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United Kingdom (UK) - Property Options and Types

Sometimes when an expat heads to a different country there are restrictions on where they can live and what can be purchased. Thailand is a good example of this because of their restrictive property laws: foreigners cannot own land, but can own a home such as a flat or house. The United Kingdom does not have any such rules.

Expats moving to the UK can look for a new build, older property, flat, house, rural property, or any other type of structure. Common property types include flats (also known as apartments), terraced houses, detached houses, cottages, rural properties and even land.

Location is the primary factor determining the type of property an expat is likely to find. Convenience of home-work commute is a significant consideration for both expats and UK citizens alike.

Options for Housing

The type of house in which an individual chooses to live often primarily comes down to the price of mortgages. How much is the person willing to spend on a house to be closer to their job? Would it be worth owning an older build to be closer to work or would a newer home be more convenient?

These are the questions that an expat has to answer in order to determine what type of property they want to choose from the options available to them. Fortunately, there are plenty of property types available in the United Kingdom, which makes it easy to cater to all tastes when moving to the UK.

Explaining Housing Types

For those who are not too sure of the terms related to housing in the United Kingdom, here are a few explanations:

• Flat - an apartment. Typically in the UK if you want a place in an urban area without any land upkeep requirements, a block of flats is the best option.

• Town/terraced home - Town homes can also be referred to as condos, and usually are more spacious than flats. There are often two or three floors inside the home.

• Detached houses - most will probably think of this as a family home. It is a home that is not attached to a community of other homes like town houses or flats. It stands alone with multiple bedrooms and either an attached or detached garage. There are a variety of styles in the detached category, ranging from cottages to farmhouses to family dwellings.

• Historic homes - the UK has a definite penchant for older buildings, so it is possible to find an older cottage or home that has historical significance.

• Off-plan properties - this type of property is not in a planned development. It is usually an old build that has stood for some time and was either enveloped by a community or has enough land with it to keep it separate. These are found outside of cities in most cases, but not all will be rural since some off-plan properties can be found in smaller city boroughs as well.

• Timeshare - a timeshare or part-ownership option is typically a condo that someone shares with one or multiple parties. However, this is not commonly seen in the UK.

Benefits of Timeshares for Expats

Buying into a timeshare can be a great move for expats, as long as the allowable time in the home is enough for the expat to work. Most timeshares are for a few weeks, but there are some options like a two-owner timeshare in which each owner spends half a year in the house.

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