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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > September 2018 > Buying a plot at auction

Buying a plot at auction

Could you bag a real bargain in the bidding hall? Land and planning expert Mike Dade looks at the pros and cons of this route to buying property and reveals what you need to know before you get started

There’s a certain mystique around property auctions. On the one hand they appear to offer the potential to snap up a house or plot of land for less than its true value. On the other, there’s the nagging fear of buying something that later turns out to be a money pit.

There’s also a sense that investors and developers tend to dominate property auctions, and that private individuals are likely to be at a disadvantage compared with the seasoned professionals that might be bidding on the same lot.

In practice, as a self builder you’re well-placed to buy successfully at auction – but it’s essential that you understand the process and potential pitfalls before you begin. A lot comes down to careful preparation – this is not at all about gung-ho bidding and speculation. By knowing the market in your area, researching thoroughly and taking professional advice where needed, you can sort the genuine plots from the problem properties. And with a little bit of luck in the auction room, you might well be able to snap up a genuinely good opportunity for a bargain price.

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About Build It

Build It magazine's new September 2018 issue is packed full of ideas and practical advice to help you successfully create your dream home. Here's our pick of some of the top features this issue: - Top tips to save you £10,000s on your home building project - How to get real value for money from your builder - Are SIPs sustainable? - Design ideas for a better, healthier home - Make your home water efficient - Choosing the right windows for a heritage property ... and more!