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Gardens complete any home with the necessary breath of fresh air, but not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to afford a large garden. The area in which you live also largely dictates the average size of the garden. For example, inner city gardens are considerably smaller that rural gardens.

If you wish to have a nice looking exterior to your living space, but the economy of the property is quite restrictive, make full use of plants and colour. Smaller plants in containers or pots fit well in limited gardens and give it a welcoming vibe. Moreover, wall hanging containers are excellent for the balcony of an apartment.

If gardening is not your thing, but outside dining is, then buy some fold-away garden furniture to utilize the outside space when needed. You might think there is no space for a BBQ, for example, but you will reconsider your thoughts when you will find the right little kettle charcoal BBQ. They fit in any small corner or your garden and come in handy when you have friends over for a Sunday lunch.

Herbs and small vegetables in grow-bags can serve cooking purposes, as well as design reasons. For a very small flat that does not have a balcony, window boxes are a great way to bring a garden vibe to the window of your apartment. Choose a plant of herb that you can either use, or looks good from the outside. The bigger the plant, the greater the visual effect you will have from the inside of the apartment.

Think about colour, smell, height and how easy it is to take care of when you chose plants and flowers for the space you are decorating.

Finally, sit back and enjoy your special space. Whether it is a balcony or a small patio, any exterior can turn into a relaxing outside garden with just a little imagination.

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The new Housing Bill was one subject brought up by the Queen in her latest speech, on the 21st of June. Banning letting fees would be one measure that would improve “transparency, affordability and competition in the private rental market”.

Tenants and rental agents will benefit from the new bill, from two points of view.

First of all, landlords will not be able to collect rental fees anymore from their new tenants and their agents. The Queen’s speech mentioned the English Housing Survey from 2014-15 that revealed an average letting fee charged per tenancy of £223. In the same time, fees charged by agents increased by 60% from 2009 to 2010 and from 2014 to 2015 (14% increase in mean).

The fees were found difficult to pay by the tenants. The same studyfound that 42% of tenants had to borrow money and that 1 in 7 tenants pay more than £500.

Second of all, the bill intends to help tenants recover the unlawfully charged fees paid until now. There were no references about how this measure will be put to practice in the future, though.

Expectations from the new amendments are to create a more competitive rental sector with lower costs for tenants. However, overall, this should also result in a higher quality of service for renters.

The National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) took notice of the references made by the Queen in her speech. The banning proposals are not new since all the main political parties included it in their manifesto. According to Isobel Thomson, CEO of NALS, the Fair Fees Forum that will be held on the 13th of July will engage further in discussions with the Government upon the subject.

Proposals on the tenants’s fees bill were included in the main themes of the speech after an eight-week consultation program that ended on the 2nd of June. The main concern related to the subject was that the present situation was creating an environment lacked of transparency that is unfair to some parts included in the transaction.

 

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By Mahe Georgio Branch Manager – Victor Michael

I have been in the property industry for over 25 years and, believe me, a good job is hard to find, but every entrepreneur knows that a good employee is even harder to keep.

Over the years I have found it quite easy to keep employees motivated. ‘I provide them with a leader worth following and tasks worth fulfilling’! However, as time goes by, I still look for more ideas to drive my staff forward, keep them motivated and keep them performing to the best of their ability whilst enjoying it at the same time! Here are just a few things that I have tried and tested:

Use food as an incentive. Don’t underestimate the power of having some food around the office! Tell your staff that you are having a breakfast morning one day a week or month… They will be sure to come in early if food is waiting for them.

Making things interesting. Break up the day-to-day routine of the work schedule by shaking things up every now and then.

Reward your employees for hard work. Giving rewards to staff is a great way to motivate them. For example, create competitions to see who can generate the most revenue by the end of the month. I believe any contest will keep your staff motivated to produce solid work. You can reward them with either gift vouchers, tickets for sport venues, time off work or a casual dress day.

Acknowledge individual achievements. Take the time out to tell someone that they have done a great job. If truly exceptional, stand up and make an announcement to praise that person with a round of applause. (It is important to recognize employees’ individual efforts, but it is equally important for the rest of the staff not to feel left out if you are always recognizing the same few employees).

What ideas do you have that you think would motivate you or you staff? We’d love to know!

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What is the qualification that an area needs in order to get on the “ Desired Place To Live” list?

A survey that was conducted by Halifax rated heavily on the wish list the following influence factors: health and life expectancy, employment and earnings, low crime rates, general levels of well being, and access to places for socializing and down time.

