What Should I Do Before Buying a House?



Buying a property is one of life’s biggest decisions - an investment, a family home and a place where happy memories will be made. Once you decide to buy you will need to make a number of key decisions often against the clock. Below we have outlined the areas you need to consider and the conversations we as buying agents will have with you so you can make wise and timely decisions:



1. Research


Any good purchase whether it be jewellery, art, shares or property requires good research. This is particularly relevant in the London property market where there are many nuances within local areas. What can seem like a good deal because the £/PSF value is lower than other nearby streets could turn out to be your worst investment. As the old saying in the stock market goes “yes, it’s cheap … but it’s cheap for a reason!”


At Ludgrove we have access to the most comprehensive valuation database on the London property market. We can drill down by street, number of bedrooms, floor, aspect, gross internal area and so on, looking at sales data back to 1995, giving you an edge over the competition.

As one of London’s leading buying agencies we also have access to a wide range of off-market properties. Around 25% of properties over £1m are sold off-market in London and this rises to around 50% above £5m. Having a good buying agent who can access this part of the market, allows you to uncover some hidden gems as well as see the whole market.


Deciding what you want out of your new home is the first conversation we will have with you. You may have a good idea of what you want now in terms of location, layout, style of house, proximity to amenities and transports etc, however having an idea of your future plans is equally important. It would be silly to rush into buying a studio flat in your favourite location, only to outgrow it in two years time when kids come along. Likewise, young couples moving should think about school catchment areas so another costly move can be avoided down the line.


Ludgrove will discuss all these factors with you, carry out detailed reserach and present our findings so you have a significant edge over other buyers.

2. Appoint Legal Representation


Appointing a good lawyer (conveyancing solicitor), one who is responsive and can work creatively to find solutions to problems, can be worth its weight in gold allowing you to secure your dream property with the minimum amount of stress.

Choosing a good lawyer, in a timely manner and making sure all the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) checks have been carried out in advance also places you in an advantageous position versus other buyers.

At Ludgrove we work with some of London’s best property lawyers and we can recommend a section of lawyers to you.

3. Seek Mortgage Finance


Seeking mortgage advice early on in the process can help you determine your budget and also enable you to act quickly when the dream property comes along. Banks offer you an Agreement in Principle (AIP) that usually last up to 6 months and this isn’t attached to a particular property. You are not bound by this, so you could switch to another lender if a better finance option transpires nearer the time.


Ludgrove can introduce you to a number of mortgage brokers and having finance arranged early on can avoid any unnecessary stress when you are ready to act.

4. Structuring the Purchase


Most buyers acquire property in their own name. However for tax reasons, it may be more appropriate to buy in a company or trust. We can introduce you to a tax advisor who can make recommendations based on your particular circumstances.

5. Viewing


It is important you only visit properties that are appropriate to you and your needs, therefore you need to scale down the number of properties for viewing.


By appointing Ludgrove we will have screened and pre-visited a large number of properties on your behalf. We will have also looked closely at valuation data to make sure you are not visiting overvalued properties.


Our buying agent will accompany you on your viewing asking pertinent questions as well as providing an objective opinion on the property. We will also highlight any un-appreciated features and any development potential. The latter can be invaluable, helping you secure a property you can grow into as well as provide a significant financial nest egg.

6. Negotiate


The art of negotiation is a skill and when it comes to property this is something individuals will usually only do 2-3 times in their lives. We carry out negotiations on behalf of buyers on a regular basis throughout the year so we are seasoned negotiators.


Our first step is to establish what we think the fair value is of a property. By accessing the most comprehensive valuation database on the London property market, we drill down into the minutiae arriving at the property’s appropriate worth.


We then discuss your budget and how much you are willing to pay to secure the property. After that we use our negotiation skills to acquire your property at the best possible price and on the best terms.

7. Moving House


Once contracts are exchanged, there is usually a few weeks before moving in date. Getting your house packed up and organised can be a daunting task. At Ludgrove we can advise you on who to use so the move is a stress free as possible.



About: Ludgrove is ranked as one of London's best property buying agencies by Spears, Prime Resi and E-Private Clients. Case studies of our work can be found here.



To discuss your property requirements feel free to contact us. We'd be delighted to hear from you! ...


+44 (0)207 889 2860 or


Email: info@ludgroveproperty.com