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Capital Reasons for Renting

Thursday, 14th May 2015

Categories: Lettings Moving Stories Property Prices

Author: Kris White

Whether you’re moving to a new area, or trying to maximise your credentials as a buyer in a rising market, there’s a lot to be said for taking on a shorthold tenancy agreement. London homeowners tend to be a transient bunch. Despite the average price of a house move in the capital costing just over £20,000 (according to research conducted by Lloyds Bank), it seems that we’re not averse to upping sticks in order to upsize, downsize, capitalise on an up-and-coming postcode, or nudge our way into a prized school catchment area.

A rental before or in between purchasing property can therefore be a sensible way to ensure those pricey moving costs are justified.

Renovate to accumulate

A six- or 12-month rental on a modest property won’t add a huge amount to a renovation budget and many people choose to rent while they renovate a property. The stress of a total renovation can be markedly reduced if you don’t have to live on a building site. Plus, the renovations are likely to be completed a lot quicker if you’re living off-site – utilities can be disconnected, bathrooms and kitchens ripped out and building trades don’t need to work around you. The savings made could actually pay for your rental so it’s well worth considering.

Schools out

Any parent of young children will be aware of the minefield of school applications and the dreaded ‘catchment area’. Some of the best state schools have catchment areas of well under 100 metres and if you have your heart set on a certain school, it’s not always possible to buy a house close enough – there just might not be anything on the market that suits when you need it. However, keep a close eye on the rental market and you might strike school application gold: a shorthold tenancy will give you some leeway to look for a long-term home but the security of a school place while you’re buying.

Try before you buy

If you’re moving to a completely new area, it makes sense to rent a property before you commit to buying. You can make sure you love the area, check out which roads you like best and narrow down your search criteria so you know exactly which properties tick all the boxes before you start viewings. And, if you do decide that the grass isn’t necessarily greener in your new postcode, you can simply pack up and move on somewhere else when your tenancy ends.