Hints and Tips

These days many buyers start their search on the internet rather than carrying out the often time-consuming task of walking into every relevant estate agent’s office.

Whilst the majority of available properties are listed on the internet, many of these will already have been sold and, of course, those which are ‘off market’ will not appear.

The other downside of using the portals as your main search tool is that buyers may not realise that there is a huge amount more information which is not included in the basic description and details which the agents provide.

Here are just a few points to look out for when buying in Central London and another good reason as to why instructing an experienced London Property Finder could save you a lot of stress, time and money!

There are many apartment blocks in Prime Central London, old and new; some which have a full concierge service and some which are manned daily by a porter. Service charges vary widely from approximately £3,000 per annum to £20,0000 and more.  It is important to check if any large works are due to be carried out on the block itself, and if reserve funds have been collected in anticipation (known as a sinking fund).

You could be paying for the luxurious extras such as gymnasiums, swimming pools and porterage, so find out which blocks offer which services.  You don’t want to be wanting to pay for you don’t want/need.



As many of the properties are period buildings, with lifts built a long time ago, they are often very small. If you are a young family using pushchairs, or if you travel frequently and carry large amounts of luggage this is something to bear in mind. Even lugging the shopping up the stairs can be a real burden.

There are quite a few streets affected by the underground (particularly the Piccadilly and Central Lines), which can be heard very clearly in some properties, so try to make sure that you stay in the property long enough to ensure that this doesn’t impact on the property and your peace and quiet, and don’t always take the estate agents word for it!

These beautiful garden squares are highly sought after, but make sure that the property you like is on the garden square that you are allowed access to, and find out what the rules are.  You may find that using it for garden parties or playing ball games with your children may breach the rules.  As a rule of thumb, if the property overlooks the garden square you can use it, but this is not always the case, so check the lease.

These may seem hugely complicated and often buyers try to avoid anything other than freehold or share of freehold.  However, there are areas where leases are the norm, so ask your solicitor to have a look at a copy of the lease. Knowing the unexpired lease length and what the implications are is something that we and your solicitor will assist with.

If you are starting your search online and see a flat which is on the third floor or above, don’t forget to check whether there is a lift if it is something that you need. There are many beautiful top floor flats which were once part of a house and therefore do not have lifts.  These can be as high as the 5th and 6th floors, so if you don’t fancy the climb read the information in the agents’ description – what they don’t say is often as important as what they do say!

As many flats in Prime Central London have often been owned by families for a long time, there are often options to buy one which is ‘un-modernised’ and this is a popular choice for those who have the time and ‘courage’ to refurbish one, and want to stamp their own mark. However, with so much building work having been carried out over the years, the managing agents and freeholders in many blocks have adopted rules to prevent noise problems and other issues such as leaks. Therefore, don’t assume that you can have wooden flooring, or that you can move a kitchen or bathroom to wherever you like, as there are often rules regarding ‘wet over dry’, for example.

These sought-after spaces, giving the London resident some ‘fresh’ air is obviously very popular, but sometimes are not demised (owned) by the flat, and again it’s crucial to ask for a copy of the actual demise of the property. Even if when viewing the property, it is clear the current owners use the space as a roof terrace, they may not be supposed to and this can cause issues should there be leaks to the flats below and whose responsibility this is etc.

There are many other aspects to look out for when buying a property and this is where using an experienced buying agent can save you time, disappointment and money.

There are a few buildings across Central London which have added a clause into the lease which basically stops properties from being rented out. The lease may state that the property cannot be let out for less than three years if at all. Whilst this may prove difficult to enforce it is a risk not worth taking if you are buying the property to rent out and will clearly impact those using a buy to let mortgage. These clauses may also impact on the resale value of the property because it is not therefore offered on a normal ‘open market’ sale because it is not available to every buyer.

What will a Stacks buying agent in London do for you?

Professional Expertise

We’ll talk with you about how you want to live, the demands of your work, and your plans. We’ll establish what you need from your next home… and why.

Finding a Property

We’ll scour the market, bend the ears of our contacts, and hound the estate agents. We’ll leave no stone unturned to find the right home for you.

Saving you Money

We’ll haggle hard and bring all that we’ve discovered to bear to agree the best terms on your behalf. Our clients enjoy preferred bidder status with estate agents. 

Trouble Free Completion

We’ll problem-bust, tackle obstacles, arrange surveys, and liaise with planners. A myriad of issues can raise their head at this point… we’ll deal with them all for you.

Call Sara Ransom to discuss what you are looking for.
Tel: +44 (0) 7786 546595

“You showed fantastic attention to detail, anticipated all eventualities, and provided timely and practical help and guidance every step of the way.  Above all, you supported me in making my own considered decisions, and I am so grateful to you for all your help in getting me to where I am now!”

“We firmly believe that without Rachel and her skilled negotiation we would not have secured the property.”

“We felt they genuinely wanted to help.”

“Stacks’ performance on this assignment has been absolutely outstanding and more than met my expectations. Her understanding of the brief and the ‘after-find’ service set a standard of professionalism that I have not met before.”

“It is not often that one is pleased to part with money but I can truthfully say that I am on this occasion. You have earned every penny of this cheque and what is more, you have done it with great courtesy and good humour. It has been very pleasant working with you. You really did take most of the stress out of our house hunting.”

“Encouraging me to think creatively about what could work for me.”

“Finding a plot not yet on the market and persuading the developer to enter into an exclusive contract with me to build to my specification.

“I was impressed by the efficient, kind and courteous service provided by Stacks”

“Stacks were a tremendous help and we would never have found our home without them. She is a lovely person with a great sense of humour which was essential during some of our tricky negotiations

“You gave a much-valued ‘younger’ perspective on our situation, which was a real asset”

“We found the service extremely helpful and professional at all times”

“I have been delighted with the service I have received from Stacks and will not hesitate to recommend Stacks in the future.”

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