Victor Michael

Photo source: Wikimedia http://bit.ly/2jr4fFh

Renting sometimes comes under a lot of scrutiny. Rising rents, spiralling house prices and smaller incomes have all contributed to the development of the term ‘generation rent’. Although for some, a property rental is a short-term measure and something they’d rather leave behind in favour of a mortgage. For many, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

 

No maintenance costs or repairs to fork out for

One of the main pros of renting a property is the lack of repair bills should something go wrong. Broken boilers, severe leaks and damp problems are all issues that can arise and are extremely costly to sort out. New boilers for example can cost up to £1500, while leaks and damp usually need specialist input meaning costs quickly spiral. Owning a home means you are solely responsible for fixing these issues with your own money. However, when you rent a property, your landlord is accountable for all maintenance and repair costs. If an appliance stops working or you spring a leak, you do not hold any financial responsibility to have them fixed.

 

No big deposit needed

As mortgages have become harder to get, buyers – particularly first-time buyers – are required to have at least a 95% mortgage, however more often than not, a 10% deposit is required. This can result in those buying needing anywhere between £5,000 and £40,000 towards a deposit. Bundle this on top of solicitors’ fees, mortgage arrangement fees and surveys, and it’s easy to see that buying a house can be incredibly costly. In contrast, renting will usually require a deposit equal to one or two months’ rent, making for a much more pocket-friendly alternative to buying.

 

Renters aren’t vulnerable to fluctuating prices

The housing market is can be notoriously unsteady. Negative equity is currently a worry for many, especially those wanting to sell soon. Renters on the other hand need not worry about fluctuating house prices. Rents are generally agreed on a six or twelve-month basis meaning no unexpected fluctuations.

 

It gives freedom and flexibility

Renting is ideal for those who may be working on a temporary basis or moving to a new area. It offers the flexibility to move on after a short period without any ties or worries, while giving those new to the area a convenient and cost-effective introduction to the local property market.

 

Living with friends

Another benefit of renting is that it provides more opportunities to live with friends. What’s more, the boom in flat sharing presents people with a range of opportunities to make new friends for life.

Living with a group of friends is no longer just for students – hordes of young professionals now share rental properties in the UK’s largest cities with the aim of minimising costs and maximising social opportunities.

While owning a home may be beneficial over a long period, for many renting is a better option, especially in the short-term. The choice of whether to rent or buy a property is very personal and dependent on various factors. But before making the leap into property, whether renting or buying, it’s always advisable to review your finances and make sure you can afford to live in your new home.

Read more

Although not concerningly, the London housing market is slowing down. The figures show it and the signs are here:

Sales to first time buyers in the UK fall to eight month low

Rental market in the UK slowing as homes to rent fall to 12 month low

Average house prices in the UK sent to remain flat in 2018, latest forecast suggests

Buy to let mortgage market in UK may never be what it was

Of course the factors that caused the housing market in London to reach this moment are not just a few. However, Property Division made a top of the 3 causes for the slowdown:

  1. Brexit
  2. Stamp duty changes
  3. Mortgage constraints

Read the entire article for the full explanations and arguments and tell us your opinion in a comment!

The top 3 reasons as to why the housing market is slowing in London

Read more

Are you a landlord who would prefer to be more hands off? If so then a property management service might be the right option for you and your needs.

 

Those who are looking to avoid the headaches of weekend maintenance calls and rental income/expenses management can take on this kind of service to fully manage their property investment, allowing you as a landlord to gain some extra free time and not worry about problems you will have to face with your property.

 

Here are some key advantages of a property management service.

 

Having a point of contact

Should an issue occur at your property, like an object breaking, travelling to the property to inspect it can become an inconvenience, especially if it’s in another town or city. A property management service can deal with these issues for you, at all hours of the day and arrange for its repair or replacement. The property manager is their main point of contact.

 

Tenant screening management

Due to them reviewing hundreds of applications, property managers can use their keen eye to select the best of the bunch; they are able to make note of any potential red flags when reviewing tenants’ paperwork. This greatly improves your chances of securing a good tenant.

