Why The Best Pictures Are Essential When Selling Or Renting A Property


As the saying goes, “A picture paints a thousand words”. This has never been truer than when selling or renting a property. Today’s housing market continues its upward trend. Demand for homes is high, and our currently-healthy economy means that property values are higher than ever. However, despite the positivity of the market, a property will not sell itself on its own.

In order for a property to be appealing to a potential buyer, it must be portrayed in the best possible light. There’s no better way to do that than in a photograph. But why are pictures so important? They help to generate more interest in a property, and encourage would-be buyers to take a closer look.

How Important Are Good Pictures?

Today, most properties are advertised on websites such as Rightmove, where they are seen by hundreds, If not thousands of people. Although a picture may not reveal the whole story about a property, its job is significant as it will be responsible for providing that all-important first impression.

Portable Technology vs. Professional Photos

It is true that today’s mobile devices offer the best quality for photographs than they ever have before. However, this doesn’t mean that they are the best option when taking pictures of a property for the purposes of selling or renting. Indeed, some investment is still required if the goal is to ensure that professional photos have been taken.

When high-quality photos are used to sell a property, the seller is sending a very important message to would-be buyers: that they took the time to think about how they would portray a property, took the necessary steps to prepare the property, and invested time and money into the right equipment to photograph it.

Picture Quality Can Affect Sale Value

Although it may be difficult to believe, the amount of money a seller gets for their home is directly related to the quality of the photos taken of that property. But why is this? The answer is simple: times have changed. Just fifteen years ago, a prospective buyer would pick up a printed brochure of a property that consisted of one or two printed photos and a typescript that revealed more information.

Today, however, we are in the middle of a digital age. The average person is bombarded with as many as 5,000 adverts in a single day. Add to that the fact that technology has allowed us to do more and be busier than ever, and our attention spans are shorter than at any other time in history, and it becomes very clear just how much a photograph impacts the sale of a property. Today, we take information in small chunks of words and pictures.

Length Of Time And Final Price

Ensuring that a property is photographed properly can actually affect how long that property remains on the market, as well as how much it is sold for. It therefore becomes necessary to ensure that any real estate agent chosen to sell the property offers professional property photography as part of their service.

In ensuring that an agent has the necessary experience to ensure that attractive and professional property photographs will be taken, a property owner can realise a higher final selling price and a shorter time wait time for property sale.


Keep Buying: House Price Growth Sign Of Healthy, Growing Economy


House prices continue to rise in the UK. In London, prices have risen 11%, whilst in Cambridge and Bristol, 13% and 14% rises have been observed, respectively. Supply and demand is driving the rise. Behind the demand are several factors, including a rising divorce rate, which are creating the need for more single-person homes; as well as immigration and population growth.

Another reason for the price rise in UK homes is a combination of simple confidence and self-fulfilling prophecy. When people expect prices to rise, this causes increases to become a reality, causing even more confidence that prices will increase. Today’s reality is that market activity remains robust, despite predictions of a sudden drop due to economic uncertainty.

A Wealthier Feeling

Although higher house prices may seem like a negative thing, they are actually indicative of many positive occurrences. For example, higher house prices are a direct reflection of buyer confidence in their own financial stability. When a buyer feels wealthy and confident, they will spend more.

Homeowners can reap many benefits, including feeling as though they own a valuable asset, which they do. They can also ensure that this valuable asset benefits them well into retirement; when it’s time to downsize to a smaller home, the extra money from the sale can fund their retirement, or they can choose to enter an equity release scheme to produce needed cash.

Economic Resilience

Rising house prices mean that businesses are thriving. A higher turnover among small and medium sized enterprises in some UK cities has made them more prosperous. As well, this appears to be growing year on year. Another sign of economic resilience is coming from the charitable sector, which is experiencing a notable rise in charitable giving.

More Housing

As demand for homes in Nottinghamshire continues to increase, so too will the supply. Construction companies may need to hire more people to meet this demand, as well as obtain more materials, which fuels the growth of those businesses who supply the construction sector. More jobs and purchases only serve to strengthen the economy further, as well as address the severe housing shortage.

A Higher Return for Sellers

With demand for homes being higher than ever, sellers have a golden opportunity to get the best price for their homes. This is also a good time to either downsize by buying a smaller home, or purchase that dream home. Regardless what option is chosen, homeowners have the opportunity to spend their additional money on more assets or invest it, either of which will serve to increase personal wealth.

Lower Interest Rates Help

The Bank of England recently halved its interest rate from 0.5% to 0.25%, which has also significantly affected consumer spending. With such low rates, homeowners can increase their security by locking in a low rate. As well, these low rates mean that buyers can take their time to choose the best home for them, which translates into long-term security and a confidence boost.

The current housing market means that homeowners are in an ideal position to maximise their savings, whether they choose to do so by purchasing a smaller home, or by using the acquired value from a home sale to purchase additional investment products or assets.


How To Get More Out Of Your Garden


Although we don’t have summer all year round like other parts of the planet, the UK is known for its lovely English gardens. And when summer is in full swing, there is no place we’d rather be than outside. What better way to do that than to create another living space outdoors?

