October 2018 - Fife Properties
Fife Properties

Money saving advice for your home

There are a few changes that you can make around the house that could save you hundreds of pounds a month! Some of them are as simple as clicking a button or turning a dial.


Switch your utility supplier

Your first port of call should be your utility bills. A recent study by Energyhelpline found that the average household can save over £600 a year by switching suppliers. You should consider changing the supplier of your television package, broadband and energy to a competitor who might offer you a better deal.


Consider your energy set-up and habits

Switching supplier is a good start, but your next job is to take a closer look at your energy habits. This can be as basic as turning your thermostat down by a few degrees or making use of the timer control on your boiler. Clothes horses can be utilised to dry your laundry, meaning you don’t need to have the heating on for longer than required.


If you want to make more of an impact on your energy bill, you could also consider your property’s energy efficiency. To combat wasting energy, you could deploy draught excluders around the house to trap heat or hire a professional to examine the insulation in your walls and roof.


Turn electrical appliances off when not in use

The Energy Saving Trust recently revealed that across the UK, households were spending between £50-86 a year on gadgets in a ‘non-active’ or standby state, equivalent to 9-16% of the average electricity bill.


Set your washing machine to a lower temperature

Washing at 15 or 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees can save you a third of the cost to run the cycle. Think about how much that could be saving you on the day you decide to tackle the overflowing laundry basket!


Switch to a cheaper mortgage deal

Mortgage repayments are often the biggest monthly expense a household will have, so it could be worth checking if switching to a new deal can help you save.

For example, if you have a £180,000 20-year mortgage, a deal that charges 4% would cost your household £1,091 a month. Remortgaging to a 2% rate could save you £180 a month (£2,160 a year)


Fife Properties Managing Director, Jim Parker commented, “It is amazing how just a little bit here and a little bit there can add up to a substantial saving per month.”

If you want to take advantage of our FREE initial consultation to see what you can save contact us today by clicking on the link:  https://www.fifeproperties.co.uk/contact/


How to help your children onto the property ladder

Most parents will tell you that you never stop worrying about your children, even after they’ve long flown the nest. Given how difficult it can be to get started on the property ladder for most people in their 20s or 30s, the Bank of Mum and Dad are increasingly getting involved to give their children the best possible chance of buying that important first home. But with the average deposit for a house in Britain currently standing at a dizzying £51,000, parents need to simultaneously make sure that they protect themselves financially before committing their own futures for the sake of their offspring. With that in mind, here are our top tips for helping your kids to get onto the property ladder:


Bring your children back home (briefly!)

It can be very difficult to save up enough cash for that first home when living in a rented property, purely because the cost of living in Britain can be difficult to manage even if you’re a couple who are both in full-time work. One easy way to help your child and their partner to save some money is to welcome them home for a period. Of course, we can’t help you draw up a washing-up rota, but taking away big costs such as rent, bills and even food expenditure will instantly help them start putting away the money required to get them started.


Gifting our lending them the money

If you’re able to, the benefits of gifting or lending your children money can be huge, as a large sum of money could mean the difference between being able to secure deals with lower interest rates.

However, this option can be potentially difficult to navigate on a personal level, and comes with a strong recommendation of confirming your agreement with your children and their partner prior to any money changing hands. Make sure you confirm that you’re either gifting or lending them the money beforehand, and if it’s the latter, then set up a repayment plan for your own piece of mind.

A Declaration of Trust document is a good way of confirming this, and it can clearly state who owns what part of the property in the event that your child separates from their partner and the home is sold.


Buy the home with your child

If you’re concerned about the long-term implications of giving your child a lump sum, or are unable to make that sort of financial commitment, then a joint mortgage is a good way of sharing the responsibility. In this case, you and your child are both liable for paying for the loan made to purchase your home, and you can come up with a financial plan for repayment that suits you.


Remortgage your own home

This is another option open to you in order to provide you with a lump sum of cash, which can be a huge help when it comes to putting down that all-important deposit. Again, it’s one that comes with strings attached, given that you will have an increased number of payments to consider, including arrangement fees and interest on a higher mortgage rate.


Fife Properties Managing Director, Jim Parker commented, “Whichever route you choose when trying to help your children get onto the property ladder, gaining independent financial advice is strongly advised to make sure that you’re making the correct decision for everyone. Helping your children to buy their first home is an important, personal experience, and one that deserves to be as stress-free as possible.”

