Guide To Buying: Derelict Properties For Sale

derelict properties for sale

It can be extremely challenging to find the perfect derelict building in the UK, so in this post, we’ll be aiming to provide you with some top tips on finding your ideal derelict property even easier.

If you are searching for a house or other types of building to renovate, such as a derelict home, barn for renovation or other building, or if you are trying to restore properties like windmills, lighthouses, country properties or disused churches, here’s the low down on where to start and how to get the best for your money.

Take A Planned Approach To Your Property Search

make a plan before you buy derelict property

Before jumping in at the deep end and buying the first derelict property you see, you should take some time to do a little research and set out a plan. You should have an idea of the look of the kind of property you’d like for your project which will obviously make choosing a renovation project much easier, but there are other forms of research and planning you can do too such as:

  • Writing down what you can and can’t do
  • Working out what your overall budget is
  • Where it needs to be located
  • Finding out what the most common issues are with derelict properties when renovating them
  • Looking at past surveys of the property and the land
  • Does the property have any harmful materials on site which could be costly to remove?

Derelict properties come in all shapes and sizes, and by focusing on the kind of building you want to purchase before anything else can make your property quest even more efficient.

For example, maybe you would like to renovate an older property in the countryside, such as a derelict cottage. On the other hand, you could have the budget for the conversion of a full-scale barn or even the renovation of an unused church. You can do an online search for derelict properties for sale.

Choose An Area You’d Like To Buy A Derelict Property

where should you buy a derelict property

Another great way to find a derelict home in your ideal area is to look for properties in an area that is convenient for you, and if you’re renovating the property for yourself, then it should be located in an area where you’d like to live.

You may want to be in or near a specific location in the world. You may be open-minded about where you go, but try to be rational. Draw a circle around an area on a map and keep your search for abandoned properties for sale within that specific area. If you want to be within 50 miles of Manchester, then that’s what your circle on the map should represent. This will make your property hunt much easier as it will allow you to narrow down your options.

Have A Drive Around To Find Derelict Properties With Potential

where to look for derelict properties

This is one of the easiest ways to find the sort of vacant, abandoned property or building that you are searching for. It should be noted that vacant buildings or unused, neglected properties can never be put on the market so you may not find all of the vacant buildings by searching for derelict properties for sale on the internet. It may be an older stone barn on a farm that is ideal for converting a barn or an old cottage for farmworkers that has been replaced for a long time and now lies empty.

Set Yourself A Buying & Renovating Budget & Don’t Go Over It

calculate costs

Be rational about your property budget, as described in the first tip. It can prove to be horribly costly to renovate a derelict building, and it is necessary to remain within the realms of what you can actually afford. For property buyers, this is a popular trap to fall into. Most individuals are captivated by fascinating old buildings and dream of what they could become. We’re all doing this, so how much money will it take?

When viewing prospective assets, ask yourself this question. Imagine you saw a beautiful stone barn that was perfect for conversion, for instance, and at first, sight, you fall in love with the house (as some often do). If it’s a big abandoned house, do you really need that kind of thing? One good idea is to find completed renovations of properties, such as conversions of barns, similar to the one you are interested in. Send the owners an email and inquire about their renovation project. Before you start your own project, they can end up saving you months of headaches.

Stick Within Your Means When Buying A Derelict Building

derelict home

When it comes to buying a derelict building that you intend on renovating – following up on the previous argument – stay within your means. Yeah, the massive stone barn might be ready for conversion, but with two floors and a floor space of over 300 square meters, do you really need anything of this size? Will you have £ 600,000 for a property renovation project of this scale to be completed?

This sort of scenario has caught many potential property owners out, sometimes running out of money two-thirds of the way into the renovation process. This sort of situation is prevalent, so don’t get caught out, remain within your budget and your skills. Keep this in mind, if you use contractors to renovate your derelict house, this will significantly increase your project costs.

Derelict Building FAQ’s

What is a derelict building?

A derelict building is an abandoned property which has fallen into ruin and can not be used as a normal functional building. This could be a derelict farm cottage, an old church, an abandoned lighthouse, a windmill or any kind of vacant property.

Here’s an example of an abandoned windmill:

derelict windmill

Where Are The Best Places To Find Derelict Property For Sale?

There are now some great websites that have derelict properties listed on them and many auction sites up and down the country. You could also use a local estate agent and take advantage of their local expertise and area knowledge to find a derelict property on your behalf. They might even already have some for sale. Before making local enquiries, you can also go for a drive and try to find a derelict property for yourself. Many derelict buildings are dispersed across the United Kingdom, and most are never put on the property market for a number of different reasons.

derelict houses for sale

Do You Need To Pay Council Tax on Unoccupied Properties?

council tax

Yeah, you do, since an unoccupied house is not the same as a building that is vacant or derelict. An unoccupied property is one that is usually occupied, but at the moment, it is not. An empty house, in other words, a completely empty dwelling, is one devoid of furniture or belongings. A derelict building is one that has been abandoned and remains vacant and unused, sometimes without doors of a roof even.

We hope you found this blog post helpful. Head over to the rest of our property blogs or head over to our forum where you can post questions and get advice from people who have been there, done that and got the T-shirt. If you would like us to cover a topic in more detail simply get in touch and we’ll either try to answer your property based question directly or we will custom write and research the topic to provide you with the answers that you need to succeed.




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