May 2019 - Fife Properties
Fife Properties

Supply and demand outstrips Brexit concerns

With the Brexit date being pushed back once more, it would appear that supply and demand for property is now the driving factor in the market, with Brexit taking the back seat in terms of market-driving factors.

In a recent survey from property investment company SevenCapital, nearly 69.5% of investors continued to invest in the United Kingdom despite the spectre of Brexit. Indeed, this confidence in the United Kingdom property market is echoed by international investors, with nearly 95% of the Hong Kong respondents believing that Brexit isn’t a critical factor in their investment decision.

SevenCapital points out that the Sterling has risen in value – a better indicator of fiscal stability – and this outweighs any potential impact that Brexit may have levied upon the market. With the average price of properties increasing last month by over 1% or £3,347, according to Rightmove, then house prices are also reflecting this upturn in the market.

Despite the headlines that Brexit has provided of late, it is evident that other factors are driving the property market, both sales and lettings. A key point to note is the lack of housing supply and increased demand of late with this duality keeping the market buoyant, despite any political uncertainties. With first-time buyers now at record levels and keen to buy, there is a whole new swathe of potential buyers entering the market which is creating an extremely competitive sales environment.

Fife Properties Group Office Owner, Jim Parker commented: “Brexit has been put to the side in the public’s mind as many believe it could now not happen or if it does will have little effect.”

Fife Properties currently offer a FREE initial consultation service which not only provides an idea of the current value of your property but gives extremely useful advice on maximising the value when selling. To book click the link:

One in six parents are remortgaging for their children

With interest rates remaining incredibly low and competition amongst lenders producing some of the most favourable finance options ever seen, many are remortgaging in order to benefit from cost savings. Rather than simply easing the financial burden, however, recent research has shown that many parents are remortgaging in order to gift the extra money to their children.

A popular Price comparison website has found that one in six parents who remortgage their home then gift some of that extra cash to their children, with the average financial contribution standing at £9,050 per child and nearly 10% of parents giving over £20,000.

More than a third of the children who receive the financial gift utilise it as a deposit for a property, whilst others use it to go travelling (11%), buy a new car (11%) or pay for ‘everyday essentials’ (9%).

Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at the price comparison website commented: “Our research found that 15% of parents released equity when they remortgaged to help their children. However, you’ll only be able to do this if your property has gone up in value and you’ll need to be sure you can afford to keep up with your new repayments.

“It’s also important to factor in the costs associated with remortgaging, such as arrangement fees which can be as much as £2,000, as well as legal, admin and valuation fees. Try to be realistic – only release equity to help your children with life events if you can really afford to do so.

“Also keep in mind that because a mortgage takes so long to pay back, remortgaging may not be the right option for everyone – there may be cheaper ways of getting a cash sum. It’s important to look at all options and shop around before making a decision.”

Fife Properties Group Office Owner, Jim Parker commented: “Remortgaging is a popular choice in a rising market but you need to be careful this does end up backfiring on you if the market does not continue to rise and leaves you in a difficult position that you cannot move when it becomes essential.” Fife Properties currently offer a FREE initial consultation service which not only provides an idea of the current value of your property but gives extremely useful advice on maximising the value when selling. To book click the link:

The best ways to add value to your property

When we decorate our properties, it is often driven by personal preferences in order to make a space fit into our own idea of what is stylish. However, if you are not just looking to decorate a space but to maximise the potential value of your property, then read our guide which explores the best ways to add worth to a home.

Solve existing issues

If you’re thinking of adding value to your property then don’t jump straight to improving the aesthetic of particular rooms in order to gain the much-lauded “wow factor”; instead, make sure that your property is structurally sound. It may have less cosmetic impact, but a house with a leaking roof, subsidence or damp will be severely hindered in achieving a strong asking price due to the perceived costs and effort in fixing the issues. Take the time to assess your property and ensure there are no major defects, and this will give a solid foundation for your property to achieve the best price on the market as buyers will not be scared away by problems, nor will they be able to barter the price down.

Central issue

Take a look at the central heating system in your house – does it look modern and fit-for-purpose or is it on its last legs? If your central heating isn’t quite up to scratch, then replacing this is a sure-fire way to add value to your property as it is another issue which has the potential to put off potential buyers. Although the initial outlay for the central heating refit may seem high, you should more than recover these costs when selling the property as it is another key point which will assure buyers that your property is well-cared for.

Extra space

Adding additional living space will always attract potential buyers as this offers them versatility in the way in which they will use the property; however, before you convert that loft or garage then we would recommend doing a little research. A converted loft can add thousands to the asking price of your property, so it is certainly something to consider – before you undertake this do take a look at similar properties in your area and do some investigation as to what the top selling price has been lately. There will be a ceiling price to the properties in your area, and therefore before you add a room, make sure that there is the potential to recoup the cost in the asking price of the property.


If you’re looking to add value to your property without any major outlay, then picking up the paintbrush could be the answer. Freshen up any paint that has seen better days around the house and do the same in the bathroom, checking on any sealants to ensure they are crisp and clean. Clean up a few simple defects and potential buyers will see your property in an entirely different light, willing to pay more for a home that they perceive to be in excellent condition. This should extend to the frontage of your home, so ensure lawns are mowed and outside areas look cared for.

Kitchens and bathrooms

That old saying that homes are sold due to their kitchens and bathrooms is true, to an extent. Having a modern kitchen and bathroom will add considerable value to your property, as well as generating much more interest from potential buyers. If you don’t want to invest in a brand-new kitchen and bathroom, then update your current spaces in order to make them more sellable. Kitchen cabinets can be painted to modernise them, and changing the door handles to something sleeker will also help to create the feeling of a newer space in the kitchen. In the bathroom, refresh the paint on the walls, keeping it as neutral as possible, and ensure that the space is bright and airy – add mirrors to make the space feel bigger, and use accessories to add colour into the space.

