9
Aug 19

Finding a home isn’t always easy and it’s important to take into consideration a number of factors such as budget, agents and negotiations. First time homebuyers looking to purchase an abode for the future can look to six savvy tips from conveyancing experts, JMP Solicitors.

Here’s a list of savvy tips for first time homebuyers:

1. Decide on a realistic budget

When purchasing a home, the deposit isn’t the only cost you’re going to need to cover. As well as the budget for a deposit, which will be around 5%-20% of the value of the home, there will be a number of initial fees such as the valuation fee and the surveyors fee, as well as the additional parties to pay such as the lender/broker fees (if first time buyer no estate agents fees) and the conveyancer. There is then the fees associated with the mortgage including the booking fee, arrangement fee and mortgage valuation fee. We recommend saving an additional £2,500 on top of your deposit to cover the costs. Please be aware that if more than one person is purchasing and they have already owned a property then stamp duty will be payable even though the other person has never owned a property anywhere in the world before.

2. Find a suitable conveyancer

It’s important to find an experienced conveyancer who will provide a thorough service when you’re buying a home. Your conveyancer will be able to give legal advice, handle contracts, undertake important searches, deal with the Land Registry, and the transfer of funds. Many estate agents will recommend a conveyancer, but it’s important to undertake your own research to make sure you find the right one for your particular purchase. Ensure that they are certified by either the Solicitors Regulatory Authority or Council for Licensed Conveyancers or the Law Society.

3. Take extra care in filling out paperwork

Miswritten paperwork is a common cause of delays when it comes to buying your home. It is important to ensure you read all contracts in full detail and fill in all paperwork openly and honestly. Any incorrect paperwork could lead to a great deal of legal problems in the future. Taking a little extra caution when filling in forms and applications can save you a great deal of time in the long run.

4. Be patient

While you may be itching to get into your new home, it is vital that all aspects of the process are dealt with thoroughly. Sometimes the conveyancing process may involve a lot of paperwork and additional enquiries, but it is important to understand that all the legal aspects are being done in your best interest as a first-time home buyer. Aside from conveyancing, the mortgage arrangements, estate agent negotiations and the actual moving in process will also take some time.

5. Uphold good communication with your agents

Ensure you are always kept in the loop with the seller, your estate agent, mortgage advisor and conveyancer. When you have decided on a property, you want the process to be as smooth and hassle free as possible, so don’t be afraid to keep pestering your agents. In the same way, make sure to keep your phone on at all times in case you need to be informed of any major turning points. Additionally, keep up to date with your emails, including checking your junk, as conveyancers will often send over documents via email.

6. Ensure you are fully satisfied with your final arrangements and negotiations

For first time home buyers, you may go into a contract not fully understanding what is in your best interest. Your conveyancer will be able to provide you with the best possible advice to ensure you get the best deal for the short and long term. If at any time you are not satisfied with your agreements, it is vital you speak with your conveyancer and they will endeavour to resolve any issues before it is too late.

8
Jul 19

Amazing home at a new and amazing price!

This great family home is situated in a prime position within a sought after development enjoying privacy and seclusion siding onto Godinton Park gardens. The current owners have lived here from new for the last 18 years and it's easy to see why. Call or Email us to today to arrange your priority viewing!

https://www.evolutionproperties.co.uk/property-search~action=detail,pid=1117

29
May 19

New data released by Zoopla has revealed that cautious buyers are negotiating harder on price resulting in a 3.9% widening in the difference between asking and selling prices.

According to the report from Zoopla, the gap between average asking prices to average achieved prices has increased in Q1 2019 across nearly all (16) cities, compared to 2018.

With the exclusion of Leicester, these discounts are increasing off a relatively low base and indicate that buyers are not prepared to keep pace with asking price growth. Different market dynamics in Edinburgh and Glasgow mean property sells for more than the asking price but the scale of the premium has declined in 2019Q1 compared to 2018.

Regional breakdown

The current UK average for the gap between asking price to selling price is 3.9%, up from 3.3% in 2018. Six cities registered average discounts above the current national average, with Aberdeen registering the highest discounts at over 8%. This is consistent with the decrease in demand for housing in the city due to the collapse in the oil price since 2015. Newcastle and Liverpool also registered higher gaps than the national average although the level of discounts has narrowed over the last 3 years as underlying market conditions improve.

Only two cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, registered average sale prices as higher than average asking prices. Typically, properties in Edinburgh sell for 6.3% more than their listing price, while stock in Glasgow shifts for 5.2% above asking price.

