How to Decide on Your Dream London Property

Buying a home can be daunting, as the process can appear to be time consuming and complicated. The London home seeker has a wealth of property types to choose from, their choice dependent on their budget, number of occupants, local conveniences, transport links and personal preferences. So how do you go about beginning your search for your dream property, and what things would you need to consider when making your choice?


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    Decide on the type of property. London is a rich, multicultural and historic city with many distinctive boroughs with specific types of architecture. How do you decide on the type of property you want? Why not go and take a look. Different areas of London have different types of distinct architecture that results from the history of the area. For instance, Clerkenwell has a rich mix of converted warehouses, converted offices as well as new developments. Take a walk around the EC1 area and notice the different types of property that is available, such as luxury flats and compounds. The best way to get a feel for how properties look like inside is to contact a local estate agent. They will be more than happy to outline to you the various types of properties that the different areas have, together with their pros and cons. More importantly, they will take you inside the properties to show you how the space is used. This is particularly interesting if you have never considered a Warehouse Conversion or something similarly unusual.
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    Which locations suit your lifestyle? Are you a pubber? A clubber? Do you like markets, antiques fairs and rich shopping areas, or are you a workaholic who wants quick and easy access to your office? Your choice in property must include accommodation for your lifestyle or you may find yourself pining for a better place fairly soon. Think about what you like to do, and what you need to do. If you are thinking about a particular area, or even have a particular place in mind, take a look around the vicinity and see whether or not it is well suited to your lifestyle. Maybe even write down a list of particulars that you want an area to have to help you decide. You should ensure that the area has good transport links in and out of the city, and that you can get home easily from work or even a night out. You can do this by checking the Transport for London Website which has a whole host of maps, routes and future plans for you to consider.
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    Use a Local Estate Agent. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of finding a London property. At the planning/searching stage, you may think that an estate agent is unnecessary and that you can find out for yourself what kind of area or property you are looking for. Estate Agents can be a great help with finding property best suited for you because they have the knowledge and experience to ask the right questions and find out exactly what it is you want. Also, they have local knowledge of particular areas, and as such are in a very good position to find you properties that you may not know about or have considered. They will usually do this for free and without obligation as long as you don’t let yourself get pressured or ‘sold’ to. Shop around – there are no shortages of London estate agents, each will say that they are the best but don’t just limit yourself to one. Estate Agents can be useful in negotiations with landlords, and ensuring that your lease agreement is all above board and has no loopholes or unfavourable. It can vastly help mitigate any future difficulties or disagreements with landlords if an estate agent is present to negotiate the deal and look over the contract.
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    Decide on your budget. It’s obvious, but sometimes people get too excited over a property, move in and then find themselves unable to keep up with the rent or the lifestyle. Things to consider are: How much can you realistically afford; how much deposit do you have to pay and how much can you borrow. How much are local utilities such as gas, water, electricity, phone and internet. Will these fit into your budget? Will you rent or buy? Renting is more flexible and you will be able to move when you want (lease agreement pending). If you buy, you can treat it as an investment, depending on the current house market climate. There are many arguments for and against buying or renting a property, and in the end it is up to you and your individual circumstances which dictate your choice. What condition is the property in? Will you be required to pay for improvements until your standards are met? Is your landlord responsible for this? Negotiate – Although demand for rental property is at an all time high, if you are looking to rent, there is no reason why you cannot attempt to negotiate a better deal for yourself. You may be able to get landlords to cover utilities or lower the price by a small amount. Even if it is as little as £10 or £20 a month, this can still add over time.

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Categories: Buying Property | Real Estate