10. Chiltern

This area of Buckinghamshire includes the towns of Amersham and Great Missenden. Some of the biggest homes in the country can be found here. Moreover, the citizens here have the highest life expectancy for females at birth, at 86.7 years.

9. Wokingham

This town in Berkshire is near Reading and it is handy for a commute into London. It is one of the healthiest places in the country, with 97pc of households rating themselves in good or fairly good health. This could be due to the high level of fitness clubs available to residents of the area.

8. St Albans

This city has the third highest earnings in the country, at £1,018 per week – far higher than the average of £646. But house prices are also high here, representing 10.8 times the income. St Albans also has a large proportion of adults with the highest levels of qualifications, at 63.6pc.

7. Purbeck

An area on the coast of Dorset, named after the Isle of Purbeck, a peninsula with steep cliffs that forms part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Purbeck gets 1,722 hours of sunshine a year, has high levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and offers good access to fitness centers.

6. South Cambridgeshire

This area has an easy commute into London, low levels of rainfall, and high levels of male life expectancy.

5. Hambleton

With 20 pubs per 10,000 people, you can see why this area of North Yorkshire would rate highly. It includes the picturesque towns of Bedale and Thirsk and borders the North Yorks Moors, as well as having a high level of employment and small class sizes.

4. Derbyshire Dales

The high employment here, at 87.7pc, and 45.1pc of adults have a higher level of qualification compared to a national average of 35.6pc. There’s also the vast number of pubs: 27 for every 10,000 adults, the second highest in the country, and the beautiful rolling hills and opportunities for hiking and other activities in the great outdoors.

3. Wychavon

To the east of Worcester, near the Malverns and the Cotswolds, Wychavon has lots of beautiful architecture, as well as many fitness clubs and great quality of life scores.

2. Orkney Islands

With a very low crime level, high employment, and little traffic on the roads (with just 142 cars per square kilometre, compared to the UK average of 9,419) the Orkney Islands often rank well in quality of life surveys.

Residents here are among the happiest, satisfied and least anxious in the country, with 96.6pc of adults on the Orkneys enjoying good or fairly good health, and 20 pubs to choose from per 10,000 adults.

1.

Topping Halifax’s list is Winchester in Hampshire, due to a combination of above average weekly earnings, a low crime rate and good health. Women there live more than two years longer than the average for the rest of the UK, and Government figures reveal that people here are among the happiest, satisfied, most content and the least anxious in the country.

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Location: Seymour Road, Leyton E10 7BL

Entrances: Marsh Lane, Seymour Road, Orient Way and Ive Farm Lane.

Nearest Stations: Leyton Central Line Station, Leyton Midland Station.

Buses: 48, 55, 56, 58, and 158.

When: 24 June, 12pm – 7pm

Where: Leyton Jubilee Park

Leyton Jubilee Park, the boroughs largest park, is now an outdoor sporting hub for the borough including, basketball court, mini and junior football pitches and a brand new changing pavilion.

Different from other events, the Summer Fest event is the only beer and sports festival where attendees can win prizes competing in free, entertaining events! There will be a series of matches and tournaments for you to watch and participate in.

  • Watch “5 a side” girl’s football match. A number of local teams will be competing against each other to win the summer fest trophy. They also have volleyball matches and a rugby match.
  • Fun and interactive traditional games such as target golf, putting contests, bean bag toss and more where attendees can compete to win prizes such as restaurant gift cards, free Fast Passes to the other events and much more!
  • Mouth-watering creations from some of the top local food trucks.
  • Kids Zone featuring fun creative activities and sports tester sessions.
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The mortgage market is in continuous move and it can affect you as well.

If you’re one of those shopping for a house soon and you are considering a mortgage, you should carefully analyse a couple of factors before making a decision. The location, the time you are going to spend in your new home (if it is temporary or, hopefully, for the rest of your life), the purpose of the investment (for your own living or if it is a buy to let), and other life circumstances should be considered when choosing a type of mortgage.

However, even with all these cleared up, there is still one more factor that might influence your decision. The mortgage market is in continuous move and it can affect you as well.

The analysis after the first quarter of 2017 proves that some types of mortgages are increasing, while other products for loans are remaining unchanged. For example, the number of contracted mortgages rose in the first three months. These are bank products offered for self-employed people, people with complex incomes or other underserved segments of the buyers’ market. Looking closely upon the offer of bank products, you may see that banks will speculate this moment and will come with new and improved offers. You will just have to pick the most advantageous for you.

