Real Estate

The Empire State Building stands 1,454 feet tall, including the antennae, which is 204 feet.
Located on 5th Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets in Manhattan.

Photo source: Wikipedia, labeled for re-use

The building took 1 year and 45 days to complete, which was more than 7 million man hours.
The observations platforms are on the 86th Floor and 102nd floor, and it attracts more than 4 million tourists every year.

On a clear day, it is possible to see 80 miles into New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. On foggy nights, during the spring and autumn, the tower lights are turned off. The reason is so that migrating birds will not be confused and fly directly into the building.

It is the tallest Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certified building in the United States.

Over 30 people have jumped to their death from the Empire State Building.

William Lamb designed the building.
The building has 24/7 security, and is monitored with CCTV cameras.

The lobby is 47 feet above sea level. There are 103 floors. The weight is 365,000 tons, and there are 6,514 windows. Good news if you are a window cleaner…

There are 5 entrances in total.

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Photo source: Property Reporter

Downsizing on the property market is actually the opposite of climbing on the property ladder. Reducing the size of your home should come as a natural resolution when the house you own is too big for your necessities or too expensive for you.

However, the decision of changing homes can come very difficult, especially within people of a certain age. A recent study showed that most retirees that should downsize choose not to because of a series of reason, the most important being the emotional factor.

Reasons why downsizing is a difficult decision to make:

  • emotional ties like memories created in their family home;
  • not finding the right new property to move in;
  • high moving costs;
  • the high stamp duty that should be paid.

Despite this, advisers and consultants should be prepared and recommend solutions to those who face a hard time choosing to downsize. As the article on Property Reporter mentions, equity release is a solution and should be carefully offered to some of the clients.

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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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The UK property market does not seem to have a clear path for its development and will be easily influenced by a lot of factors (stamp duty, Brexit). It is hard for anyone trying to draw conclusions and anticipate the future of the sales and lettings market in England.

However, this week we found a couple of information that can form a image of how the United Kingdom’s property market looks now and a bit about how it will look in the future.

Photo source: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/property/what-if-the-population-of-the-uk-lived-on-one-street.html

First of all, we have the current image of the typical English street. It is formed mainly of semi-detached houses (32%), detached houses (25%), terraces (26%), and flats (14%). We can anticipate that these structures of houses will be those used for future developments.

Secondly, we know that England tops as one of the most peaceful country around the globe. This should be an important criteria for students, investors and anybody else looking to relocate.

Photo source: http://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/biggest-build-rent-development-uk-gets-65-million-government-boost

When it comes to how the country will look in a couple of years, we now have some idea of the projects that will change the entire property market. One example are the recently financed by the Government Build-to-Rent developments that are supposed to create over one million new homes in the future years.

These are some main factors to influence the future of the UK. Keep them in mind when making any decisions in the real estate field.

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England ranks ‘high’ on the peace map of the world.

Vision of Humanity released the new map of the most dangerous countries in the world. Luckily, the UK is at the other end, being ranked as one of the most peaceful in the world.

The entire map is based on three main criteria:

  • the level of safety and security in society
  • the extent of domestic and international conflict
  • the degree of militarization.

United Kingdom is on the 122 spot, from 163 countries in the analysis, far away from the top 20 most dangerous. More details in the article on Atlas and Boots.

 

Source of photo: Vision of Humanity.

Sources:

Most dangerous countries in the world 2017 – ranked

Global Peace Index

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Purplebricks is the main subject of today with allegation on making ‘exaggerated’ claims about vendors saving up to £4,158 if they used Purplebricks as opposed to a high street agent. Unhappy customers were those who drew the attention of Watchdog presenter Steph McGovern who then decided to investigate the subject.

More details about Purplebricks’ boss opinion upon the subject and how the entire story was detailed in the BBC programmes ‘You and Yours’ and ‘Watchdog’ in the article below.

NEWSFLASH: Purplebricks boss defends ‘exaggerated claims’ allegation by BBC programme

Source of photo: BBC Watchdog.

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It has been 10 years already since the Electronic Performance Certificate (EPC) is used on the property market as an energy indicator for homes.

Basically, you can find out 3 things from an EPC:

  • a grade for the efficiency of the property (A being the most efficient, and G being the least);
  • suggestions for improving the property’s efficiency;
  • an indication to what rating the property has the potential to achieve based on the suggested improvements.

A complete article upon the EPC and ways to improve your rating can be found at the following link.

April 2018 will bring a new ‘Minimum Energy Efficient Standards’ (MEES). The new legislation will affect landlords which will no longer be able to grant a new tenancy of the property with an Energy Performance Certificate with a rating below an E. This measure actually prepares for a more rough legislation: from April 2020 all rented properties must have an efficiency rating of E or better.

However, the real news is that once with the 10th birthday of the EPC the previous certificates (that date back more that 10 years) are invalid and will not be taken into consideration anymore.

 

Source of the article and photo.

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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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