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How to have a successful Spring Clean

Posted by on Mar 16, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on How to have a successful Spring Clean

How to have a successful Spring Clean

It seems to have taken forever to arrive, but Spring has finally sprung!  So what better excuse for a declutter, than having a traditional Spring Clean over the Easter break?  Whether you are planning to move or your home is just in need of a clear out, here are some top tips for a successful Spring Clean. Be realistic! Unless you have two full, uninterrupted weeks to organise your whole home (and who wants to spend all of their time off doing that?!) don’t bite off more than you can chew!  Pick the most important areas, or ones that will make the most impact on your life, and start there. Good places to start are ‘junk’ spaces like lofts, sheds, garages and hall cupboards.  Kitchen cupboards and kids wardrobes can also be crying for a clear out, so they also make great areas to focus on. Get some boxes Start off by setting out a few boxes, or bags, earmarked for different things in the room you are clearing out.  One box for the bin, one for recycling, one for donating and one for things that should really live somewhere else!  If there is likely to be a lot of paperwork unearthed from wherever you are clearing out, another box to put it all in can be helpful.  That means you can sort it out at your leisure later rather than getting lost in filing as you go! Be strict It is easy to become emotional when it comes to clearing out, and holding onto things that mean a lot is one of the benefits of having your own home!  You can keep what you like, and no one should tell you otherwise.  But if you are serious about decluttering, do try and be strict with yourself.  If something has been lying broken for years while you’ve been meaning to fix it…maybe it’s time to pass it on!  Or if you have 8 boxes full of precious finger-paintings by your little ones…perhaps you could cut it down to 5 boxes and save yourself some room. If you have trouble being impartial, ask a mediator to help – a parent or friend who is more ruthless than you can be a great help if you’re a bit of a hoarder! Clean it out Once the clutter is gone, get your marigolds on and scrub the area clean – don’t let your hard work go to waste by putting your lovely, organised things into a dirty room or cupboard! Put it back together Once the clutter is gone, and everything is clean, it’s time to put away carefully.  Remember, if it all looks fabulous when you tidy it away, you might be more inclined to keep it looking that way! If you’re planning on putting your home on the market this Spring, get in touch with Joyce Heeps Homes...

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Scottish Cities top the list for house price growth

Posted by on Feb 5, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Scottish Cities top the list for house price growth

Scottish Cities top the list for house price growth

According to property analysis firm, Hometrack (part of Zoopla), Glasgow is currently the top performing UK city for house price rises.  Property values in the Scottish city have risen by 7.9% year-on-year, taking the average cost of a home to £122,800.  So while the value of property is rising, this average cost still makes Glasgow the second cheapest city to live in the UK, falling just after Liverpool which boasts an average property value of £118,900. In second place for house price rises is the capital, Edinburgh, at 7.6% year-on-year.  Despite slower growth rates in England, the figures reveal that the whole of the UK property market has had a strong 2017, and is gearing up for an exciting 2018.  The average value of a home in the 20 cities analysed has risen by 6.3% over the past year – up from 4.9% this time last year. So why is this happening, and is it good news…?  Richard Donnell, Insight Director at Hometrack, explained: “In Glasgow, Edinburgh […] affordability is less of a barrier than in London and the south east, particularly for first time buyers, and with mortgage rates remaining low this is helping to stimulate demand and increase activity in these markets.” Aberdeen is the anomaly for Scotland’s cities and comes bottom of the table, with values slipping 3.7% over the past year. This decline is likely to reflect the current health of the North Sea oil industry, which is a significant driver of house prices in the city. Hometrack is optimistic about the state of the property market going into 2018 and anticipates further price growth, which will be driven by the continued recovery of regional...

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Selling your property in 2018

Posted by on Jan 15, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Selling your property in 2018

Selling your property in 2018

New Year is a time for change.  Maybe you’re changing your diet, your exercise regime or just trying to drop some bad habits in 2018; or maybe you’re looking to change your home.  We thought it would be a good time to check in and see if anything has changed from last year, and look at what you should be considering when selling your home this year. Colour Schemes Whether you like it or not, neutral décor is key to make your home appeal to the widest range of buyers.  As we always say, unless something really needs fixing, you don’t need to redecorate to put your home on the market – people will always want to put their own mark on a property as soon as they move in.  However, if you are considering whipping out the paint brushes, go for light, bright and neutral tones to make the most of your property’s assets without overpowering them. Give each room a purpose It’s not the first time we’ve said this either, but make sure that no room in your home is the ‘junk room’.  Clear it out, pop a desk and chair or a bed or even just an old sofa in it.  A spare bedroom, a home office or even a playroom will appeal far more than a pile of clothes and boxes!  Make the most of the space you have to help people envisage what it could be like for them. Make your home energy efficient It topped the charts last year as what house hunters would like most from a property, so be sure to highlight any key features of your property’s energy efficiency! Be accommodating As much as possible, say yes to viewings rather than restricting the times and days that people can visit your home.  It helps to maximise the number of potential buyers who can see your home, and the more people who see it, the more likely someone will buy it! If you’re thinking about selling in 2018, get in touch and see how Joyce Heeps Homes can help...

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How to choose an estate agent

Posted by on Jan 2, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on How to choose an estate agent

How to choose an estate agent

So you’ve decided to sell your home, and you’ve come to the very reasonable conclusion that it would be a good idea to get the professionals in rather than try to do it yourself – but how do you choose the best estate agent for your sale?  Here are a few questions that we think may help you make the selection. Do they know the area, and are they familiar with properties like yours? You may love their sale pitch, but if you’re selling a three-bedroom semi in East Kilbride, don’t choose someone used to selling country houses in Aberdeen!  Look for an estate agent with plenty of properties in your local area.  That means they will already have a database of interested home buyers looking for homes like yours. Do they come recommended? Speak to friends and family; look at their social media reviews; or any other independent review system they are confident enough to be part of.  Their sales pitch may be amazing but make sure it’s backed up by the opinions of real people. Where do they advertise their properties? If the answer is ‘their window’ politely thank them for their time and run away!  Any estate agent worthy of your business will ensure that your property is listed on at least one of the major property websites that are viewer by millions of home buyers every month. Are they regulated? You should check if any estate agent you select is regulated by the Trading Standards Institute, and/or the Property Ombudsman or similar.  Members of these organisations are held to a code of practice and this ensures you of a quality estate agency. Obviously we can’t pretend we’ll offer unbiased advice on the best estate agency for you, as we’re pretty sure it’s us!  But we can offer a free valuation of your property, while you take the time to research us and make sure that we’re the very best choice for selling your home.  Get in touch...

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Online Estate Agent or High Street Estate Agent?

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Online Estate Agent or High Street Estate Agent?

Online Estate Agent or High Street Estate Agent?

Online Estate Agent or High Street Estate Agent? You can get the best of both with Joyce Heeps Homes! There has been a lot of press this year about online estate agents, with the BBC’s Watchdog program tackling one in particular over the transparency of their fees and accuracy of their claims. There are now various estate agents which market themselves as being ‘online agents’ but what does this really mean? How do they differ from the traditional high street estate agents and in particular, why choose Joyce Heeps Homes? Online estate agents tend to operate nationwide but may have ‘local experts’ or ‘regional representatives’ responsible for particular areas.  They often claim to offer fixed fees that are cheaper than the traditional high street agent and a service that can be tailored to meet your particular needs. What does this mean in practice? A ‘local expert’ or ‘regional representative’ may carry out the valuation of your property.  They may not have a truly detailed local knowledge and experience because often they are not to based locally and have limited experience of the local market, notwithstanding their title. Following the valuation, national call centres deal with sellers. Being national, they are less likely to have a database of interested home buyers in your area, looking for homes like yours. With online estate agents, sellers can choose which aspects of the selling process they would like the online agent to deal with. For example, the service provided by the online agent may be the marketing of the property on Rightmove and Zoopla but may not include conducting viewings, communications with various parties involved such as prospective buyers, solicitors and surveyors and negotiation of the sale.  Such services may only be provided by online agents for an additional fee. Online agents will often charge a fixed fee and this tends to be payable whether or not the agent sells the property. The fixed fee will provide a very basic service, such as a valuation and advertising online. Additional services such as conducting viewings, liaising with potential buyers and negotiating a sale, will incur additional charges. At Joyce Heeps Homes, we provide the best of both the ‘traditional high street’ and online estate agent. We have a team of staff with truly local knowledge; all of the staff have lived in the local area and worked in local estate agency for a number of years. We have an extensive database of interested home buyers in the East Kilbride area and are proactive in matching them with homes for sale. We pride ourselves on good customer service, providing a friendly and personal service. Our fees are very competitive and transparent and are often cheaper that online agents.   Photo by Christin...

