WHAT IS THE PRE BREXIT HOUSING MARKET DOING?

Well the good news is prices are still rising, but slower than before. House prices in July were up overall 2.1% on last year, which is down from the 5.7% growth last January. So no matter what conflicting messages come from the powers that be, looks like property still represents value for money for now.

Making and Negotiating an Offer

blogOnce you have found the property of your dreams, the next step is to make an offer. It is important to consider a variety of factors when choosing your price level in order to achieve the right deal for you. Take a step back to logically look at all the things that matter before making your offer.

First time buyers, buyers with no chain and buyers who have pre-arranged mortgages have a head start on most of the competition. If this is you, then make the agent and seller aware of this, as this can put you in a very favourable negotiating position, especially if the seller is in a chain. Be sure to check if they are in a hurry to sell or have been trying to sell for a long time. If so, they may be willing to accept a lower offer to make the sale. Sellers who are not in a hurry to move are more likely to hold out for a higher price.

Knowing your budget ceiling is crucial so decide your maximum limit from the start and stand firm. If the seller refuses to budge, you need to think very carefully if the property really is worth the extra money and of course, what you will have to live without over the long term. Do your homework and check what the property is truly worth. Whilst sold house prices can help give an idea of recent sales, it’s better to see what the competition is like now. If there are few similar properties for sale in the area, chances are the seller has the upper-hand. Also, if there are any faults or repair work required, use this to justify a lower offer. In tougher times when there are fewer buyers, sellers may be more willing to negotiate on price.

Once you make an offer make it clear that it’s subject to contract and a satisfactory survey. If you are buying from a developer, while selling an existing property, see if they will offer a part exchange to buy your existing house.

And good luck!

Offer accepted. What next?

Once the seller has accepted your offer, ask them to take it off the market. They don’t have to agree to this, but doing so will shut out other potential buyers. Now you need to move fast – the seller will want to see progress so try to avoid any unnecessary delays in getting the surveys and other legal work done. Complete the lender’s application form and send them the documents they require – this will include proof of your ID, evidence of your earnings, proof of your address over the last few months and your bank statements, so have these ready.

The lender will arrange for a valuation to be done on the property. If you are lucky enough to not need a mortgage, you don’t have to get a survey done, though buying a property without one is not advisable and risky. If you are buying an older property, one that needs repairs or just for your own peace of mind, you could consider getting a more detailed survey done than the basic lender’s valuation.

The lender will use the surveyor’s Valuation Report and other information you provided to calculate how much it will allow you to borrow by way of mortgage secured on the property.

If you would like some assistance to find your perfect property/sell or let your property please contact Right Estate Agents on 0845 026 8527 or visit our website.

 

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Preparing for a New Tenant

blogIf you are working with Right Estate Agents, we will be able to take care of all tenancy agreements, handling of deposits and inventory arrangements for you however it’s still worth knowing exactly what these are.

Prepare an inventory

Taking a thorough inventory, with photos, at the start of the tenancy will reduce potential disputes over damage to the property. The inventory should list all fixed and freestanding items within the property, their condition and location. Professional inventory companies can help you with this.

IMPORTANT: It’s important both you and your tenant reviews the inventory and agree it’s a fair record of the condition and contents of the property when the tenancy starts.

Check your smoke alarms

Since October 2015 you, as a landlord, have a legal obligation to ensure smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms installed are in working order on the day a tenancy begins.  You’ll need to make sure there’s a functioning smoke alarm on each storey where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. More information can be found on the RLA website.

Check your insurance

Tenants will be expected to purchase their own contents insurance but you are responsible for providing adequate buildings insurance. If you are letting the property furnished it’s a good idea to take out cover for that although you will need to let your insurance company know you are renting the property out as it will affect the premium.

Preparing your property for your new tenant

Make sure the property is clean and tidy.  It not only creates a welcoming environment for your tenant, but it sets the standard you expect from them.  Between tenancies is also a good time to make those small non-urgent repairs.

Just before your new tenant moves in, we’d also recommend:

  1. Taking away any mail that may have been delivered in between tenancies
  2. Checking the keys to the property work properly
  3. Leaving your new tenant practical instructions about the property like security codes, where to find stopcocks, meters etc
  4. Making sure your tenant knows how to reach you in case of an emergency

If you would like some assistance to find your perfect property/sell or let your property please contact Right Estate Agents on 0845 026 8527 or visit our website.

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More women now investing in buy to let, survey shows

Women now account for two in five landlords according to research by Simple Landlords Insurance.

It says it has analysed tens of thousands of landlords’ details to discover that 40 per cent of landlords are women.

A separate poll of over 400 landlords showed how male and female investors have different goals for their investments. Some 63 per cent of female landlords said using rent for monthly income was their long-term business goal, as opposed to long term capital growth, compared with 53 per cent of men.

The research also found that women are more likely than men to have become accidental landlords.

