For most of the time we've lived in our present house, the house next door has been empty. It's a 1950s brick ranch house that had been turned into a doctor's office at some point so it's more office than home at this point. We've dreamed about buying the house for years and turning it into a garage and workshop. We have an old Jeep that's been under a car cover since we moved here and our basement is far less than ideal for a wood shop.
Today, the house next door, and several other properties, were up for auction. We watched the number of people checking it out last week at the preview. We tried to judge what people might be thinking about the place and how much it they might think it was worth. It certainly wasn't worth the appraisal they had on it. It's a nice lot, but the building would be a lot of work to turn back into a house. We were afraid someone would buy it, tear it down, and put something next door that wouldn't be a good neighbor to us.
We listened to the auction for the properties before ours and they went for below, way below, the appraised prices. There was hope! Our auction started and the price was low, real low. It was us against one other guy. He blinked. We stayed in the game. We bought the house! We need to wait 120 days for the IRS to decide if the price meets their lien before we start working on it, but after that we'll be on our way to having a 1500 square foot garage!