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As jobs go, being a landlord can carry a lot of stress. From navigating constantly changing laws, buying and managing multiple properties and tackling problem tenants, there’s a lot to deal with.

However, according to the latest research from The Mortgage Lender, property maintenance tops the list of issues that are keeping residential landlords awake at night.

The research among a panel of landlords found tenant behaviour, care of the property, taxation and finding tenants also made it into the top ten worries of property owners. One in four landlords said they weren’t experiencing any issues that were keeping them awake at night while only one in 50 was concerned about enhanced underwriting for portfolio landlords and one in twenty cited Brexit as a worry.

Three in ten landlords said property maintenance was their main concern, which is unsurprising given the average property has four maintenance issues in a year with one in ten properties experiencing seven maintenance issues in a year.

The most common issues reported by tenants were ovens, water leaks and boilers and November is the month that experiences the highest number of maintenance issues.

Top Ten issues keeping landlords awake at night:

1: Property Maintenance – 30%
2: Care of Property – 24%
3: Tenant behaviour – 23%
4: Taxation – 19%
5: Costs V Rental Income – 17%
6: Landlord Regulation – 13%
7: Collecting Rent – 11%
8: Finding tenants – 10%
9:Property Prices – 10%
10: Market Conditions – 9%

The Mortgage Lender chief executive, said: “It’s not surprising landlords are being kept awake at night by maintenance issues. The most common problems can be expensive to fix eating into profit margins that have already been eroded over the last few years by changes to taxation and the fees landlords are able to charge tenants.

A mid-range combination boiler will cost around £1995 to replace while a basic oven will cost around £340. And problems with the plumbing soon add up with the average call-out fee at £70 and cost to fix a dripping tap at £90.

The new Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, which came into force on 20 March has further highlighted the need for landlords to maintain their properties. Failure to do so could result in court proceedings where the tenant could be awarded damages if the property does not meet the standards required by the Act.”


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Agents have expressed quiet optimism that the market may be over the worst as it continues to show resilience in the face of the Brexit saga.

Responding to the latest government figures showing modestly rising house prices, agents are saying: “Ultimately, strong economic fundamentals have been and will continue to offset headwinds – with low mortgage interest rates, good mortgage availability and wage growth all remaining positives for buyers. Those sat on the fence about selling before October 31, or immediately after, should not be deterred.”

A north London agent and former residential faculty chairman at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, adds: “These figures represent the most comprehensive snapshot of the UK property market of all the surveys. They show a small rebound from last month’s very weak numbers as the monthly and annual increase in prices are higher than the previous results.”

Meanwhile another London agent says that although the capital’s high-end has seen a decline in places, the bread and butter London buyer has been out in force, and a higher level of foreign investment due to a weaker currency has seen house prices remain buoyant in the majority of boroughs

“Those aspirational London buyers who remain sat on the fence over Brexit would do well to strike while the iron is, well uncertain, as we will only see market values strengthen as time goes on” he predicts.

The comments come after figures from the Office for National Statistics that average house prices in the UK increased by 1.3 per cent in the year to August – well up on July’s figure of 0.8 per cent.

Wales saw the strongest annual growth with prices up 4.5 per  cent with Northern Ireland (uniquely using a slightly different measuring system) up 3.5 per cent and Scotland rising 1.6 per cent.

England lagged slightly with a rise of 1.1 per cent – but that, too, was well up on the July figure. The worst performing regional figure was in London where prices fell by 1.4 per cent over the year followed by the South East, down 0.6 per cent.

The North East was the English region with the highest annual house price growth, with prices increasing by 3.3 per cent; the North West was close behind on 3.1 per cent.


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A trade body has sharply criticised HM Land Registry for its slow progress on digitising local searches after a promising start 18 months ago.

In November 2018 the Registry went public with a forecast that 26 local authorities would be on board “in the next few months” but to date only seven councils have switched from Local Land Charges to digital searches handled by the Registry itself.

The Registry also made extensive public statements saying how the programme was central to its, and the government’s, desire to see faster and simpler housing transactions.

Now the Council of Property Search Organisations says it’s “disappointing” the programme is moving so slowly and it urges HM Land Registry to name and shame those local authorities which are considered the slowest or where there are barriers in place to digitisation.

“Some examples which CoPSO has identified would include Derby City Council, Cheshire East, Lichfield District Council and Camden” says a statement from the trade group.

In August Estate Agent Today reported that Camden’s planning division admitted that it typically took 50 working days for a search to be completed.

In terms of the nationwide digitisation programme, the trade body says: “It is CoPSO’s view that the pace of take-on [by HM Land Registry] has to be dramatically increased and, in particular, that resource is focussed on optimising the short-term benefits. This can be done by identifying those authorities which currently operate at the slowest speed, at the highest cost, where there are barriers to accessing data, or where there are concerns over the quality of data.”

CoPSO members – including search providers and associated operations such as utility companies – provide some 80 per cent of all private sector searches.

The body says it is also lobbying for the release of a report written by the Registry and sent to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government on the future of CON29 – well known to agents as the form used by conveyancers to request information from the local authority during the course of a property transaction.

CoPSO says the future of the form must surely be a central part of the Registry’s digitisation project and adds: “There needs to be transparency, openness and cross-sector engagement if the opportunity to improve the provision of search information is to be maximised for the long-term benefits of homebuyers.”

In its statement CoPSO says that its comments are made in the context of it being “entirely supportive” of the HM Land Registry digitisation project and the wider objectives of simplifying the transaction process.

*When Estate Agents Today checked Camden council’s website last evening, search delays were still clearly the order of the day. 

A message on the site read: “Local Land Charges currently have a backlog of searches which has arisen as a result of staff shortages (a number of people left at short notice and we have had problems recruiting). We have appointed a new member of staff and another staff member will start shortly.  We are seeking to rectify the backlog issue as quickly as possible and turn round searches as quickly as possible, but in the meantime please contact the Local Land Charges Team for urgent overdue search applications. We will endeavour to try and prioritise these.”



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While there is no doubt that the buy-to-let sector has taken somewhat of a kicking in the last few years, it is important to remember that there is still high demand for private rentals across the UK and the PRS remains one of the most stable markets in which to invest globally.

Good news for tenants and good news for landlords if you know where to look.

The latest data and analysis from UK property development and investment company, SevenCapital, looks at the UK’s top cities for buy-to-let investment in 2020 and identified the top ten:


Topping the list for 2020, Birmingham is one of the most popular locations for overall investment in the UK. Last year the city attracted the highest number of foreign direct investments outside London and the South East and with £billions in projects either ongoing or in the pipeline, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

With 1.2 million residents already, Birmingham’s growth has outpaced all UK cities outside the capital in recent years, leaving a chronic undersupply of homes. As such, property price growth since 2014 has hit 19.30%, with Knight Frank predicting a further 12.5% by 2022. With rental yields for 2019 sitting comfortably between 4.4% and 5.3% according to PropertyData, the future looks bright for investors.


Manchester continues to be one of the most exciting places to live and work in the UK – attracting young professionals chasing top careers and families alike.

The city has already enjoyed a raft of investment which has transformed its skyline and appears to be enjoying a resulting ‘ripple effect’, arguably similar to that of London over the past decade.

Property Price Growth since 2014 sits at 22.09% and rental yields have remained fairly strong, reaching an average of 7.30% in the Fallowfield area.


Liverpool is one of the highest-performing Buy-to-Let hotspots in the UK for rental yields. According to Property data the postcodes L7 and L1 are regularly achieving yields of 8.2% and 8%, with rises of 15% and 12% in the last five years respectively.

While price growth has slowed during 2019 after an outstanding Q4 of 2018, the birthplace of the Beatles remains a top investment destination in the North thanks to exciting developments, exceptional career opportunities and rising tenant demand throughout the region. JLL expects that property prices in central Liverpool will rise by 2% and rents by 3.5% throughout 2020.


With house prices in Sheffield still at the lower end of the scale compared to most UK cities, this could prove a great location for the first-time investor. Property prices have grown by 19.5% since 2014, and an incredible 223% over the last 20 years.

However, it’s the rental yields that form the biggest attraction, currently sitting at 7.30% on average. With a £480 million revamp of the city’s shopping district vastly improving its amenities, Sheffield’s attraction is only set to continue to grow amongst tenants and visitors alike.


A key destination within the Northern Powerhouse, Leeds’ population is surging, growing seven times faster than London, leaving (like Birmingham) a severe undersupply of homes. As such the city has seen property prices grow 17.04% since 2014, and 211% since 2000. Its rental yields have also nearly topped the charts of cities in the UK, hitting an average of 7.6% according to Property Data.

With almost £7 billion of development in the pipeline set to see the city centre double in size, this city is on a serious mission to become the next big Northern attraction.


With growth of 250% since 2000, 7.7% in the last year (#1 in the Hometrack price index) and 2.4% in the last three months (#3 in the Hometrack price index), Leicester is fast securing its place as a top buy to let hotspot.

Like Sheffield, house prices are currently at the lower end of the scale next to other regional cities, meaning there’s significant scope for future growth. A chronic undersupply of homes to meet incoming tenants means its also generating good rental yields of around 7.20% according to Property Data.


A central location in the UK with direct access to many key destinations, Nottingham city centre is a natural choice as an investment destination. Well-known for its array of amenities, specifically retail, dining and entertainment, the city is already highly popular with students and professionals and its affordability is a further draw.

Since 2014, prices have grown nearly 20% and as the city continues to develop, we expect to see this growth continue.


With its world-famous educational credentials (namely Oxford University) and attractive architecture, Oxford has long held a strong attraction for many an investor. It has one of the strongest economies in the UK and, whilst property price growth has slowed somewhat since 2016, it ranks 3rd in the UK for growth overall in the past 10 years.

With Oxford’s connectivity between London, Heathrow and Cambridge set to improve further with the East-West Rail and Crossrail, the city, and surrounding areas’ popularity looks set to continue.


The Welsh capital is certainly one to watch for the coming year. One of the fastest growing cities in the UK, recent regeneration and improvements to infrastructure, namely the new South Wales Metro, have improved connectivity and boosted sector and jobs growth. Average rental yields in many parts of the city already sit between 4% and 6% and with its population tipped to grow the fastest of most UK core cities over the next 20 years, demand looks set to continue to soar.


Despite its popularity waning somewhat over recent years, making way for the UK’s regional cities, it’s still impossible to ignore the capital. Named the best city in the world by TripAdvisor, the number one city in the world to be a student and ranked second in the world’s top financial centres – behind only New York – London remains one of the best places in the UK, and in fact the world, to invest.

Since 2009 the capital has seen the fastest growth in the UK in most areas, with property prices sky-rocketing. Despite its slowdown since 2016, a population of more than 9.1 million means there is no shortage of demand now, and will unlikely be anytime in the future, Brexit or no Brexit.



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Moving to a new home can be refreshing and exciting; however, the move itself can be a stressful process for younger members of the family, who often need a bit of extra support and time to prepare.  While moving can be a potentially worrisome event for children, much of the negative emotional effect can be mitigated by proactively dealing with the process in a positive manner.

The reason behind the move often determines the amount of stress caused. If your family is upgrading to a larger home or relocating to a nicer area, for example, there will be far less emotional upheaval than if the move is because of a loss of income or divorce. Another crucial aspect is the timing of the move. According to psychological studies, very young children and older children take moving in their stride, while those between the ages of 11 and 14 years are typically more affected as they’re also dealing with hormonal changes.

Regardless of the reason, there are ways for parents to make the transition easier for their children. Here are some of our top tips:

Before the move

Communication is key

If possible, tell the children about the move as early as you can to give them time to process the idea. Children generally take longer than adults to get used to change and will have a higher level of anxiety if they feel as if something is happening and they are not fully aware of the details.

Point out the positives

It is a great idea to highlight the positive aspects of the new home or area to get the children excited about the new location. They may think moving means leaving behind their favourite toys and pets, so take some time to explain that they will all be moving together.

Focus on things that won’t change

Consistency makes children feel secure, so highlight elements that remain the same, regardless of the circumstances. Parents can emphasise aspects that will not change during or after the move, such as play schedules, bedtimes or the fact that they have a loving family that supports them.

During the move

Happy young mother pushing children sitting in laundry basket. Mother and children playing at home.

Let the children say goodbye

This doesn’t just refer to people, but also some of their favourite local places such as the park. It might be worthwhile to tell the children that saying goodbye today does not mean goodbye forever and that they may be able to visit those friends or places in the future.

Don’t let the children see the moving truck

When the truck is being loaded with your household items, it may be better for the children to be out with a friend or family member. Seeing all their possessions loaded into a truck and hauled away can be an upsetting experience for some children.

In the new home

Make the children’s bedrooms priority

it’s a good idea to set up the children’s bedrooms up first, so they have a familiar and safe retreat to go to when the move gets busy.

Allow time to adjust

For both adults and children, it will take time to adjust and acclimatise to your new surroundings. Make it an adventure by taking children out in the new area to explore. This is a great way to find nearby parks and activities for them to do.

Get involved

Whether it is joining the local church or playgroup or getting involved in the local community and activities, it will help everyone in the family make friends and feel at home faster.

Lend an ear

Irrespective of their reaction to the move, it is vital they know they have someone who is listening and paying attention to their emotions and needs. They may need to be reminded there is no right or wrong emotion and their feelings are valid.

An important element to reducing the stress on children is for parents to support and help each other deal with the change in circumstances. As with most situations that can have a negative impact on relationships, mutual support is vital to ensure that both adults and children adjust to the move as seamlessly as possible.

If you are looking for a new home for your family, contact us at


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Whether you like it or not, the festive season is fast approaching and those considering a house move should act quickly if they want to be in before the big day.

The conveyancing experts at JMP Solicitors have compiled a list of top tips for moving house, taking into account logistical considerations such as smartening up a premises, and organising belongings, pets and post.

1.Get the property ready for marketing

Once the decision has been made to move house before Christmas, it’s a good idea to smarten up your home before putting your property on the market.

Declutter the property and redecorate if necessary, a coat of paint can work wonders, as can giving the house a deep clean, emptying the loft and turning the storage/junk room into a useable space. Your property will then be more appealing to a prospective buyer, especially with a realistic price tag – always check the competing market.

It’s also worth ensuring that you get the best survey you can before you commit to any purchase, if the boiler does not work and you’ve already moved in, prepare for an expensive replacement, especially around Christmas time.

2. Be patient

It’s important to be clear on timescales which can often shift depending on how long a chain is. Sometimes you have no option but to sit tight, however you can still communicate your wishes to an estate agent and solicitor who can then communicate these to a buyer/seller on your behalf. Such an approach doesn’t guarantee success, but it does increase the chance of a successful resolution. Ensure when viewing a property, you make it clear that you want to move before Christmas and check how the seller responds. The last day you can move house and complete the sale before Christmas is Friday 20 December 2019.

3. Choose your removal company wisely

Moving house without the help of a removal company may be cheaper, but it can also be very stressful. If you are opting for DIY packing, it is best to start as early as two weeks before your moving date to box up items you aren’t currently using. This will make the whole process less stressful and will also help with the de-cluttering of items that you never use or don’t need, which can go to charity. Writing the contents and room on each box will help organise your packing and make unpacking easier. If you don’t fancy packing yourself, get your removals company to pack for you. A good removals company will be able to supply you with purpose-built boxes and packing materials, and they will offer various packing options to suit you.

4. Don’t forget to tie up loose ends

Be sure to inform utility companies that you are moving and have all mail forwarded to your new address once you have exchanged contracts. Write your Christmas cards in plenty of time and post with your new address pre-printed inside, this saves time and money on separate letters and messages.

5. Look after your pets

Both pets and young children can find moving house very stressful. Whilst animals can be kept safe and secure in a separate room to the unpacking, it is best to see if family or friends can look after children for the day so that they do not get anxious about the moving process and leaving their old home, this way they won’t feel unsettled and can just enjoy the excitement of arriving at their new home.