Discounts increase in London

In London, which has led the slowdown in house prices, the average differential between asking price and selling price has increased from 4.8% in 2018 to 5.7% today. Price falls have been concentrated in inner London areas where average discounts are highest at 7.6%. In some central areas, such as Kensington & Chelsea, buyers continue to achieve double digit discounts. In outer London and the commuter locations, the gap is lower, averaging 5.1%.

House price growth softens

The level of house price growth across UK cities continues to slow, following the national trend. UK Cities registered the smallest spread in annual growth since 1996 according to the latest Zoopla UK Cities House Price Index. Price growth ranged from +5.1% in Glasgow, which is the lowest growth rate of the best performing city since 2012, to -0.5% in London. Overall, house prices increased by 1.7% over the 12 months to April 2019.

The latest index results reveal a softening in the annual rate of growth across most cities, with this slowdown now extending beyond southern England. Manchester, Nottingham and Leicester are among the regional cities registering a slowdown in price growth. The deceleration in house prices is still most marked in southern England with Bristol, Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Southampton all registering price inflation at or below 2.5%.

Richard Donnell, Research and Insight Director at Zoopla, comments: “This latest index report reveals a continued moderation in the rate of UK city house price growth as the slowdown extends beyond south eastern England. It has been twelve years since the fastest growing city was recording price inflation of 5.1%.

Sellers are having to accept slightly higher discounts to the asking price in order to achieve a sale. This is a natural response to weaker market conditions and buyers are starting to negotiate harder on price. The increase between asking and selling price is off a low base. Correctly priced homes continue to sell within a reasonable period and setting the asking price at the right level remains a key decision to agree with your agent.

Market conditions remain weak in London and the level of discounting continues to increase. We expect the price adjustment in London to continue although we do expect sales volumes to start to tick upwards. The slowdown in the rate of price growth is set to extend further across the south of England while we expect continued above average house price growth in regional cities where employment levels continues to grow, and affordability is attractive.”

23
May 19

According to the latest research from regulated property buyer, Good Move, people would rather buy a house where a murder has taken place than one that has signs of damp or cracks in the walls.

The firm's analysis revealed that nearly three in five (58%) would be put off if there had previously been a murder at a property, and more than two in five (44%) would reject a house if there had been reports of paranormal activity. However, Brits are far more concerned by more trivial faults, with a shared garden (73%), signs of damp (75%) or cracks (73%) and having a short leasehold remaining (76%) all featuring higher on the list of unwanted features.

The biggest red flag for those looking to buy is noisy neighbours, with a huge 85% of people saying this would put them off purchasing a property.

The top 10 things that would put house buyers off are:

1. Noisy neighbours (85%)
2. Short leasehold remaining (76%)
3. Signs of damp (75%)
4. A shared garden (73%)
= Signs of cracks on the walls (73%)
6. Front Door opening onto a main road (70%)
7. No parking (69%)
8. No garden (66%)
9. Smelly (63%)
10. Busy or high-speed roads nearby (62%)

Although over 40% of UK housebuyers say they would not be put off by the fact that a murder had taken place onsite, the survey also found that, if this were the case, they would expect the property to be reduced by almost a third (32%) of its market value.

Similarly, buyers would also expect a 30% reduction if there had been reports of paranormal activity.

The top five features that buyers would expect the biggest discounts for are:

1. Existing tenants (34%)
2. Murder (32%)
3. Paranormal Activity (30%)
4. Pets left behind in the property (26%)
5. Being next door to a cemetery (25%)

Ross Counsell, director at Good Move, said: “Although everyone has a different idea of the perfect home, it’s clear from our survey that certain things will put off most people. On the bright side, some of these put-offs are easy to address, so if you are looking to sell your house, make sure you sort out small things like cracks and damp.

These little actions can make a huge difference and help you to make your house more attractive to buyers.”

6
May 19

Evolution Properties are so excited about this superb 4 bedroom detached family home that is positioned in the sought after Sandyhurst Lane area of Ashford. There are field views to the front, plenty of parking and so much space throughout. We will be adding full details to our website soon but dont wait, if you think this could be for you, contact us today!

 

 

25
Apr 19

With the UK property market now entering its busiest period of the year, leading property finance specialists, One77 Mortgages, has chalked down some top tips for homebuyers when it comes to securing the best deal on a mortgage.

While the affordability of mortgage products remains at almost record lows, there are still plenty of ways to make your mortgage even more cost-effective, although your broker might not always disclose these methods.

While some tips will save you money from the get-go, it really is a case of spending money to make money with some of the others. When combined they should place you in the best position when buying in the current market.

Deposit thresholds
More often than not, increasing your deposit by just a small amount can boost you into the next Loan to Value band, meaning a better rate and even potentially less onerous credit scores with lenders. Always work on 5% increments as these are where the best deals are for your price band so based on the current average house price, rather than borrowing 9% (£20,533), stretching the additional few thousand more to a 10% deposit of £22,815 will be far more beneficial in the long run.

