Living in a studio flat is unlike living anywhere else. It’s an intimate, all-inclusive experience that you don’t get when your facilities are spread out across many rooms in a house. Like most properties, studio flats are the pinnacle of convenience, providing everything you could ever need, all within easy reaching distance.
Yet that doesn’t mean every flat is ideal for every person. Like all property purchases, you have to check a variety of factors first to know whether “this flat” is the one for you. Here are the main considerations you should run through.
1. Are you a renovator?
Or to put it another way, are you looking to get your hands dirty with a bit of DIY or do you want a studio flat that’s already fully-stocked with everything you need? This decision is important to consider right from the start, as it’s directly linked to how much money you’ll ultimately invest in a property, both immediately and over time. Remember, you might have to go for tuckpointing, electric work and other things that would make the property presentable.
2. Mortgage options
When it comes to getting together the money itself, you need to understand that many lenders won’t provide loans when it comes to flats, especially if they’re above the fourth floor in a block. That’s why you need to research the lending market first so you know what deals are realistically open to you.
3. Clear the debts
Taking on a mortgage for your first studio flat will add significantly to your monthly bills. As a matter of good financial planning, it’s best to make sure those bills are as flexible as possible before you include this additional burden – by which we mean pay off those credit cards before you get started.
4. Look beyond the four walls
Whenever you fall in love with the interior of a flat, it’s always tempting to slam your wallet on the table and buy it at first sight. However, you need to remember that the flat itself is only one part of the purchase. Alongside it, you need to know how close the local amenities are, what crime rates are like in the area, how accessible public transport is and so on.
It’s a simple question, but a vital one if you’re a driver. Some apartment blocks have designated parking space, for which you’ll need to know what the monthly costs are, if any. For the ones that don’t, you’ll need to see what your chances are of finding a space on the street.
6. Security clearance
Security in a detached house is something you can improve over time at your will. In an apartment block, you’re stuck with whatever the collective has. That’s why it’s important to immediately check the number of CCTV cameras, the toughness of your door locks and how effective the entrance locking system is, among other assessments.
7. Neighborly relations
Although you’ll be living in one room, you’ll be surrounded by countless others. The main consideration is noise and how much of it your neighbors make; ensure you ask the estate agent about this. But also go round and see them face-to-face, as it’s the only way you’ll know how cordial your relations could be over the coming years.
8. Is it a good deal?
Don’t rely on your initiative alone or take the estate agent’s word for it: ask around. Check with independent valuers, other estate agents, friends who’ve bought places themselves, and so on. Get as many opinions as possible before signing on the dotted line. Otherwise, you risk missing out an issue that will later come back to haunt you.
9. Live in one yourself
Studio flat living can be a wonderful experience, but it’s not for everyone. You’ll only truly know if a one- room apartment is best suited to your habits once you’ve tried it out for real. Staying at an AirBnB place for a while provides a good opportunity to do a test run.
10. Think about moving on
Even if you’re buying with intent to live, you can’t rule out the possibility that you may later want to move out or rent the place to another. As such, alongside looking out for interior factors and local amenities that suit your interests, bear in mind what other prospective buyers might be looking for too. This kind of wider analysis could earn you thousands more at a later re-sale.