A new house comes with new adventures, new possibilities and a new place to put down roots, but depending on your situation it can be weeks or months after buying a property before you finally get to move in.
Moving day can be quite complicated, and there is a lot to get done. Delays can only add to any potential stress, so it is important to make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible.
Here are some tips to avoid any moving delays:
Communication You will speak to many different people while moving home, including estate agents, solicitors. surveyors, removal companies, and more. Filling out any paperwork quickly and replying to any enquiries can really speed up the process of moving.
Make sure you have copies of your ID, bank statements and any planning permission needed throughout the process, so you can be ready to hand anything over when needed. Keeping everyone updated throughout your move means any problems or concerns should be quickly fixed and the whole move should go smoothly.
Book in Advance Ideally you should start arranging a removals van around four weeks before your moving day. Contact three or four companies and get a consultation with each. They will all provide you with quotes and you can decide which one works best for you.
Once you have that booked you can make any other arrangements you need, such as parking. If you are moving to a house that only has road-side parking, you will have to give notice to anyone it may affect and let them know a removals van will be parking up for a few hours.
Avoid Exchanging and Completing on the Same Day Although it may seem like an obvious option and a good thing to do, exchanging and completing on the same day can actually cause problems if you are part of a chain - it only takes one person to be unable to complete for the whole chain to break.
Try and leave a week or two between exchanging and completing, as this should give you enough time to resolve any potential complications that could come up. It’s good to have a bit of breathing space when moving home, as you never know what might happen.
Packing Preparation One of the key things that will prevent delays on moving day is to have everything packed up and organised. The last thing you want is to be rushing around packing up some last-minute items when you have a hundred other things to think about.
Start a month or so before you move and keep everything as orderly as possible. Chuck out any clutter or take it to a charity shop, and pack a few boxes each night, carefully labelling them and wrapping anything delicate in bubble wrap. Having everything packed and ready to go will be a huge time saver when you get around to moving.
Arrange Child/Pet Care Even though they are moving with you, children and pets can be quite distracting on moving day, and it can be quite an unsafe environment for them to be in with heavy boxes being carried back and forth to your new home.
Try and arrange for someone to look after them while you move, as this will allow you to concentrate fully on the task at hand and allow them to move into a new house afterwards with all their belongings in place. If you have older children, you can find age appropriate tasks to enable them to help out with the move. Read more
Bringing the outside inside If you have a large window or a beautiful view from your living area bring the colours of the outside landscape into your room, matching them in furnishings and décor. This will create a unified look to your room and expand the look of the space.
Light is right Natural light is the ultimate way of making a space look bigger. It opens up the room, adding character, creating different drop shadows and bringing a sense of freshness. It’s not always possible to use the power of natural light, but ‘layered’ artificial lighting is an ideal way to create a feeling of space. Choosing wall lights saves floor footage.
Open plan living Removing as many doors as possible within your house will give you an open plan living space that increases the sense of space and creates a free-flowing living environment.
Clever furniture Adding something like a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf not only saves space but creates a focal point and tricks the eye into expanding the room by pushing the walls and ceiling out. Multi-functional furniture pieces like settles, ottomans and storage seats are perfect ways to hide away clutter. Any space-saving furniture is great. Things like stacking chairs or wheeled tables that can be pushed to where they are needed help de-clutter and provide more space.
An oversized mirror or sets of mirrors allude to space and add extra light into a room. Always avoid unnecessary frills! Ruffles on furniture and window treatments make a room seem busy. Stick to simple panels and lines to create a spacious effect.
Colour creates space Using cool colours like a sky blue makes the walls visually recede. Even one focal wall of a cool colour can make a room seem bigger. Light, fresh colours and neutral tones make a space expand. They also create a blank background for artwork and patterned furniture so the overall effect is not busy or over-complicated.
Link adjacent rooms together using colour. This helps gives a linear flow to the decor of the house giving the impression of a bigger space. Whether you live in an apartment, bungalow, or house, use these clever tricks and make your home feel more like a mansion. Read more
Tenants move out of their current rental due to various reasons. Some of these reasons are out of their control, while others are a matter of personal preference. Here are five of the most common reasons why renters choose to move on.
