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Top tips for buying a home in London

Posted on by Rachel Brookes

It might have seemed unlikely six years ago, but with the assistance of Help To Buy and other discount schemes the number of first-time property buyers is on the up.

The amount of younger people getting a foot on the property ladder hit a seven-year-high in 2014, according to Halifax, and despite a dip of 0.5 per cent in 2015 some 310,000 new homeowners were still created.

London skyline
However, it’s not smooth sailing by any means. The Guardian reported in January that the average deposit has risen above £30,000; if you’re looking to buy a home in London, though, you’ll need roughly three times that amount, as £91,409 is now the average deposit in the capital.

Without a big inheritance or help from well-off parents, the road to buying a home in London isn’t easy. That is why we’ve put together some top tips for you to settle down in the big smoke.

Don’t wait to find your dream home

Remember that it’s your first home, not your forever home. Instead of holding off until you find your ideal property, find something which maybe needs a bit of work. If you work in central London you’re unlikely to come across a property that you can walk to work from; instead, opt for locations with good transport links further away. You might only need one bedroom, but if you can find anything with more space (ideally for less money) you should aim to buy bigger than you need. It’ll give you more options down the line when it comes to selling or renting out rooms.

Look to the outskirts

Buying in desirable areas of central London like Notting Hill, Paddington or Marylebone will require deposits and mortgages that are simply out-of-reach for most of us. However, you could look to the outskirts of the city where you’ll find a lot more for your money, and you’ll still be within easy commutable distance of the centre. We recommend looking at areas like Croydon and Bromley.

Southern train
Take advantage of the boom

Property prices are going up; we all know that, that’s why it’s been so hard for people to save! But when you get to the point where you can buy in London, remember that whatever you buy now will be worth considerably more down the line. Take advantage of that if you can by buying something cheaper – even if you know you’re only going to want to live there for a short while – and consider it an investment. A year or two down the line and the profit you’ll make on it could help you find the dream property after all.

Team up with friends or family

Why not try pooling your resources with a friend or two, or pair up with a relative looking to invest in property themselves? Once you’re on the London property ladder you’ll be in a very good position moving forward. In fact, most people never come off it. Get on it anyway you can.

Rent out a room

You might be looking at a two-bed flat and thinking: ‘I love it, but I can’t afford to pay the mortgage alone.’ So why not rent out a room?  The demand for rental property in London has never been higher and the income you’ll make will no doubt help you out.

Good luck in your London property search! Get in touch with Mouseprice today if you need any help.