What Makes a Great Estate Agent?

What Makes a Great Estate Agent

When considering using an estate agent to buy or sell your property, it can be a daunting prospect to find a company that suits your needs. Estate agents can make the process of purchasing or selling a property a dream or a headache, but knowing what makes an estate agent great can take the hassle out of engaging with the property market.

An estate agency can handle the tricky processes of conveyancing, arranging and carrying out property viewings, negotiating offers and other complex administrative tasks particular to buying, selling and renting property, so finding an estate agent that is well worth investigating. Below are some tips on what makes an estate agent great, and how you can find a company that best suits your requirements.

A great estate agent offers local expertise

Though there are many good estate agent chains that operate across the United Kingdom, a property buyer or seller should select an estate agency that has good local expertise. By choosing an estate agent that has first-hand knowledge of the area in which you wish to purchase a property, you will be assured that you will be offered options that are reflective of local prices and property trends.

A great estate agent is communicative

According to estate agency software provider Dezrez, UK property buyers and sellers overwhelmingly prefer having a personal agent to deal with their property needs. Whether an agency offers you a particular contact or not, good communication and a personal service are very much part of a great estate agent’s repertoire.

A great estate agent will also provide easy access to information and a quick response time to enquiries. An up-to-date website or web portal, as well as several channels of communication such as emails, web chats, telephone calls or face-to-face meetings, are important factors to look for when selecting a worthwhile estate agent to handle your property.

A great estate agent is reliable and understanding

The difference between a good and a bad estate agent can be as simple as reliable service. When engaging with an estate agent, you should feel that your needs are being met, and that your particular property brief is being adequately met. If you require a four bedroom home in a certain location with a particular budget, a great estate agent should offer you properties that meet your criteria, rather than offering you properties that really do not make the grade.

A good estate agent will also ensure that they are on time and available for appointments to view property, as there is nothing worse than being let down when you have travelled to see a property first-hand. If you are selling your property, your estate agent should act as a responsible representative of yourself as a vendor, so punctuality and reliability are key.

A great estate agent makes your property look good

If you are selling your property, a valuable estate agent should take the time to put effort into your sales listings. Attractive photography, excellent descriptions of the property, and the appearance of your property advert on web portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove are vital for a good chance of selling. Great estate agents make your property look good, rather than making putting it in a bad light.

What makes WA Barnes a great estate agent?

WA Barnes is an estate agent which ticks all the right boxes. Our agents are punctual, helpful, and willing to go out of their way to make your property dreams come true. We pride ourselves on being local experts, and we take your property requirements seriously. Contact us now for a conversation with our agents and a reliable service that will fulfil all your property needs.

New Mortgage Options Expand for High-Value Borrowers

New Mortgage Options Expand for High-Value Borrowers

The housing market is expanding its options for borrowers looking for more range in their mortgages. New products and larger loans are now on the table for those looking to buy into property of a higher value.

The best-ever choice of mortgages for buyers

Banks and building societies are now offering high-value borrowers more appealing mortgage packages to draw investors and higher net worth home buyers into the property market. Interest-only mortgage models are making a comeback, with higher net worth individuals being targeted for this renewed option.

Interest-only Mortgages: a good option for high-value properties?

An interest only mortgage requires monthly repayments, but only enough to cover the interest on the mortgage amount borrowed. The loan value itself is not reduced, and the full amount of the loan will need to be paid back at the end of the loan agreement period. Though interest only mortgage options dropped in popularity after the 2008 financial crisis, high net worth borrowers are now more likely to benefit from an interest only or part and part mortgage.

The interest only model is seen as riskier by lower value borrowers, but for higher worth individuals, a complicated income stream or a collection of assets of a higher value might make interest only more appealing. Many interest-only mortgage loan options come with a lower initial deposit value, making it a potential option for those looking to spend less in the short term, and more in the longer term. It may well be suitable for those looking to buy a property to rent it out as a private landlord, before selling the property at a later date to pay off their mortgage loan agreement. This would make money and help savings in the short term, and be affordable in the long term.

Short-term Mortgages

Leeds Building Society has widened its range of financial products for high-value borrowers, making mortgage prospects more attractive. The financial institution now has a two-year interest only mortgage, offered at 1.6% for a loan to value ratio of up to 50%. It also offers a 1.7% two-year mortgage, part fixed rate and part interest only, for a loan to value ratio of up to 75%.

The new financial products are offered as an attractive prospect for those interested in investing in property, or perhaps for those buyers who expect a significant increase in their income in the future. If the home buyers are expecting to have saved a significant sum during the mortgage loan period, it may be a cheaper option for them in the short term only to pay off the interest on their loan, rather than using a standard repayment package.

The interest only mortgage is ideal for those seeking to invest in property, whilst the part and part mortgage might be more appealing to home buyers. The products are made even more appealing as they come with a free valuation, legal services with fee assistance for remortgages, and a fee of only £1,999.

Other banks and building societies that offer this type of mortgage loan can be found on the high street. TSB, Halifax UK, and Skipton Building Society are just some of the financial institutions offering interest only loans. Those looking to take out a mortgage loan should be aware of the potential requirements for this type of loans; for example, a minimum income of £75,000 per year in salary may be required before the loan can be offered. Before taking out a mortgage loan of this type, borrowers should consult financial advisors and be aware of the risks and rewards of this kind of mortgage option. It is also advisable to explore the options available from different banks and building societies to find the mortgage loan that best suits your needs.

Is Your Garden At Risk From Thieves?

