Your opinions on buying a city centre flat?

Soldato
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11 Oct 2005
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Manchester, UK
Ok, so me and my girlfriend are weighing up our options in terms of getting on the property ladder and we've been looking into the pros and cons of buying a city centre flat.

Now, I know with a city centre flat that you're only going to get a leasehold property instead of freehold and that there isn't a massive market for buying apartments if we look to sell it on but is it really such a bad idea?

The plan would be to live in the apartment for a few years whilst we are young and both working/studying in the city centre and then either selling it on to buy a house or renting it out whilst moving into a family home. Just looking at rental prices for a similar place, in the current market our mortgage would cost ~£150 less than it would cost to rent even budgeting for a rise in interest rates of ~3% so it doesn't look like we'd end up losing out.

Your thoughts please.
 
Soldato
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At Home
1. ) Are you sure the relationship is going to last more than 1 or 2 years ?
2. ) Would you be happy sitting in a city centre flat if your money, family or health situation changed.

What if your GF gets pregnant in 3 months time ?
What if the you change shifts and the noise keeps you up ?
Have you ever had people above/below and on either side of you - playing music and socialising until the early hours.
What if you get a promotion and need more space quickly ?
What if you are made redundant and need to sell quickly ?
What if you buy a nice car / GF buys a nice car and you are terrorised by city centre louts at am ?

I have seen so many friends (as couples) buy flats / apartments in our city - only to end up splitting up, then having an absolute nightmare trying to sell it at a lot less than than paid for it.


All things to think about.
 
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Soldato
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Notts
Will this be in Manchester? I wouldn't want to buy a city centre apartment there at the moment with the prospect of so many public sector job losses looming and the economy faltering. There's a sizeable chance it'll lose value.

I'd just rent for a few years.
 
Soldato
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Manchester City Centre
Will this be in Manchester? I wouldn't want to buy a city centre apartment there at the moment with the prospect of so many public sector job losses looming and the economy faltering. There's a sizeable chance it'll lose value.

I'd just rent for a few years.
I'm not sure there's too much risk if you shop wisely in Manchester, there's already some real bargains to be had.

From my experience of living in city centre flats in Manchester most of:
What if the you change shifts and the noise keeps you up ?
Have you ever had people above/below and on either side of you - playing music and socialising until the early hours.
What if you buy a nice car / GF buys a nice car and you are terrorised by city centre louts at am ?
won't be a problem.

The inherent risk of buying property with a girlfriend obviously still remains.
 

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Soldato
Joined
20 Oct 2002
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5,184
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Over there...
our mortgage would cost ~£150 less than it would cost to rent

I assume you have calculated that with the fact that most mortgages nowadays are in the region of 4.5%, with 4% being on top of the 0.5% base rate?

Also, do not forget the other costs associated with buying a house:

£500-700 legal fees,
£999 mortgage setup fee (not always)
deposit - usually a minimum of 10%, 15% better (which may belost if prices fall)
Stamp duty? (Probably ok at your end of the market value, being first time buyers).

Add all that up, divide it by the number of months you'll be living there, and see if renting still works out more expensive - also consider the flexibility renting gives you, and attach a value to that. If you want to move out from a bought place you cannot until someone buys it, and that can take aaaaaaaaaages, especially if there are lots of identical properties in the market (highly likely with flats).

Personally if it deffo likely to only be 2 years i'd rent.
 
Associate
Joined
10 Mar 2011
Posts
587
Are you willing to smell curry at Breakfast time ?

Ok, so me and my girlfriend are weighing up our options in terms of getting on the property ladder and we've been looking into the pros and cons of buying a city centre flat.

Now, I know with a city centre flat that you're only going to get a leasehold property instead of freehold and that there isn't a massive market for buying apartments if we look to sell it on but is it really such a bad idea?

The plan would be to live in the apartment for a few years whilst we are young and both working/studying in the city centre and then either selling it on to buy a house or renting it out whilst moving into a family home. Just looking at rental prices for a similar place, in the current market our mortgage would cost ~£150 less than it would cost to rent even budgeting for a rise in interest rates of ~3% so it doesn't look like we'd end up losing out.

Your thoughts please.

What about the new flats in Bury, they look pretty nice :)
 
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Associate
Joined
20 Feb 2008
Posts
434
I live in the city centre and it is easier to rent than to buy.

There are many pros and cons to living in the city but I think it's worth it. The noise is not as bad as some people make out.

Everything is on your door step which is great.

If you like the quiet life then I would suggest finding somewhere that is a little quieter in the city and yes there are places.

Yes house prices are more expensive but I think it's worth it.

I don't think I could ever live in a small town now.

You don't have to be in public sector to live in the city I'm not.
 
Associate
Joined
28 Jan 2010
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344
Only thing that has seriously made me change my mind is paying maintenance charges/service charges.

The other side of this, which is more likely, is that i want to buy a house outside town whilst Dan rents at uni.
Adding to OP does that sound more feasible?
 
Soldato
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Here and There...
The key is the right flat in the right development, yes most city centres are swamped with generic boxy 1/2 bed flats at the minute that are a pain to shift but good flats in good developments will always be in demand.

Personally I wouldn't do it we rented one for a year and it was lovely but our house 30-40 minutes walk from the heart of the city was the same price and is much much nicer!
 
Associate
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21 Mar 2011
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Sheffield
I tried the whole city living thing a couple of years, just ended up spending way too many nights of the week out on the town. Plus you can get so much more for your money even if you only go a couple of miles outside of the city.
 
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