Buyer Beware – Four Things to Look Out For When Buying London Property
The past year has seen a shortage of supply in the housing market leading to rising prices and high demand. If you’re looking to buy, you might be tempted to compromise on your wish list because there are fewer houses to choose from in the right location.
But according to the Evening Standard, Homes and Property, there are certain types of home you should, if not avoid completely, be wary about when house hunting in the current market.
Homes without outside space
It doesn’t need to be a private garden, but outside space, whether communal grounds or a balcony or terrace, has become more of a must-have during lockdowns. So, if you’re looking for an investment buy, a place with outdoor space will be easier to sell on.
Buying a property in need of serious modernisation has its benefits. You should pay less than for a pristine home and you can shape it to your needs and tastes. But beware; in the current market some unmodernised homes are going for as much as up-to-date ones and the cost of renovations has increased since Brexit. Get proper advice about the costs and planning permissions involved and make sure it fits your budget.
Poor EPC ratings
As fuel bills rise, good energy performance is becoming more of an ask by homebuyers. It’s a particular concern if you’re buying to let. From 2025, all newly-rented properties will need an EPC rating of C or above, so make sure you know what you’ll need to do to improve a property with a poor rating and that the work is affordable.
Good transport links are a bonus. But if the property is close to train or tube lines, noise and vibration could make it harder to sell, so check out the surrounding area carefully. Visiting at different times of day is important, so you have a clear picture of how the area changes – at rush hour for example.
It’s easy to feel propelled into a purchase by the current market, but don’t be rushed to buy somewhere that doesn’t feel right. Remember there are significant costs to buying a London property, including stamp duty and legal fees, if you decide to sell up and move on quickly.