Real Estate

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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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Letting a place for a holiday has become a more and more popular habit over recent years. According to a recent study, the most searched for destinations have recorded a rise in prices.

Welsh holiday hotspots see UK’s biggest price rise

But which are these destinations everybody is talking about? Which are the hotspots most searched for? Here are some of these destinations.

Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

The Forest of Dean is a geographical, historical and cultural region in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England.The area is characterised by more than 110 square kilometres (42 sq mi) of mixed woodland, one of the surviving ancient woodlands in England. A large area was reserved for royal hunting before 1066, and remained as the second largest crown forest in England, the largest being New Forest. Source: Wikipedia

People usually search for self-catering cottages in this area.

Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons is a mountain range in South Wales. In a narrow sense, the name refers to the range of Old Red Sandstone peaks which lie to the south of Brecon. Source: Wikipedia

Photo source: https://bit.ly/2z8eokt

Kent Downs

The Kent Downs is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Kent, England. They are the eastern half of the North Downs and stretch from the London/Surrey borders to the White Cliffs of Dover. It is renowned for its natural beauty. Source: Wikipedia

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

Isle of Sheppey

The Isle of Sheppey is an island off the northern coast of Kent, England in the Thames Estuary, some 46 miles to the east of London. It has an area of 36 square miles. The island forms part of the local government district of Swale. Source: Wikipedia

Photo source: https://bit.ly/2tPOv45

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Photo source: Wikimedia https://bit.ly/2y61mna

Anybody who ever experienced moving houses under a deadline or searching in a critical moment for a roof over their head know the feeling. The feeling of solitude and desolation to be unable to know exactly if and where you’ll rest your head at night.

Right now, there are over 120 000 children in this situation. These are the figures of children living with their families in emergency housing. The real problem is: the number of families living in temporary, emergency, accommodation rose by 500% in the last 9 years.

Temporary or emergency housing is paid by the government. And the yearly sum allocated to solve this problem was of more than £105m/ year in the last 8 years. It sums up to almost £845m of public money.

But the solution to this problem doesn’t stand only in the hands of the government. Landlords might have a win – win solution to the problem of these families if only they would consider reducing or eliminating deposits.

The following article on Property Reporter mentions the problems, but also suggests some very good solving to the housing problem of those in difficulty:

Landlords losing out due to sky high deposits

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Are you looking for ideas that will spruce up your kitchen but won’t break your budget? If your kitchen is looking out of date, you don’t have to shell out a fortune to give it a new, fresh look. Whether you’ve lived there for many years or have just moved in, here are some simple ideas on how to refresh your kitchen.

 

New lighting

Chandeliers are wonderful for brightening up your kitchen and improving its overall mood and appearance. The lights that come with most properties are quite standard, but by mixing it up with other kinds of lighting you can give your home more personality and character.

 

Fresh colours       

Lighter colours are great for walls and cabinets, because apart from making a space look larger, they also make it look and feel more upmarket. They also reflect light which means they are better able to hide bumps and scratches that might have accrued on your walls and cabinets over the years.

 

Artwork

Pieces of art can instantly improve any kitchen. If possible, opt for larger pieces as these can create the illusion of a larger space. This is also a nice option for renters that don’t have the chance to change much in their space.

 

Discover the value of stainless steel

Can’t afford stainless steel products? There’s a way around it; stainless steel paint can be used on those appliances that are making your kitchen feel dated. Just ensure you buy the right kind of paint, as companies make different types of it depending on the appliance.

De-clutter

Kitchen clutter can really bring down a space, so (if possible) try hiding them away and only take them out when you need to use them. Examples include objects like kettles and toasters.

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This summer will use your patio fully so why not give it the best look it can have.

Step 1 should be to clean in roughly. Some extra care for the space where you’re going to spend warm and (apparently) endless summer nights with friends is in order.

Here are our suggestions for a fresh and modern patio (with DIY tricks included, of course):

  1. Fake an expensive patio with some spray paint!

How To Fake A Stone Patio

Fake an expensive patio with this spray paint idea.

Posted by DIY with Hometalk on Wednesday, 23 May 2018

2. Change the garden chairs – top ideas from Elle Decor!

We loved Casper and it’s hollow looks, but doesn’t Marrocco seem comfortable for a summer afternoon?

Photo souce: Ella Decor https://bit.ly/2y1bwW4

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Photo source: Wikimedia https://bit.ly/2JmFN7c

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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Photo source: Public Domain Photos https://bit.ly/2J9fYHs

What happened to Neil* when a cannabis farm was found in his rental property?

If your tenant pays their rent on time, every month, you’ve found yourself a good one, right?  Unfortunately this is not always the case and landlord Neil* learned this the hard way.

