Rundown Houses For Sale - Buying A Neglected Property (2023)

Rundown Houses For Sale - Buying A Neglected Property (1)

Buying Rundown Houses For Sale

A rundown house is a property that is in a state of disrepair. It may not be empty or derelict but merely in need of some TLC. Some rundown houses for sale have never been updated since the 1970’s or 1980’s. There is an increase in the number of buyers looking for rundown houses and many of these types of properties are sold at auction instead of through estate agents.

You can find rundown houses for sale that have been inherited. Many times the legatee may want to get rid of the house as soon as possible. This might be because they need the cash or because they don’t want to spend time and money on refurbishing the property before selling it. Putting a rundown house up for auction has proved to be an easy and efficient way of achieving a fast sale.

How To Find Rundown Houses

The most obvious place to start when searching for rundown houses for sale is by searching in the local area you are interesting in buying in. Most estate agents maintain an online presence and list their available properties by price as well as other criteria. Alternatively you can pay a visit to a local estate agent to talk to them about the type of house you are searching for.

The local press still features regular pages of houses for sale and some of these will be in need of repairs and renovations. A rundown house may only require some decoration but most require an updated bathroom and kitchen to prepare them for the market. Therefore, if you are buying a rundown property to sell on, be prepared to spend enough to bring the appliances and fittings up to date.

Rundown Houses As An Investment

Buying a rundown house to renovate is popular. In the last few years more people than ever are looking for dilapidated houses which will give them the chance to renovate and sell on for a profit. If you get it right you can make a good property investment for the future by renting it out or take the profits immediately by selling straight after the renovation is completed.

Rundown houses for sale in popular locations will be in high demand and are going to cost more. It is important to carefully consider your budget before buying. Similarly, there is little point in renovating a rundown house in an area that is so unattractive that no one will want to live in it. It is essential to estimate the total cost including your own time and effort whilst working out exactly what it is you want to achieve.

Rundown Properties FAQ

Why are some rundown houses empty or neglected?

Many rundown houses have been vacated by the owner because they have been repossessed. Others are properties left in a Will and the legatee has not been located. An owner may abandon a house if they are unable to afford bills or repairs. When there is a dip in the property market, some houses are left to rundown because the owner cannot get the price they want for the sale.

(Video) How to Find Abandoned Houses for Sale

Where Can I Find Rundown Properties?

Look online or approach estate agents to find a list of rundown houses for sale. Banks or other financial institutions may have repossessed rundown properties on their books. Auctions are a good source for finding rundown properties. If a house has failed to sell with an estate agent they often go to auction.

Can I Get A Mortgage On A Rundown House?

Lenders will approve a loan for a rundown house as long as the value of the property is equal to the purchase price and the necessary criteria for repayment has been reached. You will be unlikely to get a loan for a larger amount even if the value after renovation is projected to be higher. Most rundown houses are habitable so a high street lender is the first place to go when looking for a mortgage.

Adding Value To Rundown Houses And Properties

It looks a simple prospect to add value to a rundown house but there are several issues to take into consideration before you start. If the changes you want to make are purely internal then planning permission may not be needed. Adding an extra room or two and even a conservatory may require an application to the local authority. Local rules will apply so each authority will act according to those rules. Some locations are designated as areas of outstanding natural beauty and may have planning restrictions.

Common Mistakes When Buying A Rundown or Derelict House

There are several mistakes that people make when buying a rundown house with the intention of flipping the property quickly to make a profit. Time is of the essence when renovating a house to resell. Many people find that it takes far longer than they have allowed for. Lack of skills and financial problems can also prevent a fast turnaround when buying a rundown house. Buying the wrong type of house or one in the wrong location can also cause problems when it comes to reselling.

Rundown Period Properties in the UK

Buying a rundown period property is not for the fainthearted especially as there could be restrictions on what materials can be used in the renovation. However, a period house can be filled with character features such as original cornices, marble fireplaces or Victorian tiles in the bathroom. Sash windows and high ceilings are two other attractive features often found in rundown period houses.

