As a global city, London has immense amounts of quality property to offer buyers or renters in real estate. Whether charmingly old or stunningly new, London’s buildings are among the most recognizable and distinctive in the world. Like New York, Paris or Tokyo, real estate agencies in the UK understand the draw London can have for home-buyers, and the city’s rents and mortgages are set accordingly. As a result, the cost of an apartment or house in London can be staggeringly high. An eye for deals and up-and-coming neighborhoods can be a buyer’s best bet when making the move to the city.
Typically, the cost of buying or renting a flat (what UK residents tend to call an apartment) or home in London will depend on what area of the city a buyer or renter would like to live in. London is an expensive city, but deals there can be found. Property within close
distance to more expensive neighborhoods can often provide wonderful homes to ex-pats seeking out places to live in London, for example, with North London neighborhoods like Gospel Oak, Highgate or Golders Green providing close proximity to more expensive locales like Hampstead Village or Belsize Park, and sprawling South Kensington and tiny Brompton providing closeness to the charm and expense of Knightsbridge without quite the skyrocketing rents or mortgages, although such neighborhoods can certainly be expensive when compared to other parts of the city.
While it is not a cheap area of town by any means, the area of Islington has provided a haven for journalists and politicians for years that skirts the high costs of Mayfair or Hampstead. Islington has become expensive in recent years, however, with this one bedroom apartment going for 450,000 pounds. Houses can be much more, topping well over 1.5 million pounds. Renting a room in Islington can range anywhere from around 300 to a few thousand pounds per week, although as in any market exceptions can be found
depending on the size of the flat or house. Islington’s culture and dynamic feel can make it a good bet for setting down roots to raise a family or settle in for retirement.
With a different look, locale and feel from Islington in a charming and good neighborhood, Clapham can also provide good value for money when buying property. With two-bedroom flats available that, as in Islington, go for around 450,000 pounds, Clapham offers central locations south of the city center with strong investment potential. Flats can be rented in Clapham anywhere from a couple hundred pounds per week to many thousands per week. Exceptions are likely to be found for the savvy renter, however, and seeking out unorthodox apartment sources like Craigslist or Airbnb.com may be a good option when looking for lower prices.
Costs associated with buying or renting property in London can vary. Minor costs like stamp-duty and land registry fees can be trumped by bigger expenses like lawyer’s fees for purchasing a home, a lender’s valuation on a home (typically at or around 100 pounds, depending on the property) and an estate agent’s fee of around 1.5 percent of the home’s cost. Asking your lender or agent for an upfront assessment of the costs that will be involved in a purchase is advisable. The website home.co.uk also offers a good and informative breakdown of many homebuyer’s costs and fees.
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