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Buying a Property in London Can Be Difficult

 

For many years, the Big Smoke has been maintaining a status of the ultimate luxury destination. According to the Rich List 2017, Britain has more billionaires than ever. London is one of the best cities in Europe to make real estate investment or simply to buy a house. If this is your long-time dream, we can encourage you on your way to achieving it. It is interesting to know that the British capital is the first city to visit in Google search lists.

It is a well-known fact that real estate is very expensive in the UK capital, not only compared to the rest of Great Britain but also on the international level. However, it does not stop people from dreaming about their own house or flat in the British capital. More and more wealthy people from all over the world – Asia, Europe, Americas, and Africa – consider buying a property in the capital of England since it is a smart investment. Nowadays, there are banks in the UK that grant investment loans to wealthy foreigners. In order to receive one, people usually must prove their income and pay a rather big deposit that may make up almost half a price they have to pay.

 

Ways to Find a House or Flat

 

The easiest and most common way to find a property for sale is the Internet. In the majority of cases, real estate listings include contacts of real estate agents. In the United Kingdom, real estate transactions are usually carried out via real estate agencies. Often, a buyer and seller do not even meet each other – the communication goes via an agency. In addition, it is worth looking through listings in newspapers and specialized magazines. Overall, you can find both residential and commercial real estate that meets your preferences in every part of the capital, be it Central, West, North, South, or East London.

If you are looking for a house or cheap flats, be ready to make efforts. East London dominates the list of the most affordable boroughs in the capital with the cheapest houses and flats. However, there is value to be found in North and West London too if you know where to look.

 

Things to Pay Attention to

 

Homebuying in the British capital can be rather complicated, especially for foreigners. That is why it is important to know the basic information about common pitfalls of housebuying. You should take into account that, in addition to the price of the chosen property, you will have to pay additional costs, in particular, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) explained below. As of other commissions and fees, they have to be specified by a solicitor because they depend on a property.

SDLT is a common type of tax in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. As of today, a person has to pay stamp tax for buying a residential property that costs over £125,000. Houses, apartments, and flats with a price up to £250,000 goes with a 2% stamp tax; up to £925,000 – 5%; up to £1.5 million – 10%. If you buy to let, add 3% more to stamp tax. When dealing with commercial real estate, you pay SDLT on increasing portions of its price when it costs £150,000 or more. However, you must still send an SDLT return for most transactions under £150,000.

Keep in mind that a solicitor's job should be paid for too. Additionally, when taking a mortgage loan, you should pay for a bank’s survey of the property. The aim of the survey is to find possible minor or major issues.

 

Terms to Learn

 

It is very important to learn basic legal terms in order to feel comfortable in the real estate market. For example, conveyancing means the entire legal process of selling or buying a house or flat. A freeholder owns a property completely, including the land it is built on. A freeholder does not have to pay annual ground rent. A freeholder is responsible for the good condition of a property’s structure, including roof and walls.

A leaseholder is a person who gets a lease from a freeholder. A leaseholder pays maintenance fees, ground rent, service charges, a part of the insurance cost, etc. A freeholder may put some restrictions on a property for a leaseholder. For example, a freeholder can forbid a leaseholder to sublet or have pets.

Nevertheless, difficulties do not stop foreigners from buying a house or apartment. However, not every real estate agency is the best place to buy a home. If you need professional assistance in getting a home in the Big Smoke, Ready Property can provide you with all the necessary services. Our agents can help you with renting, selling, letting, or investing in a property. We will conduct a local search to find the best options for you. For more details, contact us using the contact form on our website or simply call us at +44 (0) 207 566 3006.