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Could home improvements be ruining your property value?

We all love doing a bit of DIY or undertaking a renovation project, especially with so many of us staying in and working from home. However, sometimes those home improvements don’t actually increase your home value…

Some home improvements cause a deterioration in value when the time comes to sell your property on, while others won’t move the needle either way.

This makes it an important thing to consider before you decide whether to go ahead with your next project. After all, the wrong decision could end up costing you twice: once to pay for the job, and then again when you sell.

We’ll take you through some of the worst home improvements you can make if you’re thinking of selling up in the not-too-distant future.

Removing a bedroom

Doing away with a bedroom may seem questionable at first glance, and you’d be right! Losing a bedroom can end up being one of the costliest mistakes a homeowner makes when it comes to home improvements.

Living spaces are commonly listed with three vital statistics: Price, number of bedrooms, and number of bathrooms. Negatively altering this key selling point is simply asking for trouble and could end up costing you as much as a 15% loss in value when you put your home on the market.

Reasons for getting rid of a bedroom usually fall into one of two camps: Turning two smaller bedrooms into one bigger room or doing a complete overhaul and creating another bathroom. Either way, it’s highly likely that your plans will be detrimental to the price of your property. Don’t do it!

Adding solar panels

This one is a little less straightforward and needs a lot more consideration than removing a bedroom. Installing solar panels is a costly affair, and research shows that when homeowners put their properties on the market the return on their investment is a big, fat 0%.

Now, that doesn’t mean to say solar panels are worthless. Far from it. But you should definitely give serious thought to the reasons why you are installing them before you go ahead.

If, for example, you’re not intending to move for the foreseeable future, then installing solar panels may well become a perfectly viable option financially, as you’ll get your money back and then some by way of reduced energy bills.

Installing them because you’ve heard that buyers are more frequently looking for eco-friendly homes in today’s property market isn’t such a good idea. While this train of thought seems sound enough, the reality is a bit more nuanced. In the main, solar panels are regarded as a selling point, but some buyers simply can’t stand the look of them and will actively avoid homes with them in place.

Getting a new kitchen

Kitchens, kitchens, kitchens. It’s all anyone talks about, so putting in a brand spanking new kitchen with state of the art fixtures and fittings must be a no-brainer if you want to up your property’s value, no?

No.

While it’s certainly true that everyone loves a beautiful kitchen, not everyone agrees on what constitutes beautiful. It’s also highly unlikely that your buyer will want the same appliances that you do, even if they are the bee’s knees in your mind.

So, while it may be tempting to overhaul your kitchen prior to putting your home on the market, we’d advise against it…even if yours really is in desperate need of renovation. We’ve lost count of the number of brand-new kitchens we’ve seen in skips just weeks after the new owners have moved in. Don’t waste your money.

Redoing the bathroom

Similar to putting in a brand-new kitchen, spending a lot of money on upgrading your bathroom just prior to going to market isn’t the best idea in the world.

Just like the kitchens we’ve already covered, bathrooms can often be loved and loathed in equal measure. Some will want brilliant white, other’s blue, while the next will want deep, dark tones…it’s guesswork as to what your prospective purchasers will want, so why get involved?

Another common bathroom clanger is getting rid of the bath. Shower only bathrooms make sense on the surface but, when it comes to selling your home, not having a bath in place can alienate a surprising number of people.

It may not send the price southwards, but we Brits like to soak so much that it could well put people off buying your home if there’s no bath installed.

Hanging pricey wallpaper

Wallpaper can reach extraordinary heights in terms of price, but it can be a tempting fix for those who may be looking for a quick way to spruce up their home before a sale. We all know, though, where temptation can lead us.

A lot will come down to taste once more. What you like, others will hate. Pure and simple. That’s fine if you’re staying put, but not the best idea if you’re thinking of moving on. Neutral painted walls are always the way to go.

There’s also another reason not to hang expensive wallpaper prior to sale. Home buyers are now well versed in the way of viewing a property, and the vast majority will enter your home with one eye on redecoration…regardless of whether they can still smell the wallpaper paste!

