Investment Real Estate in the UK – Why and How to Buy

It’s not hard to buy real estate in the British Isles. In troubled or unstable economic times, investment real estate in the U.K. is a great way to diversify your holdings and minimize your risk. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the important facets of residential real estate investing in the Great Britain.Buying Investment Property in the U.K.Real estate transactions are fairly straightforward and usually start with an offer to buy that’s followed by formal contracts that are contingent on a survey and proof of a clear title to the property. When buying real estate, a small deposit of about 10% is placed to hold the property while the sale is formally completed. The seller’s solicitor or lawyer holds the deposit. Note that when the formal contracts are exchanged, the parties are legally bound to complete the transaction. Although most real estate deals in the country are for freehold properties, there are some sales for leasehold apartments that range from 99 to 999 years. It’s important to note that in Scotland neither the buyer nor the seller can back out of the contract once the offer for a realty investment is accepted.The Home Condition ReportWhen you’re purchasing residential investment property, it’s a good idea to obtain an HCR or “Home Condition Report” that is a detailed documentation of the property’s condition by a certified inspector. The inspection takes 2 – 4 hours and covers all the major components of the property. The seller pays for the HCR, so be sure it’s included in the general “Home Information Pack” (HIP) that the seller provides.Completing the SaleOther items related to making a real estate investment should be handled by a solicitor or lawyer. The fees involved when you buy investment property add up to about 4% of the selling price and cover legal fees and land registry. If the property is valued over £60,000, there’s also a stamp duty of from 1% to 2% of the selling price. And if you need a mortgage, don’t forget to budget for the cost of application, valuation fees and survey.Taxes and Interest RatesProperty tax is another expense buyers face. It’s payable on a rating system where band A is the lowest and band H is the highest. The property’s rating is determined by comparing it to other similar properties in the neighborhood. Property taxes range from £400.00 per year and up. It’s likely that most buyers will need a mortgage to buy investment real estate. Buyers can borrow up to 90% of the property’s value with a term of 25 years. First-time buyers often get special deals, so be sure to look around for the best possible rate.Faster Return on InvestmentBuying investment real estate in the U.K. is a popular choice for people who want to tie their savings to something substantial. Real estate investments usually grow faster than more conservative options like savings accounts. Just be sure you understand both the risks and rewards before property investing.