 

Collecting rent

Regular collections of rent ensures on time rental payments. If tenants are failing to pay their rent on time, the property manager should know the correct steps to take to address the situation, including the issue of an eviction notice if deemed necessary.

 

Limiting tenant changes

A quality property management service will work tireless to keep their tenants happy, and know how important it is to do so. They know the appropriate steps to take with any situation and do so swiftly. If a tenant is happy with their point of contact and the service they provide, they are less likely to move elsewhere and may be open to reasonable rent increases as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Peace of mind

Although property investment is a great for monthly cash flow and long-term wealth, daily management isn’t suited to every landlord. By letting someone else take on the management of your rental property, you’ll encounter fewer daily issues and complications to deal with, as well as gain a greater peace of mind. If you’re looking for more time and less stress, a property management service might be for you.

 

Ensure you take enough time to research different agencies and what they have to offer. It is a big decision to make, as not every property management service will offer the same type of service.

 

Victor Michael’s Property Management Service is ideal for both experienced landlords and those just starting out. Our vast local knowledge allows us to let your property swiftly as well as assist you in securing you the best rental income.

Read more

The report explains that Marylebone has been transformed by a wave of new residential development, providing over 450 new homes, which has created a three tier property market and as a result the area has joined adjacent Mayfair as one of London’s most highly sought after addresses.

Marylebone is now one of London’s most sought after locations for global buyers

If you are interested in living in Marylebone, you will find some properties available on the Victor Michael Website. Check them out!

Read more

When it comes to selling your home, estate agents and the language that they use can be confusing. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive list of all the estate agent terms and property jargon that will help you understand what your estate agent means.

 

 

AST – Assured Shorthold Tenancy. It gives the landlord the right to claim their property back after a specific period of time

 

Break Clause/Release Clause – These terms are often used in fixed term tenancies

 

Chain – A number of property sales where exchange of contracts must take place at the same time, because they’re linked together.

 

Completion Date – The completion of the legal transaction, with the money and documents all distributed, and keys are released.

 

Deeds – The legal documents that assign ownership of property.

 

Deposit – The lump sum that the seller pays towards the cost of the property.

 

Disbursements – Expenses paid by the solicitor on behalf of the purchaser

 

Equity – The difference between the value of a property and the amount of mortgage owed.

 

Exchange of Contracts – This is the point at which the sale becomes legally binding and neither party can withdraw without financial penalties.

 

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – An EPC measures the energy efficiency of a property using a scale of A-G. It is a legal requirement to have a valid EPC for their property.

 

Freehold – Ownership of the property and the land that the property is situated on.

 

Gazumping – This is where the seller accepts one offer only to reject it later for a higher offer.

 

Gazundering – This is where a buyer reduces their offer just before the exchange of contracts.

 

Ground Rent – Ground rent is an annual sum paid by the leaseholder to the freeholder of a property.

 

Guarantor – This is a person who will agree to guarantee that they will repay a loan or debt if you cannot pay it.

 

HMO – House in Multiple Occupation. They are treated differently to the average property, with more rules and regulations.

 

IFA – Independent Financial Advisor

 

IMRO – Investments Managers Regulatory Organisation

 

Instruction – This is when a seller tells an estate agent to market a property.

 

Inventory – An inventory is a list of all the contents of a property, as well as the condition of a property and the structural fixtures, generally used for AST rental properties.

 

Leasehold – To be given ownership of a property but not the land that it is built on, normally requiring the payment of ground rent to the landlord.

 

Searches – Checks of local council records for planning applications and restrictions.

Stamp Duty – a government tax paid by the buyer on completion of the sale.

 

Subject to Contract – A term associated with an agreement to purchase a property before the exchange of contracts.

 

Survey – An inspection of a property made by a qualified surveyor. This can be a valuation report, a homebuyer report and full structural survey.

Read more

 

According to a recent report, the UK has seen growth in the number of mortgages for non-standard borrowers, such as for buy-to-let landlords and lifetime mortgages. Since 2009, there has been a 19% increase each year to the value of the mortgage lending companies annual lending. These companies have seen their lending amounts increase to £17 billion per year in 2016, a significant increase on the £5 billion that was recorded in 2009.

