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About boon

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  1. £5k is by no means a high service charge in London... but it is more than the average. Why do you need to go for a flat in a purpose built block? There are plenty of maisonettes, Victorian conversions, etc that would still be leasehold, but much lower "maintenance" charges.
  2. Yes - when you apply in person at the Croydon Home Office centre, you do get an immediate answer on the day. They should get a letter issued to that effect. So they should be able to provide you with it on the afternoon itself, if everything goes smoothly. Today is the 19th, so my answer probably didn't help you. But for others in the future - one solution is to ask for a holding deposit, so the tenants need to show good faith that they want the property, and if they don't get the visa, then at least you have some compensation for time wasted.
  3. Manchester is still a big area! You'll find that not all builders / companies will cover the whole city. Your best bet to find a local builder or company, and also recommended, is to sign up for a Nextdoor account based on the location of your property. You'll have access to the "forum" for the local area - and if you use the search function - e.g. renovation recommendation, builder recommendation, etc. it should throw up a bunch of recommendations. The best thing, is that once you've shortlisted, you can contact the original poster, and in pre-COVID times, they might have been willing to
  4. I agree with Julia - prioritise getting the right property for you both to live in long-term first, before thinking of a second BTL. Chances are, you probably want 2-3 bedrooms, good area, convenient for both your work places, etc.... things that all drive up the cost of the property that would be ideal. If you can afford this ideal property, and also another one - great! But by all means by both just before you get married, get married, and you would have escaped the second property SDLT.
  5. I think if it was a a house or standalone maisonette, and constructed before the 1960s, I would probably go for a Homebuyers or structural survey if you're new to properties. But for a purpose built block of flats, and especially if its more recent - a homebuyers survey is very limited. You're better off spending a hours/days reading up on things you can check yourself internally in the flat (leaks, mould, damp, dodgy wiring, dodgy boiler install, etc). This will serve you well again and again if you're going to keep doing BTL. If its a big apartment building, chances are the management c
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