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Fife 2nd and 3rd Time Buyers Finding it Tougher (and slower) to Move Up the Fife Property Ladder (3 min read)

Post lockdown, the need for Fife families who want bigger homes has meant Fife homebuyers must now pay considerably more to trade up to that larger home… Continue reading Fife 2nd and 3rd Time Buyers Finding it Tougher (and slower) to Move Up the Fife Property Ladder (3 min read)

PROPERTY MYTHS: Misconceptions about selling your home (5 min read)

Absolutely everyone we meet has a different story. Why they bought the home they live in; why they’re selling it now; what they’ve enjoyed through their time in residence. Indeed, one of the many delights of estate agency is hearing all these tales and listening to hopes and dreams for the future. Continue reading PROPERTY MYTHS: Misconceptions about selling your home (5 min read)

Fife Millennials Moving Back in with Mum and Dad (3 min read)

Roll the clock back 20 years and any self-respecting late 20/early 30 something would never say on their first date that they lived with their mum and dad. It was seen as a sign of immaturity being tied to your mother’s apron strings with as a failure to leave the family home. Yet over these last two decades, the age of leaving home has been increasing steadily from 20 years and 11 months in the late 1990’s to 22 years and 7 months today.

 

However, as with all the stats, the devil is in the detail. Although the age of leaving home has only risen by 8% between 1997 and today, those that didn’t leave home in their early 20’s tended to stay much, much longer.

 

In 1997, 11.26% of 25 year old  to 34 year old still lived at home with their parents,

yet last year that had risen to 15.74%, an increase of 391,000

 ‘stay at home’ Millennials

 

However, before we deride these Millennials for still being tied to their mother’s apron strings, I would say those very same Millennials (the mid 20’s to 30-year olds) have been pragmatic, being attracted to sacrificing independence in order to achieve their long-term life goals as they have seen rents rise and an inability to save for the mortgage deposit. All of this has seen the first-time buyer levels in this millennial age range rise for the last three years … so good news for everyone!

 

However, is all that about to change?

 

Just as mum and dads in Fife had thought their late 20 something/early 30 something offspring had flown the nest, Covid-19 has blown some Fife ‘chickadees’ back into the nest. Back in March, the lockdown saw many Millennials flee the big UK cities, with their constrained and poky shared HMO’s and flat shares, swapping their city centre private rented home for their parents’ Fife home.

 

Yet with lockdown lessening, it isn’t just remote workers who are unenthusiastic and disinclined to return to the big cities (fearful of a second lockdown) – many of these Coronavirus blow-ins are deciding to stay put too! A recent YouGov poll asked Millennials of private rented homes what their plans were and 1 in 6 tenants planned to hand their notice in on their rented home and fly back to the nest of mum and dad. The advantages are quite plain, especially as it could enable them to save for a deposit to buy their future home.

 

There are 160,952 households in Fife, made up of 51,239 single person households and 102,428 family households

(the remainder being made up of shared houses etc.)

 

 

Yet how many of those Fife family households had non-dependent children before Covid-19?

 

15,958 Fife households have children

that haven’t flown the nest

 

That’s 15.6% of Fife families whose kids are still to leave home … and it’s only going to get worse!

 

So, what does this mean for Fife homeowners and Fife landlords?

 

It will mean that Fife parents and their children will get to know each other better, build stronger relationships and it will enable their children, if they are wise, to save for their deposit for their first home purchase – who knows maybe in Fife, as working from home could become the norm.

 

Also, with remote working, many tenants are looking for properties with bigger gardens which could translate into greater demand for property with bigger gardens? It will also change the property needs of those Fife parents and potentially could mean instead of those parents moving down market, they could end up staying longer or moving up market?

 

Now of course these polls could be a load of hot air? What I do know is that this thing has not played out yet and only time will tell if this will make a concrete change to the way people live, rent and buy property.

 

These are interesting times and thank you for reading this. Do let me know your thoughts on this matter.

 

How Do You Save For a House Deposit?

For most of us, the most expensive thing that we ever purchase will be a property, and the prospect of saving for that all-important deposit can be rather daunting. However, the key to saving for that lump sum is simply good financial preparation and making a few changes to your outgoings which should reap big rewards. Take a look through our handy hints and tips and you’ll be in that new home in no time.

Continue reading How Do You Save For a House Deposit?

