For decades, the West End of Glasgow has been a much sought-after place to set up home. The sprawling area from Charing Cross to Partick to Hillhead and beyond comprises some of the most attractive postcodes in the city, if not the country.
The beautiful green spaces of Kelvingrove and the Botanic Gardens, the iconic red brick tenements and luxurious homes with close proximity to excellent schools, trendy cafes and shops as well as the bustling city centre make it, understandably, a desirable location to put down some roots.
However, getting there is easier said than done. With the intense popularity and low supply driving high property prices, combined with a tricky mortgage market and a fast-moving, competitive buying environment can make many buyers’ hopes of ever owning a West End home feel like a pipe dream. Not so. With a little thinking out of the box and some hard work, you can make the dream move a reality.
Not So Grand Designs
Many buyers are fixated on walking into a perfect home. But if you don’t have a large pot of cash then why not consider less polished options? Properties that need work to varying degrees can be picked up at less than average prices. But you’ll need to work on a hair trigger to firstly look out for these properties as they become available and then move quickly to inspect and secure it. Then it’s all about improvements on a budget; what are the issues and who can help you fix them? Ask around and be prepared to offer lots of free pizza and some I.O.U’s.
Under the Hammer
Buying at auction could be a great idea too as more often than not there’s a bargain to be had. But you’ve got to keep an eye on the auction lots and there’s no guarantee something will come up in the area you want. Auction properties can require a bit more work though, and although the buying process can be more time consuming and require more personal research than going through a classic estate agent, you could get just the property you fancy, in a great location, for much less money than you might expect. Then cue the free pizza and I.O.U’s.
Further Afield, Slightly
Lastly, remember that West End doesn’t begin and end at Park Circus or Hillhead. There are plenty of areas that come under the ‘West End’ that, although a bit further out, still boasts all the same features and amenities as those more central locations; like great schools, green space, cool shops and, of course, lovely houses. Consider areas like Anniesland or Broomhill, for example, only 15 minutes from Byres Road on the bus, offer house prices at an average of £167,000 – a steal for the area and less than the average house price wider area. These properties needn’t be your “forever home” though. A few years living in these gentrifying areas can allow you to save for that other West End location you really want and make a pretty penny. This isn’t such a bad idea when you consider that Finnieston property prices rose from an average of around £160,000 to £184,000 last year.
We know, it might not be your first choice
While this way of buying in the West End isn’t a perfect process and may require more short-term work, the sheer popularity of this location means any purchase you make is likely to be a great investment for the future. Why not go to a little extra effort?
Our property specialists are always on hand to help advise buying in the area too and we have access to stock not on the open market. Give us a call sometime.