Guild Blog: How can you tell if an area has good community spirit?

Both Ripon and Thirsk have shown true Community Spirit over October and November with the Halloween Pumpkin Trail and the Commemoration of 100 years since the end of The Great War.  Check out our page to see what the local area has been getting up to … https://joplings.com/lifestyle-magazine-silhouette-soldiers-by-john-durkin/

 

Buying a property and moving to a new area can be a daunting prospect. There is nothing that will make your new house feel like a home like making new friends and getting involved in local events. Being involved in the community can bring a sense of belonging, fill your social calendar, and make it easy to find friends. But how can you tell if an area has a good community spirit before you move there?

 

Visit local community centres

Take time to visit local community centres, sports clubs, church halls, cafés, and local shops to see what’s going on. Find the notice boards for information on local groups and events.

Meet local people

Talk to the local people on the high street. If they are happy to stop and help a stranger, it’s a sign that the community is open, friendly and trusting.

Check local social media pages

A lot of community planning has now moved online. Try searching for Facebook groups and small websites with the name of the town or village. Look at how active the pages are to see if people are engaged.

Research local events

Pick up a local newspaper to find out about upcoming local events. Plus, it’s a good way to find out about the crime rate in the area.

Contact us

Speak to the local Guild Member, as they will know the area like the back of their hand and will have a finger on the pulse of local activities. Be sure to quiz them during a property viewing, or pop in to see them when you’re in the area.

The Guild is a network of the best 800 independent estate agents around the country. Find out why you should choose them to sell your home. Click here to find your closest Guild Member.

 

where to live

Guild Blog: Location, location, location: a guide to finding your next home

There is one thing that all property professionals agree on, whether they work in commercial property or residential, and it’s that location is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a home. Property gurus around the world continue to emphasise the importance of location because it has such a massive bearing on a property’s desirability and potential investment return.

There are several key elements to consider before making your final decision. If a location has more positive elements, than negative, it will be in higher demand and will have a greater potential resale value in the future.  Essentially, it comes down to desirability and whether buyers would want to live where the home is situated – there is a direct collation between demand and property prices.

Don’t compromise on location

There are a lot of buyers who focus on the property itself and perhaps compromise on where it is situated. However, when it comes to the appreciation potential of the home, this will end up hurting their back pocket. A home can be changed, updated or renovated, but you can’t alter its location. Therefore, it is always better to prioritise location and compromise on the property.

pins in a map

Development

A good location is where there is the potential for growth and development. The area needs to be able to support the demand for property over the long term and subsequently increase its value in time. However, bear in mind that certain developments can devalue a location, such as the construction of a power plant or dump within proximity to the home. Before purchasing in an area, find out about future development plans. Developments such as new industrial sites, new roads, or railways or even industrial activities can vastly alter the price profile of an area.

Investment and commercial activity

National retailers and property developers will do thorough market research before deciding to invest in an area. So, commercial activity, corporate investment and residential and commercial property developments, are all indicators that the area has the potential for strong investment returns. Also, the presence of long-established or well-known brands within the surrounds will indicate that there is a level of confidence that the area has good growth potential.

Infrastructure

The infrastructure in an area needs to accommodate the level of service required by its residents. Neglected areas that experience poor service delivery are not a good option. These areas can be distinguished by the upkeep of the general public land such as the parks, pavements and roads.

cycling in the park

Amenities

Another factor to consider is the quality of the amenities in the area. These include shopping and medical facilities, entertainment areas, restaurants, public services and outstanding schools. Convenience is a highly valued commodity.

Shopping Centre
View of the ceiling of the Hall of a beautiful vintage shopping center in England

Crimes levels

Properties in a high crime rate zone will not hold their value over time. Research from insurer Direct Line revealed that almost half of Brits would check crimes statistics in neighbourhoods they might live in, and 47% would not buy a home in an area with a high crime rate. Over a third said they would expect to pay less for a property in a high crime area.

To check the crime rates in an area, you can visit crime-statistics.co.uk/postcode or police.co.uk.

Transport

Accessibility to transport routes and train stations will also have an impact on an area’s appreciation potential. A large portion of the British population commute far distances every day to get to work, so easy access to public transport is a major consideration.

train station
Train on platform in station in London

The adage of location, location, location is as relevant today as it was when it first appeared in print in 1926. While finding the right home in the right location will require time and research, the future benefits of solid growth in the value of the property will certainly make it worthwhile.

Get in touch to find a home in the right location!

Here at The Guild, we can help you find a home in the right location. Simply contact us today to find out more, or visit our buyers guides on our website.

Guild Blog: The Top Ten Mistakes you may be making when buying a house.