1. Cannot afford the rent Renters may move out because the apartment has become too expensive for them as some landlords increase their rental price annually. Another reason could be their own finical situations, i.e. their income may have decreased due to a job loss or an increase in other expenses.
2. Time to upscale There are a number of life events that require the need for more space. A marriage, the birth of a child, starting a home business, relatives coming to live full-time and other circumstances can force your tenant to start searching for a bigger property. Sometimes it is easier by starting you search by asking your landlord if he has any larger properties to offer.
3. Neighbours Some tenants would move if they didn't like their neighbours. This might sound like something that's out of your hands, but it is resolvable. The first thing to do is speak to the neighbours as they might not realise they're doing anything wrong. If they're renting too, the next step is to have a discussion with your landlord if the problem still doesn’t seem to get sorted. The issues could statutory nuisances, such as dogs barking, loud music and big piles of rubbish. If all of this fails and it becomes a long term issue, this could drive the tenant to eventually hand in the notice and move out.
4. They are ready to buy With some rental prices increasing each year, many are making the leap to buy homes whilst they can. This could be due to various reasons, for example, they can finally afford to join the property ladder, and they want to have their own investment, are expecting a family or relocating.
5. Maintenance problems Maintenance issues can cause a tenant to move out because they are seeing a recurring issues or it never got sorted out by the landlord in the first place. Whilst it is your landlord’s responsibility to keep the structure and exterior of the property well maintained and in good repair, to provide you with a safe place to live in; there are certain responsibilities you as a tenant have to comply with as stated in your tenancy agreement. Landlords are responsible for: pest control, damp, gas, water and electricity, leaking roofs etc. Tenants are responsible for: doing minor repairs, such as changing fuses and light bulbs, keeping the property reasonably clean, taking out any unwanted waste etc.
Final thoughts: There are a number of reasons good tenants can leave, even if they like the property they are in. Smart landlords will get out in front of these issues and find ways to keep those tenants in their property to avoid turnover costs. Read more
Checking the government websites One of the best places to start is the official government websites. These .gov.uk sites provide authoritative information about changes in the law and new laws that come into effect. Whilst major changes to the laws are likely to hit the headlines on news outlets, the minor changes are the ones that are likely to catch you out. Therefore, you should have a look at what the latest laws are and when they take effect in the UK. These will be presented in their raw form without commentary, so it may take a bit of reading to understand and interpret.
Talk to your estate agent Unless you exclusively rent directly with your tenant, most landlords have an estate agent that helps them manage their properties and paperwork. You should make sure that you regularly ask your estate agents for advice about the law and if they know about any changes that are upcoming. It is in their interest to be on top of these things as well, and they will be more familiar with changes to legislation. You don’t want to wait until you are caught out by a new law, or new charges that you may be liable for. Make sure you are on top of what is happening.
Register with a regulated landlord association One of the other great things that you can do is join a regulated landlord association. These organisations will allow you to network and mingle with other landlords and allow you to get knowledge from them. The organisation itself will also be able to furnish you with the latest information about changes in the law, and these are likely to be in a more digestible format than the raw laws. They may even produce helpful guides in friendly formats that will help you through the changes. No doubt they will have websites and newsletters that provide curated targeted information, which means that you don’t have to go searching around for the latest changes to the news but can keep on top of things in one place. These organisations may also be able to provide you with backing when it comes to facing difficult tenants or other legal challenges whilst letting out your properties, so they are well worth a join. Read more
Have you ever heard of throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it’s cooked? Placing a spoon in a fizzy wine bottle to stop it going flat? That throwing around uncooked rice can cause a bird to explode? (That last one is ridiculous, but I really believed it!) There are many myths that we follow everyday which simply aren’t true.
There’s also plenty of them floating around in the property industry – assumptions made which some read online or hear by word of mouth and believe to be true. We’re here to bust those myths and misconceptions so you can avoid any costly mistakes going forward…
Misconception 1: All estate agents are the same This is a common one. Not only are individual estate agents different but companies are also very different and will go about your sale differently. Look around and find the perfect agent for you - after all this is a big job and you need to have complete trust in the person you choose to do it.
