So, I'm looking at this 15 acre property that goes to auction on Tuesday. I only found out about it on Sunday, so this is all very short notice and not the way I like to do things in general, but there's a chance that it'll go for far below market value, and I don't want to miss out on the opportunity. So I thought maybe you guys could help with some of my questions: 1) There's a 50 year old little run-down brick house on the property now, and the guy who has lived on that land for the last 76 years is still using well and septic, even though city water and sewage are available. However, I don't think I'll have the opportunity to get the well or septic tested before auction day. The seller has disclosed that he's been having problems with the septic system, but I'm not sure what--maybe backing up/overflowing? Would you ever buy a property where you couldn't test those systems? I suppose if they're totally bad, I could convert it to city services. Does anyone know the typical costs associated with major septic repair, and/or the typical costs of running public services down over hilly terrain to a house that sits about 1/10 of a mile off of the road? 2) Back in the 1960s, the guy allowed people tearing down a mall to dump the construction materials in a ravine on the property and fill it in. Now that ravine is a flat, grassy meadow between two hills that also seem to contain some building debris. The guy apparently gardened for the farmers market on that meadow for the last 40 years. At first I was worried that the meadow would get swampy in heavy rains, but now I think all of that rocky debris (which includes bits of brick, concrete, asphalt, etc. as far as I can tell) will create good drainage, and what I'm really worried about is that there may be something unwholesome (toxic, or....?) buried in there. The auctioneer said that the township did environmental checks on the dumpsite back in the 60s, and that they may still have the records on that. The township office is closed until Monday, and I'll check on it then. Other than that, do you all have any thoughts on the dumping situation? I would probably want to use that meadow for a barn and horse pasture, and maybe some gardening. 3) The guy selling the place is too sick/old to walk the overgrown, wooded property line with us, and nobody else seems to know it offhand. I'm getting the plat map faxed to me later today--do you think there's any way I can rely on that to walk the property myself, or should I really try to get a survey done between now and Tuesday? 4) The house is so small (about 480 sq ft living space) and run-down that I would probably want to gut it and then build a much larger "addition" onto it. In fact, in the price I'm willing to pay, I'm basically considering the property to be vacant land. We would stay in our current home until the construction was finished. Have any of you ever done anything like that before, and what did you think of it? I think this is slightly better than buying raw land, because the woods are already cleared at the building site, there's already a gravel drive and electricity running to the house, and there's an existing well and septic (for whatever they're worth). 5) Do you all have any other general advice for me in this situation? I've never bought land before, and certainly never at auction. :shrug: Buying property at auction just may not be for me. I'm reluctant to get a bunch of tests/inspections done on the property and put that money out beforehand, since I could be outbid in the first 2 minutes of the auction and lose all of that cash for no reason. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. :help: Thank you.