A Guide to Finding Unique & Unusual Properties at Auction

One of the many benefits of property auctions is that some unique and unusual buildings and plots can be found going under the hammer – particularly when compared to what’s being sold on the open market. This provides the ability to come across different properties and discover diamonds in the rough.

If you’re on the lookout for quirky, interesting and unusual properties or land, here’s a guide to help you understand how to find unique properties, the opportunities that can come with them and what to consider when interested in an unusual property.

How to find unique properties at auction

You may be looking for homes with exciting stories to tell or characterful buildings or plots of land that brim with personality, interest or history. Unique properties could include anything from old water towers and agricultural buildings to former police stations, pubs, nursing homes and churches.

To stay on top of the wide range of unique and unusual properties that are coming up to auction, it’s helpful to keep up with a number of online and in-person auctions. Spend time scouring catalogues and auction houses’ websites and platforms.

You may want to sign up with certain auction houses. They can then inform you of suitable opportunities tailored to your interests and requirements. This can allow you to know about plots quickly, so you can start making informed decisions in plenty of time before the auction date.

The opportunities these properties can bring

Unique and unusual properties can allow you to bring forward development on a brownfield or disused site, give a new lease of life to a plot of land or keep a site maintained and well looked after while you own it. This may not only be important to you – it could have benefits for the surrounding area and local community as well!

If you effectively do your research and due diligence, you could also find unique properties that provide the opportunity to add significant value. This could mean earning higher returns from capital appreciation later on when selling the property.

What to consider when interested in an unusual property

There are a number of things to consider if you’re interested in buying an unusual property at auction, and this includes planning, development and investment considerations.

When it comes to planning, it’s crucial to look at the full planning history of the site, figure out if it comes with any permitted development rights or if there are any restrictions on the site. Look over the auction legal pack in detail, and hire a solicitor to help you go over this.

It’s also recommended to work with a chartered planning consultant if you’d need to make a planning application for any work you’d be interested in doing on the site or to understand anything about the property when it comes to planning.

If you are considering any development or renovation on the site, it’s important that you get quotes for the work before deciding on your bidding plan. It’s usually helpful to take a builder to view the property with you, so they can provide up-to-date advice and estimates on the cost of materials and labour.

From an investment point of view, it’s helpful to look at what kind of value could be added to the property or plot once you finish the work. It’s also key to factor in all of your associated costs to help you understand what the investment could look like at the back end.

Doing these things will help you minimise buyer risks and allow you to make more informed decisions on unique and unusual auction properties you’re interested in.