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A new survey lifts the lid on the UK property market, with Brits sharing exactly what made them buy their homes.

Wood flooring specialists Flooring Republic asked 1,000 Brits what led them to fall in love with their homes, and which factors they consider non-negotiable when buying a property – and between community appeal and room size, it seems Brits are swayed by more than an attractive price tag.

After the BBC reported that the number of first-time buyers was at its highest in a decade, this new study reveals what it takes to get Brits excited about buying a house. With 60% of the vote, a safe and friendly neighbourhood took the top spot, followed closely by the price of the property (52%).

The local community also proved to be a key selling point for 45-54 year olds – with a huge 73% citing this as a major factor in their decision-making process. In terms of what Brits love about their living space, room size came out on top – taking 38% of the vote.

At one with nature

For 31% of participants, a good-looking garden is what got them to sign on the dotted line – and half of over-65s declared this the ultimate highlight of their homes. Natural elements proved popular across the board, with a fifth of those surveyed saying natural light is what they love most about their home.

Price versus practicality

Perhaps surprisingly, just over half of all respondents believe the price of a property is the most important aspect when it comes to making an offer.

Generation Y are more price-conscious, however – with 18-24 (57%) and 25-34 year olds (69%) admitting the asking price was the thing that ultimately swayed their decision. Space proved a key concern for 37% of Brits, who said the number of rooms in a property would influence whether or not they bought it.

Aesthetic appeal

When it comes to a property’s appearance, it looks like it’s not just what’s on the inside that counts – with 16% of Brits saying they’re swayed by both exterior appeal and interior styling. For 17% of male respondents, the outward appearance of a house is a deciding factor – while 18% of women favour the property’s interior design.

11% of Brits revealed they bought their home because of high ceilings – a factor which sweetened the deal for just under a quarter of 25-34 year olds.

Smart solutions

According to 35% of all respondents, parking availability is a key issue when it comes to deciding on a suitable property – and more than half of over-65s agree. This is less of a concern for those living in the capital, though – with just 17% of Londoners put off by limited parking. Organisation addicts across Britain declared practicality a priority when buying a house – with storage space scooping 15% of the vote.

Other answers

For 14% of homeowners, accessibility is a deal-breaker – with proximity to local transport networks and amenities proving particularly important. Respondents were also invited to offer up their own answers when it came to the reason they fell in love with their home and what they consider to be the key factors when buying a house – with answers including the property’s character, affordability and a double garage.

With Brits divided over what makes the perfect home, as housing prices continuing to fluctuate, the future of the property market shows no signs of stabilising any time soon.

Mark Haskell, Ecommerce Manager of Flooring Republic said “It’s great to see just how many Brits value a welcoming neighbourhood, and it’s really interesting that most homeowners are concerned with more than the price of a property. Spacious rooms and beautiful gardens will always hold plenty of appeal for buyers – although they generally come with larger price tags.”


Source: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/property/brits-reveal-what-made-them-fall-in-love-with-their-property.html?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=21136-201394-Campaign+-+06%2F04%2F2017+

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While there has been much focus on the so-called ‘tenant tax’, agents are warned that new legislation coming into force today has been largely overlooked despite its potential significance.

It gives local authorities in England tough new powers to crack down on rogue agents and landlords.

For the first time, local housing authorities will be able to impose a civil penalty of up to £30,000 for a range of housing offences, including:

  • Failure to comply with a housing improvement or overcrowding notice;
  • Failure to have the correct licence for a property that needs a mandatory HMO, additional or selective licence; and
  • Failure to comply with the HMO management regulations.

When it comes to properties that do not have the correct licence or where management rules for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are breached, both the landlord and letting agent can be held liable.

Before imposing penalties, local authorities must have regard to government guidance, issue a notice of intent and invite representations. There is also an appeals process.

The Government has also expanded the Rent Repayment Order (RRO) provisions that enable the local authority or tenant to claim back up to 12 months’ rent.

Previously, this power was only available in relation to licensable but unlicensed properties, and tenants could not lodge a claim unless the local authority had prosecuted the landlord.

