We all know that property potential often lies with the "worst house in the best street". It's what every professional and amateur property developer is looking for and they can be difficult to find and expensive to buy. Savvy agents will now put a premium on a property ripe for development which puts them out of the bargain basement and into a much higher pricing bracket.
What you need to find is a property that on the surface looks very unappealing, not billed as "ripe for development" but with a few tweaks could make a lovely home. These are often houses that have sat on the market for a while and haven't sold because they were built in the wrong decade, possibly with a quirky layout and a really ugly facade.
The internet is a good first step but everyone else will have viewed this property too so keep that at the back of your mind. Try and identify why this property hasn't sold. Is it too dark, is the internal flow all wrong, does it lack off street parking etc. Drive past at different times of the day to get a true feeling for the property and surrounding area.
Once you have a found a "could be", make sure you look at the title and legal documents really carefully. You can easily download title plans from the land registry for a small charge. It's imperative you know what the restriction are before you buy - has the house already had an extension and therefore will you be confined by planning.
Keep the worst case scenario at the front of your mind at all times. Enlist the services of professionals you trust - architects, surveyors, engineers and a reputable builder. Carefully analyse the costs and add a contingency fund. Make a budget and STICKT TO IT!
It's really worth considering houses that have become unfashionable. Houses built in the 1970's have fallen out of fashion due to their aesthetic however, like bungalows, they are often on large garden plots and you will definitely get more space compared to properties built in the Victorian era.
I think 1970's houses could be the next big thing as you may find there are less planning restrictions, you will get more space for you money and you could have the opportunity to build a beautiful modern home.