The Importance of Kerb Appeal

 

From the moment they arrive at a property, a potential buyer is asking themselves, ‘Could I live here?’.

 

Maximise your properties kerb appeal to make sure you don’t lose a potential sale before the viewing has even begun!

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From the moment they arrive at a property, a potential buyer is asking themselves, ‘Could I live here?’ When it comes to buying a house, judging a book by its cover is a phrase that all sellers should be mindful of. Don’t lose the sale before the viewing has even begun!

In a recent survey by estate agent network, Relocation Agent Network, 98% of respondents (including Ryder & Dutton), recommend that sellers ensure outside areas are well presented. From painting the front door to mowing the lawn or planting flowers, according to the majority* of survey respondents, over 60% of sellers do ensure a property’s outside areas are well presented before entering the market. After all, why put your property at a disadvantage for the sake of a cracked gnome or broken fence?

But what’s the most important jobs to complete before selling your property? Network respondents rated the following in order of importance…**

1. Mowing the lawn. Sounds obvious, but a 10-minute job like mowing the lawn can really improve your property’s kerb appeal.
2. Painting the front door. It’s the first thing a buyer will look at, so make sure your door is looking its best.
3. Cleaning windows. It not only improves the property exterior, but also ensures clear views from the inside.
4. Painting the shed. A tired shed at the bottom of the garden is easily improved with a lick of paint.
5. Planting flowers. Flowers can really lift the outside appearance, for small gardens, consider window boxes.

Thinking of selling in 2014?

As a selected member of Relocation Agent Network, we’ve already proven that our customer service is deemed to be the best in our local area (in the Network’s opinion). But if that isn’t enough, through our membership, we can offer sellers a completely unique channel of buyer that no other estate agent in the area can provide. Visit the website to find out more or contact us on 0161 925 3255.

 


*43% of survey respondents indicated that over 60% of their sellers ensure outside areas of a property are well presented before entering the market.

**Mowed lawn (44%), painted front door (37%), clean windows (6%), painted shed (3%), planted flowers (3%)

 

Moving in the School Holidays

The school holidays are almost here, so for families moving house over the next few weeks it means the children are likely to be more involved in the move.

We bring you some tips to help ensure a smooth move with the family.

 

The school holidays are almost here so for families moving house over the next few weeks it means the children are likely to be more involved in the move.

We all know it can be a stressful process so we bring you our top tips to help involve the whole family when moving home!

1. Keep everyone informed

 Keep everyone informed about the house move so they feel involved and have time to get used to the idea. Moving home can be a really big change for children and they are likely to have lots of questions for you. Taking time to answer all their questions can help make them feel involved and ease some of the questions on moving day itself!

 

2. Be Positive about moving

Moving can be stressful so its good to try and focus on the positives where possible. There is usually something positive to keep the family excited about the up and coming house move. It might be the nice new garden, a new bedroom, moving close to friends or even just starting out on a new adventure! Keeping everyone excited about the move can help ease some of the stress involved.

 

3. New Bedroom Ideas Scrapbook

 One of the most exciting parts of moving home for children can be the new bedroom they will get! This could be a great opportunity to let them create a scrap book to keep all their ideas together. It could be as simple as what colour do they want their new room to be? Where will their furniture go? This also allows children to start to visualise themselves in their new home which can help them settle in when they arrive there.

 

4. Involve the family in deciding what to take to the new house

 It can be an ideal time to have a clear out when you are moving home. You might find unwanted items lurking at the back of the kitchen cupboards or under the stairs that you wont necessarily want to take with you when you move. Garages and garden sheds are also notorious hoarding hot spots! It can be a really good chance to do some charity shop runs with toys, games, DVD’s, pots and pans or anything that you don’t want to take to the new house.  Some children may enjoy some input into what they are taking with them too.

 

5. Make the move as fun as possible!

Try creating games to make moving home fun for all the family by suggesting rewards for completing tasks to keep children interested and motivated. For example once you have packed up a box of your toys you earn a film night in the new house! You could even write a list of jobs that need to be done and pop them in a hat so each family member chooses their task at random … but no peeking! Creative youngsters might enjoy designing labels for their boxes such as ‘My Toys’ or ‘My DVD’s’. There is so much more you can do to make packing more exciting!

