Guild Blog: Can your garden add value to your property?

Can your garden add value to your property?

 

Many people forget the first impression comes from the garden. Watch the video below, to get ideas and tips to help sell your home this summer, as well as make your garden a more enjoyable place to be.

 

We would love to see some photographs of your outside space.  Please email them to vicky@joplings.com or Direct message them via our Facebook or Twitter page.  Please let us know if you are happy for us to share these on Social Media.

 

 

1. Decluttering the garden can add value. Always start with tidying and give your lawn a fresh mow and tidy up any weather damage before a viewing.

 

2. Add some seasonal colour, like plant pots filled with flowers. This will add perceived value.

 

3. Start in the front garden, because this is where your potential buyer will start. The first impression counts.

 

4. Add a key selling point, like a summer house, play park or a jacuzzi if you want to turn your garden into a fantastic reason to buy the house. This requires major investment, but it could secure your sale.

 

5. If you’re looking to spend less, don’t underestimate the impact of a coat of paint on fences and sheds.

 

6. Style your garden with furniture. You wouldn’t show a room to a potential buyer without any furniture in it, so why show a garden without a table and chairs on the decking or patio?

 

7. If your home is overlooked, it’s a good idea to give the idea of privacy to the garden. If it isn’t too expensive, add hedges or trees in key spots.

 

Are you looking for a new home with a beautiful garden? Contact a Guild Member today.

Guild Blog: Moving? How to Feel at Home Fast

The sale is complete, you have the keys in your hand and the moving van has delivered your household contents to your new property. All that is left is for you to unpack and turn your new house into a home. 

 

Here are a few tips to help you settle and make the labour-intensive process a smooth and easy as possible:

 

Many hands make light work

Dividing the work among friends and family who are willing to lend a hand and get involved will make things move along much faster. Delegate the work out by providing a list of tasks to each person. It is best to focus on the larger jobs first, such as moving and placing furniture and then working down to the items that you would be able tackle on your own if need be. If possible, get at least one room set up as quickly as possible so that helpers have a place to put their feet up and take a well-deserved break during the process.

 

Put safety first

It takes a few days to feel settled in a new property and often even everyday sounds can be strange or unnerving. Making sure you and your family feel safe in the new environment will help everyone feel settled sooner. Ensure all the doors and windows close and lock properly. Also, make sure that each family member has a set of keys to the property. If you think it’s best to change any of the locks, schedule a locksmith and change the codes to any coded entry points, such as automated garage doors and security systems.

 

Get to grips with the electrics

Ensure you know where the fuse box or circuit breaker is and how it works. Have a look at the boiler and heating and familiarise yourself how it turns on and off and how to set it.

Also, remember that often electric cables are hidden behind walls, so before making any holes in the wall to hang something, make sure you know what is behind it. It is possible to buy cable detectors from DIY shops.

 

Update all your details

Don’t wait until the last minute to get your paperwork done and update your details. Redirect your mail online with Royal Mail, notify utility providers and the council. Also, fill out a change of address with your bank and employee and ensure that all the relevant service providers, clubs and creditors have your new address on record. Changing addresses also means re-applying for the electoral role. Remember also to make the time to change the address on your driver’s license.

Don’t pressure yourself to do all of this in one go, but the sooner you get them done, the more settled you will feel.

 

Make the place yours 

Changing the colour of the walls and putting up your personal items and photos will make the house feel like a home and can make the rest of the unpacking a much more pleasant experience.

 

Take time to breathe

There’s no deadline or rush, it doesn’t have to all be done at once. Take some time out to have a family dinner, watch a movie or go on a social outing. Or just relax, step outside to meet the neighbours and take time to enjoy your new surroundings.

 

If you are looking to move to a new home, contact your local Guild agent.

Guild Blog: Golden Principles for Buying Property

Not all property purchases are equal. While one property investment could be the foundation to building wealth, another could be a monetary black hole. What is the difference between the two?  To ensure that you are making the most out of your property purchase, it is vital to be well-informed, savvy and make the right buying decisions from the outset. The choices you make during the property buying process will have a significant impact on the potential return on your investment in the long term.

