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Your Move Property Blog

Thoughts, Opinions & Analysis of the UK Property Market

Top 5 tips – fresh from the First Time Buyer Home Show!

October 24, 2014 08:18 by YOUR MOVE

Last Saturday (18th October)  was spent in the company of literally hundreds of First Time Buyers at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

They all had one thing in common – they were eager for advice and help in their search for that first step onto the property ladder.

We had a team of 8 advisers who were all in constant demand throughout the day (note to self – take more advisers to the next show to reduce the queues!) .

In between hosting and watching seminars and helping lots of people I was lucky enough to speak to the genuinely lovely Nicki Chapman (TV celebrity on shows such as Wanted Down Under and Escape to the Country)  and the property expert / analyst Kate Faulkner who is often a source of ideas and inspiration to me on educating consumers on what’s the right thing to do and how to save money!  

It occurred to me when we were packing up at the end of the day that as great as it was, for some it might be a case of information overload – this got me thinking about what were the 5 top tips from the day ?

 

1. Research your own credit file 

 

•Check to see what is on there and you CAN change it if it is wrong. 

•Avoid applying for credit in the weeks/months running  up to applying for your first mortgage

•Think very carefully (a bit sensitive this one!) about opening joint accounts - your partner’s credit history may not be as ‘clean’ as your own

•If you don’t have any credit this isn’t actually a good thing – lenders like to see how you manage debt. Using a credit card and clearing the balance every month is always a good idea

•The 3 main agencies are Experian , Equifax and Callcredit.  Noddle is a good place to start as it is genuinely free!

 

2. Get advice from a broker

 

•Check what you can afford to borrow before you start looking– it sounds obvious but lots of buyers don’t do this 

•Put yourself in a strong position if you are in competition for your dream home – sellers want to hear you have finance sorted out in principle

•Make sure they offer a wide choice of lenders in the market 

•Check that they are qualified (they should hold qualifications such as Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) of Financial Planning Certificate (FPC)

•Look at their track record – have they been recognised for service and advice excellence? 

•Do NOT pay them any fees until you are ready to apply for your mortgage – the best brokers (like most professionals) will charge but not until you are ready to proceed

 

3. Research the market

 

•You may have your heart set on a particular location or even street but don’t discount other options

•Look at what has sold recently in the area – Zoopla is great for establishing what the property came onto the market for and when it came on (as well as showing any price reductions)

•Weigh up the cost of moving a little further away from your ideal area – commute costs/times vs the extra accommodation and space it might give you

•Look for areas where investment is being made in the infrastructure (eg new shops , transport links , large employers moving in) – this may help to increase the value over time of your first home

•Make sure you speak to the local estate agents – they can be a great source of information on the area and what is desirable and what isn’t (and why!)

 

4. There are schemes to help First Time Buyers

 

•Shared ownership (a combination of owning a share and renting the remaining share) can be a great way to get on the property ladder – check out SharetoBuy.com

•Help to Buy can help you with an interest free loan from the government on new properties for the first 5 years  and reduce your mortgage interest payments

•You can get help buying ‘older’ properties with the Help to Buy 2 scheme as well 

•Listening to Nicki Chapman interview 2 first time buyers was uplifting – don’t underestimate the sheer joy of owning your own home – their advice was ‘go for it’ 

•A good broker will be aware of all the options – use their experience to help decide what is the best route for you  

 

5. Be disciplined!

 

•Before you start looking for your first home fill in a budget planner (a good broker can help you with this) to help yourself understand your future outgoings

•Set yourself a maximum amount that you are comfortable paying each month and then stick to it. This will dictate what the maximum amount you should borrow. Not the other way round! 

•Consider fixing your payments for as long as possible to help budget for longer – interest rates are likely to rise in the near future so don’t get caught out 

•Make sure you leave yourself enough money left over to save each month – this will help you with maintenance or unexpected bills 

 

Hopefully this will help you on your way to owning your first home ! 

 

by Simon Cox,National Financial Services Director




Thinking outside the box - what to do with your cardboard boxes

October 21, 2014 09:42 by YOUR MOVE

You have done it – you have unpacked and moved into your new home! The next question is what do you do with all the empty cardboard boxes you have been left with? Did you know that each year the UK alone produces 8 million tonnes of cardboard and research shows that the everyday house move uses on average a total of 60 cardboard boxes.  That is a lot of cardboard, which can be used for so many other things!   