From today onwards, RROs are available as a sanction for a wider range of offences including:

  • Illegal eviction or harassment of occupiers;
  • Using violence to secure entry; and
  • Failure to comply with a housing improvement notice or prohibition order.

Tenants will now be able to submit a claim without the local authority having prosecuted the agent or landlord, and the local authorities have the power to assist them.

Unlike criminal prosecutions, any income received from civil penalties and RROs can be retained by the local authority and spent on certain housing enforcement activity.

Isobel Thomson, chief executive of NALS, said: Whilst we support local authority action to crack down on rogue agents and landlords, it is vital that councils resist the temptation to issue financial penalties for very minor infringements purely to raise income and fill their budget black hole.

“If used wisely, these powers could mark an important step forward in driving rogue operators from the market and improving consumer protection.

“With councils able to retain revenue from targeted enforcement action, the business case for introducing new bureaucratic and costly licensing schemes is weaker than ever. It is time for councils to think again and adopt a smarter approach to regulation.”


Source: http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/new-legal-crackdown-on-letting-agents-and-landlords-comes-into-force-today/ 

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At Victor Michael we look at every possible way of ensuring that every home we are marketing has the best possible chance of being sold for the highest price in the shortest amount of time.
I read a lot of estate agency and property industry magazines and websites to stay on the ball and hear about new ideas and ways of marketing people’s homes.
An article which caught my eye last week was from America. It said how estate agents (or realtors as they’re known across the pond) were calling in Feng Shui experts in a bid to make homes sell quickly and for the best price.
For those of you who are unaware Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy based around positioning objects and buildings to maximise a positive flow of energy and, many believe, to create good luck.
Feng Shui has been around for 5,000 years, so it’s nothing new. You might think it’s all a bit New Age but some Feng Shui principles are actually just common sense.
Read these five ways Feng Shui can help sell your home and decide for yourself.
Arrange your living room so that people who walk in aren’t met with the backs of furniture. i.e. sofas.
Keep a lid on it. Yes I’m talking about your loo. Feng Shui experts believe that water is linked to money and the toilet is one place that water (money) ‘escapes’. Even if you don’t buy this theory, keep your lid closed anyway. It just looks better.
Place thriving plants or flowers in the corners of rooms. This gives the property energy and life according to Feng Shui.
Less is more. Feng Shui experts share estate agents’ beliefs when it comes to clutter. Their view is get rid of it to create a good flow of energy in every room.
Let go. This is an interesting one and I’ve seen this before. Sometimes people subconsciously don’t want their homes to sell for whatever reason. In this situation they advise sitting down and thinking about why you want or need to sell and why it’s for the best.
So what do you think? Is FS full of BS? Or can it really change people’s lives and make homes more saleable?
Thanks for reading.
Want to get a SOLD or LET sign outside your property quicker? Call Victor Michael and our team on 0208 559 7040 or email: info@victormichael.com for honest, expert and friendly advice.

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According to new research by Saga, 420,000 over 50’s are considering using some sort of credit such as a loan or borrowing from friends or family in order to fund their home repairs.

The onset of lighter evenings is often what prompts people to think about doing a bit of redecorating or a spring clean, but for almost half of people over 50 it is home repairs and how to pay for them that people need to focus on.

While the most common things that need fixing in the over 50s homes are gutters (14%), many are in need of more essential repairs, 1 in 9 say their roof needs repairing (11%) and the same number say their heating or electrics need to be fixed.  Furthermore, 1 in 10 say their plumbing needs some attention and 8% say their insulation needs looking at. Typically, people in their 70s are more likely to be living in a home in need of repair.

However some people are struggling to pay for these essential repairs out of their wages, savings or pension. Over 420,000 are considering using some sort of credit such as a loan or borrowing from friends or family in order to fund their repairs.

Around 150,000 people aged 50 to 59 say they will take advantage of the pension freedoms and use their lump sum to fix the essentials in and around their home, which may leave some struggling to fund their retirement.

