Much like most things in life these days, here in the UK we are blessed with choices. When it comes to moving house, homes come in enough shapes and sizes so no matter if it’s a new build or a resale, you’re sure to find one that’s right for you.
Right now there is an amazing selection of flats for sale, so if you’re having a hard time deciding what to purchase, here are 10 of the best reasons you should be looking at buying a flat, apartment or maisonette over a house.
If you are thinking of moving, the advice we always give to buyers is to start by finding out how much you can afford before you start your search. Speak to a mortgage broker who can assess your financial situation and tell you exactly how much you’ll be able to borrow, so that by the time you start looking, you’ll have a good understanding of whether your budget will allow you to purchase the style and size of property you want, in the location you’re looking at.
10 Reasons You Should Buy A Flat
1. A Starting Point On The Housing Ladder
Flats typically don’t have outside space therefore making them cheaper than houses with the same number of bedrooms. If it’s your first property purchase this is a good starting place for getting on the property ladder as you may be more likely to be able to afford to buy a flat rather than a house.
If you currently rent your home, read our article on why buying is cheaper than renting.
2. Flats Offer Better Value For Money
In a lot of cases an apartment will offer more square feet than a house of the same value.
When it comes to external space, some apartment blocks, especially historic properties that have been converted into flats, are sometimes set in stunning formal gardens that simply wouldn’t be accessible from a similarly priced house.
3. First And Second Floor Flats Are More Secure
With no ground floor windows and the main door protected by a secure communal entrance and often entry phone/video systems, flats are often looked at as being more secure than properties on the ground floor. This is particularly comforting if you are living on your own.
4. Better Maintained
Not all of us are DIY fans, which makes flats particularly attractive. Most apartment blocks require the owners to pay an annual service charge which employs a management team to take care of the maintenance of the property and the communal areas. This might seem like an additional outlay over buying a house, but it does save you time getting personally involved in finding and hiring trades people when things go wrong.
5. Secure Parking
The benefit of some apartments, especially those in central town locations is that you will get somewhere secure to park your car. Flats usually afford some sort of gated or secure underground parking, whereas a house of the same or higher value is likely to be on street parking (especially if you are looking at a town centre property), or open driveway parking.
6. Share Of Freehold
Many flats and apartments will be offered for sale with a share of the freehold, which gives you more say when it comes to maintenance and upkeep of communal areas. The cost is spread between all the owners in the block and it should mean that your property is kept to a higher standard in comparison to one owned by a single landlord.
7. Stamp Duty Holiday
As many flats and apartments for sale are priced below £500,000, people buying a flat stand to save the most when it comes to The Stamp Duty Holiday which was announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, on 8th July 2020 to help boost the economy post the Coronavirus lockdown.
The Chancellor confirmed there will be no stamp duty to pay on property purchases up to £500,000 until 31st March 2021 so if you have been thinking of buying a property, in particular a flat, now is the time to take action as you can save up to £15,000 on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) until March 2021.
8. Make A Flat Your Own
There are some fantastic examples of how interior design can be used to make a flat feel more spacious and contemporary. Buying a flat will let you make all the changes you want, something if you currently rent, you are unable to do in most cases. A note must be made that you will usually need written permission from the freeholder if the changes you want to make are of a structural nature.
9. Long Term Price Growth
The average price of a flat has experienced a substantial increase in value in the last 10 years. Data from the Land Registry shows that the average price for a flat/maisonette has increased by 40% since 2010, rising from £186,000 to £261,800 in September 2020.
Purchasing a flat as an investment offers significant capital appreciation potential.
10. Flats Usually Sell Quickly
Alongside all the reasons we’ve talked about,, flats are particularly attractive to purchasers because they are usually easier to sell. The structure and communal areas and grounds are maintained by the freeholder, there are less worries about surveys and flats are always in demand from Buy to Let investors and First Time Buyers.
Top Tips For Buying A Flat Or Apartment
If you’re thinking of buying a flat or apartment, you can visit our guide to buying and selling leasehold properties. Before you commit to buying, there is some advice specific to flats and apartments that you should investigate:
- Establish how many years the lease has left to run?
- Find out how much the payable service charge is?
- What is the current ground rent and how does it increase during the term of the lease?
- Are there any restrictive covenants with the flat? For example are there restrictions on pets in the building?
- Find out who manages the building and who owns the freehold?