My First Property

Viewing A Property In London

Viewing a property in London is, of course, fundamentally the same as viewing property anywhere. You will need to have your checklist of points to go through with regard to the exterior and interior of the house and any garden or adjoining land - as outlined in other articles on this site.

But what in particular should you look out for with London property?

As there are so many people living so close together in London, you should pay particular attention to several factors:

- The road in which the property is located: is it extremely busy or not?

- Is there parking, and if so is it paid for and/or freely available?

- Is the property in the congestion zone: how might this affect you?

- Since many people who live in central London do without a car for various reasons, you will need to consider how many shops there are within easy walking distance so if you need to nip out and get something, you can. Particularly if you don't like buses, also work out how far away the nearest supermarket is: will you be able to go there easily and trek back with your bags?

- Look at the street lighting in the road and surrounding area - particularly if you might be walking at night, is there a fully lit route that is safe?

- Look at the surrounding roads: are they very similar, or very different: what are the properties like, and what vibe do you get as you go along them? Whilst all places can change quite quickly, literally with London one road can be lovely whilst the one just behind it can be, well, not!

- What are the bus routes and links like: is there somewhere near your property that you can get a bus and what is the service like. If you will be working in London, check possible transport links, including...

The Tube. Are you near a tube station? If so, which line or lines is it on. Obviously the more options you have to get to work and back the better, so if you are close to the tube and won't require many changes to get to work, that is obviously a positive.

- Listen out for noise: how noisy is it? If you are very close to a tube line, is there noise from that? Try the property with the windows opened and closed and see how the noise varies. Are there construction sites nearby (there is a lot of building going on all the time), or are there any constructions in the offing?

- Air pollution: this can be trickier to tell, but if you do visit on a hot day, do you get a feel that the air is clean or not?

These are all things that you should check particularly when viewing property in London - don't just go on gut instinct and the fact that you like a property, but consider all the above with regard to transport, transport links, lighting, surrounding buildings and areas, noise pollution, air pollution, congestion zones, parking and more besides.

The other thing to note is that property in London can go incredibly quickly, much quicker than elsewhere, particularly when there is strong demand as looks set to continue for the foreseeable future: therefore you should be prepared for the fact that when you make an offer (if you like a place) there may already be offers in and so you need to be prepared to offer the asking price, and sometimes maybe even more, to get the London property you have your eye on.

Last update: 15 May 2015

More first-time house buying articles:

  1. What Is A Home Report?
  2. Renting with People you Don't Know
  3. Viewing a Property in London
  4. Find Houses That Have Dropped In Price
  5. Will I Be Able To Get A Mortgage


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