Buying a Property in London – 5 Things You Must Know

Whether you’re a local looking to buy their first home or a foreigner searching for the perfect investment property, buying a property in London is a very big decision that should be well thought out and thoroughly researched before ever signing any contract or documents. Properties are often considered to be the biggest purchase an individual makes in their entire lifetime and one of the most valuable assets a person can own.

But before you can just go out into the market and start your house hunting or making offers on abandoned commercial properties, there are a few things you should first take into consideration. These are guidelines that can make your buying experience a better one with the hopes of finding a great deal with a clean inspection and a smooth transaction. Here are 5 things you must know about buying a property in London.

When buying a property in London, or anywhere for that matter, the first thing you would need to establish is your budget as far as the overall price of the home and the monthly payments. It’s always good to stay well under this budget because aside from the monthly mortgage payment, you also have to take into consideration the following:

  • Insurance
  • Stamp duty
  • Land Registry
  • Local authority searches
  • Removal Fees
  • Connection of services
  • Valuation
  • Bank transfers, etc.

And if you don’t want to live in a barren home, then you also need to set aside extra funds for furnishings and decorations. When deciding on a location, there are many parts of London to choose from. You can live as close to the center of London as you can which is convenient to several rail and road transportations that allow you to access all parts of London. Choose a home within the city limits to be near everything such as shops, entertainment, educational facilities and more. Or if you don’t care too much for the hustle and bustle of the busy city life, then there are also areas that resemble a more rural atmosphere but is still well in the boundaries of London.

Location can affect not only the type of homes available but also the prices of properties. Properties further from the city center tend to have more land and lower-priced homes. Flats, townhomes, and apartments are the common choice when you live close to the city center and are generally more expensive.

To really take advantage of what the current market has to offer, it’s highly advisable to work with a buying agent. Doing so can give you access to hundreds of available properties that are listed and that are well within your price range. You can also get access to other great deals such as foreclosures and other bank owned properties that are selling for way below the market value.

Working with an agent can also make the house hunting a much simpler task by narrowing down your choices to just a select few, which is much more manageable than going to see hundreds of homes in a short span of time. Agents can also provide great insight on the property as well as its location and surrounding elements. If you’d like to cut down on a lot of the legwork when it comes to buying a property in London, then work with an agent to make the job easier.

Properties in London can be categorized into two main forms of ownership; leasehold and freehold. Freehold gives you all the rights and responsibilities as well as ownership of a property. Leasehold gives you ownership and rights to the property but for only the duration of the contract which can be as long as 999 years. When the contract ends, all rights and ownership transfer back to the freeholder.

Freehold properties are a little harder to come by just because they’re in so high demand. But if you like the exclusivity of a freeholder, then ask your agent to find properties like that for. They’ll probably have a better knowledge and access to the available ones in the area.

Fridays are the busiest days as far as traffic goes and if you want to make it into your home before sundown, then it’s best to choose a day midweek for a less stressful and hassle-free move. Plus, if you’re using a removal company they tend to offer discounts and deals for midweek moves. This may seem like a frivolous advice, but when everything is said and done and the house keys are in your hands wouldn’t you want your move-in day to be just as smooth as your closing was?

Buying a property in London is really not all that much different than if you were to purchase a home in any other part of the world. You just need to adapt and be flexible with some of the specific guidelines and regulations that are presented to you when you’re shopping around for a property in London areas. Other than that, find a property that you can easily fall in love with. When you do, then you know it’s the right one for you.

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