Flat VS House: Which To Buy In London?

by | Aug 27, 2018 | London Flats: What to Expect

flat vs house which property to get in london

Which To Buy In London?

A lot of the people I’ve met have a simple answer to this question: if you have or are planning to have kids – buy a house in London. If you live alone, consider owning a flat. Period. Problem solved. Let’s all go home. Contact us to learn more about apartments for rent london

No, seriously! Move around, people; there’s nothing to see here; the genius of advice has already spoken!

Ok, all jokes aside, it’s never that simple.

For starters, purchasing a flat is a tremendous investment and, in the very likely chance of you not planning to stay single for the rest of your life, it is worthless as you will have kids eventually.

Secondly, who says that flats are bad for kids? I grew up in a flat, and I loved it. Commuting is simpler than in areas with homes, the bonding with the neighborhood kids is tighter, and back yards are overrated anyway.

Here is the thing – the choice of owning a flat or a house has nothing to do with children. Those little buggers will be happy anywhere as long as their parents are around.

This choice is entirely about you, about your dreams, goals, and desires.

Let’s have a closer look at both options and perhaps, my thoughts will help you out with picking the most fitting one. I, for once, sure hope so.

A flat

First, what is a flat if not a personalized hub for networking? No, I do not mean that there will be people walking in and out as they please, but you will be living in a building with other people above, below, on the left, and the right from you.

You will have neighbors. Not the kind you see once a week or welcome to a BBQ every now and then, but the kind that shares the same awkward silence in the elevator with you on a daily basis.

Is it a good thing or a bad? Who knows…

If you live in East London and blend perfectly with the IT crowd of the hipster-like community, living in a flat may even open up new career opportunities. You’ll hit a CEO and founder of a “young and promising” startup if you spit without looking there, not to mention living on the same floor with one.

That noted, the ant house-like structure of an apartment building may not tickle everyone’s fancy.

Then there are also the rules. Ugh, don’t you hate them?

  • First, there is a lease for 99.9% of flats in London are leasehold sold.
  • There is also the necessity for paying ground rent and the service charges.
  • Finally, there are the rules dictated by the agreement you will have to sign before getting the lease. You might not be allowed to own pets, etc.

On the bright side – you can afford not to care with a flat. Are you paying your bills and following the rules? Great for you. Everything else is not your problem anymore. If a leaking pipe somewhere on the rooftop needs repairing – contact your supervisor and let him do the job for you.

Then there is the price advantage – a flat is cheaper than a house.

Finally, you can adapt your home to your lifestyle and not vice versa.

Now that that’s settled, let’s look at the other side of the coin.

A house

A house, on the other hand, is a fortress. It is yours and yours alone, a definite plus to many introverts.

A house is large; it is roomy and cozier as you have more room to experiment with unique designs and mixes of furniture and decorations.

Having a pet is never a problem for a lucky house owner. Plus, you’ll have the environment for a larger dog like the German shepherd, and boy, those fluffers are lovely. I wish I could have one in my flat, but there’s no room.

On the downside, purchasing and owning a house is more expensive than living in a flat. Remember the leaking roof example? You are on your own here, mate.

Many houses throughout London are old and in bad condition. You will need to handle the repairs on your own, and you can bet your last pair of trousers that they’ll drain your bank account faster than my good-for-nothing ex ever could.

You’ll also need to pay attention to the lease when considering a house. There are known cases when developers sell leaseholds with ground rents tied to inflation. This doesn’t sound too bad when you first consider the deal, but you will end up overpaying thousands of pounds in the long run.

The worst part isn’t even the overspending but the fact that a lease like that drops the value of your house tremendously. You will be losing money if you ever decide to sell the lease to someone else.

House or flat?

What do we have in the endgame? Two choices with sets of both pros and cons that are capable of changing one’s mind entirely.

In reality, the decision is yours alone, and you must decide what suits you, your lifestyle, and your wallet best. Are you a people person, or do you prefer to hide in comfort behind thick walls? Do you enjoy hanging out with your pet rather than with your neighbor? Would you like to live in the city where life flourishes, or do you prefer the quiet charm of the suburbs?

What will it be?

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