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How many properties do you view before choosing a home?

Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on How many properties do you view before choosing a home?

How many properties do you view before choosing a home?

Developer Strata has published the results of a new survey which suggests that the average house hunter in the UK views between four and eight houses before putting in an offer.  Some estate agents are writing that this is a sign that house hunters are taking longer than ever before to choose their next property…but we’re not so sure! The property market has certainly started to speed up in the last 6 months, and we’re seeing properties moving through our listings much quicker than in recent times, so we don’t think that people are taking longer to choose their next property. In fact, if it’s not crazy to sit on more than four sofas before choosing the best one for your home, surely it’s not so unusual to look at four homes before investing in one?! Strata’s survey showed that 31% of buyers will view up to three properties, and that they would have been happy to make an offer on one of the first houses they viewed, while just 10% of buyers will view a total of 16 homes before coming to a decision. There were also marked differences between first time buyers and existing homeowners.  People who already have a home tend to view more houses than those who are buying their first property, and they tend to have more extensive wish lists! The research points to better interior photos and ‘tour’ videos in helping house hunters discount properties without having to visit them in person. If you’d like more information on Joyce Heeps Homes’ selling process and how we can help show off your property in the very best light, get in touch today. Photo by Dane...

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How often do we move house in the UK?

Posted by on Oct 23, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on How often do we move house in the UK?

How often do we move house in the UK?

Homebuyers are waiting more than two decades on average between house moves, according to Zoopla’s latest figures.  Evidence of the property market slowdown has been highlighted with the snapshot showing that Britons currently move home every 23 years on average. However, the snapshot does show wide variations across the UK, with the country’s most frequent movers in Midlothian, where properties change hands every 14.9 years. Even with speedier movers in Scotland, the statistics are a far cry from the same research in 1988, when a more buoyant market saw people moving home every 8.6 years! This period in history was known as the ‘Lawson Boom’ – a time of strong economic growth under the Chancellor, Nigel Lawson.  Instead, 2017 has seen muted activity in the housing market on the back of tax changes, political and economic uncertainty and a shortage of homes for sale, all topped off with ongoing affordability problems. Homeowners move because of jobs changes, a growing family, or to be closer to relatives.  With lots of different reasons for moving, there are lots of different factors which can affect the frequency people move house. If you’re thinking of changing house in 2017, get in touch with Joyce Heeps homes – there’s certainly no shortage of fantastic homes in East Kilbride and plenty of opportunity to find your perfect...

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Are you one of the 25% constantly decorating?

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Are you one of the 25% constantly decorating?

Are you one of the 25% constantly decorating?

