First Time Buyers

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Measurements to improve affordability for UK houses could include a price freeze for the next five years. This is the main suggestion made by think tank IPPR, the Institute for Public Policy Research, to the Bank of England.

Think tank urges government to introduce five-year house price freeze

The reason is logical and the phenomenon has been happening visibly on the house market lately: easy lending options (offered by banks) influence the house prices. Prices rise and potential buyers need more money… lent from banks. This is a cycle that will keep on repeating itself. Unless the Treasury decides to stop prices from rising.

However, these measures will have a big impact on every potential buyer, but especially on first-time buyers. Details on the article on Property Reporter.

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When you put your property on the market, it’s important that you do everything you can to make sure it looks as aesthetically pleasing as it can be. Here are some of the ten biggest turn offs for potential buyers or renters when they look at a property.

Damp

A whopping 70% of people stated they’d be turned off at the sight of damp patches or stained walls. This is often due to how expensive it can be to fix and can also indicate further issues within the property, like a leaking gutter or roof.

Property in poor state of repair

Next was a property that’s in a poor state of repair. This isn’t a surprising one since repairs can get very expensive quickly and are often time consuming.

No garden

It appears that 57% of people consider a garden a deal breaker. Despite the inconsistent UK weather, many buyers are always after the opportunity at least to plant some flowers and grow vegetables.

Bad smells

Many homebuyers appear to be turned off by poor smelling homes, which shouldn’t surprise many. Examples could be smells caused by pets, food and cigarettes.

No space for parking

Over half of homebuyers stated that parking was another deal breaker when selecting a new home.

Poorly lit rooms

54% of people were put off by poor lighting; hardly anyone wants to come home in the summer to a house where the lights still need to be turned on, so it’s important to keep your home properly lit so it feels welcoming to viewers.

Unfinished works

About 54% of individuals stated that unfinished building work was off-putting when it came to buying a house. Viewing a house that looks like a building site isn’t very appealing and neither is the thought of buying one.

Small rooms

51% of homebuyers said a home with small rooms was a turn-off. This is probably because of the increasing popularity of open plan areas. Small spaces are often advertised as ‘cosy’ but it appears many homebuyers aren’t looking for this.

Small kitchens

It seems 44% of individuals would be put off by a property with a small kitchen. A kitchen is the hub of many homes and if there isn’t enough space for wining and dining guests it often won’t be considered.

Poor DIY

Good intentions aside, bad DIY is off-putting to 43% of homebuyers. An unfinished curtain rail or skirting board can look tatty and gives off the feeling that the property isn’t care for. When the time comes to conduct viewings, we suggest just putting the tools down.

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Buyers on the property market have incomes ranging from small to… pretty big. No matter the amout of money the earn each month, they shouldn’t be deprived of their desire to have a home.

However, low earners must look for the most affordable options when it comes to city home. Or, the most affordable city…?

Latest research names Glasgow as the best option for low earners. It is the most affordable city in the UK, according to reallymoving.com, and it is followed by Manchester.

More details about who enters the low earns category and the UK cities’ ranking in this article on Property Reporter:

Where is the most affordable city in the UK for low earners to buy a home?

London and Birmingham are together named the most un-affordable in the UK.

The research is based on a comparison between average house prices and the typical earnings.

But don’t be put of by this ranking. There are still great sales or lettings on the property market in London. Just keep your eyes open!

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Unless you’re an experienced renter, moving can actually get you in a spot of bother unless you follow the correct protocol. A wrong move can result in unexpected fees, fines and even a driving penalty. Here’s our checklist to help you avoid the worst when moving out of a rental flat.

Photo source: https://bit.ly/2HBT7iT

Inform the right people

There is a long list of institutions to tell that you’re moving, including your employer, your bank, your credit card providers, utility providers and the council.

And then there’s the DVLA, which can often be the forgetful one. Whilst you’re not changing cars, you are changing address, so if you get an unfortunate driving offence, the DVLA will write to your old address and if they don’t get receive a timely response, it can get bad quickly.

