Property auctions are usually a way some people use to find a bargain house, flat or building land but many sold auction lots come with hard work to do after you pick up the keys to the front door or the gate to the field.

This abandoned house and retail unit in the Ystalyfera area north of Swansea could probably claim to be one of the most extreme Welsh terrace property renovations currently on the market.

Deteriorating over many years, the property has been left to fight the elements of nature on its own.

Now the house has foliage invading the bathroom through broken windows, damp has become an unwanted tenant, walls are crumbling and numerous sections of ceilings having fallen down.

It's obvious the property has been boarded up for many years

Entering the property at the front through the former shop that looks like it has been boarded up for years, and it's like stepping back in time.

The age of the abandoned furniture may give a clue as to how long the house has been empty, although obviously not every home owner updates their decor through the decades.

But throughout the house there are examples of 1930s, 50s, 60s and 70s decor and furniture to spot so maybe the internal makeovers stopped more than 40 years ago.

Hard to guess what the former shop used to be - hairdresser maybe?
Was used as a reception room more recently judging by the curtains at the shop window

It's also hard to guess what the retail unit might have been in a former life from what's left behind.

Eerily an umbrella and raincoat still hang on hooks in the room as if the previous owner is about to pop out into the rain and catch the bus into Swansea city centre to go shopping at any minute.

The room suggests that the last occupant used this space as a reception room as there' are mirrors still hanging on the walls, armchairs remaining and full-length curtains have been left hanging at the huge former shop windows.

The original Bakerlite light switches can still be seen in this room and indicate that the property will need a full programme of rewiring as well as a full programme of building renovation, but that's probably obvious to any visitor by now.

Connecting door from the shop says private
A vintage gem in the middle of the room, probably a 1950s shop counter

Into the room behind the shop and here a little period gem can be found; possibly the original shop counter and reception desk that is most likely to date back to the 1950s judging by its distinctive design.

Maybe the shop used to be a hairdresser and barber shop?

Hiding behind this former shop counter is a classic 1930s tile fireplace.

Look up and the polystyrene ceiling tiles found throughout most of the house are making a bid for freedom and flinging themselves off the ceiling, which is not a bad thing as being a high fire risk, they would need to come off anyway.

Bathroom is being invaded
Landing shelving unit still houses jars and bottles

Through to the final room on this ground floor and it is arguably the most troubling and provides just one of the many moments to gasp at when exploring this forgotten home.

The bathroom has been overrun not just with damp but also foliage, predominately ivy, invading through the broken windows which is also letting in the wet Welsh winter storms.

More surprises from this property with the discovery of a lower ground floor that's hidden from street level but offers spacious accommodation once fully renovated and saved from the elements.

Main reception room is a good sized space
Sad looking rocking chair in the corner
Probably the kitchen but any sign of the sink or appliances have long gone

The first room at the bottom of the stairs is a surprisingly large reception room.

But this room has also suffered broken windows, a falling ceiling and walls that definitely need attention.

Sadly the room has also become a dumping ground for rubbish so the state of the floor is unclear under the ground level layer of trash.

A dining table, rocking chair in the corner and fireplace remain suggesting this lower ground floor was the living accommodation used by the owner of the shop.

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Through to a small room at the back and again the garden is exploring the inside of the house through empty window frames.

It's a challenge to see what this room might have been, based on what's left inside, but cabinets, wall tiles and a very old tin of Roses chocolates suggest a kitchen.

Maybe this used to be a pantry judging by the tins of food and unit?
Probably best not to be tempted by the jars of pickled onions, the best before date maybe years ago

However, on the other side of the lounge there is another intriguing room to discover.

This space houses a classic 1960s vintage kitchen cupboard unit plus shelves that still have tins of food and jars of pickled onions stored on them, so maybe this was a pantry.

The tour of the lower ground floor completed, it's up two flights of stairs, past the shop and up onto the first floor, via a funky, padded sliding door that in its day would have been the height of boundary pushing interior design.

Up to the top floor via a funky, padded sliding door
First bedroom has obvious water ingress
Original Bakerlite light switches can be spotted throughout

The back bedroom has once pretty floral wallpaper that is now peeling in areas where the roof and guttering are obviously failing.

The front bedroom spans the width of the house, so is an impressive size.

The base and mattress of the bed have been tipped over, there was once probably a fireplace at one end of the space that has been ripped out and has vanished, and there is visible water ingress issues on every wall.

It's heartbreaking to see a vintage and now empty handbag strewn on the floor, as well as items of clothing, suggesting the house has been ransacked by trespassers.

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The property is going to online auction with a guide price of £26,000 with the minimum bid level set at £22,000.

As with virtually any property, whatever its condition and history, there is still plenty of hope to renovate, restore, reuse and re-love this house as it has been in the past.

Look past the rubble, damp, peeling walls, broken windows and rubbish and see a house asking to be brought back to life and saved from continuing decline into dereliction.

Main bedroom is sizeable but issues
Sad to see personal items such as an empty handbag strewn across the floor
A mix of decades of decor and a mix of dry and wet walls

The auction company selling the property states that the building is a versatile property with a variety of future uses.

They suggest it would be ideal for a retail unit with live-over accommodation or conversion to full residential, such as one larger family dwelling, or as two flats, all options subject to obtaining necessary planning consents of course.

So the house could thank you for saving it by providing versatile accommodation once renovated, and neighbours will also be fans of the saviour of this house, seeing a local empty home brought back into the community.

How the building came to end up in such a state is a mystery that the auction house are yet to unravel, but maybe people living in the local area will know the answer.

The property is going to online auction with online bidding opening at 12 noon on Tuesday, February 2 and closing at 5.10pm on Thursday, February 4.

There is paperwork to complete and documents to read, so please visit the auction house website before the auction at paulfosh.com or call 01633 254044.