How to find the right office space in London

Finding the right office space can be a very daunting task, especially when you are looking at office space in the big smoke. You will want it to be right for the type of business you run, have good facilities and be accessible for your employees.

To help you along your way, Octagon Capital has put together a list of things to consider when you are looking for that perfect spot to locate your business premises in the capital.

You may wish to look at agencies which directly deal with professional premises, such as Pilcher London. They offer a bespoke approach to office agency and will work closely with you to understand your wants and needs for your working environment.

Easily Accessible

For your employees, it is important that they can get to work easily and home easily. This will increase productivity and also punctuality. If the office is just too far for the majority of employees, you may find they look for more conveniently located roles in the city. You certainly do not want to lose out on your talent.

It is best to look for locations which are near to a train station or a tube stop. This way, your employees can cut a long walk to the office from whatever station nearby out of their commute. Having this will also make it easier for any clients to visit your office, or for you to quickly jet off to meetings across the city.

Areas for Meetings and Breaks

Your office space should have places to have private meetings so as to not disturb the rest of the workforce when one department comes together or external people come in to do business.

Many workspaces now offer quiet areas for employees to go and have a break with a bit of privacy. Furthermore, having things like access to a park, a courtyard or a garden for staff to take breaks and eat lunch in, are going to make work life a lot nicer for you and your staff.

You may also wish to have a few separate rooms for the more senior members of the team, such as the directors. Most modern offices offer this along with a more open space for the general staff to work alongside each other.

Good Lunch Options

One of the things which undoubtedly get people through the working day is food. Having a decent kitchen, kitted out with a coffee machine and a spacious fridge really is a must in a modern office.

Furthermore, it may be wise to choose a location which has good café and restaurant options surrounding it for when staff want to go out to eat. Even just having something like a local Starbucks is a plus.

Good Bathroom Facilities

Something which is often overlooked is how good the bathroom facilities are in an office space. You will want an office which offers a clean and spacious bathroom situation and as an added bonus, you may want ones which have in-office showers for those who come to work after the gym or for those who cycle or run to work.

Natural Sunlight

Offices which are flooded by natural sunlight are proven to be the most productive offices. Look for office spaces which have big windows and are not lit by industrial lights for the happiest environment.

On a similar note, why not add plants inside of the office. According to a study conducted by the University of Exeter, workers were 15 per cent more productive when “lean” workplaces are filled with just a few houseplants, as employees who actively engage with their surroundings are better workers. This is a very inexpensive investment which could actually make you more money!


How to sub-let your property?

You may have heard of the term sub-letting, but what does it mean? There are some legal complications which confuse people and it is important to know what they are. It is a common belief that once you are a tenant, you can just do what you want with the property. However, this is certainly not the case.

When you are renting a property, you will likely be renting directly from a landlord who owns said property. It is equally possible to rent directly from another tenant who has rented the property from the landlord/owner. The latter is what is known as sub-letting.

In this guide on Octagon Capital will provide all the information, you will need on the topic of subletting and whether or not you will be allowed to sublet their home.

Before we get started, here are some top tips on subletting:

• Check what it says in your tenancy agreement
• In most cases, you will need to seek out permission. Therefore, you should write to your landlord explaining the situation at hand and ask if they will give you their consent to sub-let.
• Be aware that if you do not do things properly, it may lead to problems on the long-term and down the line.

What is subletting?

Subletting refers to when an existing tenant let’s all of part of their home to another person. That person is known as subtenant, and they have a tenancy for all or part of the property which is let to them. They will also have exclusive use of the accommodation that has been let to them.

For example, if it is the case that you decide to sublet your home, you are giving up possession of it. The subtenant would have exclusive use of the property and you could only enter it with their permission.

When a property is being sublet, the owner is known as the head landlord, because now there are technically two with the tenant letting to the subtenant. The tenant they rent to is called the ‘mesne’ tenant, meaning intermediate and is pronounced as ‘mean’. The mesne tenant then, of course, rents to the subtenant.

Is subletting just lodging?