Neil contacted us to share his story after reading the Property Checklist article warning landlords of the dangers of cannabis factories.

Last June, Neil returned from a holiday with his wife to the nightmare news that one of his rental properties in Hertfordshire had been raided by police who had uncovered a cannabis factory, and he was required to give a statement.

What damage was done to the property?
By the time of the raid, the property – a three-bed terrace with a basement kitchen – had been abandoned but what the police discovered should send shivers down the spine of any landlord.

Neil said: “Every part of the property was used, apart from one little bedroom which was kept free for accommodation. Other than that, from the basement to the loft, every surface was covered in plant pots, with just the stalks remaining – most of the leaves had been taken.

“They’d bypassed the electric meter to connect to the main supply to the street, there were banks of electrical plugs, lamps and loads of silver ducting, which they use to take the smell away. They had smashed through the ceiling to the roof with these huge silver tubes which went into the chimney breast via the loft.

“Even then it could have been so much worse; thankfully there wasn’t a fire.”

The aftermath
Neil doesn’t yet know the exact cost of the damage but says he is looking at “a six-figure sum”. Fortunately, his insurance company considers this malicious damage so will cover most of his costs, which include:

  • Repairs to the property
  • Digging up the road to cut off the illegal electrical supply and restore it
  • Loss of rent

He said: “I would be in a very, very serious situation without good insurance. Get the best insurance you can afford.”

Unfortunately, repairs could not be started until April this year – 10 months after the discovery – due to the lengthy insurance claims process. Even reconnecting the electricity supply took several months. It will be well over a year from discovering the cannabis factory to getting the property back to a lettable condition.

Where did Neil go wrong?
Neil owns eight properties and has been a full-time landlord for the past five years, but readily admits he has made mistakes and was too trusting, both of his tenants and his letting agent.

  1. Referencing

The first mistake was not carrying out adequate referencing.

“The tenants were introduced to me by the letting agent. I’d used this agent before and they said they knew the tenant very well and had let to him before, so official referencing wasn’t needed. The agent assured me he could afford to pay and, in fact, he was very good at paying the rent on time.

“The tenant said he needed the property for workers in his construction company but it turned out he was subletting… whether he knew about the cannabis farm or not, I don’t know.”

  1. Periodic inspections

Neil’s second mistake was not carrying out periodic inspections.

He said: “I’m more of a reactive landlord,” he said. “I’ve always tried to avoid being a busybody landlord because I didn’t want to get accused of harassing a tenant. I’ve always been very responsive if they’ve reported a problem but some tenants just want to be left in peace and I never hear from them at all until it’s time for renewal.”

The unfortunate consequence of this ‘hands-off’ landlording was that it was not until 15 months into the tenancy that the cannabis farm was discovered, even though Neil says the neighbours had reported suspicious activity to the police on at least one occasion.

Neil now realises that periodic checks are a must, even if it means paying somebody to carry them out on his long-distance properties.

Tips for landlords
Neil has the following tips for landlords:

  1. Use a qualified and trained letting agent (who is a member of ARLA or RICS)
  2. Be more vigilant about referencing
  3. Carry out periodic inspections
  4. Be wary of applicants who sound too good to be true – they often are
  5. Make sure you have adequate insurance cover.

*Not his real name.

Full article and tips on the PropertyChecklist website.

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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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Photo source: Getty Images https://bit.ly/2LUohVq

Starting a new life in a new home is something every young couple dreams for. And Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are nothing not very far away from this dream also.

They’re starting their life as husband and wife a bit further from the Queen’s place- actually, 90 minutes away from London. US Weekly says they chose the Great Tew Estate in Cotswalds by signing a two-years lease.

Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Apparently Leased A New Weekend Home

In their new home, the couple will be enjoying the simple life of a refurbished old cottage and the company of some very VIP neighbors.

 

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Photo source: Pixabay http://bit.ly/2pcBFtF

The inflation for house prices reached a 5 years low: 4.9% this April compared to the average of 6.9% in the last 5 years.

Considering the fall from the last quarter of 2017, what the housing market is feeling now is actually a rise of 2.9% for prices. But this is mainly because the last quarter of 2017 consisted of a fall of 0.5%, instead of a growth.

Large regional cities are the strongest perfomers with signs of slower growth across the south coast. The pace of overall city level growth is losing momentum, partly due to static prices in London.

One of the cities with the fastest growth rate is Manchester, but the situation is unique in each UK large city.

London is actually the most particular: most of the authorities signalized a growth, but there is still a consistant number (16 out of 46) that are registering a negative growth and prices falling.

Details and an overlook in this very good analysis on Hometrack:

UK Cities House Price Index – April 2018

 

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