. Wall to wall, top to bottom – a total transformation.”

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