Property in Great Britain

Location

The main factor essential to a decision on the purchase of a property anywhere in the world is location. Property in Great Britain is no different, the area in which a property is situated will be the best cushion against falling prices and the best profits are made when a property can be purchased in an area that is up and coming.

London is probably the most appealing place to buy property in the UK especially with regard to investment property. London is divided into 9 zones. The city centre forms zones 1 and 2. The most prestigious areas are Belgravia, Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Chelsea. London is very much a city of contrasts though. You can find quiet, almost rural environments  in nearby suburbs that possess easy access to the city centre by public transport.

Property type

The basic property types in Great Britain are:

  • A detached house (mansion)
  • A semi-detached house
  • A terraced house
  • A flat or an apartment

Ownership

Property in England can be owned either leasehold or freehold.

Freehold
Freehold is a title which gives you the right to fully own the property. A freeholder has full responsibility for the maintenance and repairs of the owned property and bears all risk in respect of damage and/or destruction.

Leasehold
A leasehold interest means that the land is owned by someone else (normally the freeholder) with the lease entitling the owner to occupy the property for as long as is specified in the lease agreement. At the end of the lease, the property becomes the possession of the former owner (the freeholder) again. The right of possession is granted for anything up to 999 years, but existing leases on properties are usually shorter. This will involve either a market rent for leases of 25 years or less, or a small, nominal ground rent for leases of 99 years or more.

Houses are usually freehold and flats are usually leasehold, although in many instances one can have a share of the freehold (in the context of a flat or apartment) through a management company.

Costs

In broad terms, looking at the costs of purchasing, over and above the purchase price,  the main element is stamp duty which is charged on the portion of the property value falling within each price band, and can be up to 12% for residential property portion priced above £1,500,000 if bought by an individual, or 15 % of the entire property price if the property valued above  £500,000 is bought by the company. Commission will usually be paid to an estate agent, if they have been used in the sale of the property, and this is likely to be between 1.5 and 2.5% of the value of the property (please note that this is paid by the vendor not by the purchaser). Lawyers will charge up to 0.5% of the property value for buying or selling, although the conveyancing market has become very competitive in recent years. Conveyancing is simply the legal term used for the buying and selling of property

What we do to help you?

Our experts can provide a professional search and selection of property in the UK for the client to view. We identify what is available in relation to the client’s needs, visit the properties concerned and then draw up a shortlist so that the prospective purchaser need only view a small selection of properties matching their requirements. We provide detailed reports on the properties, including  information about the probable costs involved, the area in which the property is situated, the surrounding environment, and other related issues. We also negotiate the price and carry out the conveyancing procedure.

As mortgages are available through British banks both for British citizens and non-residents, we also provide mortgage and related insurance services. Concierge services in relation to  property maintenance, renovation or tenancy are also available upon request.

We act in your interests only, representing them vis-a-vis the interests of the estate agent, who will often strive for a quick sale.

How you can find property without our help?

We advise you to start with property websites such as www.findaproperty.com and www.foxtons.co.uk to get an initial  overview of the existing UK property market in relation to your budget. If you find the desired property by yourself we will happily provide our expert assistance in order to conclude the sale and carry out the conveyancing procedure.

Does property ownership provide any advantages for immigration to the UK?

No, there are no existing immigration categories that are related to, or dependent upon, property ownership.

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