This is where many people become confused, but there are differences between subletting and lodging.

A subtenant and a lodger can both rent rooms. However, a subtenant can also rent an entire property rather than just part of it. The main difference here is that a subtenant has exclusive use of their rooms and the lodger does not. The landlord will need to give their permission before they can enter the subtenant’s rooms. On the flip side, a lodgers landlord can enter the lodger's room without permission and often does so to provide services such as cleaning.

If you share some of the accommodation with your landlords such as the bathroom or a kitchen, then the rights you have are similar whether you are a subtenant or a lodger. People who share accommodation with their landlord are generally known as excluded occupiers. This is a term which is often used in the housing to help to identify your housing rights. Excluded occupiers as such have very limited rights.

What happens if you sublet your home and you are not allowed to?

You will need to seek permission before subletting all or part of your home. If you are denied permission, you are not going to be legally allowed to do so. If you do anyway, then your landlord may take action against you if they find out. For example, they may take legal action to evict you for breaking the terms of your tenancy contract.

If you are in social housing and you sublet your home unlawfully, you will be committing a criminal offence.

What are the tax rules for double glazing windows?

Double glazing has long been a major concern for landlords and those who sell it since the early 2000s. It was announced way back in the 1998 Budget that from April 2001, a concession which was to allow landlords to offset general refurbishments at their properties against tax would be eliminated.

For many households, having double glazing will mean smaller energy bills and a warmer home. In fact, 51 per of people who were surveyed in a Which? report who had double glazing said that they did buy it to make their home warmer and to reduce their energy bills by 44 per cent.

Since the abolishment, landlords have not been able to offset refurbishments against tax. Instead, they can only claim for repairs, not improvements.

Furthermore, under these new rules, landlords would be able to get tax relief for something like repairing a broken window frame. However, if that window was replaced with double glazing, this would actually be considered an improvement and therefore it would not qualify to be claimed against tax.

Change in Rules

However, a tax case had forced the Inland Revenue to change the policy surrounding double-glazing. Double glazing does not qualify for tax relief and will even be backdated in some cases.

When the rule change came in, landlords could claim for windows which had already been installed as long as they met the deadline for making changes to their self-assessment forms. Now, any double glazing installed can simply be claimed on tax.

The Revenue stated that:

"In the past, we took the view that replacing single-glazed window with double-glazed windows was an improvement and therefore capital expenditure.

But times have changed... We now accept that replacing single-glazed windows by double-glazed equivalents counts as allowable expenditure on repairs."

The change was warmly welcomed by Malcolm Harrison of the Association of Residential Letting Agents welcomed the change. He said that: "It's good news for landlords and good news for tenants."

Glazing Over

Despite such good news for landlords, finding out whether “repairs” can be offset against tax can be rather confusing still, as many of the things done to a home can be classed as a repair and an improvement.

To shed some light, Mike Warburton, a partner at accountant Grant Thornton said that the system needs to be simplified. He said:

"It is confusing to know what is and what isn't allowable under the current rules.

"I accept that if the improvement is an extension or a loft conversion it may be unreasonable.

"But the logic is that if I am repairing and upgrading part of the facilities of the house, such as the kitchen, I don't see why it should not be an allowable repair."

Can you replace double glazing yourself?

Installing new double-glazing needs to meet certain building regulations. This needs to be approved by either an installer who is registered with a Competent Person’s Scheme or by a Building Control who can verify the work themselves. Because of this, it is not really advisable to try and install double glazed windows on your own. If you are a tenant, it is best to leave it up to your landlord to sort out.


What will happen to house prices in 2019

2019 is the year in which Brexit is supposedly going to be finalised and many Brits are fearing for a No Deal Brexit which is sure to negatively affect many aspects of British life, including the housing market. In other words, there is much uncertainty amongst ‘remainers’ and ‘leavers’ alike to do with the state of the housing marketing going into, and during, 2019 and beyond.

