Fancy a free house?

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The property

There's a new contender for the title of Britain's cheapest house. In fact this one could go for pennies. The three-bedroom Victorian terrace house is in Nantymoel, near Bridgend, where Zoopla calculates three-bedroom properties have an average asking price of £148,560.

So why is this house so cheap?


The house

The property is for sale at action in Cardiff on June 20th, so there's no asking price. Buyers will simply pay what they believe the property is worth. Usually a seller will set a reserve price, so if no-one is willing to buy for more than the reserve, the property won't sell at all. What makes this house so different is that there's no reserve. If the highest bid is 1p, that's what it will sell for.

Admittedly you don't get an enormous amount for your money. The windows are boarded up, there are no slates on the roof, and every single room would need to be gutted and started from scratch. The property was once a lovely home, but ten years of neglect have left it uninhabitable. Auctioneer Paul Fosh said in a statement that it was "little more than a shell".

He added: "The freehold property has a nil reserve which means that it could be sold for just a few pounds but the new owner must be well aware that they'll need funds to renovate the place as it is currently unfit for human habitation - it doesn't even have slates on the roof. We're told all there is of the house are the walls and the only concession to comfort appears to be a leather sofa which is in the forecourt to the front, outside of the building."

It's a serious project for someone very committed if it's ever going to be a family home again.

So is it worth investing in?

According to whatprice.co.uk, a total overhaul of a run-down property can cost anything between £20,000 and £60,000. Given the quantity of work involved, and the fact that even the roof needs replacing in this instance, even the most dedicated DIY fan would struggle to get change from £50,000.

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You also have to add in the fact that if you are buying this as your family home, you'll need somewhere else to live while the work is ongoing. In some cases you can renovate room-by-room, but given that there's not even a roof in this property, unless you're happy in a tent in the garden, you'll need a budget for renting elsewhere.

The area

Once you have finished, you will be the proud owner of a property in a former mining village near Bridgend. It's not a particularly wealthy area: some 54% of people work, and 12% are retired. This makes unemployment higher than the average for Wales. The level of qualification is also lower: as 48% of people have no qualifications. And car ownership is lower - as 35% of households have no car. It means the area isn't booming, and house prices are unlikely to outperform in the future.

However, it's within striking distance of the M4 (8 miles), it sits among some beautiful scenery, and has one of the few village primary schools left in the area. There is some demand for rental property, which can fetch £600 a month for this size of property. There will be plenty of people for whom this represents a real opportunity.

So what do you think? Would you buy it?

Take a look at the houses that £1 will buy you

Take a look at the houses that £1 will buy you


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