A luxury property is a significant investment, but a worthwhile one if you can find the right property. At Greater London Properties (GLP), we have experience in selling luxury houses throughout central London. We have both new houses for sale in London and older luxury houses for sale in London that reflect some of the city’s most beautiful historical architecture.
Below are six essential tips that every property buyer needs to know before they start looking for luxury properties in the London area. Before you begin your search, make sure you do the following.
1. Learn About Leaseholds And Freeholds Properties in Central London
When you start looking at luxury properties, whether through GLP’s own buying tool or any other property listings, you will notice that there are both leasehold and freehold options. The average price of a property in the Greater London area is £595,443, and, up until this price, houses are almost always freeholds, and flats and apartments are almost always available as leaseholds.
But once you start looking at properties that approach the coveted £1,000,000 ceiling, you start to find things like blocks of apartments available as freehold properties. In fact, GLP has previously had blocks of luxury apartments for sale in Bloomsbury for less than £2 million. Owning such a property on a freehold basis gives the buyer access to a luxury apartment as well as the opportunity to rent out the others and almost live for free.
If you are looking for houses for sale in London, then you need to make sure to check whether they are leaseholds or freeholds. With a leasehold property, you are purchasing a property but you are not purchasing the land that it sits on. In the case of apartments and flats, an individual flat is sold on a leasehold basis, with each buyer owning their flat but not the surrounding building.
Most houses for sale in central London will be available as freeholds. When you purchase a freehold, you are buying the property and the land it sits on, so you own it all. As the freeholder of a property, you are free to rent the property out if you don’t want to live in it, enabling you to earn an income.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both freeholding and leaseholding. Each has its own use case. Make sure to double-check the terms of any property that you are considering making an investment in.
2. Be Realistic In Your Budgeting
Whether you are shopping for a modestly priced family home or a luxury property, it is important that you are honest with yourself about your available budget. Only you know what your financial situation is. Or, at least, only you have the power to find out what your financial situation is. A lot of people don’t have a handle on their finances, whether they think they do or not.
Before you consider spending a significant portion of your savings on a property, you need to be certain that you are able to shoulder the financial burden that you are taking on. If you take on more than you are able to handle, the long-term repercussions for your financial health can be severe. You don’t want to invite potential bankruptcy or other serious issues because you have spent irresponsibly,
Start by establishing exactly what assets you have and what form they are in. You might want to work with a professional accountant to go through your finances and ensure that you have accounted for everything that you have available to you. Once you have worked out what your total assets are worth, you then need to compare these to your total debts and other financial obligations.
If you are looking for a property to invest in and you expect to start earning some kind of income from it, then you can afford to push the limit a little more and spend closer to your ceiling. Of course, it is important to remember that just because you buy a property to let out to tenants, it doesn’t mean you will automatically be able to find tenants. You need to account for the lag time between you paying for the property and being able to take your first payments from it.
3. Houses Vs. Flats and Apartments – types of luxury property in central London
There are two broad types of luxury property available in London – houses and flats. There is no official distinction between flat and an apartment in the UK. However, the term apartment is sometimes used to indicate a more upmarket property. In any case, flats and apartments refer to pretty much the same thing. And a house is, well, a house.
The best option for you will depend on a number of factors. For one thing, are you looking for a property to live in or are you going to be renting it out to tenants? As we mentioned earlier, you can purchase a freehold on a block of apartments and live in one of the properties while also making money from the other units.
On the other hand, if you want a luxury house to live in yourself, then you are going to have to meet the significant price tag. Luxury houses in London don’t come cheap, but you don’t necessarily need to have millions of pounds on hand in order to be able to consider moving into one. For example, GLP has previously handled townhouses with multiple bedrooms that have been available to rent.
However, if you have your heart set on purchasing your house outright then a seven-figure sum is likely. The good news is that, even in London, that kind of money gets you a beautiful property. For a 3-bedroom luxury house in Hyde Park, for example, a buyer would need roughly £2.35 million. On the other hand, GLP has handled 5-bedroom properties in the same area that have been a hair’s breadth from the £5,000,000 price point.
4. Put Together A Checklist Of Requirements
Anyone who is going to be spending enough money to land themselves a luxury property in London is going to want to be certain that they are getting their money’s worth. In order to ensure that you get everything that you need in a property that you purchase, you should come up with a list of requirements beforehand.
Having such a list ready to go means that you can whittle down your search results more quickly when you go hunting for properties online. If you work with an estate agent to find the right luxury property, then having a list of requirements to work from will help them to find the best properties for your needs.
5. Always Ask About The History Of The Property
London is a very old city and, despite burning down and being bombed by various factions over the centuries, many of the buildings in London have been in place for a very long time. There’s a tremendous amount of history in and around London, and the unique history of the city and surrounding area is part of the reason that some of these properties are valued so highly.
You should always enquire about the history of a property that you like the look of, especially if it is an older property. Some of London’s most prominent luxury houses were once home to figures of great significance to British history.
6. Look For Those Central London Luxury Touches
London has become notorious for the prevalence of foreign oligarchs on its streets. The ultra-rich from around the world have been buying up property in London for some time now. This has provided them with a means of hiding their assets from authoritarian governments and provided an escape route if they ever need to make a hasty retreat. This kind of spending has had some interesting impacts on London’s property market.
Because many of London’s more upmarket estate agents are now actively courting these ultra-wealthy foreign buyers, upmarket properties in London have started to see additional features such as wine cellars and storage facilities for furs. There have even been examples of properties being modified to add iceberg basements with underground cinemas, swimming pools, and just about any other luxury add-on that you could think of.
If you have the cash to spend buying a luxury property in London, then you might want to shop around and try and find one of these properties that come equipped with optional extras.
Another impact of this kind of spending has been to drive up the prices of property in London’s most desirable areas. Now that the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down house buying, house prices in many areas are beginning to fall again, dropping by as much as 5% in some areas already this year.
When it comes to buying a luxury property in London, Greater London Properties has the tools and expertise you need to find your ideal property at a reasonable price. Search through our available luxury properties today to see if we have something that could make your dreams come true.