According to analysts, wages and mortgage rates are going to play a huge role in the housing market in 2019, despite Brexit dominating the headlines. In 2018, the house prices remained relatively stable around the UK even with the anxiety presented by Brexit.

However, just because the average UK house price seemed to remain pretty stable, the prices do vary from better to worse across the nation. Some locations, such as the North of England and the Midlands saw strong property inflation, who London and South East reported stagnant or falling markets. Analysts predict that 2019 is going to look much the same as this. Octagon Capital investigates.

The Rising Interest Rates and Mortgage Affordability

The average British property’s value increased by £2,860 in 2018, according to the reputable property website Zoopla, a rise of just 1.02 per cent.

In Scotland, the value of the property actually saw a decent rise of 6.3 per cent. Meanwhile in Wales, there was also a rise but it was a smaller percentage of 3.98 per cent. In England, there was a measly marginal of 0.58 per cent.

In 2019, the property market is expected to follow a similar trend. Although it could be all change depending on the outcome of Brexit on March the 29thand the impact this had had and will continue to have on the British public’s ability to afford to buy a new house.


It has been forecast by Halifax that there will be a 2 to 4 per cent increase in house prices for 2019. They stated:

“Aside from the obvious political and economic uncertainty, the biggest issue for the housing market in 2019 will be the degree to which mortgage payment affordability changes.

Average pay growth is likely to gather pace but, with a further interest rate increase also predicted, house prices are unlikely to be pushed significantly in either direction.”

Interest rates were increased to 0.75 per cent by the Bank of England at the beginning of August 2018. Since, mortgage rates stayed low as building societies and banks have battled for customers.

Savills have predicted that house prices in Britain will rise by 14.8 per cent from 2019 to 2013, however, they stressed that there will be significant regional variations. The London forecast is only to see a 4.5 per cent increase, they say.

What is happening to house prices around the country?

There is a strong sense of regional variation when it comes to the UK property market. London and the South East previously strong performance has been since replaced by weakness, meanwhile, the Midlands, parts of the North and Scotland see improvement.

London saw an average drop of 1.67 per cent where a property on average now costs £653,587.

The East of England saw a fall of 0.5 per cent to £357,952, meanwhile the South East and South West both saw 0.38 per cent rises to £409,923 and £307,693 respectively.

In Scotland, the property market is booming. In fact, house prices there have risen for 27 consecutive months at this point, forecasting a 17 per cent increase in Scotland by 2022. It was Edinburgh that came out as the best city for the housing market, but other Scottish cities also did extremely well in 2018 and are predicted to do so into 2019 and beyond. It appears that there remains more confidence in the Scottish market over the likes of London.




Bridging Loans lends out nearly £4bn in 2018

In the last 12 months, it has been reported by the Association of Shirt Term Lending (ASTL) that the bridging loans industry has collectively lent a whopping £3.98bn.

This figure is 21% over the last year. However, the second has seen a slight contraction in the third quarter of 2018 compared the three months preceding that. The value of the loans written and applicants were down 0.6% and 3.3% respectively.


When you compare this to the same quarter of last years, the value of loans written in the quarter increased by 12.6%. Speaking in annual terms, applications were also up by 8.9% compared to the year which ended in September of 2017 - this totals up to £20.5bn.

It was noted by the ASTL that although applications did tend to be unreliable indicators and were dependent on how many lenders were offered the same deals, it did actually highlight how large the sector had become.

Loan books up

If you total up the loan book value, it appears to have continued to climb with a rise of 2.1% compared to Q2 and an increase of 16.6% at the same point, but last year.

The CEO of ASTL, Benson Hersch, said Figures for Q3 2018 show an ongoing year-on-year upward trend. Our members continue to provide flexible and useful services to customers who require finance for a whole range of purposes. Despite current political and economic uncertainties, lenders are very much doing business as usual.”

What is a bridging loan?

Bridging Loans are short-term loans which are designed to ‘bridge’ the gap found between a debt coming due and the main line of credit becoming available. In addition, they can also be used to simply act as a more general short-term loan in certain, pressing circumstances.

