In the United Kingdom, property auctions are an increasingly popular method for buying and selling properties, often presenting opportunities for buyers to find bargains and unique properties. However, if you’re considering purchasing a property at an auction, you might be wondering if it’s possible to do so with a mortgage. This article aims to provide an overview of buying a house at auction with a mortgage, along with the process and challenges involved.
Is It Possible to Buy a House at Auction with a Mortgage?
In short, yes, it is possible to buy a house at auction with a mortgage in the UK. However, it’s essential to understand that the process of obtaining a mortgage for an auction purchase is not the same as a traditional mortgage application. There are several factors to consider, including the tight deadlines involved, which can make buying a property at auction with a mortgage more complicated.
The Auction Process
When purchasing a property at auction, you need to be prepared for the fast-paced nature of the process. Once the hammer falls, the winning bidder is required to pay a non-refundable deposit, typically 10% of the property’s purchase price, and exchange contracts immediately. The buyer then has a fixed timeframe, usually between 14 and 28 days, to complete the purchase and pay the remaining balance.
Applying for a Mortgage for an Auction Purchase
Given the tight deadlines, it’s crucial to start the mortgage application process well in advance of the auction. Begin by seeking advice from a mortgage broker or lender experienced in auction property purchases. They can help you understand the specific mortgage products available for auction purchases, as well as the eligibility criteria and potential pitfalls.
Obtaining a mortgage in principle (MIP)
To increase your chances of obtaining a mortgage in time for the auction, you should obtain a mortgage in principle (MIP) before attending. A mortgage in principle is a conditional agreement from a lender indicating that they would be willing to lend a certain amount based on the information provided. However, it’s important to note that an MIP is not a guarantee that you will be granted a mortgage, as the final decision depends on the property’s valuation and the lender’s assessment of your financial circumstances.
Valuations and Surveys
Valuations and surveys are crucial when buying a property at auction, as they can identify potential issues that may affect the mortgage lender’s willingness to lend. Some lenders may accept a valuation or survey conducted before the auction, while others may require a post-auction valuation. In either case, it’s essential to work with a lender experienced in auction purchases to ensure that the valuation and survey process align with their requirements.
Challenges and Risks
There are several challenges and risks associated with buying a house at auction with a mortgage, including:
Tight deadlines: As mentioned earlier, the tight deadlines can make obtaining a mortgage for an auction purchase challenging. If you’re unable to secure a mortgage and complete the purchase within the specified timeframe, you risk losing your deposit and may face additional penalties.
Auction property condition: Properties sold at auction are often in need of renovation or repair, which can impact their mortgage eligibility. Some lenders may be unwilling to lend on properties in poor condition or may require a higher deposit.
Gazumping: It’s possible that another buyer could make a higher offer on the property after the auction, resulting in a gazumping situation. While this is less common in auction purchases, it remains a potential risk.
Steps to buying a house from auction with a mortgage
Research and prepare: Attend several auctions to familiarise yourself with the process and research the types of properties available. Determine your budget, and ensure you have a deposit saved. It’s also advisable to speak with a mortgage broker or lender to understand the mortgage products available for auction properties and any specific requirements.
Obtain a mortgage in principle: As mentioned earlier, obtaining an MIP will provide you with an indication of how much you can borrow and will show auctioneers that you are a serious buyer. Ensure that the MIP is valid for the duration of the auction process.
Choose the right property: When selecting an auction property, consider factors such as location, local amenities, and the potential for capital growth. It’s also essential to arrange a viewing and have a surveyor or builder assess the property to estimate the cost of any necessary repairs.
Legal advice: Request a lawyer to review the legal pack that the auction house has provided before placing a bid.This pack includes essential information about the property, such as title deeds, searches, and any special conditions of sale.
Bid and secure financing: If you win the auction, you’ll need to pay the deposit immediately and then work on securing the mortgage within the 28-day completion window. Communicate closely with your lender to expedite the process and ensure you meet the deadline.
Buying a house from auction with a mortgage in the UK is possible, but it requires thorough preparation, research, and the ability to act quickly. Ensure that you have a mortgage in principle, seek professional advice, and understand the risks associated with auction properties to increase your chances of a successful purchase.