Buying a new home is one of the most exciting things you can do.

Between looking through beautiful new houses and choosing the perfect area, it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of new-home ownership. However, ignoring the details could end up costing you. Our estate agents have seen it all, and have identified the top mistakes that people make when purchasing a new home.

 

 

1. Looking at property without setting a budget 

“Taking a hard look at your finances is critical before you begin to look at property”, says Guild of Property Professionals CEO Iain McKenzie. “I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen fall in love with a property to realise that it’s out of their price range.” After you look at your finances, consider seeking professional advice, especially when it comes to mortgages.

According to Steve Thompson of Thomas Morris St Neot’s, “buyers should fully consider their property requirements and get the advice they need to organise their finances and solicitors before they find a property so that they do not miss out.” Do your research before viewing properties, and get a good idea of what you can afford to avoid heartbreak later.

 

2. Understand their reasons for moving 

Buying a property is a huge emotional and financial decision, and certainly not one to take lightly. According to Siobhan Jordain of Boyce Brixham, it’s important to make sure that you’re running toward something better, rather than away from something unsuitable. Siobhan encourages serious thought before moving into a different area, saying that “a bit of self-reflection on what you think moving from one area to another will give you can save time and money – perhaps you just need a lifestyle change rather than a location change.”

 

3. Buying too quickly

If your property purchase is the direct result of a relocation, Steve Barron of Drivers & Norris cautions against buying immediately. Steve encourages potential buyers to “rent first, and then figure out what you like. Then you know you’ll be buying in the best area for you, rather than simply having to make an educated guess.”

4. Having too many non-negotiables

When you view a property, it’s a good idea to know what you’re willing to be flexible on and where you’re not willing to negotiate. Stick to your convictions, but keep your list small. According to Steve Barron, “it’s best to prioritise what you want, as you’ll never get everything on your wishlist.” Mark Noble of Castle Estate Agents echoes this sentiment, saying “one of the biggest mistakes I see is buyers being too fussy about a property when a few simple alterations could make it perfect.”

5. Being closed off to alternative suggestions 

“One in three people end up buying something completely different than what they thought they wanted,” says McKenzie, “so be sure to broaden your horizons while you’re looking.” The perfect property for you might not be what you think you want, so being open to alternative suggestions is critical when buying a home.

6. Not using an estate agent in addition to looking online

Steve Thompson cautions: “heavy reliance on the internet to find your home is a mistake. Although it is a fantastic source of information, simple to use and available round-the-clock, the internet will never be able to replicate the local knowledge and expertise of your local estate agent. Build a good relationship with your estate agent, and they will tell you about properties that fit your specifications before they hit the market, search for properties that might now have hit the market just yet, and think of all kinds of out-of-the-box solutions to help you find the perfect home.”

7. Waiting too long to make an offer

Celeste Hamilton-Parker, Mark Noble, and Iain McKenzie all agree that waiting too long to make an offer on a house is one of the easiest ways for someone else to buy the house of your dreams. If you have a good feeling about a house and it ticks off your list of non-negotiables, then making an offer is the sensible choice.

8. Negotiating poorly

Negotiating is an important part of the property buying process, and negotiating poorly (or not at all) is one of the most common mistakes estate agents see in buyers. According to Mark Noble, “offering a price that’s too low and then taking too long to make a more acceptable offer is the reason I see many people lose homes they really love.” Iain McKenzie has been in a similar situation. “I’ve have buyers offer the asking price on houses where the seller would have negotiated. Negotiating will almost always result in a better price, especially if you maintain an air of ambivalence at a viewing. Never gush when you view a house, as gushing will make the seller think you’re willing to pay more for the property.”

9. Appointing the wrong property professionals

“Choosing the wrong solicitor or mortgage broker can be a huge mistake for buyers” says Mark Noble. Celeste Hamilton-Parker of Hamilton Parkers agrees, arguing that “a solicitor that’s either online or unfamiliar with the area can delay the conveyancing process, and the whole process in general.” When you buy a property, be sure to choose mortgage brokers that are reputable and local to your area. Local professionals will have a much better idea of how the market in your area works than non-local brokers or solicitors.

10. Not thinking ahead

“While it’s tempting to prioritise what you need now over what you’ll need in the future, but choosing a home is a relatively permanent decision,” warns Steve Barron. “Be sure you prioritise what you’ll need in the future, as well as what you’d like now.” Siobhan Jourdain agrees, adding that you should “consider a situation where you should have to return to your original home area, and make sure that you can afford to buy back in – this is particularly important if you are downsizing and using equity as pension funding or buying in a cheaper area.”

 

Are you thinking of moving? Click here to contact your local Guild agent.