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First time buyer in London

(29 Posts)
LemonDrizzle26 Thu 11-May-17 23:08:07


I'm looking to buy a two bed flat in London (probably SW), and budget is around 500k with possibly of going a bit higher if it would be advantageous. Ideally I'm looking for something that would increase in value but also that is already a nice place to live. I

'm currently in Earlsfield and love it. Zone 2/3 suits me well, and near public transport. As a single woman I'd like to live somewhere where I'd feel safe walking home at night. No DC yet and will be renting out the spare room. Looking at Southfields, Battersea, possibly Tooting, Earlsfield and all surrounding areas.

Anyone have any experience or things to look out for please? I'm very new to this and worried about making a mistake!! smile thanks!

allthesinglelaydez Thu 11-May-17 23:11:08

No idea on London but bloody hell, well done for being a FTB going for a half a mill place shock

QueenMortificado Thu 11-May-17 23:11:49

That is an incredibly healthy budget for a 2 bed flat! Lucky you!

I'd say the areas you've listed are good. I'd move away from tooting towards Balham and also look at Clapham too.

However, I personally think in those areas the prices can only climb so high so if I were you I'd look more east - new cross, forest hill, brockley etc. You could possibly get a 2 bed house for your budget there I think, otherwise a beautiful Victorian flat.

Also Crystal Palace is gorgeous too!

My other advice is just to go and look at literally everything. Ask loads of questions. Make sure you know what the energy rating of the property is and try not to be pulled by anything below a C (heating costs will be murderous otherwise).

Have you got a decision in principle for your mortgage? I'd recommend london and country if not - they're a fee free independent mortgage broker and are so easy to use.

Good luck! Exciting times ahead!

QueenMortificado Thu 11-May-17 23:12:25

Oh, and don't tell your mortgage people you'll be renting out the space room, some of them are weird about it

LemonDrizzle26 Fri 12-May-17 00:28:55

Thanks all! Yes I am worried about some of the areas listed having already reached their potential prices wise. I've been to some of the suggestions and they seem quite far out and I'm worried about being distant from friends and social life a bit...

Also I'm mid 20s and not quite ready to be settled down yet so would like to be somewhere that has a nice mix of people rather than just families. I still have a lot of research to do!

LemonDrizzle26 Fri 12-May-17 00:30:30

Didn't know that about the mortgage companies being funny about renting out a spare room! I am a bit clueless about mortgages blush do you just go straight to a broker or elsewhere?

SSYMONDS Fri 12-May-17 00:45:01

Definitely don't suggest you'll rent the spare room. Would be a major barrier. Southfields is brilliant - lovely period properties at a good price (if you take the mental London market into account) .

LemonDrizzle26 Fri 12-May-17 09:03:47

Would I be in trouble if I didn't tell them but then rented one room out later?

LemonDrizzle26 Fri 12-May-17 09:04:35

Southfields is lovely yeah. Do you think house prices are due to rise even more there over the years or not?

carnationlilyrose Fri 12-May-17 09:07:28

Definitely look at Battersea if you can afford it - lovely area with great transport links. SE is definitely cheaper but the trains can be a right PITA and you feel quite far out of London - they also tend to be a lot quieter and more family-oriented IME.

carnationlilyrose Fri 12-May-17 09:10:10

With regards to a lodger, you might get in trouble later but TBH it's unlikely your lender would find out unless you started breaking some other rules and they ended up having to investigate! In practice I doubt your bank would find out, or that they would take action if they did, so it's just up to you whether you feel comfortable doing that or not.

user1491148352 Fri 12-May-17 09:20:33

We bought in Battersea in 1997 and were worried that property prices had reached their peak.......
With the increase in the number of households, failure of successive governments to build enough new units and the attraction of London as a global city things can only go one way.
Brexit may put paid to some of that, but central London will always be in demand.

FatBottomedGal Fri 12-May-17 11:42:19

My friend has just bought a 2 bed for £510k in Tooting (about 10 mins from Tooting Broadway station). I lived in Colliers Wood for 2 years so know the area quite well - it's good for links into London (used to take me 30 mins to get to Bank) but the area is in dire need of some sprucing! Never felt unsafe at all, but it just doesn't look very nice.