The mortgage market also seems to be improving since the number of completed applications  for first time buyers is rising. 67% of first time mortgage applications were completed in the first quarter of 2017, up substantially from 48% in the same period of 2016. Intermediaries have eased up the applications because of the struggle to obtain a mortgage that was intensely publicised last year.

And one of the most important news that the mortgage market received at the beginning of this month is that the lending rates reached their lowest point. The figures from the Bank of England showed that this year’s borrowers received the lowest mortgage rates ever.

These effects are sometimes connected and influence one another, but paying enough attention to the movements of the market might pay off eventually.

Sources:

http://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/brokers-see-demand-specialist-mortgages-less-buy-let-forecast/

http://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/uk-mortgage-applications-intermediaries-successful-year-ago/

http://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/mortgage-lending-rates-uk-reaching-lowest-rates-ever/

 

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Buying a home for the first time is one of the biggest decisions you will make.

You will need to choose what mortgage company is best for you and what kind of deposit you will need to have. There are quite a few choices out there now though that can help you.

Here is a list of things you should look into:

  • How much can you borrow?

Before you jump in and start looking for your home, check your credit and speak to a mortgage adviser to find out how much you may be able to borrow and if you can afford the monthly payments. Don’t forget to put some money aside for legal fees to. Always ask your lender if they cover mortgages above a commercial property as some lender may not.

  • Decide what you’re looking for and where

Once you have either got a mortgage agreement in place or you know what you are able to borrow then you can start looking into what type of property you are looking for, how many bedrooms, is a garden important to you and how far is the transport. When looking at a area check what

  • Start house hunting

When looking for a property the first step is to look on your local estate agent’s website. You may look at quite a few places before you find the right property for you. When you see a property that you want to view, look around for any signs of dump, is the building structure sound, how old is the roof, how much storage space.

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A study described as the biggest of its type seeks to explain why vendors choose – or avoid – online agents.

Victor Michael sold propertiesThe Home Moving Trends survey undertaken by Property Academy surveyed 14,530 vendors.

Those sellers who chose to use a traditional agent were asked whether they had considered an online alternative. Precisely 30 per cent considered using an onliner but eventually decided against; the other 70 per cent said they didn’t even consider using an onliner.

When asked for the primary reason why they went on to choose a traditional agent, 38 per cent said because the local knowledge was important; 35 per cent because they could have face-to-face meetings; 17 per cent because of the importance of a local presence in the shape of a High Street office; and 10 per cent because it was simply more convenient.

Of those who went on to use an online operator, 74 per cent were persuaded primarily by cheaper fees; 11 per cent had a personal recommendation; nine per cent went online because those agents were “more innovative” and six per cent chose the option because online agencies were easier to deal with.

Around one third of sellers did not visit their selling agent’s office at any point in the process.

In other aspects of the survey, 85 per cent of respondents said Brexit “has not impacted my decision to move” although two per cent decided not to move because of the decision and seven per cent felt property prices had decreased in their area as a result of the referendum vote.

Movers are also showing increasing confidence in new technologies such as Virtual Reality – 60 per cent said they would consider viewing online prior to a physical viewing in the future.

KeyAGENT has produced an infographic of the results below.

Victor Michael sold properties

Victor Michael sold properties

Victor Michael sold properties

Source: www.estateagenttoday.co.uk

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The first 100 residents move in to the first set of glamorous flats as the huge £9bn development starts to rise at the south London landmark.

A few celebrities and 1,400 Apple office workers will soon be living and working next to each other at Battersea Power Station.

This project to refurbish the Grade II Listed building cost a staggering £9bn which is more than it cost to build the stadiums as well as staging the 2012 London Olympics. This building is the centrepiece of many developments of offices and apartment towers on the south bank of the Thames.

The development has been under construction for four years and has now started to take shape and the first 100 residents have moved in to a lavish apartment. After 90 years, the power station’s riverfront, with a new piazza and parkland is now accessible to everyone.

The power plant will not be opening its doors to the public for shopping and leisure until the new tube station, called Battersea Power station, comes online which will be in 2020. This station will allow residents to get to the City within 15 minutes.

A glass lift will also be built to take visitors to a viewing platform on top of the power station’s landmark white chimneys, where they will have extensive views across the river from a height of more than 100m.

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