However, one in five over 50’s say that they will not pay for the repairs that need doing.  An intrepid few will attempt to fix the repair themselves, but 300,000 over 50’s say they simply can’t afford to fix it.

Gloria Barker, head of product for Saga Personal Finance, commented: “For many people who have lived a lifetime in a property and have become very attached to their home, it is very upsetting not to be able to maintain it, particularly if it also causes them discomfort with leaky roofs and not being able to keep as warm they want to.  If people are worrying about how to pay for essential repairs it’s worthwhile exploring all their funding options as soon as possible to make sure the situation doesn’t get worse.”

Over 60% of people who use the Saga Equity Release Advice Service use some of the money they release from their home to repair or improve their property.  On average people say they use £14,000 for home improvements.

Source: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/property/700000-over-50s-cannot-afford-to-fix-their-home.html?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=21136-200904-Campaign+-+04%2F04%2F2017+FRA 

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Adding a touch of luxury to a room through carefully-placed accessories, colours and fabrics can instantly give it a show home worthy look and feel, often for a minimal budget.


Adding metallic accessories such as a gold drinks tray or a statement mirror can make a room look stylish, yet remain functional. Complement the look with this year’s Pantone Colour of the Year, ‘Greenery’, by adding a statement plant to bring the outdoors inside, in a luxurious way.


Achieve that luxury hotel look by using a variety of textures and finishes – luxurious fabrics that feel great against your skin and make your bedroom a comfy but stylish haven. Add thick pile towels in your bathroom and en-suites as well as luxurious fabrics to curtains, carpets and soft furnishings.


Create your own personal ‘wall of fame’ at home by placing your favourite family photographs into a mix of metallic and dark wooden frames and place them on a statement coloured wall. This look is sophisticated and a great talking point – particularly when paired with a feature sideboard.


Thoughtful use of colour can create a feeling of luxury and adding furniture and accessories to a room in a neutral palette will give the room a sophisticated look. This year, you may want to use on trend shades of stone, praline and green enhanced with metallics.


Nothing says luxury more than the right lighting in a room. Consider investing in a statement pendant over your dining table to create a real focal point, and add a dimmer switch to control the mood. Lighting up the best features of your room using beautiful lamps and well-placed candles are perfect for illuminating a room’s luxurious side.

Source: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/make-your-luxury-home 

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  Victor Khatri, the Director of Victor Michael estate agents, has spoken out about the possible effects of Brexit, saying, “I don’t think the triggering of Article 50 will affect the property market directly from today. In one sense it removes the uncertainty surrounding when Britain’s withdrawal process from the EU will start, but in another way it will create economic uncertainty until we know what deals we will strike with EU and other commonwealth and non-commonwealth countries, America in particular.”



  So what Brexit actually means for our country?

  Mr Khatri continues: “Brexit will no doubt mean a turbulent two years for the London and UK market as we begin to hear what negotiations and proposed deals are being put forward for our exit out of Europe and the single market. I think we will see a continued slowdown or lethargic London market when it comes to sales volumes, and as we reported toward the end of last year, transaction volumes across London are already more than half of what they were before the 2008 crash. London has a significant part to play in businesses who trade and operate across Europe and the world, and a buoyant property market relies on the UK’s economic health. If Brexit negotiations go well this could cause further price growth as the economy grows and we see the nation’s confidence lifted, but equally, if a good deal isn’t reached then the international companies who operate here or look to relocate here might change their minds, reducing the number of residents who live in the capital and again further reducing the transaction levels, which could ultimately lead to price decreases (more supply then demand)”.


  It’s therefore important that you make property decisions based on your personal situation and what you want to do, rather than gambling on how the market will play out. “Right now we may experience some uncertainty, but as the negotiations progress, we will regain some much needed stability into the housing market, as people realise that the effects of Brexit are not catastrophic and go on with their lives. We’ll hopefully see transaction levels increase as a result, which are currently dangerously low and affecting price growth across the capital. He continues, “Today’s events are likely to have a much more profound effect on foreign investment however, with the weakening pound expected to fuel demand from overseas buyers and investors.” Many are also speculating that today’s events will mean that the Bank of England will be hesitant to increase their interest rates, in spite of the recent inflation rises.