Bridging loans may be invaluable in helping an individual to make a property purchase that they would other not be able to be possible. For example, if someone cannot get a mortgage in place and they need to purchase the property now, a bridging loan would help to facilitate this.

The loans are essentially designed to help people complete a purchase of a property before they sell their existing home by offering the people access in the short-term to money at a high rate of interest.

Some people have started viewing bridging loans as a simple alternative to mainstream lending. While a bridging loan may sound like a tempting option in this capacity, before you take one out you should think about your strategy. If you are treating bridging loans in a traditional way, this might be, for example, getting a mainstream mortgage or a buy to let mortgage, or selling the property altogether.

Who are bridging loans aimed at?

Typically, bridging loans are aimed at landlords and amateur property developers. This includes those who are purchasing at auction where a mortgage is needed quickly.

They are often aimed at wealthy or asset-rich borrowers who want a straightforward lending method for residential properties.

Who are Octagon Capital?

Here at Octagon Capital, we are a licensed broker which aims to help you to compare bridging loans in the UK. These loans can range from £50,000 to £25 million.

In terms of your application, we have partnered with SPF Short Term Finance, a team of bridging loan brokers, in order to process any application you submit. You can apply online and an advisor from the SPF Short Term Finance team will be directly in touch with you shortly about the status of your application. If you please, you can call us for a quote today on 0333 414 1491. We are open Monday-Friday from 9am to 6pm.


Will first time home buyers benefit from Brexit?

Brexit, despite not even being in full flow yet, has had a huge effect on the property market in the UK. This is especially the case in London, where prices have been falling rapidly.


The Brexit referendum has caused a lot of uncertainty for the property market and in other industries too. However, could the falling prices be positive for first-time buyers? It is obviously very negative for current homeowners who want to sell their homes during this time, but what about if you are moving from rented accommodation, and therefore own no property, into a property which is to be purchased by yourself?

It is true that before the result of the Brexit referendum, many had predicted that a vote to leave the EU would depress the housing market, but in fact, benefit first-time buyers. However, this may not have come true now that Brexit is only months away without a deal in place.

Current Homeowners and Brexit

A report conducted by Unbiased named “Buying a Home in Brexit Britain”, found that many people were becoming very cautious when it came to buying and selling in Brexit Britain.

The survey, of 250 UK adult, which was done concluded that there were clear signs of the uncertainty of the market. Around 15 per cent of current homeowners believed that the value of their property had gone down as a result of the 'leave' result of the Brexit vote. Half as many believed that the value of their property had actually increased as a result.

1 in 5 people questioned who were planning on moving houses in the coming year said that they did feel a sense of pressure to sell their property fast.

Prices Falling and the Benefit for First Time Buyers

Interest rates on mortgages are now at record lows and therefore a more affordable mortgage is finally a reality for people. However, the irony of low-interest rates is that they will make it all the harder to grow savings. Thus, too many would-be buyers simply will not be able to raise a large enough amount for a deposit for the property they wish to purchase.


There is actually no shortage of people who want to get themselves on the property ladder. But at this point, it is merely a dream rather than a reality for those who are living in the capital, especially.

The report from Unbiased went on to find out that only one in ten prospective buyers sees a realistic chance of getting on the property ladder at all, which is a pretty devastating statistic. This in itself could slow the property market, and maybe even be a large player in the drop in house prices. It is not that people are not wanting to buy, it is that they feel so uncertain that they feel they can’t.

The Silver Lining

It is not all doom and gloom! However, despite early predictions, it does not look as of yet that the Brexit result will make buying your first property any easier. In the current climate, any slack at the lower end of the market is being dominated by those who are buying to let.

Meanwhile, more homeowners are planning to extend their mortgages rather than move. This may well be a sign that they would rather not sell in such an uncertain climate.

For anyone is trying to get onto the housing ladder, there is a ray of hope. Several mortgage providers are now offering 100 per cent mortgages to keep up with the demands of the market. Basically, what this means is that these mortgages do not require any deposits. There are also some providers which are offering very long-term fixed-rate deals of up to ten years.

