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How Covid-19 is Affecting House Moves

Added on July 24th 2020

The property market has mostly reopened after the covid-19 lockdown. The government announced on May 13 that buyers and tenants in England could view properties and move, with Northern Ireland following suit on June 15. Scotland held out for a while longer and relaxed the rules on June 29, while Wales said that moves could only be completed if the property had been left vacant for 72 hours minimum. Estate agents can market occupied properties, but there are no in-person viewings allowed. There should be a Welsh government review in mid-July. Can people move? Buyers and sellers can move home, as well as view properties and market their own. Es... Read more

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Your Reminder to Check for Japanese Knotweed

Added on July 21st 2020

Japanese knotweed is the most invasive plant in the UK and while most people have heard of it, it’s a particular concern for homeowners, especially ones planning to buy and sell. How to spot Japanese knotweed If you suspect you have knotweed, you need to make fairly sure it is before calling in a professional removal service. There are other plants which look very similar to Japanese knotweed, so if you’re not quite sure, you can often send photos to a removal service for more expert identification. Why is it such bad news? It’s very destructive. It can cause a lot of structural damage by growing through cracks in concrete and brick, as... Read more

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All About Your Mortgage Affordability

Added on July 18th 2020

You might have heard of your mortgage affordability, especially if you’re house-hunting and about to apply for a home loan. You might also think that it’s a case of the lender working out how much money you have coming in and therefore how much you can afford to borrow on a mortgage. It’s not quite as simple as that, however. Lenders conduct quite a few tests on potential borrowers to make sure that they can carry on paying their mortgage for years ahead so that they don’t lose their home and the bank doesn’t lose its money. What does affordability mean? While essentially your affordability is how much you can afford to borrow, it... Read more

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Buying a Renovation Property

Added on July 15th 2020

Buying a renovation property is one of the most exciting things you can do, but it’s also one of the most intense, demanding and relentless. It’s certainly not for the feint-hearted and that’s why if you can’t stop thinking about that wreck on the outskirts of that village you’ve always loved, you’ll need some tips. Sort out your budget You need to know what you can afford in the first phase, as well as in the “final touches” phase which can go on for a while but is much less intense. When you have your initial budget, add another 15-20% on for contingencies. There’ll always be something you didn’t for see, such as woodwor... Read more

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Looking for Somewhere Quiet?

Added on July 12th 2020

While some of us love the hustle and bustle of a town or city, some of us crave peace and quiet. If you’re in the latter group, finding a quiet road or neighbourhood is probably a priority, so here’s what you can do to make your search successful. Research your location thoroughly Your location has a huge effect on the noise levels around your home. You could be in a village but if one wall faces a noisy road or picks up the sound from a train line, your peace could be shattered. Look for existing roads, bus and lorry routes and train lines, as well as any that are set to be built in the next few years. Look at the physical features aroun... Read more

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Higher Loan-to-value Mortgages are Back!

Added on July 9th 2020

First-time buyers could be in clover this year after several banks reintroduce high loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages. When the covid-19 lockdown was first announced, many lenders stopped offering mortgages to anyone looking to borrow more than 75% of the value of the property. Just recently, however, lenders have reintroduced these high LTV deals for borrowers with smaller deposits. New Nationwide customers can apply to borrow up to 95% of the property’s value and Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank has reintroduced first-time buyer mortgages for up to 90%. The financial website Moneyfacts.co.uk says that the number of two-year fixed mortgages for peopl... Read more

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How to Make Sure Your Tenancy Contract is Good for You

Added on July 6th 2020

If you’ve just found a great rental, it’s easy to get carried away, start buying new rugs and sign on the dotted line without having a good look at your tenancy contract first. There are five main things you should examine and think about before signing your contract. The terminology used in the contract Do you know the difference between an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) and an assured tenancy? Is it fixed-term or periodic? Is the tenancy agreement, or any part of it, verbal? Is there any phrase or term in the contract that you don’t understand or that you’re confused about? If there is, then you can always talk to your letting agen... Read more

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Making an Offer on a Property that’s Already Under Offer

Added on July 3rd 2020

Lots of house-hunters wonder what the difference is between ‘sold, subject to contract’ and ‘under offer’. They’re both terms that you’ll see in estate agents’ windows and on websites and because they’re different, you might think they mean something different. They actually mean the same thing; it just depends on which phrase your estate agent prefers to use. A property could be described as being under offer if a potential buyer has put an offer in but had it rejected, but agents are unlikely to do so as it could put off others. Under offer usually means an offer’s been accepted Estate agents tend to use the phrase ‘unde... Read more

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Tips for Reducing Condensation

Added on May 29th 2020

Condensation is unsightly at the best of times and, if it’s a permanent feature of your home or rental property, it can become a health hazard. Here’s a few ideas to help you to prevent or minimise this damp nuisance. Make sure you’re always ventilated Even in winter, you should open at least one window for a few minutes, especially if you’re in an older property. If you really have a problem, then a dehumidifier might be an option for the colder months. You can also check to see if your chimneys are blocked off, as this can prevent air from circulating effectively. Stay alert for the signs It’s not just misted-up bathroom mirro... Read more

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Should You Fix Your Mortgage for Ten Years?

Added on May 26th 2020

In recent years there’s been an increasing number of ten-year mortgages available to buyers and homeowners looking for new home loans. Most terms are for two, four or five years, so what’s the appeal of such a long agreement and is one right for you? As your mortgage will probably be the biggest investment you ever make, and although you can always switch to another product or provider if you’re unhappy, life is much easier if you get it right from the beginning. Deciding on the length of term that’s going to work best for you is a big part of this, so if you’re thinking about a ten-year term, you need to look at the pros and cons. ... Read more

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