  It will remain cheaper than ever to borrow and get onto the property ladder. 

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In 1931, two of the world’s most celebrated and influential men met in a house in Canning Town.

Despite coming from completely different worlds, Mahatma Gandhi and Charlie Chaplin were brought together by a shared understanding of the struggles of the poor and the working classes.

Now the historic meeting has been marked with a specially created garden near to the site where it took place, a since demolished house in Beckton Road that belonged to a friend of Gandhi.

The story of Gandhi and Chaplin meeting is an extraordinary and inspirational one. However, it is typical of life in Newham where people from all different backgrounds come together.

Why not come to Canning Town and see the changes that have taken place since Chaplin met Gandhi.



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cleaning is the most common issue that will cause a dispute to arise. Although less than 1% of tenancies end in dispute, of these, cleaning is mentioned in 57%.

How clean is clean?

One of the main reasons for a dispute over cleaning to arise is a miscommunication between tenants, agents and landlords about what standard of cleaning is expected at the end of the tenancy. There are many different standards of cleaning, and the difference between these standards can be very subjective.

For example, you may expect a property to be cleaned to a professional standard – that is the gold standard of cleanliness, and should show no evidence of a person having been there. For example, no smears on glass, no fingerprints on appliances, no dust on the tops of doors. Imagine someone inspecting the property in white gloves, checking for dust under sofas and on skirting boards. In comparison, a tenant may clean to a domestic standard fit to live in and generally clean – if the sofa is moved you may find some dust bunnies. This is where the miscommunication can build into a dispute.

Lay out at the beginning of the tenancy what standard of cleaning the property is presented in. You can expect the property to be returned in the same condition of cleanliness.

Communicating this to the tenants at the start and end of the tenancy will go a long way to setting expectations and avoiding a dispute over cleaning charges.

Cleaning best practices

The key to getting the tenant to meet your expectations is to be descriptive when detailing cleaning standards. You can list this in both the tenancy agreement and the inventory, and remember that cleaning is not subject to fair wear and tear. If you note that the property was cleaned to a professional standard prior to the tenancy beginning, then you can expect it to be cleaned to the same standard at the end.

When a tenant gives notice, you may wish to give them a pre-checkout checklist, making particular note of areas which are often overlooked, or are particularly subjective. For example, rather than simply noting that the tenant should ‘Ensure the kitchen is clean’ you can specifically a list where you want them to clean, and what that entails. For example:

  • Clean and degrease oven
  • Clean and degrease hob
  • Defrost and clean out fridge/freezer
  • Empty and clean kitchen bin

This is not an exhaustive list, but it should give you some examples of what you could consider including.

Cleaning disputes

If, after all your preparations, the tenants do not clean to an acceptable standard, then you will need to prepare for a dispute. Preparing for a dispute is something to be done at the start of the tenancy – as afterwards could be too late.

As part of the inventory and check-in process, don’t simply mark down what items are there – also mention the age and condition of the item, remembering to include the features of the property itself such as walls, skirting boards, doors, etc. For example, you may describe your living room as follows:

  • Freshly laundered lined curtains, blue and beige checked material. Two years old – no frays, tears or stains.
  • Steam cleaned twist carpet in pale cream colour. Three years old, slightly worn by doors but no stains, marks or other damage.
  • Painted walls and skirting boards, last refreshed in October 2016. No chips or marks, professional standard.

As you can see, this clearly lays out what state the property is in at the start of the tenancy. If at the end of the tenancy the check-out report stated that the walls were dented and the paint was chipped beyond wear and tear, you would be able to show a clear deterioration in condition.

Cleaning dispute prevention checklist

There are many things you can do to try and protect your property. The following are only suggestions and the list is not exhaustive.

