Archive | Auction Property RSS feed for this section

Feel the Fear (and don’t do it anyway) in Hackney!

8 Aug

Today I went to see an EX-LEA flat in Homerton. I was keen to take a look as the numbers were enticing (£125k guide against a value of c. £170k).  I had already looked on google streetview and knew the area was a large council estate area – but it was close to the tube.  So I convinced myself to go take a look.

As soon as I arrived and parked I felt uncomfortable – anywhere where you have so many bars over the windows and doors just doesn’t feel right….

Inside the flat was great – it was split level and spacious. The kitchen and bathroom needed some work, but it was just cosmetic:

Next door to the flat there was a group of guys smoking drugs

(No image here – didn’t think they’d appreciate it!)

And as I looked around I just got a sense of bars everywhere…it felt like I was in jail!

And I thought – I just don’t feel safe here – so no matter the money – I’m not going to buy it!

The Squat in North London with Great Graffiti!

4 Aug

Today I went to see a big house in North London which has been squatted and the auctioneer had only just managed to gain entry.

I may buy it…I am currently deliberating

In the meantime here’s a picture of some great graffiti which I loved 🙂

The Illegal Flat In Streatham!

3 Aug

Today I went to see a 2 bed flat in Streatham which was just a few minutes walk from the common. It was a lovely road – well more like an avenue – it was wide and tree lined. Residential and felt good. The flat was a victorian conversion and I saw the house from the road. It looked in OK condition – a bit tired around the edges.

I let myself in the back gate so that I could check out the rear and work out which flat was for sale (it wasn’t a viewing day but as I was in the area thought I would do a rece). Having just let myself in I was confronted by a young lady holding a baby who was just a few days old. I apologised profusely that I had let myself in the back garden and explained that I had seen the flat up for auction and that I was coming to take a look. Well she was lovely – she told me all about the area, the building and the reasons for sale…the extension which the flat had been built in had been built illegally and now the owner had been served an enforcement notice!

Turns out the flat was actually a 3 bed (though it had been listed as a 2 bed) and the enforcement officers had said it had to be part demolished as it contravened planning and building regs. As the extension was also built on the neighbouring property (where that flat was also for sale) I knew then that I would have to buy both to make the project viable…but I didn’t have the money for both. So I called my friend Nick who’s a fellow property developer.

Nick came along 20 mins later surveyed the building and agreed with me that we had to buy both – and there may be an opportunity.

So we agreed that we would read the legal pack the next day and bash heads…well 60 pages of legal and council jargon later I realised the project was a non starter. Basically the only way of making the project viable was to demolish the lot (which was only about 5 years old) and to start again! Which means all you were buying was a plot with planning issues – and at the guide price made no sense!

Oh well it was a nice day out in sunny Streatham all the same!

Today I had a lucky escape – read the legals!

30 Jul

Today I was again reminded of the importance  of doing your homework. I have been umming and arrhing about what to buy at auction and having viewed loads of properties in London and checking the values I finally decided I didn’t like the London flats that much and decided on a cheapie flat in Shrewsbury.

It wasn’t really an area I knew much about, but the figures made sense – guide of 33k against an end value of c. 60k and a rent of £300-325pcm meaning double digit yields.  I decided at the last minute to go to auction and buy it – but just before I left I thought I better take a quick look through the legals. All looked in order apart from a paragraph in the lease which I didn’t fully understand…not wanting to take a chance I emailed it to my solicitors to get them to explain it to me.

The auction was about to start so I raced to the train station. 5 mins into my train journey my solicitor called and told me what the paragraph meant “If you buy that flat you have to live in it – you can’t rent it out”. Shit – I was about to buy it for the double digit yield! Not only would it impact me, but it would also have an impact on the resale as I thought it may appeal to another investor when the time came to sell – but this would cut out a huge part of the market.

Bugger I was now on the train but with nothing to buy…and I didn’t trust myself to go to auction and not buy anything! Then I remembered there was a viewing for a property that I liked in an auction next week – so I jumped off the train at the next station, raced home got the car and made it into North London just in time to see a lovely flat – now on my hit list!

Having just checked the results for the flat in Shrewsbury it sold for just £32k…great price as long as the buyer intends to live there!

Today I am kicking myself!

28 Jul

Today I am still kicking myself for not attending an auction last Thursday…basically I have been considering opening another agency branch in Cheshire for a while now. Then I was flicking through the catalogues and I came across a cute little shop in a town just 10 miles from where we are based for just a £50k guide!

Had a chat with Karen my office manager and she LOVED the idea and convinced me to do a drive by…so I went and I FELL IN LOVE

It was central in the town centre, had great road visability – and was in pretty good condition…I could just hang a sign and open up!

And so I went back and told Karen all about it….and then I admitted I would have to postpone our refurbishment plans of the current office so that I could fund the set up of this.