Misconception 2: You need to price your house with space for negotiation The Internet has allowed potential buyers to research the local area resulting in them being able to see what similar properties sold for. If you price your house too high, not only will you put buyers off, but you also run the risk of not getting any offers, leaving your property on the market. Once a property has been on the market for an extended period, people begin to wonder if there is something wrong with it. Instead, focus on pricing your property on its worth. Many properties are sold at or above their asking price these days!
Misconception 3: Your house doesn't need to be 'sale' ready Whilst some empty houses do sell, houses that already look like 'home' often sell better. People want to be able to envision their own family in the property. It is also important to clean your home and repair any minor problems or DIY mistakes as if left, a potential buyer will begin to think about the things they can't see. Most people want a home that is in a move in condition, even if they plan to do some renovations.
Misconception 4: Spring is the best time to sell While homes do sell in spring, they also sell in summer, autumn and winter. The truth may be that people can't be bothered in the winter and would prefer to wait a few weeks until the days are lighter and the weather is brighter - however, overall there isn't a best time to sell your home.
Misconception 5: You should choose the agent who says they will sell your house for the highest price You should choose an agent based on their experience and knowledge of the local market. Pricing your home high may be appealing but it will just end up on the market for too long causing suspicion with potential buyers. Instead, choose an agent who you trust and have faith in, offer great marketing and know your area.
Misconception 6: If your offers are low, your agent is not working hard enough It is very easy to point the finger of blame at an agent if your sale isn't going as fast or smooth as you'd like. If your offers aren't matching the asking price, there could be many reasons, from overpricing to terrible marketing to an unfavourable market. Ask your agent to explain why it may not be selling and get them to give regular updates on what they are doing to get your home out there.
Misconception 7: Estate agents will say anything to get a sale Much of the estate agent business is done on referral and if an agent constantly lied, they wouldn't receive business. Word of mouth will soon spread about an untrustworthy agent. Check reviews and ask people in your local town to find the best agent for your property and you.
Whether you are buying or selling, the property world can be daunting and confusing but hopefully the confusion between fact and fiction has been solved. If you have any questions, then please get in touch! Read more
The Basics A shared ownership scheme is where a purchase only buys a portion of the home, this is usually between 25% and 75%. They pay a mortgage on the share that they have bought and must pay rent on the remaining portion. (Though the rent is below market value). The Help to Buy scheme is a government-backed equity loan that will pay for up to 20% of the cost of the home. The purchaser then needs to pay the deposit and get a mortgage for the remaining portion. (This varies in Greater London.)
Eligibility The shared ownership scheme is available to first-time buyers, those who are selling a home, or who have previously sold a home. If your household income is less than £80,000 and you are unable to buy on the open market, then you can go for shared ownership. The Help to Buy scheme is available to first-time buyers, those who have previously sold a home, or those that are selling their current property before the expiry of their help to buy scheme. Buyers must be over 18 and there is no income cap.
Properties Shared Ownership is available on any purpose-built home. The Help to Buy scheme is only available on new-build homes that are on the market for less than £600,000.
Deposit For the shared ownership scheme, you must provide a deposit of 5% on the share that you are buying. So, if the home is worth £500,000 and you are buying a 25% share, then your deposit is £6,250 (5% of £125,000). For the Help to Buy scheme then you need to put down a 5% deposit on the full value of the property. However, you can use the equity loan to fund the deposit. This means that you can get access to mortgages that you wouldn’t normally be able to.
Repayments On the shared ownership scheme, you will pay a mortgage on the share you own, along with a subsidised rent to the housing association that owns the other share, along with any maintenance fees due under that scheme. You can choose to increase your share at any time, and this will result in an increase in your mortgage and a decrease in your rent. The Help to Buy equity loan is interest-free for the first five years, you are only required to pay a £1 per month maintenance fee during this period. After 5 years you will have to pay interest on the amount outstanding on the loan at a rate of 1.75% adjusted yearly for inflation.
