What’s it Worth?: How should First-Time-Buyers choose their first home?

As a first time buyer, have you ever wondered just what different properties are worth across the country?

We’ve compared rent across the country to everyday luxuries, but we were curious about the buying price of properties across the UK. What are some of the most expensive properties and what makes them so pricey? And what drives down the price on the cheapest properties?

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If you’re thinking about getting on the property ladder, the expensive properties probably won’t be for you (yet!) but it’s always fun to look!

Most expensive properties in the UK

As of December 2021, the most expensive properties in the UK included:

  1. Amberwood House, Knightsbridge: £75 million
  2. South Bank Tower, South Bank: £12 million
  3. Langdale House, Roehampton Gate: £10.25 million

As you would expect, each is an impressive property, boasting triple basements, cocktail bars and swimming pools – these would definitely be places you wouldn’t mind locking down in!

Brick homes , yellow blue doors, first time buyers

Location is an important factor when it comes to price and the London location is part of the reason these properties are so expensive. But location matters even within London, with agents saying the South Bank Tower property would be 4x more expensive if it were north of the river.

After square footage and location, the additions that really drive up the value of a home include:

  • Swimming pools. A heated indoor pool that can be used all year round? Sounds like heaven!
  • At home gym. Make keeping fit easy by bringing it in house and investing in the latest machinery and weightlifting equipment
  • At home cinema. Why go out when you could make every night movie night with access to your own cinema, where you choose what’s showing 

The interesting thing is that these additions only really add value to large scale properties. 

If you’re thinking about adding these to an average detached house, it might not add the value you think. Buyers might be put off by the expensive upkeep of a pool or won’t want to convert the gym into a space more usable for them. These additions only really work if you’ve got thousands and thousands of square feet to make use of.

Where’s the cheapest place to buy in the UK?

As of February 2022, the 5 cheapest places to buy in the UK are:

Area

Average House Price

Middlesbrough, TS1

North Yorkshire

£54,978

Bradford, BD1 

West Yorkshire

£58,673

Sunderland, SR1 

Northern England

£65,478

Grimsby, DN31

North East Lincolnshire

£71,105

Shildon, DL4

County Durham

£73,637

These are all significantly below the average house price of £285,000 (as of October 2021). While it looks like the simple solution for First Time Buyers could be just moving to a cheaper area, this isn’t always an option for a number of reasons:

  • Family and friends. For many, this would mean a huge move, far away from where they’ve grown up and built a support network. While some might see this as an adventure, others may not want to be sacrifice proximity to loved ones for a home of their own
  • Jobs. Cheaper areas tend to be cheaper because there are fewer jobs. People move to cities or down south where there are more jobs – this popularity feeds competition for homes and drives the prices up, while the opposite is true in cheaper areas. So while these areas may look ideal for buying a house, would you be able to find a job to afford the mortgage?
  • Availability. Demand is outstripping supply across the country at the moment, so there might not be quite what you’re looking for on the market

Where should a first-time home buyer look?

Ultimately, there is no one-size fits all approach to finding the right first home, there are a lot of things to consider:

  • Price range. One of the first things you should consider as a first time home buyer is what you can afford. Book in to speak to one of our mortgage specialists to find out what you could afford (don’t worry – all of our advice is free!) You can also use our free mortgage calculator
  • Location. There’s a reason the old adage ‘location, location, location’ rings true. For many, they may want somewhere near work, or near family and friends and often, if you choose the right location, you won’t mind so much if your first home doesn’t fit all the criteria of your dream home
  • Be flexible. While you might have the ideal first home in mind, be open to what’s on the market. Would it really be so bad if the bathroom didn’t have a bath? And if you were near a park, could you go without a balcony? The key word here is flexible – don’t choose something that is 100% not right for you just because it’s available and in budget, but be open to adjusting your criteria if something good comes along

Being a first-time-buyer can be incredibly daunting – it’s a big process and can seem mysterious and scary, but our advice is free from beginning to end, so you can get on that property ladder with as little stress as possible.

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