According to a survey of 1,000 homeowners by Furniture123.co.uk, one in four of us never stop decorating!  Even when we’ve found the perfect home, we work our way round and round the rooms giving everything a regular refresh.  Does that sound familiar to you? Living rooms are the most frequently spruced up, with an average of 25 months between redecoration projects.  Bedrooms are not far behind, being made-over every 29 months, while the dining room gets a new look every 33 months.  At the bottom of the list are bathrooms (every 37 months) and hallways (every 45 months). So why do we feel the need to continually update our homes?  Surely we can’t get tired of our paint colours in 2 short years?  Well according to the survey, one in four home owners in the UK said they redecorated regularly to keep up with interior trends, and one in five said they did it for ‘enjoyment’. “It’s understandable that Britons choose to decorate the rooms in their home so regularly,” said Furniture123.co.uk marketing manager Mark Kelly. “While interiors trends are ever changing, a simple re-decoration of a room can make a person fall in love with their home all over again.  That said, this desired effect can be achieved by changing accessories or buying new furniture and doesn’t always have to include a full redecoration job.” According to those quizzed for the survey, it takes on average 9.5 days to decorate a room, and 22% said they finish one room and move straight on to the next.  55% of those questioned admitted they have a room in their house that is currently in need of decorating. For me, it’s one of the best things about moving house – a brand new place to put your mark on!  If you’re thinking of moving this winter, get in touch with Joyce Heeps Homes...

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The End of Summer Gardens

Posted by on Aug 30, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on The End of Summer Gardens

The End of Summer Gardens

Everyone loves a bright, vibrant summer garden, and many people wait until the summer to put their homes on the market because it’s when the outside of their property looks the best.  But there is no reason to delay!  If you want to sell your home this Autumn, here are our top tips to get your garden photo ready with minimum hassle and expense. Bring in the Colour! Just because we’re coming to the end of Summer’s colourful bedding plants and vibrant green lawns, there is no reason to accept a dull, brown garden!  The ground might be too harsh for plants at this time of year, but why not put some bright, hardy, winter bedding plants in pots around the garden?  You don’t have to spend a fortune; winter pansies and violas look amazing and don’t cost much. Of it you are not very green fingered, why not look for some colourful garden ornaments, or some solar powered fairy lights to add a twinkly appeal? Take time to tidy If Summer plants have had their heyday, take them out.  Prune back bushes and shrubs to make them look tidy, and pick up any leaves – a few minutes a week can make a big difference and save you having to ‘attack’ the garden every time you have a viewer! Make it look inviting Even if you’d usually pack your garden furniture away at this time of year, think about leaving it out to show potential buyers just how gorgeous your garden will be when Summer comes around again.  Don’t leave it to their imagination, tell them about all the great times you’ve had outside this year, so they can picture how much fun they’ll have next year! So don’t wait for the glorious Scottish summer to come round again, get in touch with the team at Joyce Heeps Homes today and find out more about selling your home in the Autumn. Photo by Stephanie...

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The ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ one of the UK’s biggest lenders

Posted by on Jul 14, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on The ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ one of the UK’s biggest lenders

The ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ one of the UK’s biggest lenders

Industry experts are expecting the number of parents providing their children with home deposits to rise again in 2017.  A joint study predicts that in the UK, nearly 300,000 mortgages will be made possible due to the generous help of the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, making it the UK’s ninth biggest lender! According to a study by Legal & General and economics consultancy Cebr, parents will advance £6.5 billion this year to help their children buy a home.  This is significantly more than the £5 billion in 2016, when approximately one third of first-time buyers needed help from family and friends.  This year it’s expected to be more like 42%, who will purchase homes collectively worth £75 billion, representing 26% of all property transactions that take place in the UK in 2017. More than 79% of those receiving help will be under 30 years old, receiving an average of £21,600, another significant increase on 2016 when the average was just £17,500. To give some perspective, the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ is predicted to lend an amount on par with Yorkshire Building Society.  This reliance on parents in the UK has come about because of a combination of two things.  Firstly, lenders are asking buyers for larger deposits in order to secure better mortgage deals, and they have become more stringent with affordability criteria.  Secondly, house prices have increased significantly faster than earnings since the recession. Additionally, many of the younger group of first time buyers are leaving university with significant debts after having to pay high tuition fees. Many other smaller factors also play a part.  For instance, the government have been reducing help to buy schemes, and since people are living longer, the number of people under 30 receiving big inheritances is lower.  The combination of all of these factors means the trend of parents helping first time buyers is expected to continue for many years to...

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