Why do we say 'near where you currently live?' Well the reason is that you should have a very good steer on what a good price is near you, and therefore a property that comes on at ten thousand pound less than you would expect you would pick up quickly near you, whereas in an area of the country where you know less about house prices you might not.
Here is a real-life example: say that you are looking at purchasing your first-home as a two-bed flat in a block of flats. Every previous flat that has come on that fits these criteria has come at £170,000 but suddenly one day you see a flat come on at £159,000. That is some saving of £11,000 - a considerable amount that could make all the difference to a first-time buyer - and is a difference of almost 10% in the price of the house!
You could just think that it must be in a terrible state (and perhaps that is the reason) but without arranging a viewing you may never know. And in the example above, it turned out that the reason was simply that the people moving out had started a family, had found the house of their dreams elsewhere, and were desperate not to lose it, so wanted a really quick sale and had priced the current property attractively to get an immediate sale rather than potentially wait a month or more to get an offer at 'market value'.
So if you keep an eye to the ground then you could be that lucky person that gets a property at 10% or so less than it is worth simply because you find someone who wants a very quick sale rather than waiting to get market value!
It is also often the case that a family may come into possession of a home that an elderly relative lived in and, after that person passes away, they simply want to realise the money in that home. Let's say three siblings inherit a house that is worth £300,000 - they may well want to realise the value in that home. Do they really care if they get a £100,000 share each or sell it for £15,000 under market value, but really quickly, and so get hold of £95,000 each in quick time rather than waiting a year to get £100,000 each? Scenarios like this are not at all uncommon, and it is only by checking all the estate agents in your area regularly that you give yourself the best chance of finding potential bargain properties, arranging a viewing, and then being the lucky person that gets a great home at a great price!
As an alternative to the above, then another possibility is that you could consider auction property: take a look at our auction articles for more information on that.
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