The fact remains that interest rates have never been so low, so such deals present a unique opportunity for first-time buyers.

Bridging Loans

If you want to sell your property quickly and move into a new property the effects of the Brexit hit, but you do not have time to wait for a mortgage to clear, why not try a Bridging Loan.

They essentially work to bridge the gap between the sale and the mortgage coming through, giving you the flexibility to move when you like.


How to keep your home extra safe over Christmas

You will want to keep your home secure all year round, but the Christmas period often posing an extra threat as robbers will be aware that you will have more valuable items lying around your house ready to wrap up and give on the big day.

Furthermore, you are likely to be out shopping or at a Christmas party at a time, so it is vital to keep your home extra safe around the festive period.

Something which is going to keep you safe at Christmas and the rest of the year is having a monitored security system in place. But there are also serval other things which you can do in addition to this to help to maintain the level of security in your home so that you, your family and all your valuables remain untouched.

Octagon Capital dedicates this guide to help you stay safe this Christmas with these five tips.

Don’t share your travel plans with the world

If you planning on travelling over the holiday period, make sure that you do not spread your travel plans all over the internet. Never post about where you are going, when you are going and when you will be back. This is very useful information for a thief as they will then know when your house is empty.

Even if you have the highest level of security settings on your social media, it is still not recommended as the information could get out easily – all it takes is a screenshot.

Let a neighbour know you are not home

If you have a trusted neighbour, ask them to keep an eye on your house if you do decide to go away during the Christmas period so that they can report any suspicious activity.

Ideally, it would great if you can rely on a trusted neighbour to pick up your mail while you are away and perhaps even keep your walkway free of snow.

Hide your Christmas gifts

You will want to keep all the Christmas gifts you have bought out of sight of your family anyway, you will also want to make sure that the gifts are hidden from any potential robbers.

It is appreciated that displaying beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree is great for decoration and creating that Christmassy feel in your home. However, it can act as an open invitation for burglars to enter your home and take them for themselves.

If you want to keep your gifts under a tree, make sure that the tree is away from windows or places which can easily be viewed from the outside.

Don’t forget to consider the packages which you have not yet received. It is not uncommon for thieves to intersect packages or take ones that they see left on porches. If you are not going to be in one day, you should give your delivery driver instructions to leave it in a safe place or with a neighbour that you trust to keep it safe for you.

Be careful with your Christmas lights

Statically, the most fires occur in the month of December and it has been dubbed the deadliest month for electrical fires.

Everyone loves to decorate their homes, both on the inside and on the outside. One of the most common ways of doing so is putting up lights around the house. Before you do so, make sure that you inspect the strands to make sure that there are not any frayed cords or any cracked lamps. If there are, you need to replace any cracked lamps and throw away the strands with frayed cords – this will help to keep you safe from accidental fires.

Furthermore, you should only purchase lights that have been pre tested and approved by an independent laboratory. To see if this is the case, check the packaging to seek the manufacturer's name and any more information that you require should be cleared marked.

When you go out or go up to bed, you need to make sure that you have turned off the Christmas lights. You can get lights which work on a timer or a smart outlet. This means that you are plan what time you lights come on in the day and when they turn off at night.


UK house prices plummeting

November 2018 has seen the largest drop in house prices since 2012, with the prices falling by £5,000 on average. An interesting statistic shows that it is the south of England which is suffering the most from house prices falling.

There is no doubt that the looming of Brexit drawing ever closer plays a larger, if not the largest factor, in this property market crash.


According to statistics, the average price of a property coming on to the market no has been down by 1.7% or £5,222 on the month alone. Rightmove found that the biggest falls were found in London. In London, the typical asking price fell by £10,793 which is in accordance to the 1.7% and in the south-east of England in general, the asking prices have fallen by £8,647 (2.1%). Both of these are very significant amounts of money.

Hotspot towns falling

It is really interesting that the ripple effect, where the rising prices in London wok to spread around the rest of the country during the boom years, has now seen a reverse in that falling prices in the capital are now spreading across the south.