Is Your Garden At Risk From Thieves

Unfortunately, though our houses may be safe from the risk of theft, our gardens are a much easier target. Nottinghamshire has seen items such as aluminium garden planters and garden ornaments stolen from gardens, and there is a risk of even more valuable items being stolen.

It is best to evaluate your garden for its risk of theft to prevent the loss of garden valuables. Below is some guidance on how to evaluate your garden’s risk, and to reduce the risk of your garden being robbed.

What items of value do you have in your garden?

Over half of all households in the United Kingdom have had items stolen from their gardens. The average claim for a UK household for a garden theft is £208, with around £517 million paid out from insurance claims. With gardens being seen as an extension of many people’s homes, more money is being spent on gardens and garden embellishments, which tempts thieves.

Though it might seem unlikely, garden plants such as trees and shrubs, hanging baskets, and even turf is the most likely to be stolen. Second most at risk of theft is garden machinery, such as lawn mowers and other motorised gardening equipment, as well as hedge cutters and other sharp tools.

Third at most risk are garden furniture and pots, then children’s playhouses and other garden toys such as slides or swings. Sculptures are also likely to be lifted, as are barbecue sets and even chimeneas. Sporting equipment, such as golf clubs, tennis rackets, cricket sets and fishing tackle are all likely candidates for theft. Last but not least, exotic fish such as Koi carp have been known to be stolen from garden ponds!

If you are looking to sell your home, or are thinking of moving, consider taking steps towards making your property’s garden more secure as an inducement to potential buyers.

How can you reduce your risk of theft?

The first step to reducing your risk of theft from your garden is to ensure that valuable items that are easy to carry off – such as sporting equipment – is kept under lock and key, preferably indoors rather than in an outdoor structure.

Take adequate security measures for your home’s garden. Put up sturdy fencing, ensure gates are always locked, and keep an eye out for any unusual activity. Sheds and garages should be securely padlocked at all times. When items are taken out and used in the garden, they should be carefully put back into a secure location once they have been used to avoid valuable items being stolen.

Make sure that all entrances to your garden are kept closed and locked. Make sure that you remove easy access points to your garden. Things like trellises or ladders leaning against fences can be an easy point of access for thieves, so make sure they are put away.

If you can, mark your items so that they are easily identifiable to the police. Invisible ink can be used to put your postcode on items such as garden furniture, pots and machinery to help the police find your items if they are sold on. You should also take photographs of your items of value so that you can prove ownership if you have insurance.

You should insure your garden items, so if a theft does take place, you are already protected from the potential fallout. Even with the best preventative measures, things can happen, and having home insurance that covers your garden is the best precaution. The Royal Horticultural Society has warned that renters are particularly left bereft when items are stolen from their gardens, as they rarely take out home insurance. Make sure that you are covered, and if the worst does happen, you can rest easy knowing your items can be replaced.


Guide to Investing in Student Property in Nottinghamshire

student property

With the number of students attending university higher than ever, the demand for rooms and properties for rent by students has increased exponentially.

Why is the student property market in Nottingham good for investment?

The government’s move to lift the cap on the number of places a university can offer in the United Kingdom has led to a boost in the number of applicants, and as a result, an increase in the number of students looking for a home while they complete their studies.

There has also been a huge jump in the number of foreign students coming from outside the European Union, with numbers rising by 50% over the last decade. These students are seeking good value properties that they can share with other students and are willing to pay for convenient locations and space.

Students seeking affordable but satisfactory accommodation near to their University have created a unique opportunity for those looking to invest in property to rent out as a private landlord. With only about a third of all city accommodation being available to students in the UK, students are willing to put money into finding good accommodation.

Nottingham, in particular, provides an excellent market for getting involved in the student accommodation sector. With supply running low on places for students to live, landlords can take advantage of the growing need for student accommodation and make some serious money.

What investment options are there for student properties in Nottingham?

The student rental market in Nottingham provides a good opportunity for those looking to invest in houses and apartments that will make money consistently. Investors can purchase a home designed for student accommodation in a good location in Nottingham for around £170,000, renting out all four bedrooms on a house in multiple occupation, or HMO.

What should you consider before renting out a student property?

Investing in student property is a longer-term option, so potential landlords should be aware of this before putting their money into a property. However, the properties are unlikely to be left empty, as students – particularly students from overseas – need a home all year round. Rates for student properties are also higher than for a single family or individual renting a property.

Houses should be viewed before purchase, and considerations should be made for how a student will view the home. Does it have adequate communal areas? One of the key factors for a successful student property investment is location. Students are willing to walk a certain distance to their university, but properties closer to their centre of learning will be more desirable. Aim for a 30-minute walking distance if possible. Research the area to make sure it is in a safe location, as students will do their own research to find more stable areas.

The rent should be inclusive of all bills and have a steady and comprehensive broadband option. Students are more likely to select an easy rent payment, rather than having the hassle of sorting out the bills each month and splitting the fees multiple ways. Ensure that your rental price is fair – though students from overseas might be willing to pay a higher rent, UK students are more likely to go for good-value properties that provide the best package of price and location.

Do your research on HMO and property laws. Landlords should not be caught out with sub-par properties that are not designed for multiple occupations, as students are not likely to go for accommodation that is unsuitable for their needs or unsafe.

Taking the next steps

By bearing these factors in mind, renting out a student property in Nottingham is a worthwhile investment for those looking to make long-term financial gains. Consulting a property professional and using a reliable property agent is advisable for making the best investment possible in a student property.