Buying an empty home can seem like a daunting prospect for some people, however it can provide excellent bargains, particularly for those who are looking for properties to renovate themselves.
Be warned, it can be a lengthy and difficult process and there are many complicated reasons why a home might be empty. Every empty home has its own story.
Below is some practical advise and support for those people looking to purchase an empty home.
How to indentify an empty home.
Your first step is to find an empty home and with thousands of long term homes accross The Vale of Glamorgan this may be easier thn you think.
- Walk the Streets - If you know where you'd like to buy it's worth walking around the area to see what you can find. Walk rather than drive, it's the only way to look at the properties properly. You will be suprised what you can find, but don't assume that every unloved house is empty!
- Estate Agents & Auction Houses - Go into you local estate agents and ask them about empty homes that are for sale. Auctions are often used by mortgage companies to sell repossessed properties.
- Specialist Websites - RenovateAlerts.com specialises in properties in need of work, renovation or modernisation. Details of historic, mainly empty buildings which have been neglected and are in need of repair can be found through Save Britain's Heritage.
Finding the Owner.
You have found an empty home and now you want to buy it. Things are straight forward if the home is being marketed for sale, but what if it isn't? Here is some advice on finding out who owns it:
- Neighbours - Neighbours will often know who the owner of an empty home is. If you explain to them why you want to know they may be happy to tell you.
- Land Registry - Most properties are registered at the Land registry. For a small fee you can look at the title register and see who the owner is, sometimes there may also be an alternative address for them.
- Further Advice - You can also trace people through telephone directories, birth, marriage and death records and electoral registers.
Reviewing your Options.
Before you decide to buy an empty property, you need to consider if it is worth it.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much is the property worth now?
- How much would it be worth in good condition?
- How much would it cost to renovate?
- If I wanted to rent it out, how much rent could I get for it?
Surveys & Valuations
Get advice from local estate agents and a surveyor to get some figured before you go ahead.
Below are a few links for further guidence:
- Directgov - Property Surveys
- Royal institute of Chartered Surveyors - Buying a Home and Property Surveys.
Mortgages for renovating empty properties can be hard to find. The problem is that derelict (run-down) properties are not worth much until they are renovated.
If you want to borrow money for both buying and renovating a property, you will be asking for more than it is actually worth in its run-down state, From a lender's point of view this is high risk because, if you don't repay the loan, the property isn't worth enough for them to get back the money they have lent you if they repossess the property.
For information and advice on finding a lender, contact the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
Empty Home Agency
Empty Homes - Vale of Glamorgan Council
Welsh Government empty Homes
Reporting an Empty Home - Shelter Cymru