Top Tips on Downsizing to a Smaller Home

For a lot of older homeowners today, downsizing can be a great way to have a good clear out after your kids have left home, but also a fantastic way to free up some equity from your home. This financial boost will 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 help make your move a much smoother transition.

Decide what you REALLY need Continue reading Top Tips on Downsizing to a Smaller Home

What Has Happened to the Fife Property Market Since the Crash?

A handful of Fife landlords and homeowners have been asking me what would happen if we had another property crash like we did in 2008/9?

The UK property crash in 2008/9 caused property prices in the UK to drop by an average of 18.37% in a period of 16 months.

Continue reading What Has Happened to the Fife Property Market Since the Crash?

Design trends to look out for in 2020

We’re moving into a new decade, and so the last thing that you want is for your home to look dated. Throughout 2019 we have seen some extreme trends in interior design; from the embracing of industrial elements to the resurgence of entirely neutral spaces. We have taken a look at what to expect this year and how to get ahead with your design aesthetic, whatever your budget.

  1. Colour makes a comeback

One of the key trends this decade has been that of neutral spaces with a few accent pieces to liven up the décor, however this year one of the main inclinations in design will be towards colour; bolder, brighter and braver! Rebecca Breslin, Wayfair Professional design manager, is calling for an end of “Greige, grey and all neutral everything without texture or visual interest” and therefore if you are looking for a change this year then start by adding colour into your home – burnt oranges and deep blues are set to be en vogue throughout the whole year.

  1. Paper set to tear up the market

A feature wall has been the mainstay of every makeover show and glossy magazine before-and-after shoot since the early naughties, however 2020 is set to end this fad. Rather than a singular wall that is adorned with wallpaper, we are going to see all four walls covered with paper – in line with the brighter aesthetic of 2020. Wallpaper has seen something of a renaissance over the past decade, with designs from Gucci and Dior all the way through to stick-and-peel examples flooding the marketplace, and this isn’t set to end this year. If you want to experiment, then start with smaller spaces such as studies, toilets and guest bedrooms where patterns will seem less overwhelming.

  1. Cabinet shake-up

The crisp, white kitchens that have been an enduring design staple over the last decade are set to move into retirement in 2020, with colour making its way back into the heart of the home. Kitchen cabinets, more specifically, are to become a real focus in kitchen design – therefore if you are looking to stay on-trend then think about rejuvenating your cabinets. Navy blue matte cabinets with vintage gold handles will transform your aesthetic immediately and mixes the traditional and vintage visuals that are set to be all the rage this year.

  1. Give art a start

In these modern days of mass production and consumerism, vintage art and antiques are making a huge comeback due to the perceived one-of-a-kind nature of the objects and that they possess their own unique story. If you are looking to make small changes to your home that make it chic, then adding some select pieces of art is a great start – adding pieces to your kitchen walls will add particular interest to an otherwise utilitarian space.

  1. Soften the edges

Throughout the 2010s, chicness has often been related to strong lines, sharp edges and minimalism, however as we move into the next decade this is set to be turned on its head for an altogether softer look. As well as a nod to 30s glamour (think metallics such as silver and gold, as well as scalloped seating) curves and fluid shapes are set to be popular this year; from circular side tables to rounded-edge sofas.

Will There Be a ‘Boris Bounce’ For the Fife Property Market?

The Halifax announced in early January that there was a Boris Bounce in the national property market as they stated national property values soared 1.7% in December 2019 – the biggest rise since the 1.9% month on month rise in February 2007 (a few months before the Global Financial Crisis aka the Credit Crunch).

Get the flags out – all hail Boris as the Conservatives gain their landslide general election triumph – the Boris Bounce is here … or is it?

Continue reading Will There Be a ‘Boris Bounce’ For the Fife Property Market?

Tips for Buyers and Sellers looking to move

It’s the start of a brand new year in the market, with buyers and sellers alike preparing to fulfil their New Year’s Resolutions and make their move. Market conditions appear to have stabilised after December’s general election brought with it a majority Conservative Government, but what can you do to give yourself the best chance of a successful transaction? Read our top tips for Buyers and Sellers below.

BUYERS TIPS

Research, Research, Research

As clichéd as it sounds, buyers who prepare sufficiently are more likely to end up with a better deal for the home they’re looking for. Once you’ve made the decision to begin house hunting, look into sale and listing prices for properties in the local areas that you’re interested in; this will give you a rough guide as to how much you can expect to spend.