We have can provide an initial consultation and point you in the right direction. To book you FREE initial consultation click on the link and contact us today: https://www.fifeproperties.co.uk/contact/

Average house prices rise in the UK increase by 3.1%

Across the last few years, there have been many predictions and forecasts as to how house prices will fair amidst all of the Brexit uncertainty.

Some experts believed that property prices could see a fall as a result of a hesitant market and low activity, however, it appears that British homes have remained defiant and as a whole, the UK has seen an annual rise.

According to the latest official figures from the Land Registry, homes in the UK have risen in value by 3.1% in the 12 months to July 2018.

Not only have prices increased across the year, but figures also saw a jump of 1.2% month on month, meaning the average price of a home in the UK stands at £231,422.

When looking at these new figures in greater detail it was found that all countries within the UK recorded a rise in value, with the largest growth seen in Wales at 4.2% year on year. The 2nd largest growth in property prices was recorded in Scotland at 3.2 and in England, homes increased in price by 3% over the same period. Northern Ireland saw substantial growth also, especially in the year to Q2 of 2018, with house prices rising by 4.4%.

In terms of individual regions, the North West of England recorded the highest price growth at 5.6% and not too far behind were the regions of the South West and the West Midlands, both showing increases of 4.4% year on year.

Another interesting statistic from this report, was the rise in activity from both first-time buyers and former owner-occupiers, with sales up by 2.6% and 3.4% respectively in the year to July 2018.

Whether or not this trend will continue is still up for debate as the country’s future is yet to be decided, nevertheless, the property market continues to show its resilience to external factors as homes throughout the UK are still in high demand.

Fife Properties Managing Director, Jim Parker commented, “Scotland has always been a steady market with consistent growth over the long term and is more hedged against the huge swings in prices that England experience. Time will tell how Brexit could impact on us, but the most important point is not to let this distract you from selling or buying as over the longer term it is all relative. The key as always 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 https://www.fifeproperties.co.uk/property-valuation/

Tips to help you sell your home this autumn

It didn’t take long for Autumn to take hold, did it? It seems like only a few weeks ago, we were enjoying the blazing sunshine and moaning about the heat, but with October in full swing, it’s time to start wondering if it’s time to stir the heating into life and get those jumpers out of hibernation.

Autumn can be a great time to sell your home; the colours and relatively early sunsets can certainly help to offset your property, but there are several things that you can do to help show your home in the best light when you’re trying to find a buyer. Here are our top tips:


Have a tidy, inside and out

It might seem obvious, but de-cluttering and tidying your property before you start viewings, both inside and out can have a huge effect. Remember, you’re trying to show your home off, and attempting to get visitors to envisage themselves living there; making sure the entrance to your home, your living area and any garden space that you might have looks organised and tidy can have a huge effect on that. That means toys, shoes, papers and the like need to be put away.

Bulky items that take up space need to be temporarily removed, too. Remember, buyers want to see how they would fit in your home, and a lack of available space can make that difficult whilst simultaneously making the property seem smaller than it is.


Conduct viewings before it gets dark

It might not always be possible due to your schedule, but when possible, make sure to schedule viewings before it gets dark. With the sun going down earlier and earlier as the year draws to a close, it’s important to take advantage of natural daylight so that your property looks brighter and cleaner. Even if you are busy working during the day, it’s possible to organise a viewing agent who can show your property off for you.


Air your home

With no sunshine in the day to dry your clothes during the day, many of us dry our wet washing indoors at this time of year, meaning more moisture gets into the air around your home. Make sure to open your windows to alleviate this, and get some fresh air around your home.


Don’t be afraid to turn the heating on

You may be hesitant to turn on the heating before the real cold sets in, but making your property nice and warm before each viewing can be a great advantage when trying to get people interested in your home. It’s always nice to return to a warm house, and small touches like that, aswell as lighting a scented candle can help to make people feel relaxed.


Fife Properties Managing Director, Jim Parker commented, “It all sounds so simple to do and just common sense but the problem about common sense is that it is not that common so you need the experts to walk you through everything and provide a professional opinion.”

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 https://www.fifeproperties.co.uk/property-valuation/