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As if there isn’t enough stress involved in buying and selling a property, once the purchase is agreed it’s far from over.

Here is some top tips to ensure your move goes as stress-free as possible:

1. If you’re renting, you’re in a strong position. Keep the rental property for an overlapping week (or as long as you need/can afford) to make the process deliciously smooth.

2. There’s an idea that moving on a Friday is a good idea, but we think Tuesday is the best day, especially if you have young children. Take Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off work, giving you Saturday, Sunday and Monday to get ready; move on Tuesday; then Wednesday to straighten things up while the children are at school. The weekend’s not far away for a final push. The good news is that removal firms generally charge less for a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday move.

3. Spend several months pre-move having your children’s friends to stay, so you can call in all sleepover favours over your moving period. Farm out children, pets, or any other member of your family who won’t be a positive asset to the process.

4. Don’t even think about packing the contents of your house yourself. Look at the removal costs as part of the big picture and get the pros to do as much as possible. (You will of course already have de-cluttered and dispensed with anything that, in the words of William Morris, ‘you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’).

5. If you find you are moving a box that hasn’t been opened since your last move – now is the time to get rid of it!

6. Use your pre-move time productively by obsessively labelling boxes with their contents AND which room the box should go into on arrival in its new home. Use as much colour coding, labelling, post-it noting and organisational brilliance as you can muster.

 

7. If you’re downsizing, build in as much time as possible between exchange and completion to give you adequate opportunity to dispense with the possessions you will no longer have space for.

8. Not all removal companies are the same (or charge the same). Personal recommendation is generally best, but social media is extremely helpful for finding the best suppliers of this kind of service. Get quotes from, and meet, three companies before you make a final choice.

9. It’s better to find a removal company that is local to your new home than to use one in your existing area. You should be able to advise them about local access and parking issues at your existing home, and they will have a good understanding of any problems in your new area.

10. If you’re moving out of London, bear in mind that London removal companies charge like angry rhinos as soon as they see a postcode outside the M25. And if you’re moving down the road, don’t be tempted to do it yourself – it’s no easier to move 300 metres than 300 miles, so grit your teeth and get over it!

11. Check and double check access. Several smaller vans are more flexible than one big one, but it will cost more. If you’re relying on on-road parking space for the removal van, speak nicely to your new neighbours before putting some cones out.

12. Take a picture of the metres at your old home as you leave the premises, and the new ones as you cross the threshold. That way, arguments with utility companies are easy to resolve.

Finally, stay calm, and try to see the funny side if things don’t go according to plan. The chances are you will be gaining anecdotal entertainment on which you will be able to dine out.”

Source: http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/household/top-tips-for-stress-free-house-moving.html?utm_source=Email+Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=21136-202776-Campaign+-+18%2F04%2F2017+MC 

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FAMOUS FACES OF LEYTONSTONE

Leytonstone has produced some very famous and talented people over the years, below are some examples with brief descriptions of where they have come from and what impact they have had in the area.

David Beckham (OBE)

Beckham was born in Whipps Cross Hospital on the 2nd of May 1975, his childhood home was in  Norman Road, Leytonstone, East London, from his birth until he was two.

David Bailey (CBE)

David Bailey became the ultimate Sixties figure, admired for his photographs of desirable women and pop stars, He was born in Whipps Cross Hospital and his first home was in Wallwood Road, Leytonstone.

David Bailey built up his skills as a great photographer with shots of scenes and people in the East End such a Brick Lane and Whitechapel (where his father worked and ran a drinking club).

Sir Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born at 517 High Road, Leytonstone, in the east of London on 13th August 1899.

To mark 100 years since his birth, and to commemorate the director’s link with the area, 17 mosaics were installed in the entrance corridors of Leytonstone tube station. The work required some 80,000 tiles, took seven months to complete, and the final installation took place during April 2001.

Jonathan Ross

Born in Camden, North London on 17 November 1960, Jonathan, who is one of six children, spent most of his formative years growing up in Leytonstone in London’s East End, where he attended a variety of different schools, before being accepted into the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies in London.