Seek a no-fee mortgage broker
Pretty simple but many of us fail to do it. All brokers are paid commission on the product they sell you, but around 80% will also charge an additional fee - typically £500. May seem minute in the grand scheme of buying a house, but it all adds up.

Don’t restrict your options
It’s common knowledge that your bank isn’t the best place to start as they only offer their rates and products. But you would be surprised as to how many brokers and advisers can only offer products from a restricted panel of lenders. As a customer, this means you are missing out on potentially the best deal for you so make sure your broker has access to the entire marketplace.

Get your personal details in order
Such a simple one, but if you’ve failed to update documents to your married name, or you aren’t registered to your current home address, the lender’s computer will literally say no as it won’t be able to find you. This is a shortcut route to having your application declined.

Electoral roll
Once your details are correctly registered, register for the electoral roll. You might not know it, but this has a huge bearing on the scoring system of lenders credit. If you aren’t registered it’s another minor little detail that can see you fall at the first hurdle of a mortgage application.

Forward your post!
The £60 it costs to have your mail forwarded for a year will be the best money you’ve ever spent without even realising it. This doesn’t necessarily apply to your mortgage but it will save you money. All too often a client moves house and ended up with a default notice on their phone bill or credit card as they’ve not received the reminder and forgot to pay it.

With the cost required to get on the ladder, many of us can be forgiven for skipping the add ons a broker may suggest. If there’s one cost you don’t want to skip on, it’s life cover. Understandably, many of us today can only get on the ladder with the help of our partners as a joint income is required. However, if the worst were to happen and illness or even death strikes, the lack of any form of protection cover can result in the whole deck of cards coming crashing down immediately. This is the last thing you need in this situation, so make sure your life cover is in place and up to date.

Overpayments
Again, sounds obvious right? But many of us plod along without even considering it. If your mortgage product allows overpayments - make them! You would be surprised at how much even a small overpayment can make on a monthly basis when it comes to the total interest over the lifetime term of your mortgage.

Lock it in
We’re currently in the middle of an artificially low, interest rate cycle and mortgage product affordability is close to record lows. Great news but make sure you lock in on a fixed rate mortgage to make the best of the current climate. A longer term of a fixed five-year rate is probably the best option however a three year fixed might be a happy middle ground for many between a two and five-year product. However, be aware of any 10 year plus fixed rate products. The fee might be great but over the years we’ve seen best-laid plans fall by the wayside and clients are then hit with huge early exit fees if they need to move or pay their mortgage early.

Working overtime
Any overtime worked can be beneficial towards mortgage eligibility but try and ensure that this overtime is consistent as possible. If there are drastic swings in the hours worked, lenders will often work from the lowest figure when deciding your position in the market.

Knock them down
It’s a buyers market at the moment and if you have the confidence, income and deposit, now is the time to get a great deal on a property by negotiating as hard as you can. As many buyers remain sitting on the fence, sellers are having to adjust their price expectations and the best way to reduce your mortgage costs are to get the property you want for a lower price in the first place! The average reduction is about 10% of the asking price, so use this as a benchmark and push for 15% or more.

Credit score
If you’re looking to buy right now and your credit score is no good, then you’ve probably already had a few lenders slam the door in your face. Your credit score is everything to a lender in this day and age and poor payment history or a low score will put you at a severe disadvantage from the offset. Do all you can to cultivate a healthy score starting now and as most lenders base their judgement on Experian, it’s worth the small investment to make sure your reading from the same hymn sheet rather than one of the free credit score providers.

Also, know the implications of your deposit/credit score mix. A much smaller deposit will require an almost impeccable credit score. While a poor score doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get a mortgage, you will struggle to achieve ‘high street’ rates but a good broker, like One77, should be able to help you find a product.

Managing Director of One77 Mortgages, Alastair McKee, commented:

“The mortgage market can be a minefield of jargon, small print clauses and confusing figures, and so it’s no surprise that for many homebuyers and first-time buyers, in particular, the mortgage product they opt for isn’t always the best suited for their situation.

"But with a little bit of research, there are plenty of things you can do to secure a much better deal and make your mortgage work for you, not the other way around.

"Even the smallest things such as the electoral roll or having your documents correctly registered can influence a lenders decision and while we’re currently enjoying a period of great mortgage affordability, this doesn’t automatically mean you will be accepted.”

12
Apr 19

On Monday 12th November, BBCs latest Panorama investigation focused on the impact of the controversial Universal Credit, and most crucially the housing element.