  • In the tenancy agreement note the cleaning standard you expect the property to be in by the end of the tenancy.
  • In the tenancy agreement note that if the property is not cleaned to a high enough standard you can use the tenant’s deposit to cover professional cleaning costs.
  • In the inventory note the condition of all items; pictures can be useful as supporting evidence but can seldom replace a comprehensive written description.
  • During the check-in explain to tenants what is expected of them when the tenancy ends.
  • Send a pre-checkout checklist to tenants when you receive their notice.

Source: http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/how-clean-is-clean-how-to-avoid-a-filthy-problem-at-the-end-of-a-tenancy/

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National Home Improvement Month starts in April, so how can property owners can add value to their homes by making improvements?

National Home Improvement Month encourages home owners to improve their homes this April. NAEA Propertymark advises that whether you are selling now or maintaining your home to sell in the future, there are many small home improvements you can address to keep your property in best shape for when the time comes to sell-up.

Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark, had this to say: “Faced with a difficult housing market, updating and maintaining a property is more important now than ever for homeowners. Whether you need more space but can’t afford to move, or want to put your house on the market, you should be making the most of what you’ve got. You can be on a budget or willing to spend, there are always innovative improvements that can be undertaken which will successfully increase your home’s value”.

10 top home improvement tips to increase the value of your home:

1. Mirrors

If you cannot add a skylight or build a conservatory to brighten up your home, there are simple yet effective ways of creating light through the use of a few mirrors. Hanging mirrors opposite windows tricks the eye into thinking there is another window there and maximises the impact of natural lighting. Another illusion when capturing light is to reflect it into any darker corners, to make your property look bigger and brighter.

2. A pristine and private garden

Giving your garden a makeover can go a long way. Start by tidying away any litter, mowing your lawn, removing all perennial weeds and cutting back overgrown trees and shrubs.

Once you have made the space look attractive, try and create a feeling of solitude. An open, clutter-free space is appealing but privacy is essential. Consider growing trees or adding boundary fences and walls, which can go up to two metres without needing planning permission. Another option would be to assemble a structure in the space such as a pergola. As well as creating privacy, this is a great way to separate areas of your garden for socialising and to extend the use of your garden into the colder months.

3. Opening up space

Opening up living space is becoming more and more popular, particularly for the kitchen and dining room. Combining the two into one large room creates a sociable space, great for the whole family to enjoy. Knocking through walls to create this open-plan living space is an effective way to add value to a property because a larger space is not only trendy but more useful. However, it is important to remember the practicalities with this, as many consumers still like the front room philosophy that can be used for special occasions or to be used for privacy by the adults.

4. Makeover the kitchen

An attractive, hygienic and fresh looking kitchen is essential. Start by painting the cabinets to give a fresh look and replace doors and handles if needed. Improve kitchen storage where you can; a larder for example is hugely attractive among house-hunters. Make sure there is adequate lighting as well, it’s very easy and cost effective to install under unit lighting. Finally, ensure that any floor tiles are well fitted and a colour that is easy to maintain and keep clean.

5. Get rid of busy wallpaper

With each potential house buyer having varied tastes in patterns and texture, certain wallpaper designs can be seen as overwhelming. Wallpaper can also be difficult to remove which could lead to people being put off by if they are looking for a home to move straight into. We recommend using paint and keeping colours neutral, making it a simpler job for the next homeowner and the property overall becomes more appealing.

6. Replace doors

First impressions count. The front door of your home can say a lot about the rest of the house to viewers seeing it for the first time. If you cannot afford to replace the door, make sure it looks attractive by giving it a power wash or a fresh lick of paint.

7. Converting the loft

A loft conversion is a more expensive improvement yet probably gives back the best value for money. Most lofts can be easily converted and expanding the house upwards offers homeowners an extra bedroom for growing families or a space for extra storage. Adding an extra bedroom can give huge value to your home, particularly if it includes an en-suite bathroom.  Remember to seek planning permission before undertaking this work though.

8. Be energy efficient

Fitting your home with energy efficient appliances can add value to your home by promising to knock the costs of bills. With a huge variety of new products on the market for this, it’s increasingly becoming a key feature for new homes.

