First Time Buyers

A new research focused on the profile of the first time buyer has some very interesting results to take into consideration by the sellers on the property market.

According to this study, the average first time buyer is aged between 25 – 34. Apparently, some of the buyers postpone the moment of getting their own property because of the money they need to have as deposit (nowadays around £22,689) or the big property price.

The average property price for first time buyers rose from 2000 until today by £136,000 causing a decrease in the number of first time acquisitions by 27%. Considering the changes that took place on the property market as a whole in recent years, we dare to say the fall is not as drastic as it could have been.

New research reveals there are fewer first time buyers in the UK and they are older

However, what should raise more concern is the basis for the entire study: a prediction made by PwC ‘that London will become a city of renters by 2025, with only 40% owning their own home’.

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Preparing to leave a house can be a bit of a hustle – mentally and practically. Both of these aspects require ahead preparation.

To make things easier, start to plan the moving as soon as possible. Even immediately after you signed the papers for a new house.

Photo source: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8783/17027548557_253e53a072_c.jpg

Here are some steps that can be made even two months before the actual move.

Keep vs. throw away-s. Decide what you want to take away with you to your new home and put it on a list. Go through every room of the house and put away the things that aren’t helpful for you anymore. Leave them for the future inhabitant of the house – if they agreed to this, or  simply throw them away.

Get all the wrapping supplies. Estimate the number of boxes you are going to need and buy them or ask a local shop to keep some of their product boxes for you. You will also need: bubble tape, tape, markers. Think about the special containers for the dishes or your wardrobe.

Early packing. With even a month before the moving you can start to pack some of the items you do not use frequently. Label them clearly and put them aside.

If you are even more into detailed planning you can use this timeline on RealSimple.com. Try to stick to it as closely as possible because delays mean rescheduling and takes even more of your precious time.

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There have been cases where people have bough leasehold properties on leasehold land, leaving themselves wide open to pay sometimes eye watering rates. While some charges start off reasonable, they very often increase sharply.

There have also been cases where the land beneath the leasehold property has been sold on, with the new contractor then imposing new rules and rates.

Source: Wikimedia.org/ labeled for re-use

Either way, homeowners face huge charges and are unlikely to be able to onward sell their properties for a decent price.

 

Four things you should be able to tell clients about when selling leasehold properties:

 

Ground rent. Usually paid annually to the landlord and may rise over time. How much is it, and what are the terms? i.e. Does it double every year or follow inflation? These costs can quickly spiral out of control.

Service charge. How much is it and what does it cover?

Reserve fund. This is a sum that leaseholders pay to a managing agent for works that may have to be addressed in the future. Is there one, and has it built up? This can be presented as a benefit to a buyer, as potential future repairs may already be covered.

Length of lease remaining. Very often, an add will advertise the lease length as it was at the very beginning of the properties life span. So, this may say 999 years’ lease. Even though only 100 years remain. If the remaining lese length is 85 years or less, be aware. Many lenders will not lend on less than 80 years. The cost of extending a lease after that time also increases dramatically.

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Source: Flickr, labeled for re-use

There are numerous reasons why a house is not selling. It could be the fault of the estate agent, a lack of market activity, or an unattractive property presentation.

Divorce cases. These are very off putting to buyers. Even if the agent has not been informed or has been asked not to say anything, somehow, the buyer picks up on the atmosphere. If a divorce is the reason for selling, then try to vacate the property before the agent starts to do viewings.

If you are trying to sell your home but for some reason it’s just not happening, then it may be time to ask yourself a couple of questions. And be honest…

Could I be more flexible for viewing times and days?

Am I assisting or hindering the viewing?

Am I presenting my property to the best possible standard?

Should I consider a price reduction?

Am I being given viewing feedback from my agent?

Some useful tips seem obvious but are regularly overlooked by many. The simplest of things can make or break a sale. What is parking like in the street? If you have a drive, keep it car free. Allow the prospective purchaser to use the driveway.

What day are the bins collected in your street? If your street is a victim of looking untidy in the run-up to bin collection day, then try to find a day when the street looks presentable.

If you live in a street that has a school, then do DO NOT have any viewings around the time that parents are parked in your street when collecting their children from school, as parking will be hard to find. Likewise, if the neighbours’ children are a nightmare, then they will also be at school.

If you have a great feature in your home, i.e. the rear garden, then try to book viewings when the sun is up and upon the garden.

Calm background music is always a nice touch, as this can set a mood in the property.

A sure-fire tip is to think ‘Show Home’. If you have collected a lifetime of memories over the years, start to box it all away and store it under the stairs. You have already made up your mind to move, so start the process and start to pack away.

Make sure that the house smells nice, free from pet odour and smoke.

Make sure that pets are out of the house… You may love them, but not everyone will.

 

Finally, we will live in a home on average for 10 years. Statistically speaking, you will probably only have to sell a home 5 times… So choose an agent wisely and allow them to take the stress out of the selling process for you.