“NO WAY” she replied. “I’m not supporting a new venture without you finishing this building first”  She made some sensible points and we agreed that I would leave it and if it did not sell at auction make a cheeky offer after…

On the day of auction I was still desperate to go, but Dimi my partner was not keen until I had finished the major refurb of our current offices…I sensed a theme and decided to heed their advice

My “what-was-not-meant-to-be-lovely-new-shop-in-Cheshire” sold for just £40k

I am SO totally gutted :..(

The Missed Opportunity In East Ham

26 Jul

Today I saw a property in East Ham – it was a ground floor purpose built flat with about 74 years left on the lease and a guide of 100-110k. I thought the end value was about 140-150k so there was something in it.

I went along to view and it the block was well maintained externally and internally:

The inside of the flat was a good size – there was some damp in the bedrooms, but that could be sorted

The kitchen was dated:

The bathroom could be sorted for minimal cost

The lounge was a nice size and just needed cosmetics

I had it down on my list to bid for…

Then I got busy and had another property I was trying to bid for…so I didn’t attend the auction as I decided with it being a big auction house it would go well over guide anyway. So I chose to go for the other project…

How WRONG was I

It sold for 99k! DOH!!!!

My Kettering Quandry!

23 Jul

Today I was driving back from North to South and while on the A14 remembered there was a place going to auction in Kettering. As it was just a quick diversion I thought I would do a drive by. 

The property was a 2 bed terrace which was listed as a sale by mortgagees NOT in possession. That means they have the power of sale (as the person hasn’t paid the mortgage) but they have not actually evicted the owner or changed the locks…which means they don’t know if the property is occupied or not! Importantly, it also means there will be NO internal viewings as they do not have access.

It was a street close to town and looked in good condition.

I decided that I should check out the back. In retrospect, me on my own at 8 o’ clock at night going down a back alley and climbing over the garden wall may not have been the best idea….I managed to get some pics through the window of the kitchen. It looked pretty new…

Then I was looking through the dining room indow and suddenly I saw what appeared to be a sleeping bag S***!  Was the property lived in??!!

I made a sharp exit – bearing in mind I didn’t know if the property was occupied and I was currently in the back yard.

I still needed to know if the property was occupied so I knocked on the neighbours door and got chatting. She was lovely and invited me in to see the layout of her property. She was very helpful and made my mind up that I would bid for the property…

But I got outbid 😦

The Brixton Basement with a “vanishing” second bedroom

20 Jul

When you see a 2 bed in Brixton high street with a guide of £100k you know something’s wrong – or that they really are just keen to get you bidding…but it didn’t sell! With the reserve at £100k my curiosity was piqued and I scheduled in to see it. I knew it was under commercial premises – but it was central and so I figured I could make it work.

When I arrived I was pleased to see the residential access had a separate access from the high street to the flats (there were 3 of them in total above/ below the commercial). Then the fun began – the first room you walked into (on the ground floor) was a thin long narrow bedroom which was on the borderline of “decent” housing standards. There was damp damage but not too hard to treat.

You then walked downstairs to a quite light basement which was a lounge with kitchen and bathroom off.  All in good condition…

But then i was looking for the second bedroom!

The deeds had shown the property had 2 bedrooms but there was only 1 in this property. I went hunting and found it…behind a boarded up wall. I climbed out of the window so that I could look through the outside of the building and see what had happened…the shop had “stolen” the second bedroom and converted their back part into a flat which the bedroom was now a part of!!!!

I have circled the window in question here – i couldn’t get too close as there were people in the “stolen” bedroom!

I spoke to my solicitor to see what we could do – to be honest, I was willing to accept the situation and buy it as a one bedroom as the price was still right for the property…until it turned out – it had no planning, no building regs and no access! Oh and a freeholder who was in breach of contract!

Even if this all still sounds bad – the fact is you price in risk and you offer at a price which covers yourself. I negotiated with my solicitor what we felt the legal issues would cost to resolve – but in the end someone else decided that they would take more risk than me and offered more money!

Canning Town Repo

8 Jul

Today I saw a flat at Canning Town, it was being sold at auction and looked quite a good buy. (It was available for C.£78,000). We had a nightmare getting in as the repossession company had changed the locks so the agent couldn’t get me in first time (GRR – I had done a 120 mile round trip!).

It was quite a modern build – well about 30-40 years old:

And given the price and location I went back the next day – you can’t keep me away from a potential property bargain!

it was dated – here’s the kitchen:

And it had water damage (think it was a leak from upstairs flat and then lack of ventilation has compounded problem)

But the flat was an adequate size – here’s the lounge, bedroom and bathroom:

So I decided to put in an offer BUT somebody had just pipped me to the post an hour before!! (Double GRR)