Finding investment property, cont'd


Another, lesser known means for locating suitable investment property is the Empty Homes Agency or EHA. This charity was set up in the early 1990s to highlight the number of empty homes in this country. The number is surprisingly high given the current housing crisis; one would have thought that every available home with investment property potential would have been snapped by canny investors years ago. Yet this is far from the case. In fact, there were more than three quarters of a million homes in England unoccupied in 2001. Doubtless many of them are in such a poor state of repair that they have been rendered uninhabitable, and so because those looking to purchase a house would not consider them for living in straight away, the property investor could purchase such a property and renovate it to achieve a considerable profit.

Such investment properties could be found in many places, often where one might expect to find them. Since many of them will be derelict or deserted, with no no obvious outward indication of being for sale (such as estate agent for sale signs), it is easy to assume that they are not available for purchase. It may not be easy to contact the owners of such properties, but the EHA can help here. They suggest that the potential investor does a little digging around to discover the identity of the owners. Leaving a note with your contact details on is a good idea, as is talking with local residents and shop proprieters. In addition to this, potential property investors can also find local planning offices might have information on file, such as previous planning applications.

The Empty Homes Agency can be contacted at 195-197 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5NE, telephone 020 7828 6288.

Another great place to find investment property at superb prices often below the market value is at property auctions. Property auctions usually feature many home owners, who, due to financial misfortune or other compelling circumstances, have turned to selling their investment property to the highest bidder in an auction. There are many reasons why good investment properties might appear in an auction of this nature; lenders such as mortgage providers might have re-possessed a property, the property might be dilapidated to such an extent that the owner does not have the time or money to re-develop it, or a whole host of other reasons. Local estate agents will be able to advise potential investors of the location of auctions in their area, as will local directories such the Yellow Pages. Likewise, local developers and councils may be possible sources of auction locations, as are local newspapers.

Purchasing an investment property is unlike any other property purchasing process, since rather than the usual procedure of making an offer and have it go through all the stages to eventual completion, the purchase of an investment property at auction is completed within a single day. It is inadvisable for an inexperienced investor to attend and participate in an auction without a clear understanding of the legally binding nature of the process they are taking part in.

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