Some 48 per cent of female landlords are deliberate (as opposed to so-called ‘accidential’) buy to let investors, compared to 61 per cent of men.

Women were more likely to have become landlords after moving in with a partner and renting out their own property or through purchasing a property for a family member to live in, such as a child attending university.

Female landlords are also likely to provide rented accommodation to a more diverse range of tenants than men.

Some 35 per cent said they would rent to housing benefit recipients, compared with 25 per cent of men. Women were also more open to renting to pensioners, students and single employed tenants.

Visit  www.rightestateagentsfaringdon.co.uk for more information on  the services Right Estate Agents Faringdon can offer you.

Source: Simple Landlords Insurance

Brits take more time choosing a sofa than a property

Right-Estate Agents Faringdon choosing a property

Brits usually decide to buy a home within less than 30 minutes of viewing it in person, according to surprising new research. However, when it comes to buying their next sofa they take 88 minutes – three times as long.

How long before “you know it’s the one”?

Findings show that the average house hunter makes up their mind in the same time it would take to watch an episode of Coronation Street, while almost a quarter (24%) ‘knew it was for them’ in just 10 minutes or less.

People appear to make a relatively quick decision following a property viewing as a result of their previous extensive research.

Choosing a property – who’s the quickest

Split by region, house hunters in the East Midlands are the speediest when it comes to making a property decision, taking just 26 minutes of viewing time before opting to go ahead with the purchase.

Meanwhile, buyers in the East of England are the most considered. But they still only take around 32 minutes to reveal their ‘green light’ on the property purchase.

They are closely followed by the West Midlands (30 minutes) and Yorkshire and the Humber (28 minutes).

British buyers do their homework

But – far from being impetuous – British buyers have done plenty of homework before arriving at the viewing, researchers found.

From the point of starting their property search (including using property websites and visiting estate agents), through to finding ‘the one’, the average house hunter puts in 75 hours’ research time spread over 15 weeks.

Buyers in Wales take longest, with average search times of 83 hours spread over 4.5 months, while the quickest property hunters are those in the East Midlands, who take 62 hours spanning three months.

Property Search Facts

  • Almost a quarter of property buyers (24%) made their decision to buy a home in 10 minutes or less
  • Buyers in the East of England deliberate the longest (32 minutes) and those in the East Midlands are the quickest (26 minutes)
  • The average Brit takes three times longer to choose a sofa (88 minutes) than a home

 

Visit  www.rightestateagentsfaringdon.co.uk for more information on  the services Right Estate Agents Faringdon can offer you.

What decision did you spend more time on than buying your house? Tell us below…

Source: Zoopla, April 2017

 

Energy Efficiency: How to make your house more efficient

At the end of 2015 the Daily Mail asked a simple question: Has Britain created the most efficient home?

The four-bedroom home described in the piece allegedly cost a total of £15 a year to power – including heating, lighting, cooking and water – thanks to a pump for pulling in heat, solar paneling, triple glazing and other insulation.

Not all of us have the techniques and skills of homeowner and architect Colin Usher (who has picked up awards for his work), but his home is essentially a template for us all to make our homes more efficient.

If you’re living in an older home, you might not have double glazing, which means heat will be escaping. Therefore, it might be time to upgrade, and while it might not be cheap, the initial outlay might save you big money if you play the long game. In addition, it will certainly be more attractive to buyers further down the line should you wish to sell up, or for tenants wishing to rent your property. If you can stretch to triple glazing this might also be advantageous, although it is not always more efficient.

Another tip is installing solar paneling, which can reduce utility bills considerably. Until February 2016 there were a number of government initiatives that made this idea almost flawless, but at that point payouts were slashed meaning that it was less profitable to invest. There are a number of factors to take into consideration, such as your location, the current efficiency of your home, and whether you need planning permission or not.

There are also many ways to get free insulation for your walls and roof to prevent heat escaping from the home. Energy providers will sometimes install the insulation for free, and even a boiler if you fulfill certain criteria based on income and status. Cavity and loft insulation could cost as much as £800 if you purchased it yourself, so it’s well worth inquiring with your provider.

If your home has an old hot water system there are a number of ways that you might improve it, without having to rip it out completely or replace parts. Buying a water-saving shower-head (aerated or low-flow), and keeping the boiler regularly serviced, can also help with water consumption. If you have the money and don’t mind a little upheaval in the home, TV architect George Clarke suggests installing underfloor heating as a more efficient alternative to wall radiators.

Finally, be smart. Turn lights off when you’re not in the room, and keep windows open in the summer and closed in the winter. Use energy-efficient lightbulbs in the home – perhaps ones that can be dimmed. Exchange your old appliances such as fridges and washing machines for newer, more ‘green’ products that use less water or electricity. You don’t need to be a visionary architect to create a perfectly efficient home, but the more you do, the better your chances of running an eco-friendly property.