Change your postal address

It may be worth investing in the mail redirection service from Royal Mail – charges begin from £33.99 for three months and it takes just 5 days to organise. You can apply online or at your local post office from 3 months before to 6 months after you move.

Don’t forget to clean

According to the Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS), poor cleaning makes up over half the deductions from tenants’ deposits.

The best way to avoid this from happening is to pay for a good end-of-tenancy clean. This may even be a requirement in your contract so be sure to double check.

And when they’ve finished, take plenty of clear photos of their work so if issues do arise, it’ll be easier to dispute it with the cleaning company instead of letting it affect your deposit. If you can, send the same photos to your landlord. Remember that your aim is to return the flat how you found it.

Worried about being charged for pre-existing issues? Resend your check-in photos to your landlord to remind them of the properties condition when you first moved in.

Know about wear and tear

Landlords aren’t allowed to subtract money for ‘reasonable wear and tear’. Examples include worn carpeting, loose wallpaper and faded curtains or drapes.

Also, if you’ve lived in a property for several years, the landlord should expect the property to be more worn than one that’s been occupied for a short period of time (six months and under).

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The market always anticipated the trends for anyone willing to ‘listen’ carefully to it. The build-to-rent trend is one of the many activities that appeared when (and where) a gap appeared between demand and supply.

Now someone has to address Generation Rent:

” those under 35 years old in full employment stuck in overpriced housing and earning too much to qualify for social housing”

But what do they need? More affordable private rental properties. And here’s where build-to-rent comes to meet the demand!

In recent years, smart investors speculated upon these trends and needs and have created new homes. Usually we are talking about flats that are designed to be rented on the long term, instead of actually bought fast by first time buyers.

Now, the figures are saying there is a 30% of the population renting in London.

Recent forecasts by PwC property consultants expect to see 60% of Londoners living in rented accommodation by 2025.

The growth in renters can only be supported by private investors. More helpful information and forecasts for investors in this article on Property Reporter:

Build to rent investments to become the mainstream by 2025

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Photo source: EUGDPR https://bit.ly/2GZg6TZ

GDPR is an acronym for General Data Protection Regulation and it is one of EU’s measures to ensure that an individual data is well protected by companies. The GDPR takes action starting these days and it might affect you more than you think.

First of all, if you are a real estate operator, you should be implementing GDPR concerning your customers. Private data are no longer at anybody’s disposal and security measures are a must. Otherwise, you – as a company, or as an individual, are facing high penalties.

Secondly, if you’re a buyer/ a landlord/ a tenant or any individual interested in a property, most probably your data is already at multiple real estate operators. You have to make sure your data protection rights are respected. But first you have to know them…

GDPR – How will it affect the property sector?

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Unless you’re an experienced renter, moving can actually get you in a spot of bother unless you follow the correct protocol. A wrong move can result in unexpected fees, fines and even a driving penalty. Here’s our checklist to help you avoid the worst when moving out of a rental flat.

Photo source: https://bit.ly/2IGxL8P

Inform the right people

There is a long list of institutions to tell that you’re moving, including your employer, your bank, your credit card providers, utility providers and the council.

And then there’s the DVLA, which can often be the forgetful one. Whilst you’re not changing cars, you are changing address, so if you get an unfortunate driving offence, the DVLA will write to your old address and if they don’t get receive a timely response, it can get bad quickly.

Change your postal address

It may be worth investing in the mail redirection service from Royal Mail – charges begin from £33.99 for three months and it takes just 5 days to organise. You can apply online or at your local post office from 3 months before to 6 months after you move.

Don’t forget to clean

According to the Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS), poor cleaning makes up over half the deductions from tenants’ deposits.

The best way to avoid this from happening is to pay for a good end-of-tenancy clean. This may even be a requirement in your contract so be sure to double check.

And when they’ve finished, take plenty of clear photos of their work so if issues do arise, it’ll be easier to dispute it with the cleaning company instead of letting it affect your deposit. If you can, send the same photos to your landlord. Remember that your aim is to return the flat how you found it.