Prepare your mortgage

If you’re house-hunting in a competitive area where properties are quickly snapped up, then getting a mortgage agreement in principle will give you an advantage when you find the property that you want. Having your finances in order and prepared can save time and prove invaluable if the home you want is likely to generate significant local interest.

Check the Home Report

Make sure you check the home report (Scotland) and the surveyor’s comments before you offer. This survey flags up any major issues or elements of the property that require attention, such as urgent defects or structural concerns. Depending on the age of the building, you could find yourself a wildly fluctuating amount of work to carry out, especially if previous owners have neglected its upkeep. Either way, this is an invaluable belts and braces report of the property and will provide peace of mind in any outcome. If it’s more than 3 months old once you have had an offer accepted, insist on the seller getting a refresh so it’s up to date. If a long time has passed since it was first listed it could be there is other issues you need to be aware of that could affect your initial offer price.

SELLERS TIPS

Research, Research, Research

Preparation is key for sellers, too! Make sure you know your property’s true value before it’s listed; carry out a full appraisal of your home with a trusted agent and not just an instant valuation to get a clear idea of what your property is worth. Inviting valuers into your home can also provide you with a fresh set of eyes which can be useful in flagging up any existing issues or reminding you of a few flaws that could require attention before going to market, too. Some even provide more specialist knowledge than just a valuation.

Find ways to add more value

If you’re looking for ways to add more worth to your property, then carrying out home improvement projects will certainly aid you. These can be relatively simple tasks, such as installing double glazing or adding extra insulation to your loft, or bigger jobs such as renovating your kitchen. Whilst the cost associated with these projects may be off-putting, it may pay off when it comes to increasing your home’s value. But ask the professionals first if it’s worth doing before doing it.

Declutter and organise

Take a look at each room in your house and you’ll likely find a few easy ways of decluttering and making extra space. This is vital for the viewing process as potential buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in this space, and in some rooms, it’s as easy as clearing a few worktops or mantlepieces.

In today’s market, preparation really is key whether you’re buying or selling. Carry out your market research, get your finances and paperwork and make sure you utilise a knowledgeable and local agent to help you through the process. One that has a consistent track record, years of experience and is an expert in their field. One that embraces and uses new technology and media marketing to hit specific target markets for your property rather than one that will put it on a few big websites and hope for the best. Proactive rather than reactive.

Preparing your property for sale in 2020

Time to pack up the decorations, take down the tree and munch down the rest of those leftovers; Christmas is over and 2020 is here! If you’re preparing to sell your property in the New Year, then you might be feeling a little overwhelmed at the amount of work your home requires before taking it to market. But don’t fret; we’re here with a list of top tips to help get you ready to show off your property.

How to nail the first impression

Almost all of the people with an interest in your property will get their first glimpse of what your home can offer in the form of pictures, either in an agent’s window or online. Not only that, but some buyers will drive by your abode to scope out its location and get a feel for it from the outside before they even enquire through the agent. If it’s not ready they might not even enquire as they have been put off before then. With that in mind, making sure your home is visually appealing and attractive will be your biggest priority in preparation for listing.

With that in mind, we’d strongly consider that you take the following into consideration:

  • Clean your windows – it’ll be easy to notice if you haven’t!
  • Give your front door a lick of paint to freshen it up and make your entrance feel more welcoming, along with a new doormat if yours is looking a little tired
  • Tidy up your entrance hall of any post and flyers
  • Clear out weeds from your paths and tidy your garden
  • Make space on your driveway for visitors to park
  • Be honest – hiding less-than-desirable features in the photos won’t help you as potential buyers will see defects when they view your home

Upping your Presentation

The above tips will certainly help to give your property a tidier feel, which is key; an organised home can give buyers a vital opportunity to picture how they will fit into the living space. But if you want to present your home in its best possible light, then consider how you present your home.

  • Declutter – a simple suggestion but one that can have a massive impact. Removing large bulky items from view, if only temporarily will have a massive effect
  • Let in the light – keep the curtains open, windows clean and any natural sources of light clear to give your home as bright a feel as possible
  • A warm place – make sure all rooms are heated prior to viewings, even those you don’t use often
  • Bathroom spaces – keep your bathroom and toilets clean, free of mould and tidy, and make sure your toiletries are kept to a minimum.

Time-consuming as it may seem, keeping your home tidy, organised and welcoming will put you in good stead for when those viewings start. Remember; visitors need to imagine themselves in your home!

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