Buy to Let Property

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  • Ditzy_MitzyDitzy_Mitzy Forumite
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    Miranda25 said:
    And don’t forget to factor in the service charges which can be in £000s per year. You could look at buying a conversion flat with low service charges. 
    What kind of flats are more popular in England- conversion flats or purpose-built flats? Please do not reply "houses" :-)
    What's the name for flats with private garden? Just tired to look at all advertisements and mostly communal gardens.
    It's all swings and roundabouts with service charges.  Some freeholders, or generally speaking freeholders' managing agents, charge far too much.  The corollary of this is management of this type tends to keep on top of maintenance issues.  My flat falls into this group.  I've paid far too much over the years but, in return, the agent has done a fair amount to the building and fulfils its obligations.  The second group of freeholders charge very little, or nothing at all; this is great but you take pot luck on the fact that management obligations are often left ignored and, more seriously, maintenance is slapdash or non-existent.  It's a risk, but so is the building falling down.  
    The third type is the worst of both worlds: high charges and lack of services.  Unfortunately you won't, generally, have any choice in the matter  - unless you and all the other residents want to go through the tedious rigmarole of 'sacking' the manager and appointing a new one.  I assume there's nothing you can do if the freeholder is managing it himself.  It's the sort of thing you might try and discuss with the neighbours in advance of any purchase, assuming the neighbours are owner-occupiers and know anything about it. 
    Something else to watch out for, particularly with very modern flats, is the provision of all sorts of 'premium' extras that tend to push the service charges up to excruciating levels.  These extras can be anything from concierge services to swimming pools, gyms, security guards and so on.  They are nice things to have, but not necessarily an essential part of living in the building; the annoyance is having to pay for services which are of no use.  You may, for instance, have no interest in using a gym but are still obliged to pay for it. 
    As for popularity of flat types, this is really dictated by the age of the buildings in the area.  Most conversions are within older buildings: former Victorian or Edwardian villas which have been divided up into separate flats or maisonettes.  As expected, these tend to be in the sort of areas in which large villas or townhouses were built: established suburbs, market towns, cities, seaside resorts etc.  You'll generally be restricted to old and urban with a conversion.  
    New builds and purpose builds are everywhere, especially in Essex and the South East.  These range from ex-council post war stock right through to brand new apartments.  Some are completely new buildings, others are conversions of existing buildings such as warehouses and factories.  The benefit, and detractor, is that these places tend to be 'new'.  Service charges tend to be high, as a result, but you get more facilities and everything is shiny.  Older purpose builds, especially ex-council, tend to be bigger and have more reasonable service charges.  The communal areas generally aren't as flashy, but you get a strong old building and more room as compensation.  You might also get more, or better, parking and possibly even a garage!  
    Something to watch out for: there's a fashion round here for converting old commercial stock, larger offices and so on, into residential.  Flats within these generally aren't very good and are less desirable than in purpose builds, warehouses or house conversions.  Downsides tend to be secondary locations and issues with the original building not being built with residential living in mind.  Offices, for example, have very large windows; something of a difficulty in a dwelling as they make temperature control difficult and often don't open.  I've also heard of two flats 'sharing' the same window with a partition wall abutting the glass.  Another detractor is the internal layout of the building places constraints on the shapes or sizes of flats.  Some are O.K., of course, it really comes down to how much money or effort has been put into the conversion and the suitability of the base building.
    A flat with a private garden is called a 'garden flat'.
  • FirstTimeSoloFirstTimeSolo Forumite
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    You might find private garden with some ground floor conversion flats. 
    Am I correct in understanding your budget is £200k for areas around London? 
  • Miranda25Miranda25 Forumite
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    You might find private garden with some ground floor conversion flats. 
    Am I correct in understanding your budget is £200k for areas around London? 
    Yes, up to £200k and I could not find anything for that price in areas which you mentioned before (Redhill....)
    It would be always conversion flats with garden and never new HTB flats with private garden? Then I should always expect maintenance work straight away :-)
    Never saw this type of flats. How would it work: people from another flat upstairs would never go to my garden? At the same time they can be annoyed by my chatting with friends in the garden... or any other sounds?

    I thought about buying 1-bedroom house but not sure how easy it would be to sell in the future? From reading this forum I have a feeling that everybody in the UK wants 2-3 bedroom house as minimum. Do you all have huge families?
    Then who is buying 1-bedroom houses? :-)
  • FirstTimeSoloFirstTimeSolo Forumite
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    You might be able to find conversions available on HTB such as this
    https://www.rightmove.co.uk/new-homes-for-sale/property-80490094.html

    A 2-3 bedroom house is standard in the UK and is not considered huge. Most people like to have a spare bedroom for guests. Also a 3 bedroom would only fit a family of 4 (couple and 2 kids). Most families would then like an additional guest bedroom. 
    One bedroom houses are fairly pointless for most people. Here is an example do an unusual one bed house on HTB
  • Grumpy_chapGrumpy_chap Forumite
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    Miranda25 said:
    And don’t forget to factor in the service charges which can be in £000s per year. You could look at buying a conversion flat with low service charges. 
    What kind of flats are more popular in England- conversion flats or purpose-built flats? Please do not reply "houses" :-)
    What's the name for flats with private garden? Just tired to look at all advertisements and mostly communal gardens.
    I think, if all other things were equal, most people would prefer a purpose built flat to a conversion flat as the former will lilley have better insulation and segregation of the two units.
    A flat with a private garden is called a maisonette.
  • Miranda25Miranda25 Forumite
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    Miranda25 said:
    And don’t forget to factor in the service charges which can be in £000s per year. You could look at buying a conversion flat with low service charges. 
    What kind of flats are more popular in England- conversion flats or purpose-built flats? Please do not reply "houses" :-)
    What's the name for flats with private garden? Just tired to look at all advertisements and mostly communal gardens.
    I think, if all other things were equal, most people would prefer a purpose built flat to a conversion flat as the former will lilley have better insulation and segregation of the two units.
    A flat with a private garden is called a maisonette.
    Things cannot be equal because conversion flats have private gardens (some of them) and purpose built flats do not have gardens?
  • Miranda25Miranda25 Forumite
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    You might be able to find conversions available on HTB such as this
    https://www.rightmove.co.uk/new-homes-for-sale/property-80490094.html

    A 2-3 bedroom house is standard in the UK and is not considered huge. Most people like to have a spare bedroom for guests. Also a 3 bedroom would only fit a family of 4 (couple and 2 kids). Most families would then like an additional guest bedroom. 
    One bedroom houses are fairly pointless for most people. Here is an example do an unusual one bed house on HTB
    Do you think it might be difficult to sell 1-bedroom house in the future? 
  • FirstTimeSoloFirstTimeSolo Forumite
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    Miranda25 said:
    You might be able to find conversions available on HTB such as this
    https://www.rightmove.co.uk/new-homes-for-sale/property-80490094.html

    A 2-3 bedroom house is standard in the UK and is not considered huge. Most people like to have a spare bedroom for guests. Also a 3 bedroom would only fit a family of 4 (couple and 2 kids). Most families would then like an additional guest bedroom. 
    One bedroom houses are fairly pointless for most people. Here is an example do an unusual one bed house on HTB
    Do you think it might be difficult to sell 1-bedroom house in the future? 
    Yes I think so. 
  • FirstTimeSoloFirstTimeSolo Forumite
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    I think £200k is not the right budget to buy in this region. In the north, this would be a sufficient budget for a house but not around London unfortunately. 
  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    Miranda25 said:
    You might be able to find conversions available on HTB such as this
    https://www.rightmove.co.uk/new-homes-for-sale/property-80490094.html

    A 2-3 bedroom house is standard in the UK and is not considered huge. Most people like to have a spare bedroom for guests. Also a 3 bedroom would only fit a family of 4 (couple and 2 kids). Most families would then like an additional guest bedroom. 
    One bedroom houses are fairly pointless for most people. Here is an example do an unusual one bed house on HTB
    Do you think it might be difficult to sell 1-bedroom house in the future? 
    Yep and evidence is that at times of falling property prices they fall more %wise  perhaps because they are less versatile. If you live in a 2 bed you can always get in extra money by Letting a room. And two non connected people can live in a 2 bed and share costs. 
    Bear in mind most people making money from property bought years back when prices were lower and tax rules very different 
    you have Seemingly started with the idea you can make money from property without even taking a little  time to do some simple, maths and see if that's true for your  circumstances, and if you don't make money on your first property what makes you think a second one would make money? Hope isn't a financial strategy. 
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