Worried about being charged for pre-existing issues? Resend your check-in photos to your landlord to remind them of the properties condition when you first moved in.

Know about wear and tear

Landlords aren’t allowed to subtract money for ‘reasonable wear and tear’. Examples include worn carpeting, loose wallpaper and faded curtains or drapes.

Also, if you’ve lived in a property for several years, the landlord should expect the property to be more worn than one that’s been occupied for a short period of time (six months and under).

Read more

We’re always trying to find the best tips for raising the value of a home. And if beauty is in the details, there is more that one thing to consider when talking about the bathroom…

Photo source: Futurist Architecture https://bit.ly/2wZnAXw

Considering you’re a homeowner trying to renovate the home before selling it, would you keep the tub or would you change it with a shower? If you’re thinking of simply answering ‘The next owner will figure out what it wants!’ you might be loosing some money while answering.

Most home-buyers are looking to find the perfect home throughout. It should fit their wishes from the key to the… bathtub or shower! So keep in mind the buyer when redecorating.

Now, to ease a bit the process of making up your mind, here are the principles before choosing between a tub and a walk-in shower:

  • usually families use a tub. Children need a tub if only for their rubber duckies if not anything else. 🙂
  • young and active homeowners prefer a shower ‘on the go’, before going out.

If you know who you are targeting, it should be really simple. Your 3-bedroom home with only one bathroom is, most probably, going to be bought by a family. Your studio apartment close to the station will be preferred by a first time buyer.

Photo source: Homestratosphere https://bit.ly/2x2JN70

More info about the types of bathrooms preferred by different targets of people in this insightful article on Elle Decor.

And talking about redecorating a bathroom, we gathered some ideas for either or a tub-bathroom, or a walk-in shower:

81 Wonderful Bathtub Ideas with Modern Design

280 Master Bathrooms with Walk-In Showers for 2018

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Planning to move to London? Relocating is hard, and London is not the easiest city to adapt to.

Photo source: https://bit.ly/2wRqHAy

Getting yourself mentally prepared is the first step and we found a good article about things to consider before moving to London on Property Division. We dived them into ‘pluses’ vs. ‘minuses’ so you can do the math:

– higher rents

+ more available jobs and different types of careers to choose from

+/ – housemates (it’s a + or a – considering the type of person you are)

+ meeting interesting people

– high costs for transportation

– pricey pubs

+ lots of new things to see

+++ everything’s open late!

Things Northerners Should Consider When Relocating to London

Now what do you choose? Being a tourist or a Londoner?

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Understanding the difference…

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When searching for the ideal property to buy, aspiring homeowners may be faced with a choice: leasehold vs. freehold. What are the differences?

 

 

Leasehold vs. freehold: the basics

The main difference between leasehold and freehold is that if you buy a leasehold property, you own the property but not the land it stands on. With a freehold property, you own both the building and the land.

In England and Wales, the majority of flats are leasehold, while houses are usually sold as freehold properties.

 

Buying a leasehold property

With leasehold properties, the land the building stands on is owned by a landlord, also known as the freeholder.

You will own the property for the length of a lease agreement with the freeholder. After the lease expires, ownership of the property will revert back to the freeholder.

You’ll pay ground rent to the freeholder, although this usually won’t be very much. The freeholder will also be responsible for maintaining and running the building, so you can expect to pay a service charge to contribute to the cost of this.

 

 

Buying a freehold property

When you buy a freehold property, you’ll own the dwelling and the land it stands on outright.

There will be no time limit on your ownership, so you won’t have to worry about a lease running out.

You’ll be responsible for maintaining the building and any related costs, but this will mean you’ll be free to do whatever you like to the property (subject to planning permission).

 

Leasehold vs. freehold: a summary

Buying a home is an exciting step, but it is very important to understand any impending issues surrounding property ownership.

When it comes to leasehold vs. freehold, the main difference is that as a freeholder you’ll own your property outright from the get go, while as a leaseholder your ownership will be limited to a set length of time.

If you want to know more about buying a home, get in touch with our team today; we are more than happy to help!

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