It can be an overwhelming task to move to London, whether you’re buying or renting.
London’s property market is one of the most expensive in the world, but this is for a reason – London is a great place to live and work. However, it really is fast moving and expensive, so you need to be prepared.
Know What You Want, and What You Don’t
Before you start dreaming of your new home, make sure that you have a clear idea of what you want, and what you don’t. How many bedrooms do you want? Do you want a bath, or are you happy with a shower? How about a garden? Make a list of everything you’d like in your new home, and then number them in order of priority. Which could you live without and which do you need?
Think about the area too. Are you going to feel safe squeezing down a dark alley to get home on a winter’s evening? Are there nearby amenities i.e. a corner shop and the local pub?
East London has traditionally been popular with young renters as it is perceived as being cheaper than the west of London. However, this has been changing rapidly, as this popularity has increased demand and therefore pushed prices up, even beyond rents in affluent areas. Rent in Tower Hamlets has reached an average of £2,208, while in Richmond rents have fallen to £2,195.
Areas such as Shoreditch have become trendier, with the explosion of jobs in tech and a thriving nightlife and art scene bringing more people in.
Walworth and Peckham, in south east London, offers some of the cheapest rents, with an easy commute in to Central London itself. Nine Elms and Brixton are also on the cheaper end of the London housing market scale.
However, even these rents seem extortionately expensive in comparison to rents elsewhere in the country. The cheapest in the country, the North East, have rents advertised for around £640, in comparison to Greater London that has rents for double at £2,250. This report from HomeLet suggests that the gap between the north and south of England is growing, with London set apart drastically from the rest of the country.
Think long and hard when searching for a new place to live, to make sure that you can afford to live where you want to live. Once you’ve done that. It’s time to get searching.
Be prepared for estate agent jargon, and don’t let them pressure you into a contract or property that you don’t want. Yes, the housing market in London moves ultra fast, so you need to be swift in your decision-making, but don’t let that influence you in the decision itself.
Ask the current tenants (if they’re in) about what it’s like living there, and make sure you make the most of the opportunity by knowing what to look for before you get there.