Not only are the chances high they’ll disagree on your choice of pattern, it’s also a fair bet that some will be put off by the thought of having to strip every wall in the house to get things how they want it to be. Creating unnecessary work for your buyers is not a savvy move.

Media room madness

Losing a whole room to watching telly, playing video games, or listening to music may be a dream for some, but in reality, not many people prefer media rooms over more practical uses, especially when space and storage in the home is tight.

Now, you may be thinking, ‘What difference if someone installs a huge TV in one room with a sofa and nothing else?’. Well, the problem usually arises from the fact that most media rooms actively incorporate the hardware into the room itself. Built-in systems are just that – built in.

This calls for major renovation work and can cost up to £30k if done properly. That’s a ridiculous amount of money if you’re in a semi-detached home with only two or three bedrooms, and it’ll likely add a paltry £2k to £3k when you sell up. Not a good investment return.

Are you looking to improve your home value or wondering if your DIY will be a good investment later down the line? Get in touch and our home experts can help.

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15 crucial tips every tenant needs to know

We’ve learned a lot over the years from tenants who wish they had sorted ‘X’ and ‘Y’ to save them the hassle later. In order to pass on the wisdom, we’ve condensed that advice into 15 useful tips which will ensure a smooth transition from home to home…

There can be a lot to think about when renting your new home. You may be busy packing, enjoying your first taste of independence, or even planning out your first housewarming, but ensure that in all the craziness, you don’t forget about the important, boring stuff which could save you a major headache down the line.

Following these golden rules will ensure a happier process for all:

1.     Create a monthly budget.

As well as rent, you also need to consider bills, fees, travel and food.

2.     Make a good impression.

The property isn’t the only thing being looked at – a landlord wants a tenant who appears professional, polite and prompt.

3.     Get your references lined up as rentals often move fast.

Once you’ve decided, move quickly with your offer. Make sure you have enough cash set aside for the first month’s rent and deposit.

4.     Before you sign any contracts, you need to complete an inspection of the property with either the agent or landlord.

Whilst the landlord is not required to fix anything, they cannot hold the tenant liable for the damages at the end. An outgoing inspection is also a necessity.

5.     As a tenant, you should thoroughly read through the lease agreement.

Take notes and write down any questions that you have. This agreement is also the perfect place to note down any maintenance issues that the landlord has agreed to fix.

6.     Follow the lease agreement.

If it says no pets or that you can’t hang pictures up, then don’t.

7.     Ensure you have contents cover and that your deposit is covered in The Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme.

8.     Shop around for energy suppliers.

Just because it isn’t your property doesn’t mean that you can’t change. You could even save hundreds by switching. It is also important to take a meter reading when you move in.

9.     Communication with your landlord is key.

Don’t go overboard but keep them in the loop about the property and should there be a problem regarding rent payment, tenants must notify the landlord in advance.

10.  Make sure you know where the stopcock is.

This is the off-switch for all water in your home. Hopefully you’ll never need it but it’s a necessity to know if a pipe bursts.

11.  Be nice to the neighbours and respect them.

12.  Be aware that your landlord should ask before entering.

They should get in touch in advance to arrange a time that is suitable for you and if they do enter without your permission, you can contact Citizens Advice.

13.  Give the full notice.

Landlords want a tenant who is reliable and if you leave on good terms, you are more than likely to get a good reference.

14.  When your contract nears the end, take pictures of the property as evidence that you have left it in a good condition.

15.  Redirect your post and update all addresses.

Finally treat the property as if it was your own and remember that a happy landlord makes for a happy renting process!

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Take home décor tips from Sweden by implementing ‘Mysig’!

As home décor goes, cosy is the way forward in the colder months. Whether you’re staging your home for a winter sale or just looking forward to cuddling up under blankets, these small changes to your surroundings can make all the difference…

Winter in the UK can be freezing but if you’re dreading the cold weather, you’re not alone. Nearly half of Brits admit to feeling low during the dark evenings so to help the nation see the winter light, we are providing our top tips to ‘creating cosy’ ahead of the onset of the coldest months. It’s also good to know all these tips will help sell a house during the bleak, darker months of the year!

