How to buy a house or apartment to live in London?

Written by Posted On Sunday, 12 August 2018 00:24

Living in London is fulfilling the dream of living in one of the most cosmopolitan and fascinating cities on the planet. The city attracts foreigners from all corners of the world, and many seek to invest in the purchase of a property there. If you want to move in and buying a house or apartment with UK Best Prices in London is part of your plans, this article will help you better understand how the process works in the queen's lands.

Can foreigners buy property in London?

British law does not impose any impediment on a foreigner to acquire a property in London. In fact, Russians, Chinese, Arabs and other investors of various nationalities have been buying real estate in the city for a long time, both for investment and housing.

This does not mean that the new owner automatically earns permanent residence visa in the UK, but in practice, it will be easier to obtain a multiple entry visa valid for two or three years. The buying process is not very simple and the intermediation of a lawyer is mandatory for both the buyer and the seller. There are good law firms in London that rely on professionals to follow the process.

What type of property and in what area to buy?

If you do not know the city well, you can do an internet search on all regions of London. However, the idea is to exchange ideas with those who already live here. Better still talk to someone who has already bought a house or apartment in London and is already familiar with the buying process. You also have good sites to search for the types and prices of real estate on offer in London, such as Rightmove and Zoopla.

What are the required procedures and documentation?

Once you have found the house or apartment in London that interested you and the owner has accepted your offer, the lawyers of both parties take action. The buyer's lawyer receives the standard agreement from the hands of the seller's lawyer. Your lawyer will conduct an investigation into the situation of the property and the seller to ensure there are no impediments to the sale.

The lawyer will request a letter from your bank confirming your identity and the source of the funds to be used in the transaction because British law is very strict on money laundering. In addition, you will need to present your passport, proof of address and resources for the completion of the business. Your bank will inform you about other documents needed to transfer funds abroad. The appeals will stay in your attorney's account until the process is completed.

A property survey will be done by a chartered surveyor who will evaluate the technical conditions and the need for repairs and will also calculate the market value of the property. Even if you do not go to finance the purchase through a bank, the inspection is necessary to avoid future problems, since the owner has no obligation to report any defect of the property, even if he has knowledge of it. You can demand that the property is insured to cover damages with problems not detected in the survey.

On the spot, it's time for the exchange of contracts, when you'll pay the seller a signal (usually 10% of the total price), and the completion date will be settled between the parties. Buyer and seller receive an identical and signed contract. Until the payment is complete, you will be paying interest to the seller, so it is important that the payment completion occurs as quickly as possible. From the exchange of the contract, the deal is considered closed, and you will lose the signal already paid in case of withdrawal, so be sure of the purchase before taking this step.

Finally, after completing the payment, the deed (TR1) is sent to the registry office (Land Registry) to be registered and the ownership of the property is officially transferred to the buyer. This step is also your lawyer's job.

Freehold and leasehold, what comes to that?

They are two different systems of acquiring a property in London. The freehold is basically a purchase system that you buy the total property, land and construction, and become the new owner as soon as you total the payment, either in cash or financed by the bank. It is the most widely used system in England.

The leasehold system is mainly used for apartments, which have no right to land. In this system, the buyer pays monthly and regressive installments (starting higher and decreasing) to have full rights over the property over a long period of time, usually 99 years. It is not a lease, because it is a very long term and because whoever rents the property can dispose of it as he wants, including selling the remaining period of his right of occupation, receiving a goodwill from the new buyer for the period already paid.

The new buyer continues to fulfill the original agreement for the remaining years of entitlement, and at the end of the period, the property returns to the seller. This leasing system is the amount paid is part of the payment for the acquisition of the good, while in England, you pay for the period in which to use and, at the end of the contracted period, the property returns to the salesman.

Is it possible to finance the purchase of the house or apartment in London?

Often, the payment is made in cash, by people who sell the property they own and transfer the money for the purchase of the property abroad, but it is possible, yes, to make a financed purchase. In this case, it is best to work with an international bank that has branches in your country. The problem with the financing is that the installments will be calculated in the foreign currency, and can go up a lot if the real depreciates. And the amount financed is only 70% of the total value of the property.

Buying a home or apartment in London can do a little work, but be patient and hire a trustworthy lawyer who will all work out. And do not forget to reserve resources to pay taxes and charges involved in the operation.

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Agent Resource

Limited time offer - 50% off - click here

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.