Are you looking to buy a property in London? If so, you’re going to need to have a trick or two up your sleeve… London is a fast moving market, notoriously expensive, highly sought after and popular with investors in and outside of Britain.
Here are five tips for securing your perfect London pad:
Consider buying with friends or family
While the average price of a property outside of London (in England and Wales) is just £189,901, average price in the capital now tops a massive £530,000. So, if your salary doesn’t stretch far enough to meet this figure, why not consider buying a property with friends or family members? A solicitor can help you to draw up a ‘tenancy in common agreement’, allowing up to four of you to own a share of the property (proportionate to the investment you’re putting in). Just be sure to have plan regarding how that’s going to work in practice, and what you’ll do if any of you want to sell up in the future.
Go halves on a shared ownership scheme
If the idea of buying a house with your best friends sounds like a nightmare, why not consider a shared ownership scheme instead? This involves you buying some of the property while the developers or local authority own the other part. While it means you won’t own the entirety of the property (and you’ll have to pay mortgage payments, and rent payments to the other legal owner every month) it could help you to get your foot on the ladder until you can afford to buy their share.
Consider buying at auction
Don’t like the idea of sharing legal ownership of your London pad? An auction can be a great place to snap up a good deal, as long as you’ve done your research first. Have your solicitor read over the paperwork first and view the property fully before bidding. It’s a nerve wracking way to buy, but you could bag yourself a bargain if you’re brave enough to move quickly.
Use technology to your advantage
If, however, your heart is set on owning one of the new builds in London, save a website like WhatHouse to your favourites bar. A site like this will keep you up to date on news, information and features regarding new homes in the boroughs you’d like to buy in, and you’ll be able to contact property developers quickly and easily through the website too. What better way to ensure you’re at the front of the queue when new buildings are being commissioned than to use the technology at your fingertips?
Seek good advice
The London property market is a tough one to break into and can be more intimidating than buying elsewhere in the UK. However, don’t let it deter you from trying: mortgage advisers, banks and independent bodies like the Citizens Advice Service will give you invaluable advice, and there’s plenty of useful information online on various websites and blogs for buyers looking to put down roots in London.