What were higher-end towns are now actually among the biggest annual fallers. These include Rickmansworth down 7.1%, Esher down 6.4% and Gerrards Cross down 6%. This is, interestingly, following a price rise of nearly 40% from the seven years preceding 2018.

Research which was conducted by property website Zoopla found that 38% of properties which are currently on the market have in fact been marked down in price, but according to their statistics Brighton is the highest at nearly 47%. They stated that seller in Brighton were on average having to reduce the asking prices of their properties by £28,000 in order to achieve a sale.

A decrease in house viewings

With the property market in the state it is in now, it is not just the prices which are falling, it is also the interest.

Reports which are anecdotal in nature state that sellers listing their property but receiving hardly any viewings at all. Furthermore, they report that it is taking far longer for the buyer to actually put in an offer. Rightmove’s study found that the average property takes 61 days to sell, which us up from 56 days in a study conducted earlier this year. Meanwhile, the properties which are on the books of the average estate agent is said to be 52, compared to around 42 to 47 earlier in 2018.

These figures reflect data which was collected by surveyors earlier this month, which outlined that the property market is the at its weakest point since 2016. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that prices were flat or falling across half of the country, with sales in “limbo” until a Brexit deal comes to the fore.

What can be done to slow or stop the property crash?

The biggest debate which is on-going with estate agents is how to cut asking pricing without actively precipitating in the property market crash.

The key to this appears to be to drop the price by enough that it brings in a new set of buyers who are currently in a different bracket. You do not want to make the mistake of putting buyers off by the seller reducing the price on consecutive occasions, this can have a seriously damaging effect.

The role of Brexit in the property crash

Even with a proposed deal for the UK exiting the European Union now circulating, the uncertainty of Brexit is having negative effects on the housing market in the UK.

Furthermore, with mass concerns of a hard Brexit on the horizon, the property market is looking like it may be rather stationary until it is certain what Brexit will mean for the market and the economy.

Nevertheless, there is debate as to whether this property crash thanks to Brexit could actually help first-time buyers. With house prices continuously rising way over the household incomes on average until the recent crash, it was then making it impossible for many first-time buyers to be able to purchase a home at all. This property crash could be positive for them, but not so much current homeowners who will lose out on the value of their property quite significantly.


Britain’s Hottest Market: Edinburgh and Beyond

It has been revealed that Britain’s hottest property market is in Edinburgh, with the housing market booming. Properties are in such demand in Edinburgh that homes are typically being snapped up in just 22 days on average, new research has revealed. This makes it the fastest place to sell a home in the entirety of Britain.

In fact, it is 25 days quicker than the average time across Britain and is less than half the amount of time it would take to sell in London. In London, the average length of time it takes to sell a property is 54 days.

Just under Edinburgh in the fasted selling areas are Glasgow (27 days) and Cardiff (32 days). The fastest place in England is Northampton which on average takes 33 days to sell. Therefore, buyers searching for homes in these areas will have to act fast with the homes selling in this time.

Why is this market desirable?

It would seem that Edinburgh and Glasgow are hot markets due to the lack of property which is available.

Edinburgh has less property for sale and therefore market demand is actually more than supply. As a result, prices are increased. However, the prices are still relatively low for a very major British city and many are opting to make a life in Scotland’s capital over the English capital, London. London is officially one of the slowest UK markets, selling a home will take you on average 54 days and the average values are the highest of any region at £651,033.

London’s fastest selling areas

Considering it is the slowest market, for those who need to be in England’s capital for work, it makes sense to provide insight into the areas in which houses do sell the quickest despite the overall London market being slow.


Bexley has been ranked the fasting selling London borough, with the average listing taking 36 days to go under offer. Furthermore, the average price in this area is £370,818 making it a lot cheaper than other London boroughs.


Followed closely in second is Barking and Dagenham at an average of 37 days. The average price for this area is £298,954.