Take your home décor tips from Sweden. With temperatures plummeting to as low as -30°C, winter in Sweden is all about enjoying ‘cosy’. They even have their own term – Mysig – that describes both the concept of cosiness and the pleasure that it provides. There is so much to love about winter – cosy nights in, dimmed lighting and candles, intimate gatherings with friends or family, comfort food, roaring fires, wrapping up warm…

1.     The great winter cover up.

When it’s dark and cold outside, there’s nothing better than getting your cosy-on indoors. Make sure good quality blankets are dotted around your home ready to wrap up at a moment’s notice. Go for the minimal look and stick to neutral colours and subtle patterns but the most important thing is to choose soft, snuggly blankets for maximum cosiness.

2.     Satisfying scents.

An inviting scent makes us happier to be home and can significantly impact our mood. Freshly laundered clothes top the nation’s favourite smells list but for the cosiest and most welcoming of whiffs this winter, we suggest the smell of baking.

3.     Brighten dark nights with flickering light.

Candles should be a staple of the home, especially in winter. Electric candles can look just as effective but no matter what type of candle you go for, dim the lights and enjoy dancing flicker. The essence of cosy in winter is, without doubt, a roaring fire. A log fire will make your home inviting, keep you toasty, and creates a warming glow for the cosiest of living spaces.

4.     Winter reads.

Snuggling up with a good book is a splendid way to get through the long winter evenings. Rather than spending time glued to apps, tackling emails or social media, reading is a great way to escape the daily grind and the perfect distraction for a successful ‘digital detox’. Popping some books around will ensure you can grab a good story in minutes, and can look great as decoration.  

A Swedish cultural gem, the term Mysig incorporates all of the above. Mysig translates as ‘cosy’ and describes the happiness we feel from a warm and welcoming environment. To achieve Mysig, relax in the bath with candles, curl up on the sofa with a good book, do some baking, enjoy coffee and cake with friends, surround yourself with snuggly soft furnishings… It’s about embracing downtime, making our homes cosy and spending quality time alone or with others.

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Your step-by-step for passing on property wealth

We all want to leave our best for the next generation. Whether you have a property portfolio, are considering putting future inheritance in property, or just own a home and want to ensure it stays protected, see our golden rules for passing on that wealth efficiently…

Each situation is different, and you’ll need to seek out legal financial advice for your specific next steps, and ensure you are aware of the tax implications of leaving your property to your family.

Before you choose your financial adviser, take a look at our checklist below, compiled to help you choose the best person to assist you, and so you know the sort of questions you need to ask…

1.     Make a list of all your wealth, including property you own, financial investments, pensions, life cover, cash deposits and other such as Premium Bonds.

2.     If you have a will, secure a copy and check when it was last updated and if your circumstances have changed since then.

3.     Work out your financial objectives; for example, do you want income in later life? Capital lump sums? What level of risk do you wish to take? Can you afford to lose access and gift assets?

4.     Source three potential independent financial advisers to speak with.

5.     Compare the service each independent financial adviser offers, including personal visits and how transparent their investments are. 

6.     Ensure you have an financial adviser who provides independent advice, understands all types of assets and how they behave on life and death.

7.     Ensure your chosen financial adviser completes a detailed financial audit of your affairs.

8.     Make sure your financial adviser is not simply going to carry out an instruction you give but advise on and discuss all issues including the difficult ones with you. Go through the wealth manager’s proposals in detail and make sure you are happy with their recommendations, discuss what changes you would like and items you are nervous about.

9.     Check the financial adviser will instruct a suitably qualified trust and estate planning solicitor to create and keep your will up to date as your wealth or circumstances change.

10.  If you have property assets, make sure your finances and wealth are in order so your children and family receive as much of your wealth as possible, more so understanding the way in which your property ownership is structured.

