In many areas of London, property prices have risen so dramatically that most of us simply canÂt afford to buy in the capital. As a result, more and more of us are turning to renting as a way to find a home in the heart of England. Today, renting is the second most popular way to live, and buy-to-let landlords have tapped into this market, meaning that more properties than ever before are available for London-bound renters.
But with so many to choose from, how do you find the perfect London rental property for you?
Choose Where You Want to Live
London is a big city, and there are a lot of different districts, each with a unique culture and feel. To get the most from your experience of living in the capital, itÂs important that you find an area that fits in with not only practical factors such as your budget and proximity to work, but also your individual style and sensibilities. Take a look around the city and do your research beforehand to find the perfect location for you.
Once youÂve made your decision, narrow down your list of properties to consider by confining them to this locale. Most London estate agents have websites that can be filtered by area. So, for example, if you were looking for properties in Kingston, you could use the search tools on the Featherstone Leigh website to find homes in your chosen location. You could also visit estate agents local to the place you want to live to see what properties they recommend within your budget.
Do Your Research on Prices
When youÂre looking at property in London, itÂs important to know how much you should expect to pay to save you from agreeing to a price thatÂs over-the-odds. A quick glance at suitable property in your chosen area should give you a relatively accurate idea of what you should get for your budget. Once youÂve done a little research of your own, you can use Rentonomy to check the validity of your estimate. This handy tool allows you to enter information on what youÂre looking for and where, and then gives you an indication of the price you can expect to pay.
Consider How YouÂll Travel
If you find a flat or house that matches all of your criteria and is within your budget, then itÂs time to get practical. Chances are that youÂll need to travel to and from work or university on a daily basis. Very few people in London travel by car, so you need to ask about local transport links. Many people automatically discount properties that are not within walking distance of a tube station, but doing this could mean that you miss out on your perfect property unnecessarily. Despite a common perception to the contrary, the tube is not the only way to travel in London, and properties located on a bus route can be just as well suited when it comes to getting you around the city. They also tend to be significantly cheaper. You can find a little more information on LondonÂs bus routes here. Remember, however, that if travelling to and from your place of work or study every day seems impossible, then the place youÂre considering probably isnÂt the right property for you.
Consider Flat Sharing
If your budget just wonÂt cover living alone in London, then itÂs time to consider a flat share. Sharing a home with other people, especially ones that you donÂt know, isnÂt suited to everyone, but it does significantly cut your rental costs and open up a whole range of properties to you that you wouldnÂt be able to afford alone. If you donÂt know anyone else in the capital, itÂs also a fantastic way to get your hands on a ready-made set of friends and a raring to go social life. There are plenty of websites available listing empty rooms, and equally you can place an advert if you have a spare place in your home. However, itÂs a given that itÂs important to carefully vet people before you consider moving in with them.
Living in London may be expensive, but it also offers the opportunity to experience a truly unique culture, a vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere and a never-ending array of things to do, places to go and people to meet. Follow our simple tips and that perfect London lifestyle could be yours.