How to buy a flat in London?
April 21, 2014 10:54 PM Subscribe
I would like to ask you for any advice/hints/tips for a complete beginner on buying a flat in London. This is the first time in my life when I am buying a property I am really overwhelmed by this whole thing. That's why I would appreciate any feedback and advice from you. Anything which could help me plan this whole process and do it in a proper, organized and satisfying way.
posted by dogbert to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I am a foreigner who has been living in the UK since 2004 (in London since 2007). I have been working in IT all my life and I managed to save some money during all these years. This sum should be a good start to get an attractive mortgage. For a considerable future, I think I would like to stay in London. I like the cultural life here and the enormous possibilities of personal development and growth. That's why I am thinking about buying a flat for myself to live there. Even if I were to move to a different country - I think I would be happy renting this flat. What I mean is that I would not probably want to sell it within the next 2-20 years. I am single and the flat would be for myself only. I would expect this flat to be at least a good way to preserve some wealth over all these years (inflation, etc.). This is a second reason I would like to buy it.
And this is where the nightmare begins. How do I start this whole process? Do I talk to banks about the mortgage first? Do I talk to estate agents first? Do I starts going and seeing properties after sorting out the mortgage or before? If I sort out the mortgage first - then at least I know what sort of figure I am able to pay I guess? Otherwise - how could I know what mortgage I could really afford? What sort of questions would estate agents ask me? What are the "dangerous" questions I should be careful about? What are the most important bits in this whole process I have to ensure to get right? What are hidden traps in mortgages which I should be able to detect and avoid? How to compare mortgages and choose the best? Who (and how) could maybe help me with this whole process? What are the steps which I should follow to get this whole thing right? Assuming I buy a flat? What would be the full maintenance costs for a year? Would I be able to know it in advance?
I was initially thinking of a flat costing up to 300K. Is it even possible in London? If so - what do you think about it? Are there any "sensible" areas where I could find flats within this price range.
My biggest priorities are good location and good commute to the City/CanaryWharf. I don't care too much about schools but I definitely want to choose a good (and safe) area. Preferably with a good (or very good commute).
I am starting doing all the research described above and I am really overwhelmed by it. Just asking here in case you have any tips which could help me. Sometimes one piece of advice can open my eyes to something which I could have missed otherwise.
Thank you in advance for your time. Appreciate any feedback!