Buying for children: frequently asked questions

At The Buying Solution, we find and secure exceptional properties across the entire market in London quickly, efficiently and at the best possible price for retained clients. Over the years, we have become more accustomed to working with parents buying for children: be it for university requirements, helping them onto the ladder for the first time, or for the more forward thinking clients, investing for the future; sometimes for children that haven’t even been born yet.

Our service starts at the very beginning of the process and we aim to advise clients through the many pitfalls that the London property market has to offer. Many of the best properties are sold ‘off market’ and we aim to uncover these hidden gems so our clients have all property options available. We handle the negotiation process on your behalf and we investigate the property and local area to ensure that there are no unexpected surprises. We manage the entire purchase process right up until the point that you receive the keys, and in some instances far beyond this point too. Our ultimate goal is to help our clients source the very best properties and to pay the very best price possible. If you would like more information or to speak to one of our team, please call 020 7591 2640 or visit our website

In the meantime, here is some helpful advice to get you started – some of our most frequently asked questions:

Freehold or Leasehold: By definition a ‘virtual freehold’ is a property with a very long lease of ‘999’ years. However, should you wish to avoid a short lease, then we would typically advise buying over 100 years. Having said that, fortune can favour the bold and there can be money to be made from buying a short lease and conducting the extension process yourself.

Flat or House: This is a tricky one and can only really be answered by the individual; it is very much horses for courses.

Some of the advantages of flats are: cheaper to buy, cost of maintaining the building is shared and the returns are usually more attractive.

Some of the advantages of houses are: more spacious, more privacy with no shared common parts, no expensive service charges and often potential to extend.

Number of bedrooms: Bedrooms mean rent and therefore the more bedrooms you buy the more revenue you can achieve. Revenue might not be important in the decision process and therefore this will come down to the individuals’ preferences. Bedrooms are however valuable for paying off the mortgage.

Location, location, location: It is important to buy in a neighbourhood where you feel comfortable and will ultimately enjoy living. If the search for value for money takes you into areas that are unfamiliar, it is important to do your research! As a rule, the closer that you can buy to a Tube or an Overground-station, the more desirable the property will be.

When buying any property, it is always important to consider the investment potential. A question we frequently ask ourselves before buying a property is, “Does it pass the cappuccino test? Can I walk out the front door and have a coffee within my hand in a couple of minutes?”  Other questions to ask yourself are: “We like the property, but will others like it when we come to sell?” “Is the area safe?” “Would I feel comfortable walking home late at night?” If the answers are no, then you probably shouldn’t be buying it.

Style of property: Try to buy property specific to that particular area. What this means is, if the majority of housing in your chosen area is of a particular type, then aim not to stray too far from the norm as the demand for your home will naturally be lower i.e. don’t buy a warehouse conversion in Kensington, but do buy one in London Bridge. Don’t buy an unusual lateral flat in Fulham where there are very few, but do look for one in Shoreditch where there are plenty.

What costs should you consider?

  • Survey cost
  • Legal fees
  • Removal costs
  • Buildings insurance
  • Redecoration and furnishing costs
  • Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax

Things to avoid: When purchasing any property, it is always key to think about the investment potential. Any question that you have will ultimately be a question for prospective buyers or renters going forward. We always ask ourselves, should we need to sell or let the property quickly, will we be able to? This leads us typically to discount:

  • Busy roads
  • Walk ups
  • Basement flats
  • Tube rumble if on top of a line
  • Compromised layouts. Better to have a spacious two bed then a cramped three bed
  • Badly managed buildings
  • High service charges
  • Over-paying
  • Nice neighbourhood
  • Future development that may blight your property in the future.
  • Out of town solicitors. Use a good local solicitor in London who understands the market.

Case Study 1:

On behalf of a family, we were tasked with finding a 2 bedroom flat in a new development with a porter, high-end facilities and parking in a vibrant neighbourhood for their son. After three months of searching, we settled on an apartment on City Road in one of the new, modern tower blocks. The client was very happy and their son is now settled in the apartment. The property was a contract reassignment from a previous purchaser looking to dispose of the property quickly and, as such, we were able to negotiate a good discount.

Case Study 2:

On behalf of another family, we were asked to help find a number of properties for their young children and grandchildren. These would initially serve as long term investments until such time that the children are old enough to occupy the properties. With rising prices, the client recognised the benefit of investing for the future so that their next generations would be able to own their own homes. All of the properties we purchased were on the same street and in the same development so that the family would all be together and, in the interim, they would be easily managed for rental.



Best outdoor bars and restaurants in London

The Buying Solution’s London team share their favourite bars and restaurants with outdoor seating in the capital.



Pergola on the roof 

Miami meets White City on top of the former BBC car park in Shepherd’s Bush.

Kensington Roof Gardens 

Roof-top restaurant bar and outdoor cinema set in 1.5 acres.

The River Café 

Long-established Italian restaurant overlooking the river in Hammersmith.

