- Hits: 353
Many people believe that spring is the best time to sell a house, with buyers wanting to be moved in ready for summer, viewings able to take place later in the day thanks to the lighter evenings, and spring traditionally being a time for new beginnings.
However, there are plenty of reasons why September is actually a better time to sell, with leading property website Rightmove even confirming an increase in traffic numbers to their website in their most recent figures.
If you’re thinking of selling your property in Ashton Under Lyne , here are a few reasons why September is a great time to sell:
- Motivated Buyers
Buyers who start looking for a home in September are generally planning to be moved in by Christmas, particularly if they’re looking to host family and friends in their new home.
As a result, they see December as a self-imposed deadline, which can encourage them to make an offer quickly and also do their best to speed up the buying process.
- The School Holidays Are Over
Summer is usually seen as the worst time to sell, especially if your home is ideal for a family. With the kids off school, and many families going away on holiday, most parents don’t have the time or energy to be looking at properties during July and August.
However, once September comes around again, it can be much easier for buyers to fit the time in for viewings. It’s also better for sellers too, as it’s easier to keep the house clean and have viewings during the day with the kids back at school.
- School Admission Deadlines
As parents will know, school admission deadlines fall in late January, or early February. Therefore, families looking to move into the catchment area for a particular school will need to be moved in by this point, making September an ideal month to start looking for a new home.
- You Can Highlight Your Home’s Features
With the Winter months approaching, gardens become less of a focus for buyers, as they’re more interested in a cosy home where they can stay warm.
This gives sellers a great chance to highlight the interior features that make their home ideal for the colder months, such as a fireplace or a wood-burning stove.
And having it lit for the estate agent’s photos can really make a difference to buyers.
- You Can Show Off The Views
If your home has great views that are obscured by fully blossomed trees in the spring and summer months then September can be a great time to highlight its full views to buyers.
With autumn fast approaching and the leaves starting to fall, it may be the ideal time for buyers to see the views at their best, and it can even allow more light into the house and garden.
- You’re More Likely To Get The Full Asking Price
Research shows that September is a strong month for buyers, with property searches very high, compared to November and December for example.
This means more potential buyers for your property, which in turn means more competition among buyers. When you consider the fact that there are more motivated buyers too, it can create a perfect storm for sellers.
It’s also worth noting that if you list your house during a quieter month it might stay on sale for longer. This may lead to buyers questioning why, and perhaps going in with a lower offer than they’d otherwise be making.
Are There Other Good Months To Sell?
March is still considered by many people to be the best time to sell. Houses that come on to the market during that month tend to sell quickest on average, and there are several reasons why it’s considered to be a good month.
- The weather’s getting milder, which encourages buyers to go and view houses
- Gardens are coming into bloom
- The evenings are starting to get lighter, so buyers can see a house in its best light
- There’s usually plenty of buyers in the market for a new home
- Kids are still in school, so busy parents have more time to view properties
However, it’s worth remembering that different times of the year can appeal to different buyers.
For example, September is still seen as a good month for buyers with children, due to the school admissions deadline and wanting the family to be in their new home for Christmas.
On the flip side, first-time buyers and young couples may wait until the new year to start looking, with the aim of being in their new home in time for the summer, when they can host friends and family into the evening, with no kids to think about!
Thinking of selling in September?
- Hits: 301
How to Stay Healthy this Autumn
As if we didn’t have enough to contend with already this year, autumn has arrived, and that means cold and flu season is underway. For some, weeks of sniffling, sneezing and generally feeling a little under par lie ahead.
So, what can you do to protect yourself from unwanted germs, and if you do succumb to the dreaded lurgy, how can you get back to full health as quickly as possible?
5 Ways to Avoid Catching a Cold
1. Don’t neglect your general health
We all know that a healthy diet and exercise will help keep your immune system strong, but just how good is your nutrition, and how active are you?
You should make sure you eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day and take 30 minutes of exercise to help keep your body in good condition.
Cutting out smoking and reducing your alcohol intake is also sensible.
- If you don’t like fruit and vegetables, consider new ways to ensure you don’t deprive your body.
- Blend up a smoothie: It’s not as nutritious as eating an actual piece of fruit but is better than nothing!
Make a vegetable soup: Warming and tasty, this is a superb way of getting your five a day in one sitting. Choose delicious veggies such as butternut squash, parsnip and broccoli and add spices to keep recipes interesting.
2. Get enough sleep
You may think you can function on just five or six hours of sleep per night. Still, the reality is that those who get less than six hours sleep are on average four times more likely to get a cold than those who sleep for seven hours or more, according to research from the University of California.
Sleep is critical for health, so if you’re a night owl, try going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night over five days. You’ll gain an extra hour and 15 minutes sleep overall and will barely notice your earlier bedtime!
If you find it difficult to drop-off once your head hits the pillow, try the following tricks to help you:
- Spray a little lavender on your pillow and bedsheets. It’s soothing, calming and can help induce sleep.
- Make the final hour before you go to bed a ‘device-free zone’. Switch off your phone, avoid your computer and the TV and instead read a book or magazine. Doing so takes you away from the blue light, which is emitted from smartphones and computers and may inhibit your sleep.
3. Wash your hands
This has been drilled into us all recently, but it shouldn’t take a pandemic to make us reconsider our personal hygiene.
Anything you can do to avoid exposing yourself to a cold virus will reduce your chances of catching it. Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, and carrying sanitizer with you, means you won’t pick up germs or transfer them to others so easily.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with dirty hands.
- Cover your mouth if you do cough or sneeze.
4. Avoid children – if you can!
This is a tough one and virtually impossible for most people; however, children do tend to get several colds a year only because their immune systems are still developing so are perfect cold and flu carriers! They then pass the cold on very easily to those who come into contact with them. Parents of young children are the highest risk; however, contact obviously cannot be avoided altogether.
- Teach your child to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze
- Make sure your child washes their hands regularly to minimize the risk of passing on germs!
Easier said than done – we know!
5. Be mindful of others
Often it’s challenging to make the decision to take a sick day away from work or other commitments, but if you are a ball of germs, the sensible option is to have a duvet day. This is not only in the interest of those around you, but you’ll also recover more quickly with some rest, allowing your body time to heal.
If you do succumb to a cold this autumn here’s what you can do to speed up your recovery:
- Stay hydrated. Drink water, juice, or a hot lemon drink with some added honey. This helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration.
- Take the recommended pain relief dosage for an adult or child, such as a decongestant, painkiller or antihistamine.
- Rest your body to allow it to heal.
- Gargle salt-water if you have a sore throat. Use a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8ozs of warm water. This is not recommended for children.
- Speak with your pharmacist and try an over the counter cough or cold remedy.
Your immune system is a remarkable thing and is highly efficient at dealing with most colds and viruses, so remember, however annoying and frustrating it is, you will likely recover from a cold in a few days.
Our team at Alex Jones are fit, healthy and strong and ready to advise you on your next home move.
- Hits: 371
Becoming a landlord for the first time is an exciting prospect, with not only the opportunity to bring in some additional income but also the chance to expand your portfolio further and perhaps even start up your own property business.
However, it can be tricky to know where to start once you have invested in your first property and you don’t want to be making too many costly mistakes.
Fortunately, you can avoid the most common landlord pitfalls by simply following our seven essential tips for new landlords.
1. Do your groundwork
Before you start to market your rental property and look for potential tenants, if you haven’t done so already, you first need to research the local area thoroughly.
Is your property near good local schools? Is it near a university or college?
This can be helpful in deciding what type of tenants your property will appeal to, for example, families, students or working professionals.
It is also a good idea to find out how much similar properties in the area are currently renting for, as this can act as a benchmark for your own chosen monthly rental price.
2. Take out insurance
Although landlord insurance isn’t a legal requirement for renting out a property, it is highly recommended as it covers everything from accidental damage to structural issues caused by hazards such as fire, snow or strong winds.
You may also want to take out rent guarantee insurance which protects you if your tenant fails to pay their rent. It can also cover the cost of any legal fees if you need to evict a tenant.
Your tenants are responsible for taking out their own content insurance to cover their belongings.
3. Find reliable tenants
One of the easiest ways to find good tenants is through word of mouth. Speak to your family, friends and work colleagues to see if they are aware of anyone who is looking to rent a property. You can also advertise for tenants on a variety of reputable websites or use a letting agency.
To attract the best possible tenants, ensure your listing describes the property in full and includes good quality photographs as well as advertising your property at a competitive market rate.
You should always check a potential tenant’s rental history and credit score, as well as perform a criminal background check. If the results are preferable, it now comes down to your natural instincts.
How do you feel about the tenant in question? Do you feel like you can trust them?
If yes, you’ve found your first tenants. Congratulations!
4. Create a tenancy agreement
Once you have found your tenants, you now need to draw up a written tenancy agreement which details all the terms and conditions of the tenancy and gives you as the landlord, and your tenants rights.
This is extremely important as it will ensure the protection of your property, set out the obligations of your tenants and help prevent any future disputes.
If you have found your tenants through a professional letting agency, the tenancy agreement can be professionally drawn up through the agent.
5. Place the deposit in a TDP scheme
Landlords are now legally required to place their tenant’s deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme. This was created to stop rogue landlords from refusing to give back their tenants’ deposits after they have moved out.
You must place your tenant’s deposit in a scheme within 14 days of receiving it and you also have to inform your tenants of which scheme you have chosen within 30 days.
6. Ensure your property is energy efficient
You should also strive to improve your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), to reach the minimum energy efficiency standard (effective April 2020).
Ways in which you can make your property more energy efficient include:
- Upgrading your boiler
- Sealing windows and doors
- Installing double glazing
- Installing loft and wall cavity insulation
- Using energy efficient lightbulbs
- Installing smart meters
Since April 2016, tenants have the right to ask their landlords to make their properties more energy efficient, and furthermore, as a landlord, you are legally required to make adequate improvements.
7. Maintain a good relationship with your tenants
Arguably one of the most important aspects of becoming a good landlord is ensuring that you are able to build and maintain a healthy relationship with your tenants. Effective communication, on both sides, is crucial if you want to avoid any problems or disputes.
Try and respond as quickly as possible to any requests from your tenants and listen to any concerns that they may have. Once you find reliable tenants who pay their rent on time and look after your property, you don’t want to lose them!
If you are considering letting your property in Ashton Under Lyne call our team at Alex Jones on 01612929223 for friendly help and advice on all rental aspects.
- Hits: 315
You’ve decided to move and you know you need a mortgage. Sounds simple.
But is it?
- Is your credit score going to stop you from moving to the house of your dreams?
- Do you even know what your credit score is and why it’s important?
In this article, we take a look at what a credit score is and why it’s important to improve your credit score before getting a mortgage.
What’s a credit score?
If you’re looking to borrow money, and you need to borrow it from an organisation, like a bank or building society, they have to be confident that you’re going to be paying it back.
So, right at the start of your mortgage application, they’ll have a look at your credit score – that is a number rating that is reached after your financial position has been looked at. The higher the score, the better position you will be in.
Things that may lower your credit score are, for example
- Missing important repayments on credit cards or loans.
- Having credit rejected for some reason
- Having lots of outstanding loans already
Remember, a lender needs to be sure the money will be paid back.
Can you see your credit score?
Yes, you can. There are a number of agencies that collate information and calculate a credit score.
You should be able to create an account with a credit agency and have a look at your financial position. It’s the sort of information that lenders will be looking at.
Handily, it will show you all the positives but it will also show you any negatives – for example, a missed payment.
You can usually sign up to an account for free but you will most likely be asked if you want to get regular updates. This will cost a small fee, but you can usually close your account and not accrue any costs.
When you look at your credit score you may spot a couple of things that could lead to a low score and a mortgage offer not being successful.
Different lenders use different agencies so it might be that a little transgression may not affect things. But, you do need to look at what the negatives are.
Get on a roll
If you’re not registered to vote, you’re unlikely to have a good credit score. If this may be a factor, rectify it.
Credit where it’s due
Sounds a bit wrong, but you’re likely to have a low score if you don’t have much credit. The thing is, how can your ability to make repayments be calculated if you’re not making any repayments for anything? Have a think about taking out a credit card – but work out how to use it to your advantage.
Don’t keep applying
If you do get turned down for credit, don’t keep on applying. If the metrics say no, they won’t change overnight. It’s usually around six months that you need to wait before reapplying. During that time, you could have improved your score.
If you look at a credit score report, you will see that it will link you to a partner. For example, you may have had a previous mortgage with a now ex-wife or husband. That will affect the rating you get so it may be worth asking the credit reference agencies to break that link in your file.
Too many cards
If you have had a couple of credit cards, don’t really use them but you’ve kept them going for a bit “just in case”, think about getting rid of one or two of them. Credit scores will assess them all and this can work against you. having credit cards with zero balances makes it appear that you have access to funds already, and the question then is likely to be “why do you need more?” This does not necessarily apply to mortgages but is good to be aware of anyway!
This advice should prove helpful. The key takeaway for you though should be – know what your credit score is and do something about it if it’s poor.
- Hits: 443
The UK’s property boom appears to be coming to an end following the winding down of the stamp duty holiday, and the number of properties currently up for sale has fallen to a new low.
Read on to find out more, with some of August’s key headlines:
UK House Sales Fall Dramatically In July
The figures are now in and house sales tumbled by a whopping 62% in July, as thousands of buyers rushed to complete their purchases before the stamp duty holiday ended on 30th June.
A record 213,370 homes were sold in June, compared with 82,110 in July, as buyers looked to take advantage of a potential £15,000 saving.
Although the stamp duty holiday remains in place until the end of September, the threshold has been lowered significantly, with a maximum saving of £2,500 now available to buyers.
The scheme was introduced by Chancellor Rish Sunak to stimulate the housing market at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, and it’s been largely hailed as a success, with some areas of the country seeing record price rises as demand for new homes soared.
Demand for new houses is predicted to remain strong, however, the picture will become clearer over the last few months of the year, with the stamp duty holiday and the furlough scheme for employees coming to a close at the end of September.
Housing Shortage Creating a Seller’s Market
The number of homes on the market has fallen to its lowest level in more than 6 years, and property experts are forecasting that this will remain the case well into the new year.
The stamp duty holiday led to 1 in 20 homes changing hands over the past year, and the number of buyers continues to far outweigh the number of homes for sale.
This is particularly good news for sellers, with the buying frenzy leading to bidding wars between buyers, especially on 3 and 4 bedroom family homes, as the shift in working patterns over the past 18 months has led to buyers looking for more space.
Stamp Duty Holiday ‘Wasteful’ According To Think Tank
While the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday has largely been heralded as a success that has kept the housing market afloat, a leading think tank has concluded that it’s actually been ‘wasteful’ by the government.
The report published by the Resolution Foundation claims that buyer demand, and not the stamp duty holiday has been the driving force behind the surge in house prices this year, fuelled by low interest rates and a shift in circumstances, with many buyers now working from home regularly, and looking for houses with more space.
The report goes on to say that the government’s stamp duty holiday has in fact cost them around £4.4bn in lost taxes, and has therefore been ‘wasteful’, given that they believe price rises would have occurred anyway due to increased buyer demand.
Winchester Least Affordable UK City To Buy a Home
A report by Halifax has revealed that Winchester is now the UK’s least affordable city for buyers, overtaking Oxford in the annual survey.
Homes in the Hampshire commuter city cost 14 times the average earnings for buyers, with the average asking price for a house currently standing at £630,000.
Oxford isn’t too far behind in the affordability stakes. While the average asking price is lower at £487,000, average earnings are also lower, meaning that houses cost 12.4 times the average earnings for buyers.
Londonderry in Northern Ireland is the most affordable city for a third consecutive year, with homes costing 4.7 times the average earnings for buyers.
What You Can Buy For The Average Asking Price In Every Region
A recent study by leading property website Rightmove has revealed what buyers can get for the average asking price in each region.
The national average is currently £337,371, with London unsurprisingly being the highest-priced region. In fact, the difference between the capital and the lowest price region – the North East, is an enormous £470,000.
The average asking price in the capital is currently £635,000, which according to the report, will get you a three-bedroom Edwardian terraced house in West Ealing.
Meanwhile, for the North East’s average asking price of £165,000, you can purchase a modern, three-bedroom semi-detached house in Sunderland.
The largest house relative to its asking price is in Yorkshire, where a five-bedroom, three-storey end-of-terrace cottage in Huddersfield can be snapped up for just over £210,000.