With demand for properties in London outweighing supply, some buyers are finding themselves left behind in an increasingly cut-throat market, but certain steps can be taken to help your dream property become a reality.
As the London property market begins to emerge from the economic downturn happier and healthier than ever, more and more people are entering the house-hunting scrum. A positive for the financial future of the industry but a worry for potential purchasers as competition for each and every property rises sharply. Therefore, buyers must be determined, persistent and pro-active in order to secure their ideal home.
Use The Best Estate Agents
It goes without saying that without an estate agent working in your corner, securing the London property you are hoping for will be an uphill struggle. Too many house-hunters are passively reliant upon the internet when it comes to browsing for homes but this can mean missing out on hidden gems. For a start, many top agents with the widest local knowledge and most exclusive properties are best dealt with directly. Creating positive relationships with local or independent estate agents can offer house-hunters the following: a specialist perspective regarding the immediate market; a personalised service focused on your wants and needs; and ultimately as stress-free a process as possible.
Time is precious
From viewing particulars to exchanging contracts, house buying can be a long drawn out business. Just as there is a risk in jumping in to a deal too quickly, there is also a danger in waiting too long. The afore-mentioned positive relationship with quality agents will go some way to saving you time in terms of pin-pointing potential properties, but there is more to be done. A sensible way to approach viewing is to set aside a dedicated period of time to take in a number of properties. Considering London property in this way can remove distractions and focus you entirely on the task in hand.
Consider Each And Every Detail
Second viewings are incredibly important and must be used to carefully investigate the very bones of a property. Searching London property in particular requires a real consideration of the following:
– Does the traffic become heavier during peak times?
– Are there pubs or clubs with late licenses nearby?
– Is there a tube station in the proximity?
– Are there any landmarks close to the property?
– Is a parking permit required?
Furthermore, it is important to ignore any furnishings already in place and approach the house forensically. In addition to looking at the lay of the walls and floors, it is important to feel for damp in order to assess their condition and, although it may feel nosey, testing switches, running taps and hunting for electrical sockets are definitely worth your while.
The above advice can indeed turn the potentially treacherous path of house-hunting and buying into a more enjoyable experience. Although absolute guarantees in the London property market are a rarity, following these tips can go some way to stacking the odds in your favour.
Jennifer is a London based property developer who writes regularly on home improvements and house buying for a number of publications. Her business has recently used Winkworth estate agents to successfully match properties to owners.