A period property may appeal but there are problems that need to be fixed which could call for specialists. The energy rating for period houses is usually very low so this will need to be addressed. You could be lucky and find an old house that does not need too much work but if it is priced as a rundown property this is unlikely. Finally, renovating a period house is going to cost a lot more than a modern house that has been allowed to rundown and merely needs some cosmetic attention.

Dilapidated Houses At Auction

Rundown and dilapidated houses are most often sold at a property auction. They attract a lot of interest and offer buyers the opportunity to make something really special out of a property that has been sorely neglected. Rundown houses for sale may have no utilities connected and this should be taken into account when viewing.

As a general rule there are three kinds of buyers for rundown houses. The first category is someone who wants a cheap home and can do the work themselves. Secondly, there are developers who want to refurbish the house and sell it on quickly. The third type are the people who buy as an investment with the intention of renting out the property. All of these people will be placing bids at auction to try and secure a bargain property.

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Many dilapidated houses are sold by executors. Some have been waiting many months or sometimes years for probate to go through. If there has been neglect for a long time there could be problems with damp or rot. Some properties will have succumbed to a leaky roof so before you consider buying a rundown house at auction make sure that a full survey takes place.

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Is Buying abandoned property worth it? ›

The major draw to an abandoned home is buying the home well below market value. Whether you're buying the property to flip or to live in, you'll likely be able to save a substantial amount of money buying an abandoned home compared to a standard home on the market.

How do I inquire about an abandoned house? ›

Visit the county executive's office.

Usually the county government has records on property ownership. You may be able to locate homes that have been abandoned by visiting this office. Inquire about whether they have a list of abandoned properties.

How do I find abandoned houses in my area? ›

Check with Local Authorities

Make an appointment with the county clerk. You might be able to identify abandoned homes by going to the county clerk's office because the government keeps property ownership data. Inquire with banks to see if they have an inventory of houses under foreclosure.

How to buy abandoned house? ›

Guide To Buying: Derelict Properties For Sale
  1. Take A Planned Approach To Your Property Search.
  2. Choose An Area You'd Like To Buy A Derelict Property.
  3. Have A Drive Around To Find Derelict Properties With Potential.
  4. Set Yourself A Buying & Renovating Budget & Don't Go Over It.

How do abandoned houses work? ›

A house that is abandoned usually is one that has been left unoccupied and vacant due to foreclosure, bankruptcy, or other financial or legal reasons. Local governments are usually not collecting property taxes anymore from the original owner.

Can you find out who owns an abandoned house? ›

Electoral Register

Another way to find the owner of an abandoned property is to check the electoral register. If the owner of the property (or inhabitants of the property) were registered to vote, you should find the owner's name listed next to the property's address.

What to do if a property is abandoned? ›

As a landlord, if you think the property has been abandoned, you should first attempt to contact the tenant. Ask the tenant for written confirmation that they're returning possession of the property to you, and to return the keys. Once you received this confirmation you can go into the property immediately.

Is there an app for abandoned houses? ›

"Explorin Socal" is a app where you can find all of the lowkey Explorin spots around you, thats if you live in Southern California Of course. The places range from Abandoned buildings to Caves by the Ocean. Each Location pinpoint will provide you with a Image of the Place, a description of the place, and directions.

Why is a house hidden in Google Maps? ›

If this has happened, it could be for several reasons: The previous occupant of the property requested blurring. Your landlord decided to blur the house. A neighbor has blurred their property, and it has been done inaccurately (either by the neighbor or Google.

Why are some houses hidden on Google Maps? ›

However, not every home is viewable in that graphic of detail and some might even be blurred out. The blurred-out houses mean that the home's resident has taken the extra steps to ensure their property is not able to be gazed upon in advanced detail via Google Maps, Look Around, or Google Earth.