9. Double glaze the windows

Noisy roads can impact the value of a property. It will keep the home warm and keep the noise out, even if it’s near a main road.

10. Install a fireplace

A fireplace can bring a lot of character to a room and creates a focal point. It’s also practical; the warmth from the fire allows you to reduce the use of your central heating which will lead to savings on your energy bills.

Source: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/household/top-10-improvements-to-add-value-to-your-home.html?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=21136-199643-Campaign+-+28%2F03%2F2017+MT 


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Gone are the days of neglected gardens that are only used on the sunniest of days. With space often at a premium, gardens are increasingly seen as an extension of the home. And this year, interiors trends are set to make their way outside more than ever before.

Swedish cool

Both of the major Swedish interiors trends – hygge and lagom – translate to the outdoors. Whether you want flaming fire pits and cosy blankets or favour a more minimalist, pared-back approach, the latest Scandi trends will work in your garden, too.

Natural materials

As the popularity of natural materials rise in interiors, gardeners are making them their friends, too. Less concrete, less composite materials, more timber, and more soft, free-flowing elements are the key.

Colour hit

Colour is heading out into the garden and if you think clear wooden varnishes are the only option for fences, think again. Bright block colours are a great way to create the feel of an outdoor ‘room’.

The environment is a hot topic and the garden is the place to put your eco-friendly credentials to the test.

Native plants

This year will see a move to planting more and more native plants that won’t disrupt the ecosystem. Shopping locally will also avoid transportation costs and is likely to be more affordable in this current economic climate.

Avoid chemicals

Natural weed killers and fertilisers will become more and more important too, to avoid the polluting effect of chemicals.

Grow wild

But it’s not just what you plant – it’s how you plant. Wilder gardens that are slightly more unkempt are great for birds and insects, plus wildflowers attract bees. Less work, more eco– bonus!

Green spaces are well known for their stress-busting properties and being outside regularly will make you feel more Zen. With long work hours and more time spent in offices, 2017 is set to be a year when people remember to get back to nature.

Solo pursuits

With this in mind, you might want to use your garden as a calming retreat for reading or having a post-work glass of wine. Or you may want to get active and do some yoga stretches.

Grow your own

To be truly at one with nature, why not grow your own fruit and veg? The satisfaction of producing your own food is bound to give you a boost, plus you’ll know that everything you’re growing is 100% organic. What could be better for body and mind?

People are beginning to want more comfort from their outside spaces, so expect a big move towards furnishing your garden as you would your interior.

Outdoor furniture

The lines between indoors and outdoors are being more and more blurred, especially as French or sliding doors often lead from an open-plan space directly out into the garden. That feeling of flow means people are demanding more from their gardens and want to make sure that they are comfortable. Large seating that resembles a three-piece suite, huge multi-function cooking stations, plus sturdy dining furniture that isn’t easily moved will all help to build a feeling of an ‘extra room’.

Light up

Garden lighting is set to become more of a feature, rather than a functional afterthought. Uplighters beneath big plants, pretty hurricane lanterns and even fairy lights will add a magical feel after dark.

We all know what it’s like to be busy. Time is of the essence and anything that can be done to make sure that gardens aren’t a time drain will be a bonus in 2017.

Mow no more

If you hate mowing the lawn, artificial grass will be your friend. With modern production techniques, faking it is a far more natural-looking alternative than ever before. No mowing, no watering – simple! If you feel you are desperate for a real lawn to sit on, minimise the work by keeping it small and filling the rest of the space with pretty pale pebbles.

Dig free

Flower beds need a lot of attention, but you can get plenty of foliage from container grown-plants. Terracotta pots are super on-trend for 2017. A variety of plant sizes will add interest to your garden.

Robust plants

Hardy shrubs and plants are the answer for those who are tight on time. There will be a move to planting varieties that aren’t overly sensitive and that can thrive in any conditions. Sounds good to us. Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’, Alchemilla mollis and Lamprocapnos spectabilis are just a few recommended by the RHS.


Source: http://www.idealhome.co.uk/garden/garden-ideas/hot-garden-trends-2017-156339

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