Auction Property

How to Buy Auction Property: From Viewing to Exchange in Under 3 Hours!

Today I have astounded myself.  Yes, I have to be honest, I really have been surprised at the speed at which even I have bought a property!

So the day started at 10am – I viewed a property in Stevenage.  I know it’s a town not to everyone’s taste, however it’s massively popular with families and commuters as it’s just a 20 minute train journey from London and house prices are dirt cheap in comparison.

It’s also located just 15 minutes away from where I live – which makes it a very quick commute for me.

So I turn up and the viewing doesn’t start well.  For the life of me, I cannot find the property. I can find every number either side – but not *the* property I had come to see.

A call to the agents puts me right and I am rescued by the viewer who politely escorts the numpty (aka me!) to the property.

Once inside, I am pleasantly surprised. I know it’s a probate sale, but it is so clean and tidy – not usual auction fodder!  Yes, it’s dated – but you know it has been loved, it’s got double glazing, a lovely garden and was also situated on a popular estate close to the Old Town.

The pressure was on though…the property had not sold at auction yesterday afternoon…and now an offer had been received.

If I wanted it I had to act quick.

Walking around the property I would love to tell you about the period features and all that junk, but you know what, I can’t. It’s a 1960’s property with generous proportions which needs updating.

Looking around the house, I just couldn’t help but feel what an *easy* project it would be…and I couldn’t get over the fact it was just 15 minutes away from my home.  And – it had potential to be gorgeous!

I had a think. I had a look again. I ummed and arrhed…family homes are not really my bag of chips….

And then I decided to have a coffee and mull. I did my sums and I phoned a property friend.

The resale value of the property was around £195-£200k so there was profit to be made.

I was driving back home and still mulling it over…then I remembered the stairs in the property.  While not a period staircase, I remembered them being spacious.  Yes, I decided: I will make a feature of the spacious stairs! I will get *cool* stripey stair runner carpet – that will make it look fab! And in that moment the decision was made: I was buying the house!

This house needed me and my stripey stair case runners!!

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So I called the auction house and told them I would give £147k.  I knew the reserve was £153k, but £147k was my best and final offer.  Take it or leave it.

They took it!  They called me back just 5 minutes later and asked me to go to the office to pay the 10% deposit and the memorandum of sale.

12.55pm I was at the office completing the paperwork and paying the dosh – less than 3 hours after I first viewed the property.

Now – even for me – that is a record auction purchase!  All I’ve got to do now – is track down the stripey stair runner carpet…

  1. karen

    Hi Sam .. quick question .. How comfortable are you in completing within the 28 …. as this is my biggest worry?, and probably the reason I tend not to buy at auction.



    1. Sam

      Karen, the key thing with buying at auction is having the finances ready. Fortunately I have a very good relationship with my bank and I have business funding now for my purchases.

      However, people can and do buy property at auction with mortgage finance – BUT it takes preparation. That means, having the survey done prior and having the mortgage offer BEFORE you buy.

      Other ways people buy (but I have not done) is to use bridging loans and then they raise a mortgage. This costs more and what you have to do to decide if it’s worthwhile is “cost” it into the deal.

      The money you pay for the finance you borrow is all part of the costs – many people forget that – they just think about the new kitchen etc – but the financing costs can make or break many projects!

  2. Suzie

    Haha love it Sam….’make a feature of the spacious stairs’ ….what a great reason to buy a house, only a female could come up with that! (and get away with it) Can’t wait to see the finished product….good luck!

    Suzie 🙂

    1. Sam

      Hi Dominic – Thanks!

      On this occasion it was a straight forward freehold, vacant property which was a probate sale and so I checked myself – if it had been more complicated I would have got my solicitor to check the legals prior to purchase.

  3. Simon

    Bizarre. When I saw the outside shot on your blog post (where you were mistaken for an agent) I immediatey thought the property was in Stevenage.

    Can’t believe these are fetching 200k – wish I’d kept my 2 flats there!!!!!

  4. Shaun

    Hi, I haven’t bought a property to renovate but it’s long been my ambition. I stumbled across your site and was just wonderin if you have talked through what you did with this specific project? The finances, what you changed and when etc…?

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