A guide to buying property in London

Whether your expatriation in London is imminent or you have been there for some time, you may have nurtured the desire to become an owner by buying a property. Be that as it may, the steps leading to this type of investment in London include extensive research, the advice of a legal representative and, of course, a significant amount of money.

Before buying a property in London

Becoming a homeowner in London is an attractive investment, however, before you spend your time there (the process can take up to three months) and money, think about the reason for your purchase. Did the cultural and professional diversity, the dynamism of the city seduce you? Has the city become your second home? Or do you consider London real estate as a simple investment opportunity? By defining your goals, you will choose the ideal property.

Also consider the ideal area where your property should be. The suburbs of London are more affordable and the houses are spacious. However, travel time to central London is long, often tedious and expensive. For more information on this topic, read our article on London neighborhoods.

Important notes to mention

Even if you are not a first time buyer, note that the conditions and rules for purchasing real estate vary from country to country.

It is essential to know the additional costs that such a purchase will entail, including taxes. In England, for the purchase of property worth more than 300,000, you will pay stamp duty (SDLT). If this is not your first purchase, the tax applies to all property over £ 125,000.

Finally, create a payment plan and define the desired payment method (s). For some it will be a cash payment, while for others, the only way to become owner is to take out a loan from the bank.

Note that you will only be able to buy a house in London if you have resident status.

Buying real estate in London

Once your offer is made to the seller (or his real estate agent), he must establish a legal contract to transfer the ownership of the property.

Attention: whatever the amount you pay at the start and regardless of the discussions and promises made between you and the seller or between your real estate agents, no offer is legally binding until both parties have signed and exchanged contracts. If you or the seller decides to withdraw at a later stage, the other party is entitled to compensation.

The final steps are simple and include the cleaning of the property, the departure of the previous tenants or owners, as well as the handing over of the keys.

Key points on rental properties

  • Rental properties can provide a regular income,
  • Mortgages “for rent” are generally more expensive than residential loans and require a higher deposit (25% or more),
  • The lender will evaluate your future rental income in order to establish the amount he will lend you,
  • Before committing to a rental property, consider other recurring costs, such as maintenance, insurance and agency fees.
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