 

Our Final Tip: Allow children to have their own ‘Moving Day Box’ that they can label and pack themselves with their moving day essentials. This could perhaps include their tablets, ipads or mobile phones for older children (don’t forget their chargers!) colouring books and toys for younger children and maybe even a few of their favourite snacks to keep them going.

Having items that are important to children being readily available at the new home can help them settle in and more importantly keep the family occupied, leaving you free to focus on moving!

These boxes can either be packed onto the van last or even be taken in the car with you, to make sure they can use them as soon as they arrive as the new house!

Adults might also want a moving day box but it might be more likely to include documents, tools to build the important items such as beds for the first night and perhaps a bottle of wine for the end of a long day!

Properties sell in record breaking 88 days across Britain

The average time it takes to sell a property in Britain has reduced to 88 days, 16 days faster (15.38%) compared to the same time last year and the fastest selling time recorded since 2007, according to recent research from Move with Us, the residential property group.

The latest data from the Move with Us Market Review showed that properties in Greater London were selling the fastest in the second quarter of 2014 with an average of just 43 days. This was followed by the South East and East Anglia where the selling times for Q2 2014 were the fastest in five years, taking an average of 59 and 68 days respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, properties were slowest to sell in the North East where the average selling time reached 138 days in the second quarter of 2014. However, this was still 50 days (26.60%) quicker in a yearly comparison and the second biggest change outside of Greater London since 2007.

 

Region

Average selling time in Q2 2014

% faster

Fastest selling time since

Greater London

43

39.44

May 2009

South East

59

24.36

May 2009

East Anglia

68

20.00

May 2009

South West

79

14.13

May 2009

East Midlands

87

17.14

May 2009

West Midlands

89

14.42

May 2009

Scotland

106

15.20

August 2010

Yorkshire & Humber

110

13.39

May 2009

North West

114

13.64

May 2009

Wales

129

11.03

August 2009

North East

138

26.60

May 2009

Robin King, Director at Move with Us, said: “The market has gained a spring its step thanks to increased confidence and more readily available funding bringing more buyers to the market. Faster selling times have now spread outside Greater London and the South East where competition has always been relatively strong compared to areas such as the East and West Midlands where the market has taken longer to recover.”

“The average selling time is now almost back to the pre-crash levels of 2007. Due to faster timescales, buyers should do all they can to get ahead of the competition and make sure they secure their dream home. Buyers can get financially qualified and legally prepared when they first start looking to buy. This will help to make sure they don’t miss out on their chosen home as they will stand out as a serious buyer and it will have the added benefit of working to reduce timescales.”

Number of homebuyers using Help to Buy 2 increases

 

Homebuyers are increasingly taking full advantage of the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme, also known as Help to Buy 2 (HTB2), to secure loans of up to 95% to buy a home, according to new data from Mortgage Advice Bureau, the UK’s leading independent mortgage broker.

Having reached 92.5 per cent in April this year, the average loan to value (LTV) of a HTB2 mortgage rose for a second successive month to 94.4 per cent in June, just 0.6 per cent short of the maximum 95 per cent available through the scheme.

Rising LTVs indicate that buyers are putting up smaller deposits, averaging just £8,527 in June compared with £11,438 in April: a saving of £2,911 or 25 per cent.

Borrowers that are using HTB2 are subject to stringent checks with participating lenders under the Mortgage Market Review rules, and Chancellor George Osborne recently applied an extra 4.5x loan to income (LTI) cap on new HTB2 activity to help safeguard future financial stability.

The data from Mortgage Advice Bureau – compiled from over 550 brokers and 900 estate agents – suggests that HTB2 is proving increasingly valuable to aspiring buyers in a climate when rising house prices and tighter criteria are having a visible impact on deposit sizes across the wider market.

Taking all mortgaged house purchases into account, the average deposit grew for a fourth successive month in June to £71,474. In the last two months alone, while the average HTB2 deposit has fallen by £2,911, the average deposit across the whole of the market has risen by £6,324.

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, thinks that, though the volume of buyers using the scheme may be small, it continues to play an important role in the continued recovery of the housing market.

