September 2018 - Fife Properties
Fife Properties

Revealed: the biggest property viewing put-offs

When trying to sell a property we all do our best to make sure our home is in tip-top shape and that we present it in the best light possible.

The little things can go a long way when it comes to selling a home and what may look like minor issues to you could be deal breakers to a potential buyer.

ScS recently surveyed several prospective buyers with the goal of discovering the biggest turn-offs when viewing a property.

Whenever you’re selling a home, making each room feel as spacious as possible is key to the sale, so it comes as no surprise that the number 1 turn off is clutter or obvious lack of storage, with 41% of survey participants stating that they would be put off a property which is clearly lacking for space.

Not very far behind at all and chosen by 40% of participants was pets, bad smells and general mess, as it appears that the thought of lasting damage from pets and odours is a big enough deal breaker for some buyers.

Continuing the theme of wear and tear and chosen by 36% of those who took part in the survey was old/damaged carpets, flooring can be quite costly to replace so it is understandable that a worn-out rug could ruin a viewing.

The kitchen is arguably the most important room in a home when it comes to a viewing as if it’s not to the buyers liking, it’s easily one of the most expensive rooms to renovate. This holds true according to the results of the survey, as 35% of people said they would not buy a home if they were not a fan of the kitchen.

Coming in at 5th place was being near a main road, as one-third of us (33%) prefer a home in a more secluded spot away from noisy traffic.

The study also found which features were considered ‘must-have’ with 57% searching for a home with the right number of bedrooms, 40% looking for off-street parking, 32% wanting a well-maintained garden and a similar number of participants looking for new windows and a new kitchen, chosen by 31% and 30% respectively.

Fife Properties Managing Director, Jim Parker commented, “Buying a home is a major investment and while most people are put off by clutter, bad smells, worn carpets and having to renovate there is still a market for properties like this. However, with professional guidance from our experts, you would be surprised at what you can achieve. The key is to get the right professional advice before doing anything and that is where we excel.”

Fife Properties can do an initial pre-marketing home assessment to ascertain and advise of any issues that might affect your properties saleability. You can book a FREE initial consultation today at the following link

A guide to downsizing to a smaller property

For a lot of older homeowners today, downsizing can be a great way not only to have a good clear out after your kids have left home, but also a fantastic way to create some equity. This financial boost will also most likely come with the added bonus of a reduction in running costs as you move to a smaller home. While there are plenty of benefits of downsizing, moving home can still be a complex and stressful experience, so we’ve put together a quick guide on what to consider to make the transition a much smoother process.

Decide what you REALLY need

The most important step to a successful downsize – and it’s one that you’ll want to take as early as possible – is taking a good look at all of your possessions and shedding as much as possible. This is the part where you have to consider your day to day life and think about how much you use all of these items. You should ask yourself, do you still need all of that seating in the living room, or do you need such a large dining table? If the answer is ‘no’ to questions like these, then it’s time to start dividing item into piles marked ‘keep’ or ‘give away’.

It’s not an easy process; letting go of a life’s worth of possessions, many of which will have sentimental value is tough to do, but the benefits on moving day will be worth it. For one thing, you won’t have as many things to move, and there will be less worry about how to fit all of your possessions into your new home as a result.

Don’t throw anything away

Once you’ve decided which items don’t belong in the ‘keep’ pile, it’s time to see if you can get some extra cash from your unwanted possessions. Most likely, there will be some items that may not be fit for use anymore and could be recycled, but those that are in good condition can be used to help purchase new items that are more suitable for your smaller home.

As we said earlier, separating your items early is the best strategy, as you will now have plenty of time to use websites such as Gumtree and eBay in order to facilitate selling the things that you don’t wish to keep. You might even be surprised by the how much interest they generate, and how much money they bring in.

Assess your new space

At this point, you should have divided your items and possibly sold a few, too. Even though you’ve probably gotten rid of a lot of possessions, it may still be a challenge fitting everything that remains into your smaller space.