Not only is transforming your garden into another living space far less expensive than building an extension, but doing so also gives you the option to get as creative as you like. There are so many ways to create an outdoor living space; keep reading to get some ideas for living alfresco.

Get Social

Regular patio furniture is one thing; but sociable seating like sofas and easy chairs is quite another. Many shops have now embraced the outdoor living space, and so have far more options to offer than before in terms of living room-like items. Your garden gatherings can now accommodate any number of special guests. And no longer do you have to worry about ruined upholstery; modern outdoor living includes moisture-repelling fabrics and materials to ensure your guests always have a dry place to sit.

The ‘Wow’ Factor

If your garden already has one or more features like a wall or hedge, you can add lots of drama with lighting. However, there is far more to it than flipping a switch. For example, where you place your lighting can make a significant difference. On a textured wall, you can up-light, or place lighting near to the wall at its base. This will highlight the texture of the feature.

Other natural features like trees can also benefit from lighting. If there is a wall behind a tree, for example, you can place lights in such a way as to transfer the tree’s shadow to the wall. Another trick is to change the colour of a feature by ‘washing’ it with light.

A Comfortable Temperature

Many homeowners will spend a good part of their summer days outdoors. This means ensuring there is adequate shade during the day, and a place to take the chill off when the sun goes down. The former can be accomplished by installing a canopy or large umbrella over your favourite lounging area.

Fire is the ideal warmer for chilly summer nights, and there are many options for fire pits and chimeneas. Your garden room may also benefit from a patio heater, which can be purchased in virtually any size and style. Your outdoor heater can also do double duty as a focal point if your living area lacks other features.

Of course, there’s nothing like enjoying a chilly evening wrapped in a warm blanket. Draping a few blankets over your furniture will ensure that everyone can feel warm and comfy when using your outdoor space.

Easy Dress-Up For Your Outdoor Table

Anything goes these days, and your outdoor living area is no exception. Yes, your patio table may have seen better days, but when it’s part of your outdoor décor, it becomes instantly chic. Adding more rustic charm to this part of your outdoor space is easy; all that’s needed is to cut some fresh flowers from your garden and place them in a re-purposed pitcher of water, and voilà: instant country-style centrepiece.

A Chance To Decorate

Outdoor living spaces need accessories too. Today, there are many to choose from. From lounging Buddha’s to fairy lights and candles to wall tiles, there is an accessory to suit every personality.

If you want to tie your outdoor living space in with what’s going on inside your home, you can do this easily by choosing decorative accessories and furniture that echo the colour of the indoors. This will allow for easy flow from indoors to out.

With so many options available for expanding your space outdoors and adding value to your home in the process, there is no reason your dream of an alfresco living area cannot become reality.


Great News For First Time Buyers As BOE Cuts Interest Rates To Historic Low


Despite suspicions last month that the Bank of England (BOE) was going to cut its interest rates, the 0.5% rate remained. This month, however, the BOE surprised all by halving official interest rates to 0.25%. What does this mean for those who are looking to buy a home for the first time?

All-Time Lows

If you’re looking to purchase your first home, you’ll be excited to know that fixed-rate mortgages are lower than they have ever been. There is no better time than right now to see your lender and lock in that rock-bottom rate. Another benefit of the new rate for potential home buyers is that by taking advantage of low rates now, they can enjoy lower monthly mortgage repayments for the long term.

Perhaps the best news about the interest rate drop is, again, for first-time buyers. If this is you and your deposit is 35% or more, you will be able to get a 10-year fixed rate mortgage for an incredibly low rate, something the experts are calling a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.

Those who are already homeowners but who are planning to move before their term expires can also get cheaper rates by switching to a mortgage without early repayment cost fees.

Stronger Position, Plenty Of Time

First-time buyers will enjoy this new rate for many reasons, not the least of which is the chance to be in a stronger position for negotiating deals than they may have been previously. Those who are still looking for their ideal home need not worry, however; with rates as low as they are and a market that’s currently quiet, they can both take their time and enjoy less home-searching stress and place a lower bid than they were able to just two months ago.

Yet another benefit of these new rates for the first-time buyer? They have the time and the flexibility to walk away from anything they don’t consider to be a good deal.

Competitive Mortgage Prices On The Horizon

Would-be first-time homeowners who are having trouble deciding on the best buy may no longer have to sit on their hands, if experts are correct. These low rates are already inspiring mortgage providers to price competitively, which will provide some reassurance to buyers that they’re not only getting the best home to suit their requirements, but are also getting the best possible mortgage price.

More Choices For First-Time Buyers In The Future

The UK’s continuing housing shortfall means that new home demand will remain strong. When combined with the Bank of England’s interest rate cut, this means that there will be more options available for homes. Those looking to invest in their first property will find this option to be even more attractive than other asset classes.

Know What To Expect

For people who are still saving for a home or who have an existing mortgage, the best thing to do is to look at your current situation to see if there is any way the new rate cuts can benefit you. Current mortgage-holders will be contacted by their lenders and told how the cut will affect their rate and payments, if at all. Tracker mortgages already linked to the BOE base rate will see a quarter of a percent, something that hasn’t happened in quite some time.

The bottom line about the new rate cuts is that first-time home buyers will have more opportunities than ever to choose their ideal home at a very affordable rate.