Finding your next Luton property, be that for yourself to live in or as a Luton buy-to-let landlord, can sometimes be a scary task. You are possibly making one of the biggest purchases of your life, and you want to ensure you make the right choice.
Buying your next property is all about finding a Luton property with the features that match your requirements. However, what might be important to you as a homebuyer, might not be as important to other Luton homebuyers.
Some features will be red line must haves, whilst other features might be more negotiable, yet understanding what your requirements need to be, will make it easier to find the Luton home of your dreams.
Let’s look at my top 11 rules you need to consider when buying a property in Luton.
- Location, Location, Location in Luton
You can change many things within a property, but location isn’t one. They say you should buy a property for the things you can change. Go and visit the different neighbourhoods of Luton. Don’t just drive through them, walk through them at different times of the day. Look at weekdays as well as weekends. Think about transport links with access to bus routes, arterial roads. If you have children (or your tenants may have), think about school catchment areas for primary/secondary schools.
- Luton Bedrooms
Did you know there are 204,534 bedrooms in Luton?
Well, you do now! Anyway, the number of bedrooms is a very significant consideration when buying your new Luton home. If you need bedrooms for your children, the location of the bedrooms could be an issue. Depending on the age of any children, you might not want them to be a long way from the master bedroom, or if the children are teenagers, the opposite could be true. Bedroom size is also important. Is there enough space for children to study or have wardrobes? Do you need bedrooms for an office? If office space is required, you might want to consider a property with one less bedroom and one more reception room – and it will probably be a little cheaper. All things to consider.
- Potential Future House Price Growth in Luton
The type of Luton house you buy will determine how it increases in value in the future. Now this shouldn’t be the main consideration, yet it’s important to consider.
Since 2001, the different types of property in Luton have risen by different percentages.
- Luton detached properties have risen by 163.8%
- Luton semi-detached properties have risen by 177.4%
- Luton town houses/terraced properties have risen by 185.9%
- Luton apartments/flats have risen by 141.3%
On a standalone point for Luton landlords, the level of rent and yield are important considerations for your Return on Investment (ROI). There tends to be an inverse relationship between capital growth and yield (i.e. Luton properties with higher capital growth tend to have lower rental yields). If you are a Luton landlord and have any questions on this (or any point), drop me a note.
- The Overall Interior Size of Your Future Luton Property
On average a person only views five houses before they buy a house and only spends around 20 minutes in each on a viewing. Therefore, I would advise that you have a good idea about the size of Luton home you require before you start your search. If you have a big family you are going to need a bigger house obviously, yet you still need the budget to afford to buy the bigger Luton home. A top tip for you, the general rule of thumb is the older the house, the more you get for your money.
One great idea to calculate the square metreage of your potential Luton home. Ask to view the full copy of the Energy Performance Certificate, as it has the size of the property in square metres.
Bigger Luton houses tend to cost more money to run with utility bills and council tax.
A final thought on size is the question of whether your family is likely to grow in the next decade? Will you have more children or is a parent coming to live with you?
- The Price You Will Have to Pay For Your Next Luton Home
In the last 12 months, the Luton property market has remained buoyant as Luton people were forced to spend more time at home. Therefore, they looked for more space ... but what did they have to pay for that privilege?
- 270 Luton detached properties have sold for an average £429,500
- 576 Luton semi-detached properties have sold for an average £297,600
- 366 Luton town house/terraced properties have sold for an average £245,800
- 107 Luton apartment/flats have sold for an average £151,700
Look at the property portals (e.g. Rightmove, Boomin, Zoopla and OnTheMarket) and search for Luton property that is both available and sold subject to contract. Get a feel for asking prices of the Luton properties that are sold subject to contract as these will give you a good idea what they roughly sold for. Again, if you are not sure, pick up the phone or drop me a line.
Check the bathroom for water leaks. Do the toilets flush OK, do the taps drip? Is there any mould? And do you need more than one?
- The Lounge / Living Room
You will undoubtedly be spending a lot of time in the lounge / living room, so it needs to meet your requirements. Do you need a dining area? Does the design and arrangement of the room suit your lifestyle (or your tenants). Will you need new furniture? Are there enough electrical sockets? What are the carpets like? That goes for all rooms.
- Central Heating for your Luton Property
What type of central heating system is present, and does it meet the requirements of you and the home? The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will tell you how energy efficient the property is and how much it will cost to run. You would be amazed how few buyers ask to see the full copy of the EPC – yet you have the right to view it – always ask the estate agent for a copy or download it for free from the Government website.
- The Outside
The outside space of your future Luton home is also something you need to reflect on before you start your search. What sort of back garden do you want? Do you want low maintenance? Do you want a bigger garden? You also need to ensure the outside of your next Luton home is in great condition. Yet, if it’s a ‘do’er-upper’, does the price allow for those works to be done?
- The Loft & Cellar
Another aspect to consider when buying a Luton property is the loft (or even the cellar/basement if it has one). In both, look for water damage that could mean problems in the future whilst in cellars/basements, a musty smell could be poor ventilation meaning dry damp could be an issue. Also check for insulation in the loft (the Energy Performance Certificate will tell you if it’s up to standard).
- Garage / Off Road Parking Space
How many cars do you have in your family? Can you park them all on your drive? Visit the property during the day, the evening, and weekends to see how the parking provision changes. If the property has a garage, can it be used for something else?
These are my top 11 rules – yet do you have others I haven’t considered?