Dock Kitchen 

Canal-side restaurant on Ladbroke Grove, housed in a Victorian wharf building.



Radio Rooftop Bar 

Cocktail and tapas bar situated on the 10th floor of the ME hotel on the Strand.

Aqua Spirit 

Cocktail bar with outside terrace in Oxford Circus.

Chiltern Firehouse 

Small outside terrace for eating and drinking (and watching the world go by on Marylebone’s Chiltern Street).

Somerset House Terrace

Various different options here but Tom’s Terrace is particularly good for views over the South Bank.

The Roof Deck at Selfridges

Great, central location and delicious cocktails.

The Aviary 

Rooftop bar in the City with a bird theme. Amazing views of the London skyline.

Sushi Samba 

Japanese-Peruvian fusion food on 38th floor of the Heron building in Bishop’s Gate.

The Ned 

Members’ only club with rooftop pool and bars in former Midland Bank building.



Bluebird Chelsea 

Large terrace on King’s Road. Great for people-watching.

Gaucho Richmond

Argentinian restaurant on the towpath overlooking the river.

Ivy Garden Chelsea 

Sunny garden location half-way down King’s Road.

Brew Putney 

All day dining with outdoor terrace.

Leather Bottle

Pub in Earlsfield with an enormous beer garden complete with beach huts



Frank’s Café

The original pop up on a car park roof in Peckham.

The Terrace at Oxo 

Lovely views overlooking the Thames from the Oxo Tower.

Terraza on the Thames 

Pop up terrace in the Columbia Restaurant in Rotherhithe.

Lido Café, Brockwell Park 

One of the best lidos remaining in the capital with a great cafe.



Freemason’s Arms 

Hampstead favourite with a large pub garden.

Big Chill House 

Colourfully-decorated rooftop terrace in King’s Cross.

The Castle 

Great gastropub in Islington with a fabulous roof terrace.



The Boundary Rooftop 

Bar with a heated orangery in Shoreditch.

The Culpepper 

Rooftop terrace with herb garden, wood fired grill and bar in Commercial Street.

Roka, Canary Wharf 

Top-notch restaurant with glamorous roof terrace.

Dalston Roof Park 

Trendy pop up venue hosting different events throughout the summer.

Shoreditch House 

Members’ only rooftop pool and bar.

Best Country Pubs for the Summer and Alfresco Dining

Our Cotswold and Southern Teams recommend some of the best pubs in their areas to visit if escaping to the countryside this summer.

The Cotswolds

The Feathered Nest, Nether Westcote, Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire borders

Smart pub with great food and four attractive bedrooms which lies between pretty market town of Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford in the heart of the Cotswolds and within a few miles of Kingham station. It boasts a summer dining terrace and large garden with stunning views over Evenlode Valley towards Daylesford and Chipping Norton.

Barnsley House Hotel, Barnsley, Gloucestershire

Formal or informal dining with the added advantage of pampering opportunities in the Barnsley Hotel spa.  The restaurant at Barnsley caters for those wanting to avoid under 14-year-olds while you take in the beauty of the hotel’s gardens which were designed and landscaped by the prolific garden designer and horticulturist Rosemary Verey.

 The Village Pub, Barnsley, Gloucestershire

If you want a more informal atmosphere to the above, venture down the road to The Village Pub which has its own courtyard dining area.  Both are part of the Calcot Manor collection and only a few miles from Cirencester.

The Bell, Sapperton, Gloucestershire

Pretty village pub within a few miles of Cirencester and a good place to venture after the polo at Cirencester Park or having enjoyed the lovely walks which surround the village. Garden and tables at the front of the pub.

The Swan, Southrop, Gloucestershire

The Swan is a quintessential village pub that is part of Thyme and Southrop Manor Estate.  It has two courtyard gardens designed by Bunny Guinness one of which caters for large private parties so makes for a perfect spot for a summer family celebration.


The Star Inn, Sparsholt, Oxfordshire

Locally-sourced food and good cooking in this country pub with tables in the garden near Wantage. They also do B&B.

The Blowing Stone, Kingston Lisle, Oxfordshire

Having undergone a successful upgrade with a new landlord, this friendly pub with rooms near Wantage has become popular with the racing community, locals and weekenders alike. A particular magnet is their Sunday evenings where they organise a live music and pizza night–a wrist band for the evening buys unlimited slices of the pizzas which are made in their outdoor oven.

Rossini at the Leathern Bottel, Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

This is a restaurant rather than a pub but it serves terrific Italian food in a wonderful riverside setting.

The Angel on the Bridge, Henley, Oxfordshire

As Henley’s only pub on the river, the riverside terrace is a popular and bustling and a great spot to watch the world go by on a summer evening.

The Trout Inn, Godstow, Oxfordshire

A perennial favourite, this riverside pub on the edge of Oxford has been a popular haunt for decades.

The Five Horseshoes, Maidensgrove, Oxfordshire

A traditional English pub serving good food with a pretty garden overlooking a wonderful hidden valley.

