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Buying a House in the UK for Dummies watch

    • Thread Starter

    Hi guys,

    I'm looking to buy a flat in/around London, not immediately but in the next 2-3 years. I'm an American, single 24 year old woman who's been living in London for 3 years but not back to back (1 year exchange student at UCL, went back to the US for a year, then came back to UCL to do my MSc and now working in London). I have a decent job that pays £49,900k annually, and this is my first job after my MSc. I am sponsored to stay here via my work visa.

    Now, I know NOTHING about buying a property, about mortgages, suppliers, soliciters or viewings/fees/agents etc. I know nothing about the state of the London real estate market (are prices rising each year? Do they rise for each area of London, out of the center?) And many, many other questions.

    So, in this post, I kindly ask someone to dumb down the process as much as possible. Like, really dumb it down. I've done weeks of google searches on the process but I want honest answers on what it's really like. Things on the Internet like "schedule a meeting with your bank!" are not helpful, as I need someone to say "but the banks will be a$$holes to you" Ideally I'd plan to save 30-40k as a down payment (approx) and my budget is £250k, so obviously I'm not going to get anything in Mayfair I saw actually some two bedrooms in less habitated places like Surrey Quays around this price range. I'm not picky about where to live in London as my feeling is London is a good investment as a whole, but I may be wrong and am happy for people to tell me I am. So in general: how's the market, what's the borrowing process (and interest rates) and what areas are up and coming?

    Oh! And this whole shared ownership thing... worth it or a scam? I don't understand the 'paying rent on the share you don't own' bit - so you pay a mortgage for the share you do own, and on top of that a monthly rent? And that rent doesn't contribute to equity?

    Thanks all. Like I said. The dumber the better.

    Apply for a mortgage normally 4.5x your income ( so the bank will give you) approx. 50k x 4.5 = £225,000.

    Make sure you check your credit score.

    Get a decent mortgage adviser who can advise you how much you can borrow and give you specifics of the payback rate ie if 25 years.

    Find properties say within your price range of say 200k - 300k ( due to your salary level). Make sure you have your deposit ready at the time you want to complete on the said house or flat!

    I would recommend going for a 2bed room place as sometimes u can rent a room out. If shared ownership gives you more leverage to buy something more expensive check the numbers...

    (Original post by adibear)
    Best advice I can offer is to get an independent mortgage advisor. Most work on commission so charge you nothing and will still get you the best deals. Ours was amazing and basically walked us through the entire process.
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