Let’s be honest; all city dwellers harbour at least some desire to plant roots in London. Other cities can’t compare to this bustling metropolis of possibility. For those of us on the outside, this is THE place to be. It’s got the best jobs, best bars, and let’s face it, the best people. At least, we can assume as much, given that significant part of the UK population lives here.
Of course, if you’ve seriously considered buying property in London, you’ll know that it’s pretty pricey. In fact, as of November last year, London prices are peaking at 14.5x average earning. That’s a pretty significant sum. That may be why you’ve remained on the edges for so long. There’s no getting past the fact that saving for these prices can take a hell of a long time.
But, finally, you’re in a position to breach the London market. You’ve got a hefty mortgage behind you, and you’re ready to roll. Before you do, it’s worth considering these harsh realities about buying property in London. Not every destination can be a perfect dream, after all.
A lot of money doesn’t mean a lot of space
The chances are you’re already aware that lots of money does not mean lots of space in London. If not, then it’s time for a reality check. If you want to live in those areas of possibility, you’re going to pay lots for small spaces. In the most popular areas, you’d be hard pushed to find anything other than an apartment. What’s more, it will likely cost you as much as a four-bedroom house would in another part of the county. An average London home costs £300,000 more than the rest of the UK. So, it’s important to accept, from the start, that space isn’t going to be easy to come by. Moving further from popular areas could help, but you’ll still be hard pushed to find anything spacious.
There’s more than just central London
When people think of moving to the city, they often set their sights on central London. With all the sights, including The Houses of Parliament, who wouldn’t want to live here? In truth, though, there’s much more to London. The city extends for up to 45 miles from that central point. When you start your hunt, you may be surprised to find you can live in London and be nowhere near the sights you know. What’s more, the sheer amount of traffic within can make a distance of 45 miles seem like a lifetime. You’ll certainly struggle to get anywhere in a hurry. In fact, you’d likely be able to reach central London faster if you hadn’t made that move. So, pay attention to this when you start your search. Make sure you know how far each house if from where you want to be. In truth, costs do drop the further from the centre you get. But, if you’re barely in London, you may wonder whether the move was worth it in the first place.
You’re going up against it
It’s also important to know that you’re going up against more competition than you could imagine. For proof, consider that London is the 4th most populous city in Europe. To put it in simpler terms; this is a pretty popular place. As such, you’re going to need your fighting head on if you want to seal a deal here. That means making sure you’re in a position to buy before you start looking. Properties go fast, and hesitancy, or waiting for your sale, will lose you deals. Instead, it may be worth going into rented accommodation. That way, you can make instant offers when you view something suitable. Even once that offer is on the table, you could be outbid, or dropped from the deal. To make sure that doesn’t happen, you should contact conveyancing solicitors like those found at Bannister Preston as soon as you can. Your aim should be to agree on a move date as fast as possible. The quicker you get to work, the more likely it is you’ll find yourself in your new home.
Compromise comes with city living
You may also realise along the way that you’re going to have to make compromises. This is true of a house hunt anywhere, but it’s especially relevant to London. Some such compromises are mentioned above. Space, for instance, could be a big one for you. If you’re moving from a detached country home, the shift may be hard to deal with. Help yourself prepare by trying to get rid of unnecessary furniture and such before the move. A small space will look even worse if it’s crowded. The chances are that, once you get rid of all the bits you won’t need, your new home will feel as spacious as your old one did.
Another compromise is that of location. Even if you had your sights set on central London, your budget might not stretch. Or, there may not be any properties on the market which suit your needs. After all, this is an exclusive area. People who get in, generally stay where they are. In this instance, you may have to accept that you’re going to need to look further afield. To ensure this compromise works, check public transport from each area. If there are regular trains and buses, there’s no reason this can’t work well.
And, of course, let’s not forget that many Londoners have to compromise on outside space. A city this crowded has little room for the luxury of gardens. If you move further afield, you may strike lucky, but it’s still not a sure thing. To soften the blow, you could add plants and greenery to your space, and even incorporate a garden window box if you wanted. It’s also important to note that there are some amazing London parks, including Greenwich Park and Hampstead Heath. These can ensure you don’t go without at least some fresh air on nice days.