 

Simply purchasing a home at what is considered a fair market value will not guarantee that you will see good returns in the future. Here are a few golden principles that you can apply to any property acquisition:

 

Do the research and ask questions

The first step is to decide whether you are purchasing the property as a home to live in or for investment purposes. This decision will have a bearing on how you will approach the purchase. If you buy the property with the intention of living in it as your primary residence, the decision-making process will be far more emotionally guided. In this instance you will consider aspects of the property and the surrounding area that appeals to you personally. However, if the property is for investment purposes, it is more important to research what appeals to possible tenants in the area and who the tenants might be.

Although it is possible to find a lot of information about an area online, nothing can replace checking out the location in person. Take the time to drive around the area and walk the streets. Consider what the traffic is like and who your potential neighbours could be, as well as the local facilities and amenities. Local estate agents will also be able to provide you with information regarding the local property market and recent stats and figures of sales in the area.

 

Keep it simple and stick to the basics

Irrespective of the property market phase or external factors such as Brexit, sound property buying principles remain true. These include the property’s location, the value per square foot and the potential rental yield. These factors will always be the key criteria to base your decision on.

 

Subtle variances can have a large bearing

Never underestimate the importance of location. Two homes can have the same features but have very different values depending on their location. For example, the average house price can vary by as much as £500,000 from one tube station to another in London, so it might be worth sacrificing a few extra minutes on your commute. It is even possible for homes to have different values based on which side of the street they are on. From an investment perspective, purchasing the worst home in a sought-after area is better than buying the best home in an area that is not as appealing.

If you are buying with the intention of letting the property out, you will need to consider that different aspects will be attractive to different people, so discovering your niche market is essential. As an investment buyer, you should also look at how many other rental properties are available in the area before you buy. The rental sector is driven by demand, and an investment could fall flat if there is an oversupply of properties available for rent in the area.

 

A plan is paramount

If investing, it is important to think about what you would like to achieve with your property portfolio and what needs to be done to get there. If you are buying a home to live in, it is essential to think about where you would like to settle for the next five to ten years.

Having a clear plan in place will help you remain focused and will give you something to work towards. Never limit your thinking to what you can afford right now, but rather what will be possible for you in the future.

 

Get rid of debt

Access to finance is a key element to any property transaction. While around 30% of buyers can buy a home in cash, most buyers will require a mortgage to purchase a home. To increase your chances of getting a mortgage approval, ensure you have a favourable debt-to-income ratio and keep a clean credit record.

It is also vital to have a deposit of between 10% and 20% of the purchase price of the property, as well as additional funds for solicitor’s fees, stamp duty and various other costs associated with purchasing a home.

 

A home is more than bricks and mortar

Although a return on investment is often at the core of every property buying decision, there are other aspects to be considered. The basic principle of purchasing a property is that if you wouldn’t want to live in it, it’s not likely many others would either. The property should appeal to you and you should want to own it.

 

If you are looking to buy a home you’ll want to own contact your local Guild agent.

Guild Blog: Making the right purchase for you!

Research has revealed that around 80% of homeowners have at least one noteworthy regret regarding their home buying decision.

 

Here are our five top tips to ensure you make the right choice while on the hunt for your next home:

 

1. Focus is key

A property may appeal in terms of your wants, but not necessarily tick the must-haves boxes. Make sure that the property meets your main objectives otherwise it can’t be the right home for you.

2. Find the right solicitor for you

It is imperative that you choose and work with a solicitor that you not only trust but feel comfortable with too. A good solicitor will keep you well-informed and will guide you through the buying process. The service your solicitor provides can dramatically alter your home buying experience.

(Ripon and Thirsk both have local solicitors who will help you purchase or sell your property.  Please do not hesitate to pop in and ask us who we would suggest)

3. Get a second opinion

Whether you have a close friend or trusted family member, it always helps to get a second, unbiased opinion. Better yet, hire someone to look at the property to give you an idea of the work that will need doing once you move in.