For the Kids...

Children love to make a mess and get creative and with half term fast approaching these ideas will keep them out of trouble. There are lots of fun and exciting things they can create from a simple cardboard box. Just one or two cardboard boxes can be transformed into an adrenalin pumping stair slide, a costume (especially useful with Halloween coming up!), a car or train track or even some cardboard box kitchen appliances such as a mini-oven – the list goes on.

Top 5 for Kids...

- Stair slide
- Fancy dress costumes
- Puppet show theatre
- Giant dice
- Car/train playmat

Practical Uses...

Maybe you fancy doing something a little more practical with your left over boxes? Just a bit of scrap fabric can transform a cardboard box into a lovely storage box - we particularly liked these personalised ones with wooden letters. Another idea is to cut up your boxes and use them to make some unique and individual ‘we have moved’ cards. For all you avid gardeners, cardboard boxes can come in extremely useful during the winter months in protecting your plants and grass from frost and make excellent plant pots!

Top 5 Practical Uses…

- 'We have moved' cards
- Storage boxes
- Photo frames
- Pet beds/scratching posts
- Grass frost protection

Take a look at our Pinterest board for even more helpful ideas and let us know what you did with your boxes. 




September 2014 Buy to Let Index

October 20, 2014 16:43 by Your Move Press Office

 

RENTS HIT FRESH RECORD DESPITE SHARP SLOWDOWN IN ANNUAL RISES

  •  New all-time record high of £768 per month for average residential rents across England & Wales
  • Comes despite slower rent rises of just 1.5% in year to September, down from 2.4% in year to August
  •  Tenant finances improve with only 7.2% of all rent in arrears, falling from 8.5% in September last year
  • House price rises take landlords’ gross returns to record 13.4% before mortgage or maintenance costs

Overview:

Rents have edged to a new all-time record, at a slowing annual rate of just 1.5%, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from the UK’s largest lettings agent networks, Your Move and Reeds Rains. Residential rents across England and Wales now average £768 per month, or £10 higher than in September 2013. On a monthly basis September’s average rents are 0.8% higher than in August, representing a rise of £7 in absolute terms since the previous month. Annual growth has slowed dramatically since August, when rents were 2.4% higher than a year before – rising just 1.5% over the twelve months ending September 2014.

Commentary:

David Newnes, Director of Estate Agents Your Move, comments: “Historically rent rises have broadly tracked inflation.  And as the wider cost of living grows ever more slowly, so too has the cost of renting a home.
“That said, autumn is always a busy period for the lettings industry, and this has been no exception.  Looking ahead, it is likely that rents in most parts of the UK will have now reached their seasonal peak – so as the market cools along with the autumn weather there may be opportunities for some tenants to pick up a favourable deal."    

Read the full Index

 

 

 

 

 




Scottish House Price Index - October 2014

October 15, 2014 08:40 by YOUR MOVE

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August 2014 Scottish House Price Index

October 14, 2014 12:26 by Your Move Press Office

House Prices fall for the first time in a year

· Average Scottish house price drops 0.2% in August, as over half the country sees price falls
· But strongest August in 7 years for house sales, despite monthly dip ahead of referendum
· New peak prices reached in East Lothian and Aberdeen City, while values drop in Edinburgh

Commentary on the Scottish Index
Gordon Fowlis, Regional Managing Director of Your Move, comments: “The powerful spell of growth cast over the Scottish property market was broken in August, as house prices fell for first time in a year. At a time when property values across the rest of the UK were continuing to grow, Scotland moved against the grain and average house prices dropped across more than half the country – including Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire, South Lanarkshire, East Dunbartonshire and Fife.

“It’s been an unpredictable and momentous few months in Scotland’s history. In August, uncertainty was still rife over the outcome of the independence referendum, and this hindered the pace of activity in the housing market. Sales in August were 8% below the typical seasonal trend, as sellers shirked the market and buyers postponed purchase decisions until the dust settled. This trend appears more acute at the top tiers of the market, where there were bigger investments at stake, and there was an 11% drop in the number of homes sold across Scotland for over £1 million between July and August. But this didn’t poison the longer-term health of the market, and this was the strongest August for house sales since 2007.”

Read the full index




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