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How close are you to the point of reaching that much dreamed moment of buying your own place? If you’re already at the point of searching for a property, it’s time to wake up!

Source: Wikipedia, labeled for reuse

Deciding that you need a home of your own and getting to the point of eventually searching for the right place for you can be quite a long road to walk. You know exactly how your house looks in your dreams, but finding it on the market is a real challenge.

Not necessarily wanting to shatter your dreams, here are some advice you might want to follow when searching for a property.

Stay on the budget. Assuming you already know your limits – how much a financial institution or the bank of ‘Mum and Dad’ can offer you, it is very important to not cross these limits in any way. The temptation is huge when you see those pictures of the perfect house just a little above your price range, but the extra cost will just lead to new extra costs. Remember that it can be just as frustrating to live in an empty house because you might not be able to buy any furniture for it.

Keep it real. Make a plan of exactly what your needs are. You might want to ask yourself from time to time:

Do I really need that enormous kitchen?

Is an extra bedroom going to be of any other use that to deposit things in it?

Will I really use the two bathrooms in this apartment?

Location, location, location. You might search for places around your working place or near your friends. Keep in mind that jobs change and people move so pick a place that has good connections and nice surroundings. Because that is exactly what you are going to be using/ seeing every day.

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I am 22 years of age and would love to buy my own property. 

copyright: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cc/Captain_Bligh_House_London.jpgBeing a first-time buyer usually means forking out rent, saving for a deposit and playing catch-up with ever-rising house prices all at the same time! 

London is the ideal place to buy a house or an apartment for me. It is a great place to live in, but it can be expensive if you are a first time buyer.

Not only are properties expensive to buy (average price in the borough of Redbridge is £446,581) but I will also need at least 20% deposit + stamp duty costs + legal fees on top of that.

Based on my salary, it would be impossible to apply for a mortgage based on the average property prices in London. My own research shows that there are two solutions for purchasing a property.

– Buy a property out of London as it is a lot cheaper, therefore, affordable for me.

– ‘Help to Buy Scheme’ 

The scheme requires a minimum 5% deposit of the property value with the Government offering an interest-free loan of a further 20%. The remaining 75% is covered by a standard mortgage.

As an example, if you want to buy a £200,000 property under the Equity Loan scheme, you would need a minimum deposit of £10,000 and to qualify for a £150,000 mortgage. The Government then provides an equity loan of £40,000.

Another option would be to buy jointly, either with friends or family.  I think this is my preferred option, so far. 🙂

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Viewings are the biggest problem when trying to sell a house. Possible buyers seem to notice everything from corners infiltrated with water to dust on shelves. Even over-crowded spaces like a kitchen with an island might leave them with a wrong impression about a house – that it is anything but spacious.

The good news is that there are a couple of things you can do to get a good grade for the viewing. Just make a list of things you need to improve.

The easiest way to make the “to fix” list is by having a friend (or friends) over! Their visit and their critical opinions is exactly what you need to see your house from an external point of view. The critical the eye of the beholder, the better for you. It will make you get a better picture of what to fix.

  1. Create as much open space you can. Remove the kitchen island or get rid of all the furniture you do not need. As a buyer, when you see an open and clean space you get ideas about how to personalize it and it will get you closer to sealing the deal.
  2. Mow the lawn and take care of the garden. You might not be living there, but the viewer must see the place as inhabitable. If the house has a garden, it will create the first impression and it should be welcoming to any visitor. Make sure the landscaping has been taken care of and you should see the result in the selling price.
  3. Add more light. Light bulbs should be completely functional, windows should allow all the light to get in, and motion detectors to switch on the light in some areas create a good impression. But be careful! Light goes hand-in-hand only with a very clean house.
  4. Paint and re-paint. A fresh layer of paint over counter-tops or re-painting the stairs will add to the overall sensation of tidiness and freshness. Having everything repainted is even more important for old style houses.
  5. Fresh air. What do you notice first when you walk into a house? The smell inside, most probably. To prepare for a viewing, the house should be as ventilated and smell as fresh as possible. In order to eliminate any odor sources, you should try: cleaning the carpets, keeping the windows open for as long as possible, use light chemicals to clean the entire house.

Have these things in mind when preparing the property for a viewing. They are easy to do and add extra points to the overall impression of the house.

Sources:

Brokers Tell All: 10 Ways to Boost House Value

10 Steps to Boost Your Home Value

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Millennials prove to be wise and take easy steps into becoming home owners. Young people (18 – 34 year old) are very considerate when it comes to financial planning. Latest research shows that they choose to re-mortgage, but they make sure that it will not surpass their monthly income.

Considering all the age categories re-paying their mortgages, millennials are making the biggest contribution to the overall budget: £908 per month.

The main reason for re-mortgaging is reducing the costs of their monthly mortgage which is a savvy way of looking at these type of financial solutions.

More upon the subject of the millennials behavior when it comes to mortgages in the latest article on Property Reporter.

Image copyright: Property Reporter

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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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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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