What tops your list of priorities when looking for a property to buy? With values in London rising, is it time to rethink your requirements?
Many homebuyers have a long list of desired features, such as number of bedrooms, location, proximity to a station, when they start looking for a new home, says south London estate agent Eden Harper, which has branches in Brixton and Battersea.
But with a flat in Battersea, for example, selling for an average of £653,611 over the 12 months to June 2016, according to property portal RightMove, many property hunters are forced to compromise on their list of desirable features.
London homes within 100 metres of a Tube station can be worth 10% more than comparable properties in the same area that are further away from London’s Underground network, says Fulham estate agent Lawsons & Daughters.
And since Crossrail - the east-west line that will slash journey times across the capital when the newly-named Elizabeth Line fully opens in December 2018 - was approved in 2008, the value of homes around the stations along its route has increased by 20% more than homes further away.
Distance from a tube or rail station is a big consideration for property buyers who commute into central London for work, but if the rising value of homes is overstretching your budget here are five more factors that might be worth compromising on...
According to research by Which? magazine, the most important thing for people when they are buying a home is the area. Not so much about where it is located, but the crime levels in the neighbourhood and what local schools are available. London letting agent Denhan Guaranteed Rent advises anyone new to the capital to get to know the area they identify by renting property there before making a commitment to buy.
Number of Bedrooms
Of course you need to have bedrooms to accommodate everybody who will be living there. But you should also remember that whether you have that extra spare bedroom doesn’t need to be a deal breaker. The money that you save by not having an extra bedroom will be needed when your mortgage debt is highest.
State of the Property
Another area where you could compromise is in the state of the property. Those with a bit of vision and maybe time, you could buy a house for less and renovate it yourself. Of course you will have to spend some money on the renovation, but it will add value to your property so you will get it back when you come to sell it.
We all like the idea of having a garden, chilling out on the warm summer nights and growing our own vegetables. But let’s face it, in the UK we get very few warm summer nights! If you compromise on the garden, maybe you could get a local allotment, enjoy window boxes and inside plants, and even volunteer your green fingers in a local garden.
For people who need a parking space, this is probably going to be something that you can’t compromise on. You need a space that is safe and where you know that you will be able to park your car at the end of the day. On the other hand, a home close to a rail or tube station could rule out the need for a vehicle.
Buying a house is often about compromises. You will probably never get one that ticks all of the boxes, so to understand what you and can’t compromise on is important. By getting the important things right, you can almost always find a way around the rest.