Can you go inside houses in Google Maps? ›

On your computer, open Google Maps. Search for a place that has indoor maps. To see the floor plan, zoom in to the map and click on a building or place. In the bottom right, choose among levels and floors.

Can you flip an abandoned house? ›

Abandoned homes can be great fix-and-flip investments, but you must enter into them with eyes wide open and leave no stone unturned when calculating your repairs. Remember, you make your money when you buy. Make sure you have an exit strategy.

Do you need planning permission to renovate a derelict house? ›

Virtually any works which change the external appearance of buildings potentially requires planning permission.

How do you protect an abandoned house? ›

7 Tips to Protect Vacant Homes
  1. Perform regular maintenance. ...
  2. Practice fire prevention. ...
  3. Check the plumbing. ...
  4. Employ traditional security. ...
  5. Embrace the light. ...
  6. Beware advertisement. ...
  7. Secure vacant property insurance.

What state has the most abandoned houses? ›

The study by LendingTree ranked the nation's 50 states by their shares of unoccupied homes. The highest vacancy rates were found in Vermont, Maine and Alaska. Each state has between 20% and 22% of its housing stock vacant. The three states combined are home to more than 315,000 unoccupied units.

Why do abandoned houses get boarded up? ›

Boarding up a house refers to the process of installing boards on the entrance and windows of a property in a way that prevents wind and other outside elements from entering inside. This is usually done in order to protect a vacant or abandoned property from squatters and looters.

Why do houses fall apart when abandoned? ›

When a house is abandoned, it is no longer protected in a way to keep environmental elements out. Even when a house has occupants but no repairs done to the house when needed, the house will fall apart.

How do I claim abandoned land? ›

When someone wants to claim ownership of land that's not theirs, it is called Adverse Possession. To claim Adverse Possession you would need to make an application to the Land Registry. The Land Registry have a strict set of criteria you must meet before you can claim land you do not own.

Can I claim unregistered land? ›

The conditions under which you can claim legal title to the land are as follows: If the land is unregistered, the individual(s) must show they have treated it as their own for 12 years without the legal owner's consent. No application needs to be made.

Can you buy unregistered land? ›

Can I buy unregistered land? Unregistered land is available for purchase, but it can take significantly longer to purchase than registered land. The legal requirement of 'First Registration' in these cases can be a considerable setback for the purchaser.

What is a derelict property? ›

A derelict property is a home or building that's empty and in a bad state of repair. This is usually the result of the property not having been lived in for a long time. It's estimated there are around 216,000 homes in England alone that have been empty for six months or more.

What is abandonment property law? ›

Definition of Abandonment

Not to be confused with defaulting on a mortgage, abandonment occurs when the owner of a property demonstrates that they have no intention of returning to the property and have given up their legal claim to the property.

What is a letter of abandonment? ›

A Notice of Abandonment is a written notice that is issued when a tenant abandons a property, or when the property is deemed abandoned. This essentially means that the tenant leaves the property before the end of the lease agreement without notifying the landlord.

What are abandoned houses called? ›

Bona vacantia, also known as vacant goods, refers to property without a clear owner. Bona vacantia assets may be abandoned or unclaimed by its owner. more.

How do you become a squatter? ›

You can be arrested for squatting if you're living in a property, or intend to live there, and:
  1. you didn't get the owner's permission to live there.
  2. you entered the property without permission.
  3. you know or should know that you're trespassing.

What is it called when you live in an abandoned house? ›

Squatting is the action of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building, usually residential, that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use.

Can you buy abandoned mansions? ›

The answer is yes, you can. However, purchasing an unoccupied and abandoned property may not be as straight forward as purchasing an occupied residential or commercial property.

Who owns the abandoned Titanic mansion? ›

At 33.85 acres (13.70 ha) according to Montgomery County Board of Assessment data, Lynnewood Hall is owned by the First Korean Church of New York which acquired the property in 1996.