The programme revealed the extent of the rent arrears problem as a result of changes to the benefits system. Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, together with Mick Roberts, one of the UK’s largest Housing Benefit landlords, join other industry experts in calling on the government to act now and scrap direct payments to tenants of the housing element of Universal Credit, before the situation worsens.

Under the old system, housing allowance was paid direct to councils or private landlords. Now, in order to mirror the world of work and encourage people to be more independent, Universal Credit (UC) payments are made direct to claimants. However, when combined with the cuts in benefits, tenants are under increasing financial pressure, evidenced by the 55% rise in evictions of council tenants compared to the same time last year. Panorama revealed the average rent arrears for UC claimants across the UK stands at £663 versus £263 on the old system, nearly two and half times more.

According to Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, the changes are exacerbating the housing shortage by forcing private landlords to move away from letting to tenants in receipt of Universal Credit. In the last year, 61% of private landlords with tenants on UC have seen them go into arrears.

Paul says: “It’s a deal breaker for landlords and yet the councils don’t have enough houses to house homeless people. We saw on Panorama that, in the last year, Flintshire Council alone has seen an 85% reduction in the number of private landlords on their books willing to rent to UC tenants. When you roll that out across the rest of the country you can see why we have such a desperate housing shortage. The system used to benefit tenants, by providing more accommodation, as well as landlords, who were guaranteed timely rent with no void periods. Now it benefits no-one. The most vulnerable tenants are being left behind, forced to use an online system which many can’t access, and landlords are having to start eviction proceedings as a last resort.”

Mick Roberts, 40, has been a private landlord for more than 20 years. He has always let his properties to Housing Benefit tenants but is now having to consider only letting to private tenants.

He comments: “I have loved letting to housing benefit tenants over the years and formed great relationships with many of my tenants, but I’m sad to say I can no longer do it as a direct result of Universal Credit. As an example, I have four tenants in Nottingham in receipt of housing benefit who have rented from me for over 16 years. They have NEVER had arrears. They have all been moved to Universal Credit, and now they are all in arrears! That’s 100% failure rate. I believe sorting the housing element would solve a large proportion of problems.”

Panorama’s investigation appeared to echo what many industry experts has been saying for some time - the majority of tenants do not want direct payments because they openly admit they struggle to budget.

Alok Sharma MP, Minister of State for Employment, argued that UC is working well, that there have been lessons learnt in the process but that “we have is a simpler system which people understand and ultimately makes sure they get into work fast, stay in work longer and earn more.”

Mick Roberts vehemently disagrees with this: “UC has to be applied for online. I have a tenant who doesn’t even know how to go online or have access. They are not coming out to see the people at ground level. If they spoke to the tenants that are affected by this, as I have, they would realise.”

Paul Shamplina adds: “I’ve raised my concerns over the increasing complexity of the scheme which, in many cases, means even staff assessing Universal Credit claims are making mistakes on an all too regular basis to the detriment of tenants and landlords. Over the next few years, thousands more families will move across to UC as the Full Service rollout expands, bringing with it even more complicated cases and further challenges for DWP staff.

Unless changes are made now, housing stock will decrease further, and homelessness will increase. At present, direct payments to landlords are only considered in certain crisis situations. This needs to change and tenants and landlords need the option to have the housing element paid direct to the landlord.”

Full story below

https://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/features/rent-arrears-double-for-universal-credit-claimants.html

31
Mar 19

We are always looking at ways of improving our service and support to clients and following the transition to digital tenancies, we looked at faster and easier ways to reference the tenants which helps to cut down on fall through's. We chose Van Mildert who are market leaders in this field and one of the other reasons was for their "Rent On Time" product. This is an amazing product that effectively ensures that you receive your rent on time, irrelevant of whether the tenant has paid, provides full legal cover for possession of your property and wait for it, also has contents cover built in.

We love this new product so much and it has already been welcomed by everyone we have spoken to. So, if you are concerned about your investment and want complete peace of mind then contact me today and I will be more than happy to discuss your options!

28
Mar 19

❤️❤️❤️ We are SO excited about this gorgeous family home 👪 that has come to the market as not only has it been remodelled to offer more than enough space for any family but also, it is located in what is believed to be one of the best and most sought after cul-de-sacs in Park Farm.🏠
This amazing family home is positioned in a private driveway with only one other home and has a superb front garden with gorgeous oak tree 🌳 and plenty of area for the children to play as well as parking. The current owners have carried out extensive works in the property which include a garage conversion, newly fitted contemporary kitchen, new heating system, low maintenance astro lawn at the rear and full redecoration.

Do not miss this, contact us today!!! ☎️ 📲

27
Mar 19

Located on one of the most sought after developments in Ashford is this stunning 2 bedroom semi-detached home. The property has a modern open living space with a good size garden, parking and handy utility room. Call or email us today!