Final Thoughts These are just some of the major differences between the two schemes, shared ownership is cheaper to get into and more secure in the long term, so it’s great for risk-averse, low to medium earners and Help to Buy offers more flexibility in terms of where and what you can buy, and is also likely to be cheaper month to month. Therefore it is important to weigh out which option best suits you. Read more
As a tenant, you're always acutely aware that the property you live in doesn't actually belong to you.
You're told not to hang pictures.
Not to redecorate.
And you mustn't cause any damage.
So, when there are problems with the property, you'll call the landlord and let them know. This is their responsibility to sort out, not yours, as it's their property, right?
But, sometimes, landlords are not willing to carry out repairs.
Sometimes, the landlord will refuse and say that those jobs are the tenants' responsibility.
So, what should you be doing yourself as the tenant?
The official wording is that you should "conduct yourself in a tenant-like manner." In typical legal jargon, that is both vague and complicated in equal measure, really, isn't it!?
According to Shelter, the tenants' responsibilities are "Pay your rent on time. Claim benefits if you need to. Look after your home. Allow access for repairs and inspections."
And according to HousingAdvice, "take care of the premises. Make good any damage caused by you or anybody lawfully visiting or living there. Adhere to the terms of your tenancy agreement. Keep the inside of the property in reasonable proper order."
Take care of the premises? To what extent?
And neither of these sources make much mention of the property's exterior. In fact, Housing Advice says explicitly 'keep the inside of the property in reasonable proper order'. Does that mean that you can leave the garden to grow wild?
You need to look after the property; otherwise, you risk losing your deposit when you move out. But what other general maintenance tasks are you responsible for as a tenant?
• Pay your rent. This one is obvious - everyone knows they're supposed to pay the agreed rent. • Unblock drains. Slightly surprising, perhaps, but if you block a drain, you're responsible for unblocking it. Your tenancy agreement will state that you shouldn't put coffee grounds or oil/grease down the kitchen sink, as this will increase the chances of creating a blockage. The same applies to hair in bathroom plugholes. • Change lightbulbs. Lightbulbs are a consumable product, and as they run out, you're expected to replace them. The number of working lightbulbs in the property will be itemised in the initial inventory. Therefore, you must ensure that the same number of working lightbulbs are present when you move out of the property. • Maintain the garden. You'd be surprised at how many tenants don't look after the outside of the property. Then at the end of the tenancy, the garden is in such a state of disarray that they either have to spend a weekend putting it right or forfeit their deposit money to pay for a gardener. This also includes paying for the garden waste bin. Some councils charge for garden waste separately, and tenants are responsible for renewing this licence to dispose of the garden waste or take it to the tip themselves. • Report issues promptly. If there's a dripping tap, it's not likely to be an emergency repair, more that it is just quite annoying. And if it's left, it probably wouldn't cause any significant damage because the drip is going down the drain. However, further damage is inevitable if that drip drips onto the floor. If repaired quickly, it'll be a simple job. But, if you leave it dripping for a week, a month, or maybe even a year, it'll slowly penetrate the floor. It won't be long before the ceiling below starts to suffer. Or if it's on the ground floor, the floor joists could be soaking up all of that moisture. Over time there will need to be either new floor joists or a new ceiling. Both options are very costly to your landlord and will cause tremendous upheaval for you as the occupant. And it could have easily been avoided with a quick phone call to let the landlord know as soon as you noticed the drip! • Pay bills etc. Your tenancy agreement will state that you must pay your utility bills. This, of course, is not to be paid to the landlord, but you can't vacate a property and leave huge unpaid debts to utility companies. Also, suppose your utilities are cut off. Over time the property will suffer without heating, negatively impacting the landlord. So, you must make sure that you pay your rent, but you are also required to keep up to date with your other bills. • Keep the property safe and secure. You must make sure that you keep it safe and have insurance in place. If you go away for a prolonged time, you need to inform your landlord and insurance company.
Respecting your rented property in a 'tenant-like manner' means looking after it as your own and making the payments required to live there.
If you have any issues that you are not sure if you should deal with or report to your landlord, get in touch with our expert lettings team now. They'll be happy to help in any way that they can. Read more
Garden room. Man cave. Home studio. Shoffice (shed/office). Call it what you will but having a standalone space in the garden where you can work, unwind, or pursue a favourite hobby is one of the fastest-growing property trends in recent years.