He says: “Buying with a 5% deposit remains the only realistic option for many would-be first-time buyers – especially those who cannot rely on parental handouts.

“With the right checks and balances in place, this kind of activity is an important part of a healthy mortgage market that can satisfy consumer needs without compromising on standards.

“Affordability checks and income stress tests will protect against excess loan commitments and make sure borrowers are financially fixed to manage their repayments.

“The fact that the value of homes bought through HTB2 is safely anchored around the £151,000 mark means that putting up less of a deposit makes relatively little difference to the total amount borrowed.

“Although it means repaying a larger sum overall, many will consider this a price worth paying for the benefit of getting their foot on the ladder.”

Contact us on 0161 925 3255 to speak to a Mortgage Advice Bureau adviser today.

 

Mortgage approval numbers rise for the first time this year

Mortgage approvals were back on the rise in June after five months of decline, as the new rules around mortgage applications settled, according to lenders.

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Some 68,121 mortgages worth a total of £10bn were approved last month, resulting in a 4 per cent increase month-on-month in the number of approvals, and the first monthly increase since January this year.

Of those approved mortgages, there was also a 14 per cent increase in the number of approvals for home buyers when compared with the same month last year.

Richard Woolhouse Chief Economist at the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) said: ‘These figures show that mortgage approvals are rising again after four months of decline.

‘That’s encouraging because those decisions are a leading indicator of what’s happening in the housing market.’

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) was going to be introduced as a new stress test brought in to dispel any concerns about any “shocks” to people’s mortgages which could mean that they struggles to repay their loans.

With the introduction of the MMR at the end of April, lenders now have to spend a large amount of time going through detailed evidence of the mortgage applicants’ lifestyle habits to ensure that they could afford their loan repayments when interest rates rise.

 

Mortgage Advice Bureau

Rosehill Development in Rochdale

A beautiful small development of just 4 traditionally constructed new build detached homes, accessed via a private road off Ashmount Drive, Rochdale.
The properties at Rosehill offer spacious accommodation of approximately 1800sq ft including a stunning kitchen/dining/family room, four good sized bedrooms and and integral garage, making these homes the perfect choice for families.

 

Rochdale New Development
Plots 1 and 2 are now available for £289,950.

 

Subject to build stage purchasers can personalise their home by choosing the finish of the kitchen and tiling to bathroom and en suite. Kitchens include a range of integrated appliances including double oven, curved glass extractor hood, fridge/freezer and dishwasher. A contemporary wood burner will be fitted to the family room as standard.

Upstairs is the master bedroom with en-suite, three further bedrooms (two being double) and the main family bathroom.  Externally will be driveway parking for at least two cars and front and rear gardens.

The first two plots are now ready for occupation.

Why choose Auction House?

If you are considering selling your property by Auction then Auction House could be for you!

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One of the major benefits of using Auction House to sell your property by Auction is the strong regional and national presence Auction House can offer.

Because we are based locally to the properties we are offering to the Auction room you have the advantage of working with a local agent who understand auctions and know the area.

If you were looking to sell your property on the open market you would appoint a local agent, so why not appoint your local Auction expert to help secure a better price for your property and ensure exposure to regional and local buyers.

We know your local area and one of our Auction House Valuers will visit your property to provide an onsite appraisal and share their expert knowledge abut selling at Auction with you.

Auction House is made up of experienced and successful local Estate Agents that are well known and respected in the area and boast a wealth of knowledge and numerous contacts, including potential buyers, so you can feel reassured and confident your property is in safe hands.

We are consistently more successful than other regional and national auctioneers.

Auction gives you a greater likelihood of selling your property than by private treaty. In recent years Auction House has sold around 80% of the lots offered. If you need a certain sale you really should consider the auction route. Auction House has seen it’s sales rise by 11% in the first six months of 2014 with a total of 1,253 lots sold between January and June of this year, raising more than £153 million through its network of 38 Auction rooms.

Auction House is the only national auctioneer with a network of regional auction rooms and the only company running professional auctions in widespread locations across the country. If you want to sell your property through a local auction room we are the natural first choice.

 Contact us on 0161 925 3254 to see how Auction House can help you.