11.  If you own property, ensure you keep a check on the estimated value; this will help with assessing capital gains tax and inheritance tax. This will assist in creating better documents such as a will and ideas on how the assets should be managed.

12.  Understand who will receive your wealth and how much of your wealth you would like to go to them, at what age and their relationship to you.

13.  Understand what lifetime gifts you can make to reduce the value of your estate for inheritance tax purposes and the potential consequences of making gifts. 

If you would like to secure more of your wealth in property or build a portfolio to pass on to the next generation, get in touch and we can guide you towards the best investments with long lasting results locally.

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Your ultimate guide to purchasing an investment property

Whether you’re looking to gain monthly profit from a tenant or grow your money in a capital investment, property is still proving to be a fantastic way to make passive income. There are things to consider before buying though, see our top tips before you make the jump…

As with any property advice, each property and buy-to-let situation is different, so be sure to ask for specific advice before you get started. Agents can often spot an incredible opportunity from a mile off and guide you in the right direction.

1.     Calculate your yield               

A rental yield tells you how much of an annual return you are likely to get on your investment.

Gross rental yield calculation:

(Annual rent ÷ property purchase price) x 100 = gross rental yield

For example… (£6,000 ÷ £150,000) x 100 = 4.4%

Calculate the potential return on any rental property you are considering buying to help evaluate if it has investment potential. Speak to a local letting agent to get an idea of the projected rent for the property.

2.     Consider capital growth

It is also worthwhile considering how long you plan to own the property, and how much it may increase in value during that time. Ultimately, capital growth also contributes to your overall return on investment.

3.     Check for demand           

Certain areas and type of property attract a higher demand from tenants than others. When you’re searching for an investment property, make sure you speak to a local letting agent who will be able to advise you about demand in each area.

4.     Look for convenience

Parking, access to transport links, local amenities – all these things will increase the property’s appeal to tenants.

5.     Widen your target market

Think about buying a property which will appeal to a wide section of renters rather than what would be your personal preference. This will increase the demand, helping to maintain a good rental value and minimise void periods.

6.     Avoid major downsides

Such as difficult access, strange layouts, high levels of noise pollution, dangerously steep gardens – anything that is likely to put potential tenants off.

7.     Estimate your cost of maintenance and repair

All outgoings – including any routine maintenance and repair – will impact on your net rental yield; so factor this in when deciding on what type of property to invest in.

8.     Factor in fees

Count in your mortgage re-payments, agency fees and the expected cost of landlord insurance, building insurance and rent protection insurance if you intend to use it. You will typically find that leasehold properties might be cheaper to buy but will have annual management fees and/or ground rents which you need to calculate into your yield.

9.     Minimise voids

A void period is the name given when a property is vacant and results in a loss of income. Choosing the right tenants right from the start and building a good relationship with your tenants can help keep void periods to a minimum.

10.  Check the Energy Performance Certificate

Since October 2008, rental properties in England and Wales have required an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

On April 1st 2018, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) came into force. This required all properties being let or sold in England and Wales to have a minimum EPC rating of ‘E’ or above. From 1st April 2020, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards apply to all existing tenancies – not just new ones or renewals.

The government have proposed that all rental properties will need an EPC rating of ‘C’ or above by 2025. Like the previous changes, the new regulations will be introduced for new tenancies first, followed by all tenancies from 2028. Check the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of the property before making an offer.

Ready to get started? Get in touch to see what potential buy-to-let properties we have available in your local area or for any follow up questions about becoming a landlord.

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Debunking 7 property misconceptions

It happens in every industry – there’s always a few assumptions, myths, half-truths out there which everyone assumes is true when they aren’t. Separate fact from fiction and find out if what you’ve read online is really the truth…

Have you ever heard of throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it’s cooked? Placing a spoon in a fizzy wine bottle to stop it going flat? That throwing around uncooked rice can cause a bird to explode? (That last one is ridiculous, but I really believed it!)  There are many myths that we follow everyday which simply aren’t true.

