Flat hunt: The ultimate guide on how to buy a flat in London

Flat hunt: The ultimate guide on how to buy a flat in London

If you thought that buying a flat in London is a piece of cake, then think again. Devoting all your time to the house hunt is what it takes to find your dream apartment. From your budget to the choice of location and from the number of rooms to the size of the closet, everything is an important consideration. It can get tedious at times, especially if you are doing it for the first time and that is when you look for the experts to ease you through the process. Given that there could be a hundred considerations, here is a list of top 5 which will help you take the right pick. Read on!

     1. What kind of flat do you want?

What kind of flat do you want to buy is the first funnel in the whole system. Whether it’s an old dated flat or a brand new one, once you are sure of what you need, narrowing down the options will be much easier. Considering that you are on a budget, think outside the box and opt for what the other buyers are trying to escape. Will a flat on the main road with noise work for you, or a flat just above a shop or a mini restaurant won’t be a botheration are a few questions which need to be answered to find the right property.

     2. Restrictions and alterations?

Next come the restrictions and the alterations. It is very rare to find a property which is exactly how you want it, no alterations at all. However, if you are not lucky enough, then ask the broker or the concerned authority about the restrictions on the property. While you will have a free hand in making the internal structural changes, there might be other restrictions such as having a pet or playing music after a particular time. As for the alterations, take a thorough look around the house to see what needs to be added or changed. From closet restructuring to the hardware change, every little alteration matters.

     3. Service charges and repairs?

Before you settle in, get clarity on the service charges. What amount will you have to pay and what will be covered under it are two significant questions that you need to ask before you seal the deal. Service charges need to be paid regularly so get an idea on how many times is it reviewed in a year. Moving on the repairs, your service charges should be covering most of it, but what is the criterion that needs to be followed in case of extensive repairs? If it’s a roof repair in your block, then inquire about who will be responsible for taking care of it and how will the charge be distributed. This will eliminate the surprise element of paying any last minute money about which you had no idea.

     4. Who will you be dealing with?

In case of any doubts or any help required, who will be the one able to help you out? In London, it’s a common concept that the buildings are owned by the landlords but are managed by professional management companies like Canonbury Management where you will be assisted with all that you need, including help with the right to manage act. Whoever the concerned person is, it’s important that you know about them from day one.

     5. Lease or freehold?

So, what’s the difference between the two and what should you choose? We’ll tell you. With a freehold, you will be the owner of the property and the land, and you will have all the rights of the place alone to yourself. In case of a leasehold, you will have the right to occupy the property, but the rest of the rights will be sharable with someone else, the landlord most probably. Flats are leaseholds considering that there will be other people living in the building too so make sure that you get all the documents sorted by a trusted solicitor before you move in.

While these considerations will help you make the right choice, don’t forget to look for grocery stores, hospitals, schools and eating joints in your locality keeping your family’s requirements in mind. Use these tips to your advantage and find the ideal flat for you. Good luck!


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