4. Check your finances

There are various unexpected costs of owning a home. Make sure you calculate what is within your budget, taking costs such as council tax, insurance and service charge into consideration.

5. Don’t engage in a bidding war

Focus on finding the right home for you, and don’t get caught up in a bidding contest. Walk away from the deal if it gets out of hand to ensure you don’t overpay. Remember, a higher price will mean a larger deposit, higher fees and thousands in additional interest on a larger mortgage.

 

Are you looking to sell your home? Contact your local Guild Member for help through the moving process.

Guild Blog: Are you a First Time Buyer? What to Avoid when Buying a Property for the First Time …

What to avoid when buying a property for the first time …

 

First Time Buyers

Buying a home for the first time can be an emotionally driven experience, especially when you consider the various elements that need to be taken into account. While there are several new and exciting things that go into buying a home, it can be a complicated process to negotiate. Often, it’s easy to focus on the smaller details and lose sight of the larger picture while possibly making mistakes.

First Time Buyers

 

Here what you need to avoid along the way…

Not getting a mortgage in principle

Once you have made the decision to buy a property, the temptation to jump into the search with both feet will be overwhelming. However, rushing in before speaking to your bank about the mortgage they are prepared to offer you could lead to disappointment. Imagine you find a house you love, only to learn it is not within your price range when applying for the mortgage. While not a requirement or guarantee, getting a Mortgage in Principle will provide you with a written estimate from a lender, giving an indication of what you can borrow.

It’s possible to apply for a Mortgage in Principle through a mortgage adviser such as L&C or directly with a lender. They will provide you with the reassurance that you are looking at properties within your price range and they will let the seller know you are serious and qualify to buy the property.

 

Not working out what you can afford

There might be a difference between the mortgage you qualify for and what you can comfortably afford in real terms. It is always advisable that you leave some cushioning in the budget. Look at your finances and make a list of your expenses before determining a budget for a property to gain a clear idea of what you can afford. Don’t stretch your finances too thin, as this will make you vulnerable if unforeseen circumstances rear their head.

 

Focusing on the flaws

You shouldn’t compromise on your ‘must-haves’ but placing too much focus on the home’s flaws might have you miss the things that really matter. Fixtures can be replaced, rooms can be made open-plan or walls can be added to create your dream home with a property that meets your essential criteria.

 

Falling in love blindly

On the other end of the spectrum, you shouldn’t overlook a home because of its flaws, but don’t completely ignore them either. The look of a home is one thing, but more serious issues such as structural damage are quite another. Often, once a buyer sees a home that they think is the one, their decisions will be based on the emotional connection rather than the facts. Be fully aware of all the property’s issues before you put in an offer. Ask your Guild agent to explain all a property’s past and current major or structural issues, or seek advice from a surveyor.

 

Waiting too long

It is crucial to make an informed decision when choosing the right home, but don’t take too long, otherwise, you could lose out to a faster buyer. Once you have found the right home, be decisive and take action to avoid disappointment.

 

Not thinking about the future

Consider aspects such as the home’s resale potential as well as your future plans. It might seem strange to think about selling the home before you have bought it but much of the home’s potential return on investment is based on decisions you make when buying, not selling.

 

Factors that will affect the home’s resale value include:

• Location

• Condition

• Type of property

• Number of bedrooms

• Garage or off-street parking.

• Investments in infrastructure, like HS2

 

Also, consider whether the home will meet your needs in the future. For example, you may not have children now but plan to shortly – this means needing an extra bedroom or ensuring that you purchase near a school with the desired Ofsted rating. Think about whether the home meets your situation now, but also if it can meet your evolving needs.

 

Are you looking for your first property? Contact one of our Guild agents today. Find your nearest office here.

 

 

(To read this blog post or other blog posts by The Guild of Property Professionals please visit their website.