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While leaving your home to a family member is a very generous act, there is the matter of inheritance tax to think about.

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin was once attributed to saying that ‘nothing is certain except for death and taxes.’ Combining the two in the form of inheritance tax seems to only add salt to the wound. Often referred to as “death tax”, inheritance tax is levied on the estate of someone who has passed away. Although this tax only impacts a small number of estates, approximately around 4% in 2014/2015, the amount of revenue has increased annually.  As property prices increase, so will the number of people who will be liable to pay the tax.

When does inheritance tax occur?

Inheritance tax is charged at 40% on assets above the current tax-free threshold of £325,000 for an individual and £650,000 for a married couple. Amendments which were introduced in 2017 mean an individual can now transfer an additional £125,000 during the 2018/2019 tax year to their direct descendants, this increases to £150,000 in the 2019/2020 tax year, rising again to £175,000 in 2020/2021.

It is imperative to ensure the right people benefit when you pass away. If you die without a will in place, your estate will be dispersed according to intestacy rules and may attract a higher level of tax.

Is there a way of avoiding inheritance tax?

While inheritance legislation is complicated, there are a lot of ways in which you can legally avoid paying inheritance tax. One of the best ways is reducing the value of your estate by gifting sums of up to £3,000. Every year gifts of up to £3,000 can be given to your spouse or legal partner, a registered charity or a political party and are inheritance tax free. The legislation allows for other types of gifts too, such as variable amounts for weddings or civil ceremonies, the value of which is determined by your relationship. The golden thread is that you must not benefit from the money or assets you give away, because if you do, your estate will still have to pay inheritance tax.

Larger gifts

It is possible to give away larger amounts, however, it is far more complex, and you must live for seven years for it to be completely tax free. It is also important to note that, while you might not need the excess cash now, it may be needed later in life, so take that into account before gifting larger sums of money. Concerns about gifting to younger children or grandchildren can be allayed by setting up trust funds to ensure the money is spent wisely.

Tax relief investments

Certain investments, such as a trust fund, do qualify for tax relief provided they are structured in the right way. Remember, however, all investments carry a level of risk and should be assessed on its merit as a sound investment, rather than a means of tax avoidance.

Another effective and essential part of the planning is taking out life insurance, which can be placed in a trust so that your executors can pay any outstanding tax outside your estate.

Before you give everything away though, remember to enjoy the money you’ve worked for and spend it. There’s no need to live on a tight budget just to save money that will be taxed.

Looking for further advice on property related matters, then contact us on 020 8519 2000.



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Newly released figures from Barclays have revealed that many home movers are being caught out by additional costs that they didn’t factor in to their budget.

Newly released figures from Barclays have revealed that many home movers are being caught out by additional costs that they didn’t factor in to their budget.

Analysis from Barclays Mortgages shows the average upfront cost of moving home in the UK, including estate agent, legal and surveyor fees, land registry, EPC and stamp duty, is £7,641, on top of the purchase price. Meanwhile, the average unexpected associated costs can add up to £1,690, meaning homeowners are stumping up £9,331 on average in total home moving costs.

Upfront moving costs

The analysis looked at the average upfront cost of moving by city across the country, and found that costs vary significantly. Liverpool residents expect to pay just £2,787, compared to a whopping £22,417 spent in upfront costs for those looking to purchase a typical property in London.

For homebuyers also selling their own property, estate agent fees can play a major part in costs. For example, those selling a property in Oxford on average pay £5,783 in estate agents fees compared to £1,780 in Glasgow.

Stamp duty can equally cause a financial headache for those looking to move. In London, where the average house price is currently £482,200, homebuyers have to find typically £14,110 in stamp duty. House hunters in Oxford and Cambridge have on average similarly large stamp duty bills to pay too, with £10,365 and £11,130 respectively. But it’s not all bad news. Those looking to buy in Liverpool, where the average house price is £123,000, would not have to pay stamp duty on a house of this value, under the current stamp duty threshold of £125,000.