I think they're considering Crossrail 2 to pass through the area so that will no doubt increase prices, but I don't think that's happening until 2030...

LemonDrizzle26 Fri 12-May-17 13:58:52

FatBottomedGal that's interesting about Tooting, I'm definitely looking there

LemonDrizzle26 Fri 12-May-17 13:59:02

Anyone know much about Streatham?

FatBottomedGal Fri 12-May-17 14:42:21

I was looking for a house in Streatham before my partner and I decided to move oop north. Went to see a few near the common and really liked the place - there was a lot going on and some good green space! Also much cheaper - I viewed a 2 bed newly renovated top floor flat last summer for £369k.

Downside I suppose was that the high street was very busy, if you have a car you might get stuck in that a lot! I haven't really tried the transport but there are a 3 different stations (overground) and buses to Brixton/ Clapham etc!

QueenMortificado Fri 12-May-17 14:47:48

There are some lovely flats in Streatham, it used to be quite ropey but has definitely improved

Interesting what a PP said about travel from SW vs SE. I lived on the northern line for years and couldn't bear how crammed it was and how long it took me to get to work. I now live more SE and it takes me less than half the time to get in to the City.

Streatham is quite a pain in the arse to get to and from - the trains are often absolutely heaving in the morning and getting a bus to Brixton can take ages.

LemonDrizzle26 Fri 12-May-17 16:31:54

Yeah the northern line is impossibly crammed. Useful to know that the Streatham Train is very busy too.

Uberfluffs Fri 12-May-17 20:17:56

You won't get much in Earlsfield for £500K - maybe a 2 bed fixer upper? Tooting and Streatham are both on the up and well connected. Check out the areas around Furzedown and Streatham Hill. You could probably get a decent 2 bed garden flat around there, with some nice cafes and restaurants not too far away.

If you follow the wave of high prices out I think the next places to go up will be Colliers Wood and the area around Tooting station, but they're still quite scruffy at the mo so it depends how long you want to wait.

dontcallmelen Fri 12-May-17 20:31:12

Hi Op I would also consider as pp forest hill, Crystal Palace/Penge for the east London line, possibly Beckenham as you have plenty of stations going into London plenty on offer within your budget in those areas.
I am not keen on streatham/tooting but that's a purely personal view yy Southfields.

Trills Fri 12-May-17 20:47:06

If you are mid 20s and single and seemingly in a decent financial situation I would suggest that you rent in the area you are intending to buy for 6 months or so.

There's no substitute for knowing the area, and it sounds as if you can afford to do it.

LemonDrizzle26 Sat 13-May-17 10:26:17

I've seen a few good flats in Earlsfield for around £500k but not sure if they will increase in value any more over the years.

Thanks, I'll look at Forest Hill/Crystal Palace/Penge - what are they like? Are transport links ok?

LemonDrizzle26 Sat 13-May-17 10:27:14

Yeah I think the same about Colliers Wood, it will probably be on the up in due course but it's hard to know how long, and if I'd keep the property long enough to accumulate value

dontcallmelen Sat 13-May-17 19:03:32

Lemon transport is excellent C Palace is on the east London line, as is a Forest hill & Penge, Beckenham has three stations kenthouse takes you to Victoria, clockhouse goes to London Bridge/cannon st/Charing x/Blackfriars & Beckenham junction is Victoria/Brixton etc , also have the tram which goes to Croydon.
All good safe areas, penge is a little scruffier but has some really useful shops on the high street & a couple of really nice pubs/restaurants some really nice Victorian property's around by Alexandra park.
Prices have risen in all the areas especially penge as people being priced out of Crystal Palace/dulwich.

JanetBrown2015 Sat 13-May-17 19:20:07
Does it have to be 2 bed?

In fact if you will come out further ion the tube lines to my area - zone 5 you can get a whole house for £450k, a freehold house, not a tiny flat.

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