The specialist lenders are said to be in a very strong position despite the previous ever changing nature of the market, and that they are capturing the ongoing growth in the number of the UK’s non-standard borrowers that mainstream lenders may not look to work with.

Read the full introspective article that explains the growth in mortgages the UK is seeing lately on Property Division.

UK’s Specialist Lenders See Non-Standard Mortgages Growth

Read more

Photo source: http://bit.ly/2zsBj8V

Moving home is often cited as one of the most stressful experiences in life. However, you can make the process a little less stressful by following advice and avoiding common mistakes.

  1. Picking the Wrong Agent

Not all estate agents are the same. Check out their fees and whether there are hidden costs and what their success rate is. Many people simply settle on the first company they come across and end up regretting it. As with any venture, it pays to shop around and ask the right questions before you enter into any arrangement.

  1. Overpricing

Another mistake that sellers make is over estimating the price they’ll get for their property. This is more common nowadays where many bypass traditional estate agents and simply pick a selling price out of thin air. Do your research and see what similar properties in your area are going for and set a reasonable price.

  1. Using poor quality photos

These days, the majority of homes sold in the UK are placed in online listings. Don’t accept poor quality images. If you’ve chosen a good estate agent, they will make sure your property is looking its very best through high quality photographs. These are the first thing a buyer will see and you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Therefore, it is essential that your agent is using photographs that will really appeal to potential buyers.

  1. Not fixing things that are broken

There are plenty of houses for sale – and you want to make sure buyers won’t discount yours. They will, though, if things are broken when they come for a viewing. You may well be planning on fixing whatever’s broken before you move, but your buyer doesn’t know that. Get it fixed before you put your property on the market

  1. The Exterior

You’ve probably spent a long time making sure the inside of your house is not only clean and tidy, but also well decorated, perfectly laid out and just generally ideal for showing off to that buyer who’s coming around. But don’t forget, as much as the inside of the house will dazzle them, the exterior gives it that kerb appeal, and can help them form an opinion before they’ve even come inside. The garden sells your home, even subconsciously, so as much as you want to get the inside of your home perfect, forgetting the garden is a big no-no. It’s all too easy to miss things like tired old fences, lawns that are slightly too long or items strewn about the garden, but these are all things that give your home a negative kerb appeal, and it’s absolutely essential that they’re addressed before the home comes to market.

 

 

  1. Keeping personal touches around the home

When potential buyer’s come to view the house, they need to be able to picture themselves living there. If you have personal touches lying around such as photos and your own personal colour scheme, it makes it more difficult for buyers to imagine it as their own. Therefore, you need to ensure you are offering a neutral ‘blank canvas’. This means painting the walls a neutral colour and taking down any personal touches that distinguish it as your home.

Lastly, don’t hide anything from your agent. Make sure you are upfront about any issues there are with your home. This will save you lots of time and money as they will come out eventually, potentially ruining your sale too.

Read more

Photo source: Flickr http://bit.ly/2h96zzD

London is in top 5 most expensive cities for investors looking to put their money in office buildings. Recent study shows that the average price for 1 sqm in an office building in London is around 1 717 GBP, while Hong Kong tops the world chart with an offer of 6446 GBP for 1 sqm.

Prime office space in cities such as Hong Kong and London becoming too expensive

Read more

One would think that landlords are always in the better position when contracting. However, being a property owner has its risks and it can be difficult to handle them when you are a beginner in this type of transactions.

Property Division made a guide of 12 questions every landlord should ask themselves at one point:

1. Should I Tell My Mortgage Lender I’ll Be Letting My Property?

2. What Is the Right to Rent?

3. Should I Register the Deposit?

4. How Can I Prevent Property Fraud?

5. Is the EPC Mandatory?

6. Do the Gas, Electrics and Furniture Need to Be Compliant?

7. Is an Inventory Worth It?

8. Do I Need Insurance?

9. Do I Have to Pay Council Tax and Income Tax?

10. Can I Make Routine Property Visits?

11. When Should I Do an Inspection?

12. Who Should Contact the Council and Energy Suppliers?

Read the answers carefully and you are sure to have some more questions at the end of the article, if you are a landlord. But at least you know what to start with.

Read more