If you’re already part of the way through the moving process and have agreed on which house you’re going to buy, start looking at measurements of each room and compare them against the furniture you currently have. For example, your king size bed may fit into your new bedroom, but will it leave room for much else? Start planning how everything is going to fit in and figure out how to get the absolute most out of each space. You may need to invest in smaller and more suitable items for your home such as a dining table that seats 4 instead of 8.

Prepare for moving day

Your last move was likely to a home of similar size if not bigger. However, this time you must consider that you’ll have less space to work with, meaning it won’t be just as simple as getting everything in and unpacking it later.

Whether you want to label all your boxes with ‘living room’ or ‘bedroom’ or use a colour coded system, it’s best to know what goes where before you begin to move things. As with any move, it’s wise to focus on the bigger items such as beds and chairs first, as this will give you a better idea of where to place all the small things.

Normally when a family moves into a bigger space, they initially use the extra room to store things that they’re too tired to unpack right away. If you’re downsizing then you probably won’t have room for a bunch of items to be out of sight and out of mind, so you should begin unpacking and organising all of your items as soon as you can. Moving into a smaller place and being surrounded by boxes for the first couple weeks will only ruin the experience for you by making it feel even smaller. Get organised early and get the full use out of your new home.

Fife Properties Managing Director, Jim Parker commented, “Downsizing is often one of the most stressful points in your life. Getting expert advice is the key to making it as easy as possible and that’s where we come in. Our expert agents can arrange everything from selling to moving making the whole process STRESS FREE.”

All you need to do is tap the link, fill in your details and arrange your FREE initial consultation today:

How much do top schools add to a property’s price?

If you and your family have ever looked for a new home, there is a good chance you’ve taken a look at the local schools so you can make an informed decision about your purchase.

If you’ve got young children then living in the catchment area of a good school is without a doubt a bonus, but have you ever considered how the top schools impact the price of your home or how much buyers are willing to pay to be near one? New research from Santander Mortgages has sought to answer these questions.

According to their data, homes located in the catchment area of one of England’s top 100 state secondary schools, receive a 42% boost to their value.

This price premium even applies at a primary school level, as homes in the catchment area of a top 1000 state primary school are valued at 8% more than homes in the surrounding areas.

It appears that parents are happy to pay a little extra for a home near a top school, with Santander’s research finding that they would be willing to pay almost £27,000 more than the average price of a home in the UK.

What is more interesting about these statistics, is that top schools rank far above any other local amenity, such as low crime rates or good transport links, as buyers are only willing to pay 11% and 10% for these benefits.

The research also found that 30% of parents with children of school age are considering finding a new home within the next 2 years in order to secure their child a place at a top school and just under 1 in 4 parents would even consider downsizing to send their child to a private school.

Managing Director of Mortgages at Santander UK – Miguel Sard – offered his comments on the results of the research, he said; “Living in the vicinity of a top-ranked school carries a significant house price premium. If families are looking to move into a catchment area specifically to boost their chances of getting into an elite school, they can expect to pay a hefty price

“It is important when considering purchasing a property that people understand the true costs as the house price is just one of many. Stamp duty, solicitors’ fees and moving costs mount up. Parents are prepared to sacrifice a lot to give their child the best start in life and given these costs, it is important to find a mortgage lender that offers the best rate for you to ensure repayments are manageable, and the buying process is made as smooth as possible”

Fife Properties can do arrange a FREE mortgage health check with one of our preferred partners. You can book a FREE initial consultation today at the following link

15% rental rate rise predicted by 2023

The rental market in the UK has seen its fair share of changes over the last two years and it is now looking like those changes are starting to have an impact.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recently conducted a survey which provided some interesting forecasts for the Private Rented Sector.

It appears that the supply of homes available for rent has taken a fall and has done consistently for the past 2 years. Changes to tax law for landlords and an increase in stamp duty for buy-to-let purchases has made potential new landlords more hesitant to jump into the market.