There’s also plenty of them floating around in the property industry – assumptions made which some read online or hear by word of mouth and believe to be true. We’re here to bust those myths and misconceptions so you can avoid any costly mistakes going forward…

Misconception 1: All estate agents are the same

This is a common one. Not only are individual estate agents different but companies are also very different and will go about your sale differently. Look around and find the perfect agent for you – after all this is a big job and you need to have complete trust in the person you choose to do it.

Misconception 2: You need to price your house with space for negotiation

The Internet has allowed potential buyers to research the local area resulting in them being able to see what similar properties sold for. If you price your house too high, not only will you put buyers off, but you also run the risk of not getting any offers, leaving your property on the market. Once a property has been on the market for an extended period, people begin to wonder if there is something wrong with it. Instead, focus on pricing your property on its worth. Many properties are sold at or above their asking price these days!

Misconception 3: Your house doesn’t need to be ‘sale’ ready

Whilst some empty houses do sell, houses that already look like ‘home’ often sell better. People want to be able to envision their own family in the property. It is also important to clean your home and repair any minor problems or DIY mistakes as if left, a potential buyer will begin to think about the things they can’t see. Most people want a home that is in a move in condition, even if they plan to do some renovations.

Misconception 4: Spring is the best time to sell

While homes do sell in spring, they also sell in summer, autumn and winter. The truth may be that people can’t be bothered in the winter and would prefer to wait a few weeks until the days are lighter and the weather is brighter – however, overall there isn’t a best time to sell your home.

Misconception 5: You should choose the agent who says they will sell your house for the highest price

You should choose an agent based on their experience and knowledge of the local market. Pricing your home high may be appealing but it will just end up on the market for too long causing suspicion with potential buyers. Instead, choose an agent who you trust and have faith in, offer great marketing and know your area.

Misconception 6: If your offers are low, your agent is not working hard enough

It is very easy to point the finger of blame at an agent if your sale isn’t going as fast or smooth as you’d like. If your offers aren’t matching the asking price, there could be many reasons, from overpricing to terrible marketing to an unfavourable market. Ask your agent to explain why it may not be selling and get them to give regular updates on what they are doing to get your home out there.

Misconception 7: Estate agents will say anything to get a sale

Much of the estate agent business is done on referral and if an agent constantly lied, they wouldn’t receive business. Word of mouth will soon spread about an untrustworthy agent. Check reviews and ask people in your local town to find the best agent for your property and you.

Whether you are buying or selling, the property world can be daunting and confusing but hopefully the confusion between fact and fiction has been solved. If you have any questions, then please get in touch!

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Staged hallways sell homes

Staged hallways sell homes

It’s proven that within a few minutes of walking into your home, many buyers have already decided if it’s for them or not. First impressions are key, so why are we dismissing the first ‘room’ to be stepped in? Find out how to stage your hallways to sell your home…

It’s time to give your hallway some attention. As a buyer steps into a home, in their mind that first view of home must be something they want to come home to, every day. If they are put off in the first few steps, what chance do you have? Many forget the entrance hall when staging a home, considering the kitchen, bedrooms, living room more important, but we’re here to say a well-staged hallway can sell a home. It’s time to give it a spruce!

1.     Clear the clutter

This tip may seem obvious, but you need to create the sensation of space in the hall, so be ruthless and limit each family member to one coat and one pair of shoes in the hall. Make sure you put your bike in storage and clear that build-up of junk mail. Use hooks on the wall or tuck coat racks under the stairs, if possible, to maximise the space.

2.     Keep paint pale and neutral

Unless you have an impressively large, period hallway that can carry off traditional, darker paint colours, keep the walls of your hallway pale and neutral. Neutral colours help people to imagine their own furniture in the space and pale colours make the room appear larger.  Keep ceilings white. Try painting the baseboards the same colour as the floor to make the floor space appear larger.