Now, garden sheds are nothing new; Britain’s first shed was built in 1481. But a ‘garden room’ is far more than the old-fashioned lean-to your granddad used to store the lawnmower.
Garden rooms are high-spec spaces with plenty of mod cons: mains electricity, heating, and WiFi. They also often include full-height glazing, a kitchenette, toilet, hot tub, bar, or home cinema.
If you’re considering investing in a garden room, here are some tips to help you get it right.
Identify The Purpose Start by having a clear idea of how you’ll use the space. Will it be an office, yoga studio, gym, or games room?
If you don’t have a strong vision, your garden room could turn out to be a glorified storage cupboard, crammed with boxes and odds and sods.
Find The Right Location If space is tight, your options will be limited. However, if you have a big outdoor area, give careful consideration to the location and orientation of your garden room.
If you’re creating a mini music studio, opt for a location some distance from the house so that noise isn’t an issue. On the other hand, a children’s playroom might be best near the house, so you can keep an eye on the little ones.
Also, remember that: • An east-facing garden room will catch the morning sun (ideal for early bird, work-from-home types). • A west-facing garden room will get the afternoon sun (perfect for a post-work parents’ chill-out space). • A south-facing garden room will catch lots of sun (great in the winter months) but will get quite warm in summer, so consider adding a louvred canopy.
Insulation Keep your garden room cool in summer and warm in winter (and save money on heating) by opting for insulated walls, roof, and flooring.
When architects, builders, and manufacturers talk about insulation, they use the term U-value. The lower the U-value, the better (the best insulating materials have a U-value nearing zero).
Landscaping It’s called a garden room for a reason, so make sure your space is surrounded by lush greenery – being close to nature is good for your mental health, after all.
Plant trees, shrubs, and bushes around your garden room so that it feels like an integral part of the space.
Planning Before you get started, always seek confirmation from your local authority about whether any outbuilding you’re thinking about needs planning permission.
For more advice about how to add value to your property and market trends, get in touch with us here at Pinkertons. Read more
Simple additions like potty patches or larger renovations such as heated flooring can make a big difference towards making your home more dog-centric. After all, many people are undertaking renovations for the summer, so why not tackle some home improvement tasks for your dog? We’ve compiled a list of 7 dog-centric renovations you won’t regret when it’s time to sell.
1) Build a hideaway feeding area Are you tired of accidentally kicking your dog’s feeding bowls? Or are you wishing their feeding bowls were more visually appealing? Consider a hideaway feeding area. These custom shelves are designed to pull out when it’s time to eat and disappear once your dog is finished. You can easily disguise a hideaway feeding area in a floor-level drawer or underneath the kitchen sink. These are also great investments for when you sell your home, as you won’t have to worry about hiding your doggy dishes during open houses or home tours.
2) Install heated floors for comfortable paws For a dog-centric home improvement that may even increase your home value, consider installing heated floors. Not only can heated floors provide uniform heating, fewer allergens, and energy efficiency for your home, but they also promote comfort and warmth for elderly dogs, short-haired dogs, or dogs that live in colder areas. Dogs have a higher resting body temperature than humans so make sure to pay attention to how they react to floor temperatures. If your dog shies away from heated floors, the temperature may need to be lowered. When it comes time to sell your home, heated floors are sure to be a key selling point.
3) Carve out an under-the-stairs dog house Every dog deserves a place to call its own. And if your staircase permits, an under-the-stairs dog house can be a perfect retreat for your pup. You’ll want to work with a contractor to ensure your stairs aren’t load-bearing, are hollow, and can hold a large opening to serve as a framed doorway. Once completed, drywall the surrounding areas and install flooring. To really make the space feel cosy, decorate with string lights, unique wallpaper, a comfortable doggy bed, and even a picture of the whole family. Once you put your home on the market, an under-the-stairs dog house can easily be converted into a miniature library or additional storage space.
