IF you’re a fan of house makeover programmes such as Homes under the Hammer or just tempted to dip your toe into the property market, then there are plenty of options to get you started online.
From disused properties and churches to unique homes in need of a bit of TLC, there’s a wide selection of buildings on offer for people looking to take on a project.
Here are just a few a few websites to have a look at:
This property website features a selection of weird and wonderful properties that are for sale around the UK (and sometimes exceptional properties in other parts of the world too), for budgets ranging from £10,000 to £10 million.
The properties are hand-picked and the particulars analysed in a free weekly newsletter, published online.
Properties featured in a recent newsletter included –
a £2.5 million island off the north-west coast of Scotland
a Grade II-listed post office in Suffolk going for a song after it failed to sell at auction
a huge old police station in Scarborough up for grabs for £300,000 from the local council
a Victorian gentleman’s mansion on Orkney for £299,950
a former ‘training centre’ with an almost an acre of land in Manchester, with a guide price of £170,000
a beautiful architect-designed house in the Vale of Glamorgan, with floor-to-ceiling windows, for just over £1.5 million
a former mill (pictured right near Orkney with a guide price of £65,000
This property blog publishes regular round-ups of UK buildings that are quite simply a bit of a wreck!
a £35,000 ‘shell’ of a building with amazing views over the Isle of Lewis (pictured left)
a £125,000 two-bed house in need of TLC in rural Northumberland
a £135,000 17th-century, Grade-II listed cottage in Shropshire in need of extensive refurbishment
The website also offers buying tips and a property search service for people looking to buy a specific type of wreck. And if you find one and want to make it famous, the blog also gives details of TV and media companies that are looking for people to appear in their renovation or self-build property shows and features.
If you dream of buying a church and converting it into your fantasy home then the Church of Scotland’s property auction site is a good place to start your journey. It lists all the church buildings around Scotland that the Church is selling off to the highest bidder.
While some are vicarages and boring houses, many of them are absolutely stunning chapels and churches in magnificent locations. Most are sold without planning permission to convert so the asking prices are relatively cheap – sometimes as little as £40,000 – to reflect the risk you will need to take.
Some of the prettiest properties currently listed for sale include –
a romantic-looking solid stone church hall, built in 1893 in Aberdeenshire, for £90,000
a gothic-style church with fantastic views from its buttressed tower, near Castle Douglas, (pictured right) for £105,000
a classical white church with a cute clock-tower in Kilmarnock, dating back to 1732, for £145,000
This property search portal includes thousands of ‘properties with potential’, that are either in need of modernisation or have planning permission for redevelopment or an extension, across the UK.
Every day, it highlights some of its best value bargains – although they aren’t cheap – among its newly listed properties on its unmodtoday blog. It also offers free email alerts, as well as a bespoke search service tailored to the preferences of registered users.
Some of the properties it is listing at the moment include:
a two-bed flat in Fulham, London’s best performing borough for house prices, for £375,000
an old railway cottage near Dartmoor with access to 1,5000 acres of woodland for £100,000
a traditional, three-bed house on the Isle of Skye, (pictured left) with planning permission to extend and to convert the adjoining former school as well – for £300,000
- Property Auction websites
The majority of properties sold at auction are in need of renovation, and buyers at auction need to have enough money to put down a 10% cash deposit immediately. This narrows the market so you may be able to find a bargain though it all depends, of course, on how fierce competition is from other bidders on the days of the auction.
The best places to look for auction properties include:
Savills, Allsop, Barnard Marcus and Countrywide Properties. These are some of the biggest nationwide property auction houses in the UK. The websites allow you to view properties in their auction catalogues online and register for inside scoops when hot new auction properties are put on the market.
Rightmove filter. Search in your chosen location on Rightmove, then add the auction ‘filter’ on the right hand side under the sub-heading ‘ways to buy’, and your results will all be properties for sale by auction
PropertyAuctionAction lists a wide range of property auctioneers across the country, along with the dates of the next auctions they are holding
EIGroup.co.uk, as well as listing auction properties, will send you emails with details of any properties up for auction within your target postcode, and then afterwards how much the property fetched at auction
Unlike other property search engines, Zoopla allows you to search for keywords in the description of a property, which is particularly useful when you are looking for a property in need of TLC and that you can turn into a grand design. Estate agents tend to describe wrecks as being ‘in need of refurbishment’ and ‘modernisation’, so set a low price range and see what bargains come up when you search for these phrases.
Similarly, if you are looking for a particularly unusual property to buy but want to be inspired, simply doing a keyword search for the word ‘former’ – as in former schoolhouse or former factory – can throw up a few gems that others may have overlooked.