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Buying a Flat or Apartment In W1: Fitzrovia, Soho, Covent Garden, Bloomsbury or Marylebone?

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Before you start hunting for that dream West End (W1) property, figure out how big a property you can afford. Otherwise you will end up frustrated and disappointed when you find the perfect flat or apartment only to discover that you cannot afford it.

Get the financial information you need, now. For example, find out how large a mortgage you can comfortably handle, how big a down payment you can make, and how large a repayment you can afford. You can quickly and easily get the answers to these and other financial questions by contacting us.

  • Should you rent or buy?
  • How much can you afford?
  • How much income do you need to qualify?
  • Cost of living
  • Current interest rates.

When you are buying your new flat or apartment, besides your deposit and surveyor’s fees you will also need money for certain other costs that may include:

  • Mortgage Arrangement fee
  • Solicitor’s fees
  • Local authority and other search fees.

Deciding What You Want

Before you can start hunting for a W1 property, you need a good idea of the kind of flat or apartment you want. While this may seem obvious, you would be surprised at how many new homebuyers only have the vaguest idea of the property they want.

In deciding on the flat or apartment you want, you should first:

  • Determine what’s out there – If you’re a first time home buyer or buying a property in the West End, you need to know what is out there. That means familiarising yourself with the styles of available flats or apartments in the area, typical features, prices ranges and differences between different areas for convenience and amenities.
  • If you are a first time buyer in the West End, you can start reading the news and classified property advertisements in the local newspapers or you can simply do your house hunting online by using our convenient search facility.
  • Prepare A Wish List – Here’s your chance to create, at least on paper, the property in W1 you want, with a list of the priority features you absolutely need, those that you’d like if they were available and those that you definitely don’t want.
  • With your wish list in hand, you can target your property search and save many wasted hours of looking at flats or apartments that don’t come close to what you want.

Choosing an Area

How many times have you heard someone say that the three keys to buying a home are “location, location and location”? Probably more than once. While there’s more to buying a property than just a good location, the area you choose can play a big role in a property’s price and appeal.

What Is the Right Area For You?

The exact answer to this question will vary from person to person, since we all have our own particular tastes and needs. But there are certain factors that most people consider to be important when selecting an area, which may help you target your search, such as:

  • Quality of schools
  • Property values
  • Traffic levels
  • Crime rates
  • Cultural activities (museums, concerts, theatres, etc.)
  • Access to public transportation
  • Proximity to shopping facilities
  • Availability of parks & recreation areas
  • Average income level
  • Population density
  • Planned construction

When you have narrowed your search to one or two areas, you are ready to start looking at flats or apartments in those communities. Using your Wish List, begin reviewing homes on the market and identifying those that offer the features which you absolutely need to have in a home.

Resale Factors

Since one day you may want to sell your W1 property you’re thinking of now buying, you should give some thought to the property’s potential resale value and consider the following:

  • Decide whether you want a newly constructed property, an older property or a property that requires some work, or a “modernisation project”,
  • Property with three or more bedrooms and two or more baths have more appeal and appreciation potential than a two-bedroom/one-bath property,
  • Well-maintained, attractive flats or apartments are the easiest to resell,
  • As a rule, don’t buy the most expensive property on the street,
  • From an investment standpoint, it’s better to buy a less expensive, moderately sized property in a great area, than the most expensive or largest property in an average area.

Looking to find out more about the West End? Click here: www.ldg.co.uk/estate-agents/west-end/

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Before you present your offer on a West End property to the seller, you may gauge their possible reactions according to the strength of your bargaining position.

You have a strong bargaining position, if you are:

  • An all-cash buyer; or
  • Already pre-approved for a mortgage;
  • and Not dependent on the sale of your present house to buy a new home.

In this case, the seller may be more willing to accept something less than the listed price.

You may be in a good bargaining position if the seller is pressured to sell quickly by factors such as:

  • mortgage arrears,
  • repossesion,
  • eviction,
  • divorce,
  • an estate sale,
  • the financial pressures of maintaining a vacant home.
  • chain on their move

In a seller’s market, where homes are selling as soon as they come on the market, the buyer’s bargaining position is weakened by the large number of competing buyers. So if you find your ideal West End home in these circumstances, you should act quickly and be prepared to offer the asking price or perhaps even more. And then ask for the property to be removed from the market.

Property Sales: What’s In an Offer?

Since your offer, if accepted, becomes a binding sales contract (also known as a purchase agreement), it must include all the key items that will become part of the final property sale. These items typically include:

  • Address (sometimes legal description) of the property;
  • Property sale price;
  • Terms (all cash or subject to your obtaining a mortgage for a given amount);
  • Property seller’s promise to provide clear title (ownership):
  • Target date for completion (the actual sale);
  • Amount of deposit accompanying the offer, and whether it’s a cheque or cash (and how it’s to be returned to you  if the offer is rejected, or kept as damages if you later back out for no good reason);
  • Method by which community charges, rents, fuel, water bills, and utilities are to be adjusted (prorated) between property buyer and seller;
  • Provisions about who will pay for title insurance, survey searches and the like;
  • Type of deed to be given;
  • A provision that the buyer may make a last-minute walk-through inspection of the property just before the completion;
  • A time limit (preferably short) after which the property sales offer will expire.

Contingencies

You can make your offer contingent (or dependent) on a certain event. That means that you’ll only buy the house if that event occurs. The most common contingencies in an offer include:

  • Getting a loan. If you can’t find a loan, then you won’t be bound by your offer.
  • Getting a job in the area, if you’re relocating, or just a new job.
  • Receiving a satisfactory report from your home inspector within so many days after acceptance of the offer.

If the inspection reveals major defects, you can withdraw your offer or negotiate with the seller to have the repairs made.Remember; get all the details spelled out in writing in the contract.

Withdrawing Your Offer

You can withdraw your offer anytime before exchange of contracts. However, you should always consult with a conveyancing solicitor before withdrawing your offer otherwise you could lose any deposit you have made with your offer or even be sued by the seller for damages.

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