3.     Keep it light and bright

There is a reason that estate agents will describe a property as “bright” – dark homes simply don’t sell as fast, so take the time to think about the lighting in your hall. If the ceiling is high use a pendant light, but if the ceiling is lower use an uplighter. If the front door does not have a window in it, would it be possible to change the door for one with glazing, or could interior doors with glass add light from other connecting rooms?

4.     Flawless floors

In a hallway, people’s eyes are drawn to the floors so make sure they are worthy of inspection. Again, keep colours neutral. Wooden flooring is most popular while stone or Victorian tiles are popular in period properties. Sisal or coir carpets are also popular, but make sure that the carpets are meant for high-wear areas so that they can withstand the traffic. Also make sure you have doormats inside and out so that your prospective buyers don’t wreck your efforts to maintain a top-notch floor with mud and rain.

5.     Depersonalise the hall

Get rid of any family photos. The buyer needs to be able to picture themselves living in the home, so keep pictures to a minimum. Instead, hang a mirror on the wall, so that when buyers enter the space, they are literally seeing themselves in your home. The mirror also reflects light and creates a sense of space.

If you’re ready to put your home on the market or are thinking about how best to stage it for when you do, get in touch! We can give you bespoke advice on your home to get it sold for the best price.

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Child-proof your home move!

Child-proof your home move!

With second steppers on the rise, it’s feasible you could be attempting a move or the packing/unpacking with small children. Here’s how to keep them safe throughout the process…

Many recommend that you arrange childcare during your home move, but this isn’t always feasible. You could live far from relatives, have a child who wants to be involved, or have had your moving days extend out further than you thought. Even if you have someone to watch them on the day, there’ll be plenty of ‘unpacking’ days ahead, and if you find yourself with little ones while moving home, don’t fret!

It’s commonly known that the most frequently occurring accidents happen inside the home, and the last thing you want is for them to happen part-way through your move. While you’re busy labelling boxes and meeting the new neighbours, make sure to think about everything your little one could get up to. With a little extra care and attention, your move can be safe and accident-free.

Install safety gates

If you have a child under two, it is recommended that you install safety gates on the stairs as soon as you can, even before the child enters the house. This sounds drastic, but they will be very excited and keen to explore and you may be busy with the move and easily distracted from supervising them as closely as you would normally.

Keep windows and doors secure

While moving, doors and windows are often open as people come in and out the house with boxes. Make sure that windows and doors are secure while you’re busy sorting out the new house and ensure your child can’t run or climb out while you’re pre-occupied with unboxing.

Keep furniture at a safe distance

We all know toddlers love to climb, so when it comes to moving day, although you may not have decided where you want your furniture to be positioned, we recommend that you keep it away from windows until you are sure. Once you do settle on a final position, it is advisable to secure furniture in place, particularly if it’s a heavy cabinet or table.

Explore the garden

Gardens are a great place for children to play, but it’s a good idea to have a walk around your new garden to check whether your children might be able to find their way into neighbouring gardens or out onto the street and secure the area if necessary. As babies and young children can drown in as little as 5cm of water, if your garden has a pond or water butt, it is recommended that you install appropriate safety measures as soon as possible.

Get used to your surroundings

If you’ve moved to a new area or even just a new street, it is likely that the roads, as well as the volume and speed of traffic, will be unfamiliar. We recommend you practice the new school run if you can – even with older children. To help children get used to a new area, research it with them so they can get excited about the new opportunities.

If you are looking for your dream property or have any questions about getting started with your home move, get in touch today and we will be more than happy to help.

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Checklist for moving up to a larger home

Checklist for moving up to a larger home

How to downsize gets talked about a lot these days, but many don’t discuss how to trade up when buying a new home. There’s plenty of reasons you might be looking for a bigger home – a growing family, a pet, a lack of space, a want for a home office. Ensure you follow our checklist to miss nothing when moving on up…

This checklist should be seen as a general guide, and you should always consult a professional agent for specific advice for you when moving to a larger home. You’ll need to consider many things such as timing, equity, mortgages and needs to have everything run smoothly, but once you’re in, imagine the happiness in your new space!