On top of this, building insurance costs can amount to £107 and a survey – although not a legal requirement but recommended – will set you back a further £550. An energy performance certificate is a legal requirement, which adds an additional £90 on average.

Associated costs of moving

In addition to these largely anticipated costs, many home movers are being caught out with a number of unexpected costs, including childcare, self-storage, decorating and pet-sitting fees. Indeed, nearly one in two (47 per cent) say they have incurred such costs as a result of moving property3.

The most commonly unanticipated costs nationwide include buying new furniture that didn’t fit in the new home (43 per cent), decorators/DIY help (34 per cent) and the need to buy takeaways for the first few weeks after moving in the absence of a fully functioning kitchen (26 per cent). Bristol and Belfast pay the most in unforeseen costs on average, while London the least.

Hannah Bernard, Head of Mortgages at Barclays, said: “Buying a house is a huge financial moment and the lead up to your dream home should be as stress-free as possible. Our findings show that on top of the burden of expected costs, homebuyers are getting caught out by additional costs that aren’t included in the asking price.

To balance the budget, try to plan ahead and really challenge what home move costs you could cut down, or better yet, if there are any you can cut out. Enlisting friends and family to help out could really save the pounds too. Our Barclays app helps customers plan ahead and see their payments in a calendar view, making it really simple to balance outgoings.”

The cost to wellbeing

Whilst the hidden financial implications are high, moving properties can also have a negative impact on mental health. Of those surveyed, 42 per cent admitted that moving home made them feel worried and anxious, while almost one in six (17 per cent) said that the stress of the move had a negative impact on their mental health.

Two-fifths (40 per cent) of home buyers believed it took them between three to six months to feel settled and in control again following a big move. Nearly half (46 per cent) named solicitor delays as the main factor impacting their mental wellbeing, with financial pressure (45 per cent) coming a close second.

The research also revealed that almost half (47 per cent) of homebuyers admitted to not being prepared for moving financially, underestimating the overall costs involved. This has resulted in 54 per cent admitting to needing to lean on family members for financial support to deal with the unexpected costs of moving – putting additional strain on their mental wellbeing.

Hannah Bernard continues: “Whether it’s storage for belongings, parking and removal vans or even childcare, buying a new house can really take its toll on finances at a time when home movers will be feeling the pinch. We know that financial pressures are a principal contributor to stress and anxiety around a house move. Being prepared for any last minute costs is a first step to make that milestone as smooth as possible.”


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London isnt simply a place to live; its an experience that gets into your blood! Theres no getting away from it – living in London really will change your life in all kinds of ways you probably never expected. Youve been warned

  • Weird clothing becomes the norm. In fact, youll soon not give even the most outrageous of garb worn on the street a second glance.
  • Being surrounded by awesome history, and seeing such delights as The Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey on a daily basis kind of spoils you
  • Youll become obsessed by the weather! Talking about it isnt the British national pastime for nothing, you know. The ability to enjoy (or should we say endure) rain, sun, wind, hail, snow, warm and cold all in a period of a few hours means youll soon be talking (or at least thinking) about the weather more than you ever thought possible.
  • On the same subject, a foldable umbrella will become part of your every-day arsenal, even if the weather man swears that its going to be sunny all day.
  • Youll learn to queue – AKA, stand in line. Because one thing you never do in London (or the UK, for that matter), is queue jump. And if you see someone else doing it, its obligatory to complain about them in a tone thats loud enough to be conveyed to the person next to you, but not quite loud enough for the individual in question to hear.
  • Seeing a person fail to stand on the right on an escalator is a crime worthy of punishment. What, you mean tourists dont have to take a Londontest before theyre allowed entry!
  • And talking of tourists, youll develop an unreasonable annoyance towards anyone wearing a backpack or carrying luggage on The Tube during rush hour.
  • The wildlife is amazingly varied. Seeing foxes on the empty night streets and parakeets flying in some of Londons famous parks simply becomes normal.
  • Youll learn to love the fact that some of the oldest buildings in the world, such as The Tower of London, can stand in the shadow of mankinds most recent creations, like the towering Shard.
  • Going out for the evening never again needs a designated driver, thanks to being able to get home on The Tube, or, if its a proper late night, braving one of Londons infamous night buses.
  • When the sun comes out, its almost law to head to one of Londons beautiful parks during your lunch hour and bare your skin to the rays (even if the mercury has barely reached 20 degrees!).
  • Clothes shopping takes on a new meaning, and you learn to never, ever hit Oxford Street on a weekend or public holiday – because every other person seems to have had the same idea
  • You refer to your Oyster Card without batting an eyelid. After all, it makes perfect sense to name a travel card after a seafood mollusc, doesn’t it!
  • Forget smiling at strangers or striking up a conversation. In London, you might as well be a mad axe murderer if you attempt such shenanigans.
  • You develop the Londonway of crossing roads. Forget what the traffic signals tell you – if you see a gap, youll learn to run
  • Wherever else you move to in the world, youll take a little piece of London with you. With its amazing architecture, ancient history, infamous monarchy, strange traditions and quirky habits, the city will forever hold a special place in your heart, no matter how short or long you live here.


