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A Guide To Buying A Property In London


Purchasing a property is one of the most overwhelming and stressful tasks a person will perform. It is difficult enough to purchase a home in your country of birth; now imagine if you must purchase a property in a new country. This is highly complicated and is terrifying for the individual. To help navigate the maze of buying a property in London, this article provides some top tips to make the purchasing procedure less overwhelming and reduce your level of anxiety.

#1: Location, Location, Location

It has been said a million times before and will be said at least a million times again that location is the key to purchasing a good property. Neighborhoods that no person would have considered purchasing a property in over a decade ago may be some of the top real estate areas in today’s market. For instance, Paddington, Earls Court, Marylebone and Notting Hill call to people with deeper pockets if you are looking to buy a property. If you have a smaller budget and are looking for better value for money, then it Is best to look at the less central areas such as Barking, Bromley, Croydon and Hounslow.

#2: Be Prepared To Haggle

Always remember that haggling is key when it comes to purchasing real estate – yes, even in the staid British market. Just because the house or apartment is listed at a specific price does not mean it is worth the amount or that amount is what the seller is willing to accept. Before making any offer, it is recommended that you do research into what similar properties in the area are going for. Online resources, such as www.rightmove.co.uk and www.zoopla.co.uk can give you information on current real estate market prices.

#3: Consider The Less Sought-After Properties

While most people will turn their attention to the ‘top of the market’ properties in quality areas, it may be worthwhile to consider the less sought-after homes. For instance, an apartment above a store can be cheaper than a house in the center of London. It can also offer you more space and value for your money.

#4: Consider The Transport Options

All areas in London, particularly the suburbs, are covered by the popular underground public transport system which is also known as ‘the tube’. For ease of travel, it is important to consider your transport options when looking to purchase a property. The ideal property should not be more than ten- or fifteen-minutes’ walk from public transport systems. Unfortunately, properties in this category are not on the cheaper side of the real estate price market. Take a look at house prices by tube station giving you access into the city, without the central pricetag.

If you look for properties that are closer to over ground public transport systems, such as bus routes, you could save money as compared to those properties closer to the tube. Try looking at the website www.commutefrom.com to view how long a daily commute will take using bus routes. Additional options regarding commuting outside of the tube can be found at www.tfl.com.

#5: Don’t Be Too Enthusiastic

Regardless of your opinion when viewing a property, it is advised that you control your level of enthusiasm during the appointment. If a vendor or estate agent discovers that you are excited about the property, you are at a disadvantage and will not be in a good negotiating position. It is good to love a property, but real estate agents will take advantage of this love when making a sale.

#6: Real Estate Agents Represent The Seller

Staying on the topic of real estate agents, it is important to remember that these professionals represent the seller and not the buyer (that’s you!). Always approach purchasing a property with a sense of ‘caveat emptor’ or ‘buyer beware’. A real estate agent often works on commission, so if they sell the property for more, they will receive a larger fee – an incentive to sell the property at a high amount. While it can be exciting to share your life story with a real estate agent who seems to care about you, try to rein your excitement in and don’t show them any desperation.

#7: Speak To The Locals

If you are a fan of a specific area, it is recommended that you take the time to explore the immediate vicinity. While the house may be lovely, you need to consider the surroundings as well. For instance, are there open spaces for children and animals to play in? Where is the closest store? Is there space for you to park your vehicles? Are there restaurants near the house, and what type of person frequents these establishments? If you are purchasing the front apartment of a property, it would be useful to speak to the neighbour and ask them what it is like living in the area. Most people are happy to offer newcomers advice, particularly if you are likely to be neighbors.

#8: Don’t Ignore Auctions

One method of finding properties in London is via property auctions. If you are planning on heading to an auction, it is important to do research of the houses available. Be sure to read through the documents beforehand but know that discounts can be obtained during auctions.

#9: Team Up With Others To Make A Purchase

If you are a first-time buyer, it might be best to team up with family or friends to purchase a property. You might not want to share a house with a stranger, but what about a friend or family member who is interested in a property investment? They provide some capital, you can live in the property, and everyone receives a good return on the investment once you sell or buy them out.

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