Selling and letting homes like yours throughout Norfolk & Suffolk.

Should you buy a leasehold property?

At Sefftons, Norwich, we let and sell properties across Norfolk and Suffolk and sometimes further afield. There’s certain factors that make a property sell quickly as you and we know:

  • Location
  • Schools nearby
  • Facilities
  • The size and style of the property
  • Price
  • Leasehold or freehold

Until recently, new developments in places like Sprowston, Trowse, Martham, Poringland, Hethersett and Bradwell, were always marked as leasehold. Meaning those buyers paid “ground rent” to effectively lease the land on which it stands. This though, following law changes at national level, is a footnote in history and you’ll often find different phases of property developments that have both.

Recently, we sold two in Bradwell, near Great Yarmouth and both were freehold as the vendors had purchased the lease. Again, this changes perceptions and we think that those two specific properties on a leasehold phase one found buyers quickly as they were freehold.

To buy the freehold costs around £2000 + legal fees of about £750 which won’t save you much in ground rent if it’s set at £200 per year but will make your home a faster seller.

A note of caution though – if your home is leasehold and you’re planning to sell in the next year, commit it to now, because, as with passports and airport queues, solicitors are stacked up with demand from buyers and sellers. Our advice, as leading Norwich estate agents, is to allow 6 months from enquiry to land registry change of title deeds.

The only places that remain leasehold are apartments and flats. We do know of some new build apartments that are leasehold and have zero ground rent, but they have service charges that are often substantial and need to be factored in when buying a property.

At the end of the day, freehold v leasehold is your choice. In an ideal world (or Scotland), all properties would be freehold.

Our advice, as experienced Norwich estate agents, is clear – if your property is leasehold and you are able to buy it, do it. It will add value to your home and make it easier to sell in the longer term too. With property prices continuing to rise, you will recoup that expenditure too in increased equity.

If you intend buying a freehold, make sure you do due diligence checking ground rents, lease lengths and service charges.

When you come to sell, contact Sefftons too, who are always on hand to deliver expert, professional property advice.