In this time of economic hardship for many it is easy to slip into depression. Doom and gloom is reported all the time, food and fuel prices are rising daily, jobs are less secure, strikes are breaking out over pay up and down the country and homes are being repossessed every day.
But take a look back in history. We are still here. We have been through worse and come out the other side to a much more prosperous time. And once again, we will ride out this storm. An MP has been criticised for saying that Britons are moaning too much and that we've never had it so good. I, for one, think he has a point. We may not like the way things are going but the fact is, more people have more disposable income than they have had at any point in history and certainly more than though any other so-called period of depression.
It's true, things are getting tight. Food has gone up. The last two times I have been to a supermarket, I haven't been able to come out with a carrier bag that cost me less than twenty quid. But there was a bottle of wine in that bag. I know I'm not the only one still buying non-essentials. If we were in true dire straits, we certainly wouldn't be buying these items that not so long ago would have been considered luxuries.
This is a horrible time for people who are having their homes repossessed. Most often this is through no fault of their own. The cost of living rises, interest rates rise, wages do not rise and before you know it, that mortgage becomes unaffordable. But this is only happening because banks have been too free and easy with their loans, subdued into a false sense of security that the good times can continue long term and not allowing for the unforeseen.
As I said, things have a way of mending themselves and we will come out of this. In the meantime, people with some disposable income still left, or some savings, would do well to use the situation to their advantage and snap up a bargain property or two. House prices have fallen dramatically which is why selling your house doesn't necessarily get you out of trouble. When houses are repossessed they often become auction property for the banks to recoup their money quickly.
Auction property can be snapped up at a greatly reduced rate to the market value but more and more people are catching onto this and the prices will end up rising due to demand once again. For an absolute auction property bargain, try the little known idea of a reverse property auction. It sounds too good to be true but property can be bought at a fraction of the market value and if enough people do it then we will once again see homeless people re-housed and the economy picking up.
So, how does a reverse property auction work? Buyers register with online auction sites and then get to see exactly what they are selling. They then have to bid the lowest unique amount to be successful. Yes, that's right, the lowest amount. So, if you bid one penny and nobody else does, you will pay around 3 pounds for the ability to make the bid and one penny for the property.
And it does happen!
So, we can assume that a house is for sale as an auction property. On the open market it might be worth 200,000. pounds If it is entered into a reverse property auction, the maximum bid can be no more than five per cent, 10,000 pounds but it might also be as low as one penny. Bids are placed and the lowest unique bid wins. This method of buying property actually recoups the value of the house through the amount of 3 pounds contributions that people make to take part in the auction.
Granted, it seems amazing that this is possible and I so wished that someone had told me about it when I first got divorced but, having researched the subject, I can assure you these auction properties are being held throughout the UK and the US and are well worth a look, particularly now that property prices are currently quite low anyway.
Property expert Catherine Harvey looks at the ways of buying auction property even cheaper than the usual way.