 

So, here’s our checklist – feel free to print it off and tick off as you go along.

·      Research the current market

·      Research what your property might be worth – be realistic!

·      Get an Estate Agent to value your home, ask for an explanation of their price

·      Instruct your Estate Agent

·      Choose a Conveyancer

·      Find out how much equity you have in your home

·      Find out how much the property you’ll want will likely cost

·      What can you borrow? Talk to your mortgage broker

·      How easy will it be to buy and sell – should you rent?

·      Budget for the move

·      Brief your agent about the type of home you’d like to buy

·      Carry out viewings (your agent should undertake this)

·      Make sure you are getting viewings on your own property BEFORE you get excited about viewing other peoples

·      Accept an offer before you make an offer

·      Organise surveys

·      Finalise your mortgage offer and insurance

·      Get regular updates from your agent/conveyancer about your purchase

·      File all important purchase documents for the future

·      Choose a removals company

·      Start organising your boxes and packaging

·      Exchange contracts

·      Organise a change of address

·      Complete on your sale and your purchase and move in

·      Keep all your paperwork safe

·      Check the SDLT forms have been filed

Remember, depending on your situation, or if the chain falls through somewhere, this process may change. The important thing is to keep up to date with your agent on what’s currently happening and fill in forms, signatures, and information as promptly as possible to keep things moving.

Moving doesn’t need to be a stress, and the satisfaction of a new home with more space is the reward at the end! Get in touch today to get started.

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‘Autumn cleaning’ your clutter away

‘Autumn cleaning’ your clutter away

With a new season approaching, it’s always good to consider the ‘de-clutter and store’ for your home. Finding new ways to store away your items can leave your home feeling fresh, new, and ready to tackle the remainder of the year. Here are some simple storage solutions that will keep your house feeling tidy and everything in order, while still looking smart and stylish…

The majority of us will reach a point with our homes where we simply don’t have enough room to put everything and it feels like our house is becoming cluttered up with “stuff” – books, shoes, bags and more.

Finding that extra space to keep all of your belongings may feel like an impossible task, but there are actually lots of different ways to keep the clutter at bay.

Behind the door

The space behind doors is very rarely utilised, but it offers up a world of possibilities. A set of shallow shelves can be mounted behind a door to create extra space in your kitchen – all you need is a rubber bumper to stop the door from hitting them.

In the bathroom, your door can be used to attach hanging storage to. These can be filled with toiletries, towels, slippers and more; they are cheap to buy and can make a huge difference to the space available.

Shelving units

Although one bookshelf or storage unit can look a bit out of place if you just bring it into a room on its own, by placing multiple shelving units flush against the walls you can create the look of built-in storage.

Most shelving units are pretty easy to put together, and you can even make your own if you’re feeling crafty. If you keep the shelves quite shallow, then they shouldn’t take away too much space in the room but will help you keep it tidy.

Stud space cabinet

If you live in a very small house, then you may not have the space to add any extra storage units. One of the best ways to create extra room is by recessing shelves into the walls of your house.

Find a space with no obstructions and locate the studs in the wall. When you have found a good space, you can install the shelves or ask a handyman to help you do it – it can be fiddly, so it’s always good to get an expert on board.

Closet space

Of course, you will have lots of storage space in your closet, and this can be enhanced with multiple in-cupboard storage solutions, but often people forget about the extra space a cupboard may have around it.

Often cupboards and cabinets are situated in a room so that there is still a space between the side of the cupboard and the wall. This means you can utilise that gap with some extra shelves. You can also usually use the space above a cupboard for extra storage.

Under the stairs

Lots of homes already make the most of the space under the stairs with a small cloakroom or downstairs loo, but many properties still have quite a large space available to be used.

If you have a space, then think about how you can turn it into shelving or create a nice cupboard to store extra bits and bobs. If your staircase is near your front door, then you could use the space to hang coats and shoes in.

Have you got any innovative storage or declutter ideas for the home? Let us know!