What is the largest abandoned home in America? ›

Known as Lynnewood Hall, this turn-of-the-century estate in Philadelphia was built between 1897 and 1900 for US tycoon, prolific art collector and an investor in the ill-fated Titanic, Peter Arrell Browne Widener.

What is an unlisted home? ›

Unlisted homes, also known as off-market homes, are houses and apartments that have not been listed on multiple listing services (MLS) where real estate agencies and brokerages advertise.

Is there an app to find abandoned places near you? ›

Abandoned World *officially* allows you to discover the exact location of Urbex spots. Easy to use and functional! Exploration is guaranteed!

What is the most abandoned place on earth? ›

Hashima Island, Japan

Hashima Island was once the most densely populated island in the world; now it's completely empty. People became interested in the Nagasaki island after finding an underwater coal deposit directly under it.

Where are the most abandoned? ›

11 eerie abandoned places you can visit around the world
  • Plymouth, Montserrat. ...
  • Kolmanskop, Namibia. ...
  • Bodie, California. ...
  • Pripyat, Ukraine. ...
  • Hashima Island, Japan. ...
  • North Brother Island, New York. ...
  • Kennecott, Alaska. ...
  • Glenrio, New Mexico/Texas.
May 21, 2020

Can I have my house blurred on Google Maps? ›

If Google is the owner of the photo, you can request blurring or report the photo, as long as it contains: Your face, home, or other identifying information.

What are yellow houses on Google Maps? ›

Yellow: These represent highways and main streets within a city.

Why are some houses yellow on Google Maps? ›

Buildings are by default a grey colour, and then those with activity level typical of commercial activity are auto-detected and re-shaded a yellowish beige.

Why is a house blurred on Google Earth Street View? ›

Famous homes like the house used in Home Alone have been blurred to protect the owners from unwanted guests. However, once a home is blurred out on Google Maps it is permanent so users must be cautious when requesting a censored home.

Why is the ocean blurred on Google Maps? ›

It simply down to lack of data or just poor data, the ocean floor image is built from hundreds or maybe even thousands of separate sonar and satellite surveys using all sort of different equipment some low resolution some high resolution.

How do I blur my house in Bing Maps? ›

Microsoft: Visit Bing Maps, click “Report a privacy concern with this image” at the lower-left corner of the page, and select House (or another option) from “What kind of concern do you have?” You can describe in the text box below that you want to have your house blurred.

Who takes pictures of your house for Google Maps? ›

guru who has over 67,000 photos on Google Maps. “Google heavily relies on the volunteer work from the local guides who are posting pictures day after day,” Andrieu told “Anyone can be a local guide as long as they have a Gmail account and access to Google Maps.”

How do they take pictures of houses for Google Maps? ›

Google collects Street View imagery by driving, pedaling, sailing and walking around and capturing imagery with special cameras that simultaneously collect images in multiple directions. The images are later overlapped and stitched together into a single 360-degree image.

How does Google Maps know where my car is parked? ›

When you let Google Maps take note of your activity, Maps will automatically remember when you park your car (even if you park far from your destination). After you're done navigating somewhere, at the bottom, turn on Know where you parked. Allow Google Maps to access your Motion and Fitness Activity.

Is it a good idea to explore an abandoned building? ›

Going inside abandoned properties and buildings can be dangerous. Here are 5 reasons to stay out of old abandoned properties and buildings: Trespassing is against the law—you can even get arrested. Many old factory buildings still have dangerous chemicals inside them.

How do I claim abandoned property in South Carolina? ›

The holder may either refer the owner to The South Carolina Unclaimed Property Program office to obtain a claim form, may send a request in writing authorizing us to pay the owner directly, or may make payment to the owner and then seek reimbursement from The South Carolina Unclaimed Property Program using the Holder's ...

How do I find out who owns a derelict property? ›

Electoral Register

Another way to find the owner of an abandoned property is to check the electoral register. If the owner of the property (or inhabitants of the property) were registered to vote, you should find the owner's name listed next to the property's address.


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