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  • 1. Every child in the UK receives an average of 8.8 Easter eggs every year – double their recommended calorie intake for a whole week
  •   2. The largest ever Easter egg hunt was in Florida, where 9,753 children searched for 501,000 eggs.
  •   3. In 2007, an Easter egg covered in diamonds sold for almost £9 million
  •   4. When people gorge on a chocolate Easter bunny, 76 per cent bite off the ears first, 5 per cent go for the feet and 4 per cent opt for the tail.
  •    5. With all those chocolate eggs for family, relatives, loved ones and friends, it should be no surprise that households spend an average of £75 on Easter treats each year.

When is the best time of year to sell your house?..Traditionally, everyone used to wait to put their homes on the market at Easter. But why was this? Well, Easter is the first Bank Holiday after Christmas and the four days off would have given families time to view several properties together and put in their offers. Life has changed now. We demand ‘immediacy’. Mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones give us instant information and constant updates and no one can wait to see what’s trending next. Traditional seasonal trends seem now to have gone and everything is available to us all throughout the year. No longer does it make sense to delay the marketing of your property until the traditional Easter period. As soon as you’ve found a suitable property you can start actively marketing your own house.

Over the past five years the months of January, February and March have proved to be some of the most successful for achieving sales. The weather between January and March is very rarely so bad that viewings of properties have to be cancelled and having made the decision, at Christmas, to move, it is now natural to want to start the selling process as soon as possible.

If you are thinking of selling in 2017 you may want to ask for a marketing appraisal and consultation on your property sooner rather than later.

 

With so much fun and chocolate around, it is easy to see how the real meaning of Easter could be overlooked. Victor Michael recognise all faiths and religions, and would like to wish everyone a smashing Easter!

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‘Cheap’ insurance can quickly become expensive if something goes wrong. Always read the small print. 

Specialist landlord insurance is not a legal requirement, but if you don’t have it, you could find yourself out of pocket if you are unfortunate enough to have your property occupied by squatters, vandalised or worse still damaged by fire or flood. If you rent out property and have purchased a standard homeowners buildings and contents insurance, you will not have cover for extended vacant periods greater than 30 days or if a tenant is injured on your property and claims against you. Tenants living in a property generally pose a greater risk than the owner living there, so it is vital to take out a specific landlord policy, shifting the risk to your insurer rather than taking on that risk yourself.

Having made the decision to purchase landlord insurance, what comes next?

It is extremely tempting to use a comparison site to get a speedy quotation and find the cheapest option available. This is obviously an easy way to search for a policy and it will give you a benchmark for price, but there is usually a reason for the quote being so cheap.

Dispelling the myth that cheaper is better

It is always advisable to choose a quality policy that offers extensive cover and peace of mind. The insurers behind NLA Property Insurance have been carefully vetted to ensure that the product, service and claims service is ‘best of class’ and provides the widest cover available at the most competitive prices for landlords and buy-to-let investors. Unlike comparison sites, there is help at hand to make sure that you understand the small print and purchase an insurance product that will work for you when you need it the most.

In the field of landlord insurance, the menu of ‘extras’ can be extensive. Some of the bigger, well-known providers may provide what appears to be a cheap quote at the outset, but once you start adding on the ‘optional extras’, additional premiums will apply – pushing up the overall cost of the insurance.

Take a big name like Direct Line: purchasing cover for malicious damage, or even theft by tenants/guests will increase your premium substantially, but it is covered as standard under the NLA Property Insurance’s Superior policy. If your rental property is deliberately trashed, then repairs could run into the thousands. You may have taken a deposit from the tenant but findings provided by mydeposits shows that even a deposit equivalent to six weeks rent is often not enough to cover the replacement costs.

A closer examination of Direct Line’s landlord insurance reveals there are several aspects of their policy which are either inferior to those offered by NLA Property Insurance, or not covered at all without additional premiums. For example, the NLA policy will insure an unoccupied property for 90 days compared with Direct Line’s 60 days. Our public liability cover will pay out up to £5M in the event of death of bodily injury, compared with Direct Line’s £2M – a large difference especially as liability claims have been known to cost several millions and increasing with the new compensation laws that have been recently introduced.

