Sales: 01704 550 048  |  Rentals: 01704 54 34 34  |  Property Mgt: 01704 545 800

Do you sometimes feel as though you’re drowning in a sea of clutter? Or that your house has become more and more disorganised? Well, now’s the time to hit those common, messy areas!

Start by sorting through everything you own

Getting started is always the hardest part but performing an audit of everything you own is a great first step. Gather common built-up items like books, items of food, jewellery, paperwork, loose batteries or anything you’re saving “just in case”. Find out how many duplicates or useless items you have and throw them away. Whatever there is leftover, sort and store them properly.

Next… tackle the wardrobe

Let’s face it, a wardrobe is a totally different beast to the random things you tend to collect.

A good system to operate in the future is a one in one out system. Every time you buy a new item of clothing, throw away an old item.

Whilst you’re at it, you should tackle your sock drawers. Throw away any old and worn out items, and add an organiser to the draw to keep everything separate and neat.

Sort out your utensils drawer

You know you’ve collected too much cutlery when the draw starts to stick. Take everything out of the drawer and throw away those useless tools (like your melon baller or your citrus juicer) and add a divider to better divide your essential utensils.

Organise your garage, shed and/or loft space

Transparent boxes are your best friend when it comes to organising your storage spaces. You can stack them all on top of each other and you can see all the contents you’ve stored inside them, meaning you don’t need to go through a hundred boxes to find something.

Get the kids involved

Encouraging your kids to keep their bedrooms neat and organised is a brilliant way to keep one of the messiest areas of your house neat and tidy.

Introduce them to the idea of donating unwanted toys to charity shops and how doing so can have a positive impact on the lives of others. It’s also a vital life skill your children will need to learn, so everyone wins!

Your tenancy has come to an end, and now there are a lot of different tasks you will need to juggle before you can successfully leave the property. Take a look at our guide to moving out. 

Round off all your bills

Unpaid rent is the most common reason for tenants losing their deposit, so it is a good idea to check with your landlord or property manager before you move to make sure you’ve paid the correct amount.

You should also give your energy suppliers plenty of notice before you moveso that they can organise a final bill. Make a note of your meter reading on the final day for reference should you be billed an incorrect amount. 

You could also consider having your mail re-directed to your new address and you should inform any service providers such as TV, Internet etc. that you will be moving to a new house.

Give the place a good thorough clean

Landlords will need the property to be ready for the next tenant, so there will likely be a clause in your contract that stipulates that you will need to clean every nook and cranny of the property before you move out. If the property isn’t spotless, you could lose some of your deposit to a cleaning bill.

Spruce up the Garden

The garden will also need to be in the same condition as when you moved in. Pull up any weeds, mow the grass and dispose of any garden waste properly. If the gardening tools belong to the landlord, ensure you leave them behind for the next tenant.

Thoroughly check the property for a final time…

Moving out of your rental property is a different proposition to moving out of your parent’s house or a property you may have owned. For the duration of your tenancy, you have essentially played the part of guest and caretaker of someone else’s property, so a good deal of the process will be focused on the condition of the property when you moved in vs when you left it. 

To help avoid any issues, it’s a good idea to do a walkthrough of the property and compare it to the condition report and/or any pictures you or the lettings agent might have taken before the move. It’s also a good idea to take new images before you leave.

… and review the inventory

The inventory you received at the beginning of your tenancy will detail any items that the landlord had in the property, for example, gardening tools, small items of furniture, kitchen appliances etc. You will need to check that all these items are still in the property and that they’re all in working order, or you might face losing a portion of your deposit.

 

According to a new report from Zoopla, first-time buyers are continuing to prop up the property market in 2019, with this group responsible for the majority of property purchases this year. Thanks to favourable mortgage rates, as well as more flexible mortgages including a higher loan-to-value ratio, first-time buyers are now in a more favourable position than ever to purchase a property.

It would appear that rather than the current train of thought, which would suggest that first-time buyers are doing anything they can in order to join the market, the reality is that they are taking a much more considered approach. Typically, first-time buyers are looking for three bedroom properties which will provide them with a longer term home to grow into which is a stark contrast to previous generations who began with a “starter property” which they quickly moved out of in order to purchase something larger. 

Since 2010, first-time buyers as a group have grown by 85%, according to statistics from UK Finance, and this trend is not stemming.

“First time buyers have been the driving force behind the housing sales market in recent years. Lower mortgage rates, and improving mortgage availability have supported the growth in FTB numbers across the country” explains Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla.

“Despite increased barriers from high house prices in southern England and mortgage regulations, the appetite to buy their first home remains strong. Whilst the outlook is more challenging in London, growth in FTB volumes is expected to be driven in regional markets where affordability remains attractive, supported by greater availability of higher loan to value mortgages,” he continues.

The buy-to-let market has had somewhat of a difficult time over the past few years due to changes in government legislation and taxation. Since July this year, however, the number of buy-to-let mortgages being approved has risen considerably and is proving that there is life in the market for those looking to invest. 

With competitive mortgage rates available, especially if a larger deposit has been accrued, anybody who has the desire to become a landlord now has the opportunity to do so. A new report by HomeLet showing that the average rent around the UK has reached a record high of £970 per month demonstrates that the potential to reap rewards through buy-to-let is exceptional. 

HomeLet data shows that rents have increased in every single region of the United Kingdom over the past twelve months, up to 3.5% greater than at the same point in 2018. For those looking to invest, this presents tremendous opportunity to be able to invest locally and see the benefits.

 

Biggest annual increases in average rents

Region

August 2018

August 2019

Annual Change

London

£1,632

£1,689

+3.5%

North West

£717

£741

+3.3%

South West

£826

£852

+3.1%

 

In terms of rental yields, we are also seeing record highs in terms of the average yield that landlords are reaping, with the average now reaching 4.5%, up from last year and the highest in three years. For those looking to maximise their yields, there is a growing trend towards Houses of Multiple Occupancy, or HMOS, as they tend to provide a yield approximately 20% higher than a typical rental property.

Which region provides the best rental yield?

North West       6.20%

Yorkshire & The Humber           5.90%

East Midlands   5.40%

Scotland           5.30%

West Midlands  5.10%

North East        5.10%

South West       4.40%

Wales   4.20%

East of England4.10%

London4.10%

South East        4.00%

National average           4.50%

Recent analysis from comparison site Zoopla has shown the benefits that are reaped when a property is priced correctly rather than over-ambitiously, with overvalued properties taking up to two months longer to sell.

In addition to a longer sale period for properties which are overvalued, the research also found that by dropping the price in order to attract buyers, these properties also achieve an average asking price of £12,000 less than their more accurately valued counterparts.

“Our research highlights the importance of accurate pricing and reveals the areas where there is the healthiest alignment between a seller’s expectations and what a buyer is willing to pay for a property,” said Charlie Bryant, managing director of Zoopla.

“When a home is valued too ambitiously at the start, or simply overpriced, the sales process can be derailed. Homes can languish on the market for much longer than they should and the vendor loses control of the sale, often leading to price reductions,” he pointed out.

“Agents in Salford, Driffield and Dronfield stood out in our report in aligning their vendor expectations with the realities of the market, and what a potential buyer is willing to pay for that particular house, in that particular location.

“The English and Welsh average sold price, which amounts to 96.3% of the asking price, indicates a market realism, and moreover a market that is transacting good values, despite wider macro-economic and political concerns,” he added.

This research shows the important part which an estate agent plays in those initial meetings, with an over-valuation extremely attractive at first, but damaging in the long-run. If you are thinking of selling your property, then complete your own research so that you can have open and honest conversations with your agent in order to list at a realistic value.

We are members of