You might have been renting for what seems like an eternity but if you’ve finally scraped enough together for a deposit, you want to make sure you choose the right place to buy. You don’t want to end up paying over the odds when it comes to the purchase price, or your mortgage, so make sure you spend some time researching before you jump straight in.
Registering with lots of estate agents, Rightmove and OnTheMarket should be top of your to-do list if you haven’t already. It’s wise to make an appointment with a mortgage broker to discuss your budget and how much you can afford to pay every month in mortgage payments too. It could be that you can borrow more than you thought, or less, so finding out before you begin your search can save you valuable time as you won’t go viewing properties that are outside of your price range.
London prices are at a premium to the rest of the country, with the average London flat setting you back £508,217 and the average terraced property costing £645,982 in 2016. The overall average price of a property in London is £585,516.
The most expensive parts of London* are:
- Kensington, average price of a property is £1.7 million with the most expensive house on the market being £30 million.
- Chelsea, average price of a property is £1.3 million with the most expensive house on the market being £25 million.
- Knightsbridge, average price of a property is £1.3 million with the most expensive house on the market being £35 million.
- Notting Hill, average price of a property is £1.1 million with the most expensive house on the market being £13.5 million.
- West Brompton, average price of a property is £1 million with the most expensive house on the market being £6 million.
Think like an investor
You mightn’t get much for your money in Kensington, Mayfair and Knightsbridge, unless you have a budget that runs into the millions but investors are snapping up properties in nearby Bayswater/Queensway. A two-bedroomed flat still costs in the region of £3 million in Bayswater though so you might need to look elsewhere if you’re looking to make your first step onto the property ladder.
House prices have been rising in Dalston/Kingsland because of how close it is to the North London Line with Whitechapel, Holborn, Streatham and Stoke Newington also becoming hot spots for investors looking to make a fast buck in the near future. You ideally want to steer away from expensive areas and those that are popular with investors if you want to grab a bargain. However, there’s no reason why you can’t take a leaf out of an investors book.
If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, why not see what auction properties are available in your chosen borough of London? You should definitely speak to a broker well in advance of any auction as rules around auction properties and mortgages can be confusing if you don’t know your stuff.
Top tips for finding a property to buy in London
When deciding which properties to go and view, you should always try to keep an open mind and don’t dismiss a property that looks unattractive in its Rightmove / estate agent photos. It could be that it’s a hidden gem and only require a bit of TLC to get it up to scratch. If the photos have put off other people, there might not have been much interest to date so you might be able to snap it up for a dropdown price, especially if the current owner needs to sell fast.
Repossession properties are another avenue you might want to explore, to find them, make sure you have a good relationship with estate agents in your chosen area and ask them to call you if any come up.
It’s worth bearing in mind that you might need to compromise if you have a long list of requirements or are buying with a loved one. If you can’t afford to buy your dream property now, don’t fret as you can always buy a property that needs work, add value to it and put it on the market, using the money you make to put down a bigger deposit on house number two.
Searching for your first property should be fun and not a chore so don’t let it stress you out. If you miss out on a property don’t let it get you down, an even better property could be just around the corner.
Ready to take the next step and start looking for a mortgage? Contact me today to get a better idea of how much you can afford to spend. Call 020 3355 4841 or email email@example.com