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What Difficulties Can a Buyer Encounter When Choosing a Property in London?

The question of choosing a property seems too complicated, especially if you have never been interested in real estate. Before you start brainstorming over the property needed, you have to decide whether it will be a secondary or new building. The secondary market does not necessarily turn out to be a cheap option. New building apartments in London, such as The Silk District, are affordable for any family. Thus, you can find a suitable property at 1newhomes.

No matter which avenue you choose, there are some criteria to be considered before making a purchase:

  • Stage of construction of the residential complex: For example, the building you’re interested in can be completed next year or this winter. The price will rise as the construction progresses.
  • The reliability of the developer: London doesn’t have many new property buildings every year.
  • Transport accessibility: How far the bus stop or underground is.
  • Environmental situation: It is especially important if you have children. Unfortunately, London is the most polluted city in Europe. If you are buying a property for yourself (not renting), start considering eco-friendly areas as the situation in 10 years can get even worse.
  • Level of infrastructure development: Make sure to pay attention to infrastructure and transportation networks. New buildings are often built in underdeveloped and suburban areas far from schools, kindergartens, clinics, and other important facilities. Check the condition of local roads.

Top Important Things to Consider When You Choose an Apartment

There are many things that buyers forget about when they choose a property.

1.     Stamp Duty Land Tax

In 2017, there were some additions made to the stamp duty land tax. If you buy a property under £125 000, there is no tax. The property over this amount will be taxed. For example, if the price is above £925 001, you will have to pay a tax of over 10%. The tax also varies depending on whether it is your first real estate purchase or you already own some property. If you are buying a property in your company name, an additional annual property tax can be applied. However, starting from 1st April 2021, the rules will be slightly changed again.

2.     The Difficulties of Remodelling

Another important point is the restrictions on remodelling. Under British law, the current property owner is responsible for changes that have been to the apartment or house in the entire time.

The current owner will be responsible for all alterations that were made by the previous owners, even if they did not know about them. If the relevant permits were not obtained, the municipality or the landowner might request the house or apartment to be restored to its original state. A real example: workers came to the newly bought property and noticed that technical drawings were different from what they see in real life. Therefore, they filed a complaint.

3.     Unusual Expenses

In addition to standard utility bills and land lease fees, homeowners need to pay for building maintenance, and sometimes contribute a different amount called council tax. These fees are meant for garbage collection, replacing light bulbs in street lamps, cleaning streets near the house, and so on. Each city district determines the amount of this tax independently.

The total amount may depend on many factors: for example, if a full-time student lives in the house, the tax will be less. There have been cases when long-term neglect of bills for building maintenance, land lease, etc. led to temporary loss of rights for real estate property.

4.     Parking

Parking is one of the most popular topics in London aside from the weather. It is expensive, especially in the central part of the city. Only residents living in nearby houses have a permit for parking on many streets.

You can get permission from the municipal administration by paying an annual fee and providing the proof of address. But in the case of new buildings, property owners may not have this right, even though they live on a certain street. For new owners, the only choice left is just to buy a parking space (which can be expensive).

When you search for a property, make sure to choose one with a parking lot. Otherwise, the parking fees over the years can significantly impact your finances.

5.     Living Rules in the Building

Another critical point is to comply with the terms of the lease. For example, the rules may prohibit renting out. In some homes, for the safety and comfort of other residents, it is forbidden to keep pets. Even if neighbours have one, the new owners may not have such a privilege.

When you choose the property in London, remember to check all the rules and facilities that the real estate offers. Buying a property that aligns with your budget is important, but your living comfort is imperative.

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