Here’s a brief comparison between NLA Property Insurance and Direct Line.

Comparison chart – correct as of 29/6/2016 (excludes special offers)

Buildings NLA Superior Policy Direct Line
Accidental damage to fixed glass and sanitary fittings Yes Yes
Accidental damage to buildings Yes Optional
Malicious damage by tenant and/or guests Yes (£1000xs) and £25,000 limit per claim No
Loss of rent or alternative accommodation 30% of building sum insured 10% of building sum insured
Unoccupied property 90 days 60 days
Terrorism Optional Optional
Contents
Malicious damage by tenant and/or guests Yes No
Theft by tenant and/or guests Yes No
Single article limit £1,000 £1,000
Landlord’s gardening equipment of theft from outbuilding £1,000 No
Liability
Property owners liability £5,000,000 £2,000,000
Employers liability £10,000,000 £10,000,000
Excess
Standard excess £250 As per policy schedule
Subsidence excess £1,000 £1,000
Malicious damage by tenant and/or guests £1,000 No

 

 

Whether you have a single property or a portfolio of properties, the Superior policy offering from NLA Property Insurance offers highly competitive premiums (including a 15% discount for NLA Full Members) and includes many ‘extras’ such as accidental damage, alternative accommodation or loss of rent as standard.

As a landlord, you will be looking to minimise risk and maximise peace of mind. Remember that home insurance isn’t designed for rental properties – you need specialist insurance for landlords. Choosing a cheap quote from so called big names may seem like a low risk option but don’t forget to check what is included in the price.

 

Source: https://www.landlords.org.uk/?utm_campaign=8161172_NLA%20Property%20Insurance%20-%20April%202017&utm_medium=email&utm_source=National%20Landlords%20Association

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The number of million pound apartment sales in England and Wales has grown nearly threefold, up 196%, in the last decade, according to new research.

The rate of sales growth for apartments has far outpaced other prime market property types with sales of million pound terraces rising by 165%, followed by semi-detached properties up 154% and detached homes up 88%.

The research from Lloyds Private Banking also shows that apartments represented 22% of all million pound property sales in England and Wales in 2016 compared with 17% in 2006 and accounted for 26% of the increase of all million pound property sales between 2006 and 2016.

Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of million pound plus apartments were in London with 96% of sales and the sale number in the capital has increased 193% from 973 in 2006 to 2,853 in 2016, representing 35% of all million pound property sales in Greater London in 2016.

Source: http://www.propertywire.com/news/uk/demand-luxury-apartments-soars-parts-uk-particularly-london/?utm_source=Property+Wire+News&utm_campaign=fc980f14bb-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_cb0fe1dd73-fc980f14bb-108361813&goal=0_cb0fe1dd73-fc980f14bb-108361813 

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It turns out home buyers are really into barn doors.

When Zillow looked at design features that sell homes at the best price and with the shortest listing time, that topped the list.

Anything craftsman-style, like rectangular farmhouse sinks, also got homes off the market at a premium.

Here are the top 15 design features:

1) Outdoor kitchen

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 3.7%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 19

2) Tankless water heater

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 43

3) Backsplash

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.1%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 46

4) Granite

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.1%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 38

5) Stainless steel

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.2%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 42

6) Heated floors

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.3%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 28

7) Frameless shower

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.6%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 38

8) Pendant light

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.6%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 48

9) Exposed brick

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.9%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 36

10) Craftsman

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 5.4%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 14

11) Quartz

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 6.0%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 50

12) Subway tile

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 6.9%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 63

13) Farmhouse sink

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 7.9%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 58

14) Shaker cabinet

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 9.6%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 45

15) Barn door

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 13.4%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 57

 

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/property/15-features-that-sell-homes-faster-and-at-the-best-price-a6984086.html 

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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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