The following post is for our British readers…
According to a report published at the end of 2015, the London property market is the most over-valued in the world, with house prices having increased by 40% across just two years. It’s no wonder that most first-time buyers entering the London market are dubious about doing so, hastily looking if there is an alternative outside of the cramped capital.
If you’re one of these worried individuals keen for advice on how to get onto this seemingly impossible property ladder, you’ve come to the right place. Follow these initial four steps and there will be no need to panic.
- Get Your Priorities Straight
Before you start worrying about mortgage referencing and deposits, you’ll need to figure out exactly what you need from your future home. What are you key priorities? Is it proximity to the workplace, or to the local bars and restaurants? Do you need access to great transport links, or is space more important to you? You need to figure out where you want to be so that you can research the location for a realistic budget.
- Research Locations
There are still many areas of London that have not yet been caught up in the house-price explosion. If commuting is a key consideration, places such as Hounslow and Greenwich have fantastic transport links. If your priority is a home where you can start a family, why not try areas slightly outside of the center such as Sheen, which is close to Richmond Park with good local schools. Featherstone Leigh estate agents have great expertise in this area, with a large portfolio of Sheen properties.
- Don’t Be Scared of a Project
In order to get more for your money, consider taking on a property that needs some renovation work. Buying a house or apartment that is ready to move into is certainly convenient, but it makes good sense from an investment point of view to plan for the future when you move on. It’s unlikely that this will be your permanent home, so don’t be scared to add your own value to a property.
- Don’t Go It Alone If You Can Help It
Whether it’s renting or buying, sharing property costs and responsibilities is often a good way of getting into the London market and into a better home. It might be a family member looking to invest in a property, or a friend also looking to move to the big city. Either way, explore this as your final option before going out there and viewing properties.
Owning property for the first time doesn’t have to be scary. All you need to do is set your priorities, research your location, don’t be afraid of a fixer-upper, and take someone with you to get their opinion on your potential properties. These tips will help you avoid lots of the mistakes that first-time buyers often make on HGTV.
If you are a property owner, what tips do you have for first-time buyers? What is one thing you wish you would’ve known when buying your first house?
Photo courtesy of: Andre Robillard