Proposed or got proposed to on Christmas day? Here are five first homes you should see
PUBLISHED: 09:30 26 December 2016
Christmas is always a hot date for getting down on one knee, so if you're looking for a new love nest we have got you covered. Check out these properties for sale in Belsize Park, Hampstead, Kilburn, Camden, and Crouch End
It’s Boxing Day so by now your social media timelines has been overrun with festive engagement photos.
If you’re single it’s enough to make you want to inhale a plate of mince pies and wile away the afternoon getting gently sozzled on Bailey’s whilst doing your best Grinch impression on Tinder (“Hate, hate, hate, double hate, loathe entirely…).
But if you’re one of the nauseatingly happy ones currently choosing which filter best shows off your new sparkler or deciding on the best hashtag (#ShePutARingOnIt or #HeSaidYes?) your thoughts might also be turning to your future love nest.
True, most couples today have been cohabiting together for years and you may already be sharing a mortgage with your intended, but in between guest list wrangling and contentious party favour decisions a little light house hunting is a nice bit of escapism.
Compared to the rest of the UK, Londoners tend to put of marriage until later. By the time we’ve had enough of skipping footloose and fancy free through the pop-up bakeries and rooftop bars we’re 32 years old on average.
Even though at 32 you’re still looking at a steep ask to buy a first home in Hampstead or Highgate.
House prices in Camden cost up to ten times the buyer’s average salary, so combining the power of two pay checks (and, realistically, some inheritance or a loan from the Bank of Mum and Dad) will make the task significantly easier.
It’s hardly romantic, but hearts, flowers and Pinterest wedding boards aside marriage is a sensible financial decision when it comes to mortgages.
Help to Buy has been well and truly binned after it’s disappointingly low take up – particularly in this pricey borough (link). But the £600,000 limit still serves as a useful benchmark when it comes to picking out first time buy.
So here are five first homes for five gold (engagement) rings:
South End Close, Hampstead, NW3, £535,000
The playful colours shot through the décor of this top floor flat show it off to its best advantage, so we won’t judge you if you decide to follow suit and whack a zesty orange Smeg fridge on your wedding list.
It’s set in an ex local authority block right by the Heath and has views across London as well as that oh-so-desirable NW3 postcode.
There’s a separate kitchen, so it’s a proper grown up flat, plus two double bedrooms so you can have guests over to stay (doubly grownup) or turn one in to a child’s bedroom should your next milestone involve the pitter patter of tiny Hampstead feet.
Salter Rex, 020 7431 1881
Upper Park Road, Belsize Park, NW3, £595,000
Belsize Park is becoming more and more popular with young professional couples, so you’ll be right at home here,.
It’s another top floor flat, this time in a semi detached Victorian conversion. The open plan kitchen / dining / living room opens out on to a sweet private terrace balcony, and there’s plenty of storage in the eaves.
That last bit is important if you’re moving in together for the first time and are going to have to reach a compromise about just which knick knacks are going to make the coupled life cut, and whose Star Wars figurines are getting packed away.
There’s a second smaller bedroom that can function as a study and perhaps one day be turned into a nursery.
Benham & Reeves, 020 7435 9822
Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, NW6, £475,000
Flats in The Kilburn Wells, a red brick period building on the corner of Kilburn High Road and Belsize Road rarely become available, so you’ll want to be quick off the mark come January. It’s also the cheapest of our five picks.
The double bedroom comes with a fitted wardrobe, which will spare you the horror of having to do a trip to IKEA together – a sure fire way to risk the two of you never making it down the aisle is a screaming match over the HEMNES or the BRIMNES half way round the store.
The lovely arched period windows are still in situ, with a curved bay at the end of the living area. Best of all, Franco Manca’s is just downstairs, so you can relish that most sacred of coupled up rituals – pizza, a boxset and not going out.
Goldschmidt & Howland, 020 7433 6868
Reachview Close, Camden, NW1, £499,950
This one bed right in the heart of Camden has a romantic bedroom balcony overlooking Regent’s Canal. Perfect for any Jack and Rose / Romeo and Juliet recreations, although you’d hope your union would have a slightly happier ending.
Inside there’s a good sized reception room and a well equipped kitchen that’s separate but semi open.
The bathroom has just been done up and is rather snazzy, plus there’s the added bonus of an off street parking space include din the property – not something you’ll come by easily in that neck of the woods.
Marsh & Parsons, 020 7244 2200
Harvey Road, Crouch End, N8, £600,000
At the top end of our first time buy range is this two bedroom garden flat in Crouch End.
The unusual wedge shape makes for some fun dimensions, including a lovely bay window in the master bedroom to one side of the property.
There’s a separate reception room and a kitchen leading out to the wraparound garden area.
It’s set on a quiet residential road, so that plus the space and sizeable garden makes this an ideal starter family home, particularly if you already have children and are only getting hitched now.
Greene & Co, 020 3151 4524