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Home buying comes with a number of different questions that you want answering yet there is no reason why home sellers won’t also have unanswered thoughts running around their head. Whilst the selling and buying of homes are completely unique processes, with a little preparation both can be stress and hassle-free.

When is the best time to sell my house?

Everyone wants to know the answer to this question but no one has the answer. Reports suggest that spring is the preferred time yet the truth is that people buy houses in spring, summer, autumn and winter. Only you can decide when the best time to sell is based on your financial and personal situation.

How is the market right now?

Once again, this question is common in the property industry. Instead of looking at the market as a whole look at the local market. Take into consideration how much similar properties sold for and how long they were on the market for. Even though negative stories regarding the UK property market may be fluent in the news, at the end of the day, people are always going to want houses.

How should I prepare my home for a sale?

First impressions are huge so make it a good one. Consider what buyers may think when they drive up to your property. Is it attractive, clean, welcoming and well-maintained? Kerb appeal is what brings potential buyers in and sets your home apart from the competition.

Once inside, your property should be clean and a bunch of flowers and a scented candle will make all the difference. Repair any problems and take down anything that largely relates to your family or political/religious stance. You want to allow buyers to envision their own family inside.

What should and shouldn’t I tell potential buyers?

It’s important to let a potential buyer know of any defects. The old saying ‘treat people how you would want to be treated’ applies. If you are aware of any problems then it’s best to try and get these fixed before putting your property up for sale or negotiate the price to include the cost to fix them.

How much is my property worth?

This question is one that every seller wants answered but one that cannot be answered with a general response. However there are a number of ways to ensure that your property is worth the higher spectrum including bathroom and kitchen renovations. Take a look at the local market to see how much similar properties sold for but only use this as a guide.

How do you determine how much my home is worth?

As well as a comparative market report, things such as square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the state of the kitchen, window quality, location, roof age and style of the property will also be taken into consideration to determine its worth.

What happens if I change my mind?

Don’t worry! An offer to buy or sell a property is not legally binding in England and Wales until contracts are exchanged. After this, there may be some legal implications but before any contracts have been signed, you just have to cover any estate agency fees.

Shall I leave appliances or not?

Some buyers appreciate appliances and big furniture items being left but some would prefer you didn’t. If you can’t make up your mind and know you don’t want to take the items with you, give the buyer an option and offer a slightly reduced price if they don’t want them.

Should I be present when someone is viewing my home?

There is no right or wrong answer here but many sellers forget that their own behaviour says a million words. If you’re frosty, rude and bored then your property will have the same negative feeling. Some buyers will also feel more confident asking questions if the seller isn’t present.

How long will the process take?

This depends on the property and anyone involved in the chain. As a guide, look at the local market to compare how long similar properties were on the market for and when offers come in, ask whether the potential buyer is waiting to sell their property before they move. There is no definitive answer.

Remember asking questions is the only way to enlighten yourself so the more you ask, the less confused you’ll be. Good luck selling! If you are thinking of selling and have any questions, please get in touch.

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