London Lite Wednesday, 30 September 2009 35 By buying a house to convert at auction we got a home Tammy Russell, 36, and her husband James, 39, bought a four-storey Victorian semi in Hackney at an auction in February this year. Tammy says: Our motive for buying at auction was financial. We did a lot of research beforehand. We went to the house several times, and we took a surveyor to make sure there was nothing structurally wrong with it. We also did a lot of research about how much properties in the area were going for, and we talked to the local councils planning office because the house had been a hostel and we wanted to convert it into a garden flat and a three-bedroom house for us. We spent 500,000. since then weve been doing it up. We did the flat first for about 3,500. Its now rented out. Were spending about 30,000 to 35,000 on the house, taking time to get it exactly how we want. Id say the flat is worth 220,000 to 230,000 and the house will be 520,000 or 530,000 when we finish it. so its certainly been a good deal financially. There was definitely an element of risk in what we did, but all in all it does seem to have worked out. Bargain: Tammy Russell and husband Jamess home is now worth much more than they paid just a few months ago To find out about sales, register with the Essential information Group ( for a diary of forthcoming auctions. Auction properties are often run-down, so make sure you budget for any renovations. PrEParE for auction buying by sitting in on a couple of sales first so you understand the process. if you want to redevelop a property bear in mind that youll be taking a risk by buying without getting planning permission. TakE your chequebook and identification with you if you are bidding, as you will have to pay 10 per cent deposit if you are successful. ALWAyS try to have a survey done on the house you are planning to bid for. SET yourself a price limit and stick to it -- its easy to get carried away. cALL your local planning department in advance to see if you have a reasonable chance of being allowed to carry out your ideas for the property. thatsyourlot: EIGhtBIDDINGtIps BASSEM AWADA, 28, bought a two-bed flat in Colliers Wood at auction in June for 157,000. He says: I wanted to invest in property but I didnt want to spend a lot of money. It needs a lot of cosmetic work but I plan to renovate it and then decide what to do with it -- rent it out, sell it or maybe live in it. I went along to take a look at it first and researched the area. I also took an estate agent with me to have a look. I think a surveyor would have been better, but you have to decide if you want to spend up to 500 (for a surveyors opinion) on a property you might not buy. I think if I had bought it from an agent it might have cost 165,000 or 170,000. I am going to have to spend some money doing work on it so I dont expect to save very much money. I will probably only make 10,000 or 15,000, it is all a learning experience for me. I wanted to invest without spending loads of money Investment: Bassem Awadas flat ofthisautumnsauctioncatalogues Barnard Marcus 12 oct: Grand connaught Rooms. our pick: Spencer Walk, Putney. Guide price: 300,000. two-bed flat. countrywide 16 oct: Grand connaught Rooms. our pick: Ashford Rd, East Ham. Guide: 175,000. three-bed house. countrywide 16 oct: Grand connaught Rooms. our pick: Ripple Rd, Barking. Guide price: 125,000. two-bedroom flat. in the next few months, and you dont need to be an expert to grab one Hammer time: auction houses are set for a busy autumn index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html48.html49.html50.html51.html52.html53.html54.html55.html