An up and coming market: Newport

A surprising booming property market is in Newport, with the number of properties which are available for sale decreasing by a third over the past year or so.

So why has this year boomed as of recent? Well, the upcoming removal of the tolls on the bridges across the River Severn between England and Wales at the end of 2018 has ultimately led to an increase in buyers jumping at the opportunity to snap up a property in this Welsh city, Newport.

According to statistics provided by Rightmove, Newport estate agents are reporting lengthy buyer waiting lists and have demands led to a 37pc annual drop in available properties for sale. In addition, they are seeing a £12,000 uplift in the asking prices placed on the properties.

The time it takes to secure a buyer in Newport has fallen from a pretty devastating 76 days, to a promising 52 days – still no Edinburgh, but it is certainly on the rise nevertheless.

Local estate agents are claiming to be selling homes in Newport every single say, in some cases, within hours of the property going live on their sites.

Interestingly, the most popular people moving to Newport are Bristolians who can trade in their over-priced homes for a larger and nicer home for a better price. These people from Bristol are able to sell their small terraced house and snap up a four bed detached house in Newport for the same price, if not less.

Bridging loans

If you find a home that you love and want to move into quickly due to the rising prices in the area, then this is great news. However, you may find that you simply do not have the time to wait for a mortgage to clear; perhaps you are starting a new job down in the city and need to clear the sale, bridge finance may be the best option for you. A bridging loan acts to ‘bridge the gap’ between you and the mortgage until it can be paid out. You can get in touch with us for a quote by calling us up on 0333 414 1491.


Tips for moving to London

If you are making a move to the capital, it can be a daunting thought, let alone when it actually comes around! Whether you are moving from another city or country, or you are moving from a rural area you can expect a world of wonderful things in the big city. No matter where you are coming from, there is no place like it.

To help you ease into London, we have put together a guide of things you can do to make sure you settle in in no time at all and really enjoy the capital city for what it is.

Try before you buy

Before you make the move, it may be an idea if you can get to London easily to explore different areas to see where you would feel comfortable living, whether it is buying or renting.

If you have picked an area, take time to get familiar with it. Find out where the local shops,  pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants are and maybe visit a few. It is also worth doing some research into the transport links and maybe even doing the walk from the property to your nearest tube station. The move is going to be a big change and it is better to have a sense of stability and security by the time you move in.

If you find a home that you love and want to move into quickly, but you simply do not have the time to wait for a mortgage to clear; perhaps you are starting a new job down in the city and need to clear the sale, a bridging loan may be the best option for you. A bridging loan acts to ‘bridge the gap’ between you and the mortgage until it can be paid out. You can get in touch with us for a quote by calling us up on 0333 414 1491.

Understanding the cost of living

If you are moving from anywhere in the UK to London, you will notice a considerable increase in the price of living; from housing prices and rent to the cost of a drink in a bar. You will need to be prepared for this – it may take some time getting used to it.

Interestingly, London house prices have recently fallen but the house price gap between London and the rest of the UK rises to £300,000.

The Tube

Londoners often have a love/hate relationship with the underground travel system known as the Tube. It is an extremely convenient way to get around the city but is a point of confusion for those travellers who are not regular users.

You should locate your local station and gain a clear understanding of which line or lines your station is on. The lines of the tube (with their colours) include:

  • The Northern (black)
  • The Piccadilly (dark blue)
  • The Victoria (light blue)
  • The Bakerloo (brown)
  • The Central (red)
  • Hammersmith & City (pink)
  • The Circle (yellow)
  • The District (green)
  • The Jubilee (grey)
  • Waterloo & City (turquoise)
  • The Metropolitan (purple)

Since the tube will undoubtedly be your way of getting around, you should pop down to a local post office or off-licence to buy an Oyster Card. This is used in the place of paper tickets for the bus, the tube and London-based trains. The card will cost you a one-time purchase price of £5 and from there you will be able to load money onto it at any tube station. You can also now use contactless credit or debit cards in place of an Oyster, but most people find the rates cheaper for Oyster more worthwhile.