Berkshire & Wiltshire

The Queens Arms, East Garston, Berkshire

Popular pub in a pretty village not far from Hungerford which has greatly improved over the past year. It has a large south-facing terrace and garden. They have rooms, a private dining area, and covered areas outside with screens for those who smoke or sports enthusiasts. There is also a safe area for children to play.

The Millstream, Marden, Wiltshire

With a great community spirit, this pub is the focus of this pretty village. It is family run and lies in the pretty the Pewsey Vale not far from Marlborough with a lovely beer garden set on the banks of the River Avon.

The Outside Chance, Manton, Wiltshire

Owned by a team including champion jockey Sir Anthony McCoy and a London nightclub impresario, who invested his winnings from his race horse finishing first in a 100-1 race at Leicester, this is a traditional pub just outside Marlborough with a pretty garden.

The Red Lion, East Chisenbury, Wiltshire

Michelin-starred pub with five rooms (The Troutbeck Inn) in an attractive village just south of Pewsey. There is a garden, a private dining room and, of course, excellent food much of which is made in house—from the lime cordial to the ketchup.

The Swan, Wilton, Wiltshire

Very much the hub of this pretty village south of Hungerford, the pub is known locally for its excellent modern English menu which is very seasonal. There is a garden which runs down to the picturesque village pond.

Hampshire and West Sussex

The Noah’s Ark, Lurgashall, West Sussex

Idyllic setting overlooking the village pond and cricket green with tables outside in a cottage garden.

The Bush Inn, Ovington, Hampshire

This is a traditional 17th century pub set on the banks of the River Itchen where there is a pretty garden.

The Thomas Lord, West Meon, Hampshire

Traditional village pub with a beautiful garden and an abundant vegetable garden.

The Gamekeepers, Mapledurwell

The large pub garden offers views over green fields and the menu features excellent locally-sourced ingredients.

The Cotswolds Shooting Season – September not far away!

With some of the finest estates in the country, beautiful countryside and close proximity to London, the Cotswolds remain at the top of most people’s lists when thinking about sporting opportunities in the UK.  For six decades, Ian Coley has been one of the most highly regarded men in the sporting industry, both in terms of competitive shooting and sporting agency.  He first shot for Great Britain in 1971 and has coached the GB team six times at the Olympics, with gold medals in Sydney and London in the double trap; he was awarded a MBE in 2012 for his services to the sport.  He established ‘Ian Coley Gunsmiths’ in 1970 and began to offer corporate shooting days on estates across Gloucestershire in the mid-1980’s.  Today, the company, with its purpose built clay shooting facility, gun room and sporting agency, is based on a 50 acre site near Andoversford, ten minutes from Cheltenham.

Here, senior sporting agent, Edward Darbishire, and Ian Coley give an overview of how the 2017-2018 season ahead is shaping up.

“At the top end of the sporting market, things don’t seem to be affected by what’s going on politically or economically.  Since the downturn in 2008, there has been a steady increase in bookings year-on-year, regardless of what’s going on in the monetary markets around the world and shooting appears to be something people really want to do and we are here to provide it.

We typically do most of our bookings between February and April but business is picking up again as the grouse season starts on 12th August, followed by partridges in September and pheasants in October.  There is still loads of interest out there and we are also beginning to see more and more younger professionals interested in a day out in the countryside.

About 80% of our clients take the traditional approach to booking and will do it straight away.  Given the commitment to something that won’t happen for another year demonstrates their passion for the sport.  But increasingly, we’re seeing a proportion who, for whatever reason, will book later and later.  That’s not a problem as we still have days for this coming season, not least because estates are extending their seasons and putting on more days.

The Cotswolds will always be a prime area for shooting because of its location:  we have clients who live locally or have a second home here, as well as those who come from London – after all, it’s only a 1hr 45min drive, the shooting is very good and there are a number of excellent pubs and hotels which cater to the market. Price wise in the Cotswolds, we’re typically about £40 plus VAT per bird, this varies all over the UK due to a number of factors but location and quality play a massive part.

What we’ve noticed about shooting is the level of commitment; within reason, guns will drop everything to make the effort to come – that’s not necessarily true of other sports or corporate events.”

Harry Gladwin, Head of the Cotswolds Region says “Many of our clients have sporting requirements and the Cotswolds cater for most of their needs, be it shooting, riding or racing.  Those with ambitions to find a farm or estate with a decent shoot need to be patient as these rarely come to the market and when they do, usually command a premium.  Ian and Ed therefore often get introductions to clients wanting help with their local sporting fix or for lessons in preparation for their next day in the field.”

Top 10 Cotswolds shoots for Ian Coley Shooting

  1. Salperton Park
  2. Coombe End
  3. Stowell Park
  4. Ozleworth
  5. Badminton
  6. Crucis Park
  7. Newington
  8. Dumbleton
  9. Overbury
  10. Cold Aston
Tel:  01242 870391