RICS found that across the last 3 months 22% of respondents to the survey saw a drop in new landlords. This combined with the growing demand for rental homes due to affordability issues has led to forecasts of a 2% rise in rental rates over the course of the next year.

This increase is expected to be felt in all regions of the UK, with East Anglia and the South-West of England highlighted to see the largest growth.

Long-term, this is predicted to continue also, with the pressures of the UK property market predicted to drive rents up by 15% over the next 5 years.

A separate report from tenant referencing company HomeLet, stated that rents had risen by 1% in the 12 months to July, currently standing at an average of £777 per month, with London seeing a 3.3% rise to £1,615 in the same period.

Chief Economist at RICS – Simon Rubinsohn – commented on the findings of their survey, stating “The impact of recent and ongoing tax changes is clearly having a material impact on the buy-to-let sector as intended.

“The risk, as we have highlighted previously, is that a reduced pipeline of supply will gradually feed through into higher rents in the absence of either a significant uplift in the Build to Rent programme or government-funded social housing.

“At the present time, there is little evidence that either is likely to make up the shortfall.”

Fife Properties Lettings Director, Richard Cook commented, “Fife Properties have been lobbying the UK Government with the SNP and Scottish Association of Landlords since the new tax changes for Landlords were announced in 2016 but the UK Government is just burying it’s head in the sand. These tax changes are making it worse for tenants as we see more Landlords exiting the market and more tenants entering thus creating more demand and pushing up rents. This will not stop as it’s one on one economics of supply and demand. The Government should be embracing Landlords for helping them solve the housing crisis not penalising them.”

Top Tips For Viewing A Property Like A Pro

When it comes to buying property, it is important to keep in mind that it could potentially be the home you live in for the rest of your life. With this in mind, it is essential that when you view potential properties, you take the time to be thorough and get all the information you can.

To help make sure you don’t miss a thing and make the right choice when you do eventually make an offer, we’ve compiled the following list of tips to view a property like a pro.

Don’t rush
We all feel a bit strange viewing someone else’s home, but as we said earlier, you could be living in this property for decades so don’t rush through this process! It’s vital that you spend close to 30 minutes exploring the property, asking questions and just getting a good sense of how the property feels. If you just wander from room to room, taking a quick look and then moving on, you won’t get a good feel for the property. Taking that little extra time will mean you are well-informed when you come to make a formal offer for the property.

Think about how much space there actually is
When it comes to property space is one thing you can never have enough of. Whether you’re looking to fit in that Queen-size bed or you need somewhere to store all of the precious knickknacks that you have collected over the years, space is incredibly valuable. Pay attention to the way the current owner has laid out the furniture, as it will provide you with some insight into how to best make use of the property’s available space. It’s also an excellent opportunity to think about how much room your items take up and whether there is any scope for a little pre-move declutter.

Take a walk through the area
When you’re buying a property you’re not just investing in that building, you’re also investing in the neighbourhood itself. If you’re first-time buyers and looking to build a life in this new home, you have to ask whether the area is suitable for your family’s needs. Are there plenty of shops close by? How do the local schools perform? It’s best to wander around the area for a short while in order to see how it all feels, after all, if you’re going to be here for some time, you need to feel comfortable.

Once you’ve taken a good look, take another and maybe another
As we stated at the beginning, when it comes to buying property it’s best done the right way, but even when you do everything right, it’s always best to check things twice. No matter how thorough you intend to be there is always the possibility that you missed a couple of things the first time around. Most would advise visiting a property 2-3 times and at different times of the day – if possible – to see if you feel the same way each time. Buying a home can be very exciting, so it is worth visiting the property a few times.

Don’t forget that your agent is there to help you! Make sure you ask them questions about the property’s history and the local area, as they will be more than happy to assist you with your decision.

Fife Properties Managing Director, Jim Parker commented, “We always encourage and help buyers get as much information and facts as possible to help them make an informed decision after all for most of us this will be a home for many years to come.”