For any advice on lettings or selling a property, please do not hesitate in calling Chrissie on 01367 520555

www.rightestateagentsfaringdon.co.uk

The gap between buying and renting narrows

Right Estate Agents report that the cost of buying a home for first-time buyers is now £670 a year lower than renting, however the difference between the cost of owning vs. the cost of renting has narrowed over the past 12 months.

According to research by Halifax, the average monthly costs associated with buying a three bedroom house in the UK for a first-time buyer was £666 in June 2015, 8% (£56) lower than the typical monthly rent paid on the same property type (£722 a month).

This is in contrast to June 2009, during the financial crisis, when the average cost of buying was 16% (or £1,154 per year) more than the average rent paid. Even though the average price paid by first-time buyers for a three bedroom house is 25% higher than six years ago, the monthly costs of owning has come down as the average mortgage rate has fallen to 2.91% from 4.92%. Average rents have grown by 23% in the same period.

However in the past year, with the price of a typical first-time buyer home rising by 8%, the difference between the cost of owning vs. the cost of renting has narrowed from £85 in 2014 to £56 in 2015 – a fall of 34%. This is partly as a result of average monthly mortgage costs rising by £40 while average monthly rents have only increased by £8.

First-time buyers in London will have, in cash terms, experienced the largest benefit from buying rather than renting a home in the last year. The average monthly cost of £1,338 for those who have bought in London in 2015 compares to an average monthly rental price of £1,419; a saving of £81 a month (£973 over the year) or 6%.

The second largest difference is found in the South West where first-time buyers were paying 9% less a month (£67 a month or £808 annually) than the typical private tenant in the region.

In the South East rental costs are marginally lower (1% or £8 per month) than buying – largely as a result of house price rises – but in all other regions buying costs are on average 7% lower than rental costs.

For more information call 01367 520 555 or visit rightestateagentsfaringdon.co.uk

Homeowners positive about the increasing value of their homes

New research reveals that many UK homeowners are very optimistic about the increasing value of their homes.

Homeowners are always keen to know the value of their home, particularly if they are thinking of selling. If would-be sellers perceive that their home has increased substantially in value, they may be more likely to put it on the market.

And new research from Co-op Insurance has revealed that the majority of UK homeowners do believe their home has gone up in value since purchasing it, to the tune of an average of £33,125.

It is increasingly common nowadays for people to see property as an investment, as a reliable way of making money. The findings, which came from a survey of 1,000 UK homeowners, found that 31% purchased their property with a firm eye on how much money they could generate from their investment. Banking on house prices increasing year on year was the main way (62%) in which homeowners would hope to achieve this.

Meanwhile, for almost a third of people taking part (32%) location was the key deciding factor, with buyers keen to purchase homes in already sought-after areas, thus increasing the chances of the home going up in value significantly. Up and coming locations are also a popular choice, as these areas tend to witness very fast house price rises over a short period of time. The buzz surrounding these places is reflected in increased demand and fierce competition for homes.

Some 32% of people carried out thorough research before picking an area classed as ‘up and coming’. These are often previously neglected or ignored locations that are now benefitting from a boom in popularity, thanks to better transport links, new homes, regeneration, gentrification, national fame, infrastructure projects or a combination of these factors.

Elsewhere, 29% purchased a home that was in clear need of a complete revamp. Of course, homes that are freshly renovated are highly likely to go up in price just by virtue of being in better condition than when the property was bought. Property developers, landlords and first-time buyers may be most attracted to a home that is in need of renovation. The initial outlay is likely to be much lower, but renovation costs must then be factored in. However, the home is likely to go up considerably in value once it is up to standard, making the time, money and effort involved in renovating fully worthwhile.

In most cases, full-scale renovations won’t be needed, but people are still keen to stamp a mark on their property and regularly tinker with their surroundings. Some 76% of those surveyed said they had made changes to their property since moving in, with rearranging rooms from one thing to another a common occurrence.

Of those who have carried out improvement or renovation works, 60% believe this has added value to their home. Homeowners have invested an average of £18,224 on renovations and decorative tasks. With the value of a home rising by £33,125, homeowners are generating, on average, a £14,900 profit as a result of their outlay.

Londoners have seen the biggest average increase in profits as a result of renovation and decorative works, with a massive 94% of respondents who reside in the capital believing their home had gone up in value by more than £20,000.

The research also revealed that the kitchen is king for would-be buyers. If you are a seller looking to renovate one room in your home to impress prospective buyers, you should look no further than the kitchen. For 56% of those surveyed, the kitchen is the room that really sells a home. We’ve outlined before why the kitchen is now arguably the most important room in a house and why sellers should pay extra special attention to it.

As we’ve said many times before, though, getting your whole home up to scratch – ensuring it’s clean, tidy, welcoming, well-lit and attractive – will massively improve your chances of selling quickly and for the best possible price.

In the current climate, with demand continuing to outstrip supply and market conditions in favour of sellers, homeowners have every right to feel confident about steady house price growth and a continuing rise in property values.

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