4) Create a dog-centric shower After a walk through the town or a run around the park, your dog may have dirt or mud stuck between its paws and legs. If you have extra space in your garage or a bonus room close to your entryway, creating a designated dog shower is a useful solution to keep your home clean before letting your four-legged friend roam around the house. Like a regular shower, a dog washing station is a rectangular area consisting of basic plumbing, standard framing, glass encasing, and tiling. For those without a furry friend, it’s great to wash off muck and grim from the kids foray out into a wet and muddy day!
5) Purchase a potty patch For smaller homes or flats with limited outside space, a synthetic turf potty patch may be a great dog-centric alternative if your dog needs to go potty. Potty patches are versatile and can fit on sunrooms, patios, or even balconies. More importantly, they prevent your dog from dirtying flooring, walls, or furniture. When not in use, potty patches blend in with their surroundings to look like a patch of grass. When full, potty patches have removable drainage systems that can be cleaned and replaced easily. Luckily, this isn’t much of a renovation, but rather a simple addition you can easily remove when the time comes to sell your home.
6) Install a sliding gate The safety of your dog is most important, and if you’re trying to keep your dog away from certain areas of your house, installing sliding gates connected to your door pockets can be both a functional and aesthetic home addition. There are many ways you can install a sliding gate from setting up a swing gate to installing one connected to a wall or cabinet to slide in and out when needed. Depending on your home’s style, there are different types of gates from wood to metal to give your home a sleek design. Sliding gates are versatile and can easily be removed if you plan on selling your home but may also be considered a bonus feature for homebuyers with small children.
7) Go with a doggy door Doggy doors are one of the most common home installations an owner can do for their dog. But did you know there are different types of doors to fit your needs? Traditional doggy doors are made of plastic with a magnetic lock. However, modern doors incorporate smart home technology and weather-resistant material to ensure your dog doesn’t leave for a midnight stroll through the neighbourhood. These doors can also keep your home insulated and water-free during winter months or stormy weather. If you are worried about permanent damage to your home, removable screen doggy doors that attach to sliding doors are a viable option.
Inspired to start your renovation? Or perhaps you’re looking for the perfect new home to welcome your new pup? Get in contact today for our expert advice or an up-to-date valuation!Read more
Depending on the time of year that you are selling your property, there are plenty of great décor ideas out there that you can try out to see if you can make your home even more appealing. To help generate some interest, here are the best seasonal décor tips that you can try out for yourself.
Spring Spring is a time when everything in the world is coming back to life, the flowers are waking up and blossoming and the grey, dull, winter weather is also seemingly making a retreat. A great way to dress your home during spring is to add in a few flowers throughout the space. Flowers are not only going to be a little cheaper during spring, but they bring a touch of what is going on outside, into the inside of your home.
It is also worthwhile giving your garden a good spruce up during spring as there’s most likely going to be a lot of leftover dead plants from the winter, which is never going to be appealing to your prospective buyers.
Summer When the summer comes around it signals that it is time to relax and get outside. This means that arranging home viewings in the summer month’s means that you really need to take care of the outside of your property. It is a good idea to showcase your garden in the best light, show your viewers just how good it is for family time, for social gatherings and for relaxing in too. This is a definite advantage point for them.
One great thing about the summer is that it means that there is going to be plenty of glorious sunshine, which means that if your home is particularly blessed with light, then make sure that you show this off the best that you can.
Autumn Whilst summer is all about hanging outside and soaking up the sun, autumn is more about heading back inside. If your house is up for sale in the autumn months then take advantage of the fact that people are going to want to get cosy inside, by making your home incredibly inviting and welcoming. Think about ways to make as much light as possible come into each room as well as using all those warming colours that you think of when it comes to autumn, such as burnt orange and red tones.
Winter It can be really hard to market a house during winter, not only is everything a bit duller and greyer during these months, but most people are focused on Christmas rather than buying a home. If you are trying to sell your home in the winter months, then do your best to make it as cosy and inviting as possible.
Show viewers how warm it is by making sure that the heating is up and also pop some blankets around to show that you like to cuddle up. Don’t think that just because you are selling your home that you can’t have decorations up, in fact this can often be a great selling point to people in the run up to Christmas.
As you can see, no matter the season there are plenty of things that you can do to try and make sure that your home is as appealing as possible. So, try these top tips out and see if you can sell your home and get the money that you hope for it too. Read more
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