Fife Properties Group Office Owner, Jim Parker commented, “A different take on the typical advice and some of these top tips can be done at an inexpensive price which can completely revitalise your property so it’s often worth doing when selling to enhance the buyer experience as it often translates to a higher offer” Fife Properties currently offer a FREE initial consultation service which not only provides an idea of the current value of your property but gives extremely useful advice on maximising the value when selling. To book click the link:

Fife Properties Estate & Letting Agents wins ‘Best in County’ award at The ESTAS

Fife Properties Estate & Letting Agents wins ‘Best in County’ award at The ESTAS again for the 9th year, the most prestigious estate & letting agent awards in the UK

The Glenrothes, Leven and Cupar based agency received the ‘Best in County’ title for the Kingdom of Fife at the prestigious ESTAS 2019. The award was announced by Phil Spencer, the TV property expert at a lavish luncheon & ceremony at the Grosvenor House, Park Lane London attended by 1,000 of the UK’s top property professionals.

The awards, celebrating their 16th year determine the best estate and letting agents in the UK based purely on feedback from customers who are asked a series of questions about the service they have received from their agent, over 45,000 surveys were completed by customers during the competition.

Phil Spencer, who has hosted the ESTAS every year since their inception in 2003 said: “The ESTAS encapsulates what your typical agent is trying to do, which is to provide honest, transparent service for their clients. These awards are special because shortlisted and winning firms are selected purely on the service they deliver. Real feedback from real customers experiencing real service, I don’t think there can be a greater honour in the industry than to receive an award based on that mantra.”

Estate and letting agents were recognised in counties around the UK. Regional and national Grand Prix Awards were also announced for the Best Single Agent Office in sales and lettings.

Simon Brown Founder of The ESTAS said: “At The ESTAS we’re proud to say we believe in old fashioned values like customer service. We know how hard it is to deliver it and that’s why we put the spotlight on property firms who are committed to providing excellent service. The ESTAS review and awards platform brand help agents generate consumer trust.”

Richard Cook, Lettings Director of Fife Properties said “We are absolutely thrilled to be recognised at this year’s ESTAS again and this is the 9th time we have been Fife’s No.1 Letting Agent. It means so much to us as we know it’s our customers who have judged our performance over all our offices in Fife. We take our levels of customer service very seriously because we know clients have a choice. We have always been very proud of the personal service and this proves we are delivering what we promise.”

Jim Parker, Managing Director of Fife Properties said “It’s a great achievement to be awarded the top letting agent for the 9th time by our customers but over 95% of the ones that voted in the Estate Agents category rated us as excellent or amazing. Again, confirming why more and more customers recommend us to their friends and family.”

The common mistakes made by first-time buyers and how to avoid them

There’s no denying that purchasing your first property can be an incredibly exciting process. Everything from your first viewing to deciding which bread bin goes best with your new kitchen can feel like a thrill, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a multitude of things to avoid as you look to buy your first home.

But don’t fret! We’ve outlined the most common mistakes that first-time buyers when looking for the property of their dreams, and what your best practise should be instead.

Seal an agreement in principle
First thing’s first; get an agreement in principle from your lender in place first. The importance behind getting this step resolved is that it will give you an idea of how much your mortgage provider will allow you to borrow, and given that they’re often valid for 30-to-90 days, you should have the best part of three months to search for the right home before you need to get the agreement re-evaluated.

The benefit of getting what’s also known as a mortgage promise in place is simple; should you find a home you love and need to act fast, there’s no guarantee that you can find a loan big enough for you to buy it. With that in mind, figuring out the amount of money that you have at your disposal is vital.

Check your credit score
Another simple thing, but one that is also frequently missed. Checking your credit score prior to applying for a mortgage can save you a large potential headache; if you have a poor credit score then you run the risk of your mortgage application being rejected, which will cause further damage to your score. An early check of your score prior to applying for a mortgage can allow you to correct errors and get your credit rating in a healthier place.

Do your sums!
The process of buying a home is about much more than the price of a property; you have to factor in valuations, house survey costs, legal fees and conveyancing. These financial hits can seem unreasonable, but again, they’re vital to making sure that the property you’re buying is in good condition. With that in mind, make sure that you have enough money for these vital parts of the purchasing process, too.

What’s going on locally?
We all have certain criteria for the area that we’ll be moving into when it comes to choosing a home. Are there good schools nearby? What about shops or park space? Are the transport links sufficient for your work or other needs?

Research the local area; find out if this place will meet your needs and provide what you require in order to enjoy your life. If you’re able, spend a bit of time walking around and getting a feel for the place. Moving home can be an emotionally overwhelming process, so the more you know about your new area, the more settled you’ll feel once you move in.

Ask questions and don’t be afraid to get advice
It’s important to know what you want out of a home prior to conducting viewings, and it certainly does not hurt to have an idea of what questions you’d like to ask before you start visiting properties. Ask the sellers why they’re thinking of leaving, for example, or how long they’ve lived at the property, whilst testing out things like taps, windows and lights.

Beyond that, seek professional advice from an impartial mortgage broker. This is key, as a broker can assist you with setting up a financial plan, help you to find a good deal on a mortgage and get the ball really rolling on the buying process.

Fife Properties Group Office Owner, Jim Parker commented: “All great advice for first-time buyers. The key is to get the best advice and most importantly the best mortgage advice. Our mortgage partners can search the whole of the market for the best deals, some of which are only available to them and are better deals than the banks own branches can do!”

Fife Properties currently offer a FREE mortgage initial consultation service. To book click the link: