New Year Brings Flurry Of House Buying Thoughts

After the luscious long summer months, where nothing too serious regarding property every occurs, it is easy to just concentrate on the major topic – summer holiday location.   Shall it be a sunny beach in usual busy hotspots, or a calm, quiet cottage on the edge of a country side lake or hillside.   There are so many possibilities these days.

At Christmas and New Year, many couples get itchy feet and decide that maybe a bigger house, or indeed a smaller one, might be a good idea for next year.  Endless details are obtained from estate agents and lots of browsing on the internet in the selected area of choice.   It has something to do with nesting instinct and brings a breath of fres air to the couple, even if the plan moves not much further forward than the browsing.


Christmas Brings Holiday Cottage Ideas

It is absolutely amazing how many families all get together for the Christmas holidays – busy eating, drinking, playing games, or more usually, watching endless tv programmes.  But somewhere in that mix is the desire to get out there and see somewhere else for a change.

With so much surplus funding about, apparently, there is a big move towards owning one property to live in and owning a couple more to rent out ‘for the pension pot’.  This can be an exciting new family endeavour but one that needs a bit of research and a lot of comittment.  Getting the right property for renting out, in the best location and at the right price.   All hands needed to stady the investment ship.


Getting Into The Property Market

In days gone by there were only a few expectations about property.  You were going to either rent or buy.  If you did well at school, you went on to university, got the degree and then a decent job – one for life.   The first steps were to move from home into a rented flat, then a step up to a bigger rented flat or maybe you saved that extra expenditure and saved for a deposit.  Eventually enough was available for you to buy the first place.  That would generally be expected to be a little flat.  Then the 2 bedroomed terrace house.  Later a 3 bedroomed semi detached and so on.  Getting on the mortgae ladder ws hard, but not as scary as it has been of late.  You were on your way!


Deciding Affordability – Big Question

Knowing whether you can afford to buy that dear little house you saw the other day  – it is much easier to look for mortgages these days, but not necessarily easier to get an offer.  There are more variables .  Needing to have a huge deposit is always a stumbling block.  Realisitically someone needs to start saving for their mortgage deposit as soon as they leave nappies behind.  20 or 22% is generally needed now plus the fees, unless you buy a new build wher the seller usually contributes as a sweetner. Once you have a ballpark figure, it’s time to check up mortgage prices.  Using the estimated cost of the property, you can find other calculators online which will tell you how much you can expect to pay on different types of mortgage.  We always recommend choosing a mortgage which pays off each month, rather than an interest only!


Best Ways To Select Property For Rent Or Buy

Take some photos when you go (if you can).  The photos on estate agents posters and online are often taken at certain angles to make the house appear bigger or lighter.  By taking your own photos, you’ll be able to look back at them once you are back at home and remember what it was like.  Also, it gives a better view of how the property appears “in real life” rather than through an edited version…gnore any decor and furnishing you aren’t keen on.  Do not be put off by some hideous paintwork or questionable furnishing choices when you look at a property.  These are very easy to fix once you move in, and you’ll have your own furniture to put in!  Try to visualise the rooms as blank canvasses and remember, the current owner will take their unusual tastes with them!

Hopefully you will go armed with these tips to the next home you view, and see it in a whole new light!


Renting Or Buying Is The Big question

Families are so often in a quandry when it comes to the question of to rent or to buy.  On the one hand, renting is fairly simple and straight forward.  You provide references, pay a holding deposit and damage waiver and then move in – no worries about having to mintain the property.  All the repairs and niggling worries are down to the agent or the landlord.  On the other hand, buying a property means that at the end of a set period of payments, sometimes less than rental, the property is yours to keep.

This way, by combining your loves and hates, families will have a much clearer idea of the things they really want to avoid, and the things they want to find in their next home.  House buying, without the stress!


How to Work Out a Budget – Buy What You Can Afford

Buying a property is one of the biggest purchases we make in our lives, so it is important to ensure we set a realistic budget to buy with.  We all have dream homes, with lots of bedrooms, a huge garden and large, modern kitchen, but unfortunately these all come at a price.  Here are our tips for creating a budget to suit you.

We recommend using an online budget calculator to do the hard maths for you.  Generally, you just tell it how much you earn (combined with a partner if that is what you want), roughly what you spend each month on your regular outgoings (such as electricity, council tax, groceries etc) and the calculator will tell you roughly what you could expect to be able to afford.



Getting Property Prepared For Rent Market

There is definitely something special about the early summer.  The late winter has gone, spring has filled that gap with early warmth.  The time to brush out the cobwebs well and truly here.  When property is being prepared for the rental market, it is essential to get a good routine in place.  Get the property throughly emptied if it’s to be an unfurnished contract.  Take every thing away to the tidy tip or donate good useable items to charity.

Make sure the property is in good, safe state of repair.  Rental agents of course know all the rules and regulations, and a good job too, as these do change.  Make sure also that the place is in clean tidy state of decor, all repairs seen to.  Get on good terms with your letting agency – makes life so much smoother.


How to View a Prospective Home

Going to view a potential new home should be a really fun and exciting opporunity to imagine yourself in a new house.  Yet it is often difficult to visualise what it would be like to live in this house.  Here are our ideas for making this an easier task.

  1. Take someone not involved in the house with you: by takinga neutral friend or family member, you will get an unbiased, unskewed viewpoint about the pros and cons of the property.
  2. When we have our heart on something, we often overlook any negatives as a way to make ourselves more convinced to go for it…you don’t want to miss any dodgy building work for instance!

Tackling Compromise – How to Decide What You Really Need

When buying a property with a partner, or perhaps your family, it is highly likely that you’ll each have different ideas of what the ‘perfect home’ is made up of.  You might dream of a country cottage with old beams and a cute little garden; your other half might be dreaming of a swish apartment in a high-rise block in the city!  Without having some frank discussions and some lists of wants/needs, it is easy to get wrapped up in arguments and disputes about what you want.

Our advice is to all create a list of at least 5 things you really want (ideal world things).  Next, write a similar list of things you need (practical items like utility rooms or ensuite bathrooms).  Next, write a list of things you would absolutely HATE.  Compare the lists and see if you have any similar or same items.  These are the things to focus on!