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First-time Buyers’ Mortgage Market is Thriving

Posted by on Jun 15, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on First-time Buyers’ Mortgage Market is Thriving

First-time Buyers’ Mortgage Market is Thriving

In March 2018, £5.1bn was loaned to UK first time buyers, an increase of 2% on March 2017, while lending to other market sectors has fallen, according to UK Finance.  In fact, loans to buy-to-let landlords buying property is dropping by 20% year-on-year!  So why is the market looking so good for first time buyers? Since the introduction of the 3% stamp duty surcharge for second home purchases, the buy-to-let market has been growing slower; and it’s precisely the fall in rental properties that’s helping new home buyers.  Now they are less likely to be going up against a property investor for their ideal small home.  Mike Scott, chief property analyst at Yopa, said: “First-time buyers are keeping the housing market going. First-time buyers have doubtless been helped by a very sharp fall in the number of buy-to-let mortgages.” Separate research from the National Landlords Association found that one in five landlords, equivalent to 380,000 investors, plans to sell a property in the coming year.  Just under half of these will be selling a flat, while 33% will be putting a terraced house on the market.  These are both property types that are particularly appealing to first-time buyers. In addition, first-time buyers are currently benefitting from the stamp duty cut introduced in last year’s Autumn Budget; and 100% mortgages are now available from several lenders, meaning that they do not need to rely so heavily on the Bank of Mum and Dad…well, not directly at least.  Mum and Dad will still likely have to support you if you go for a full mortgage as 100% loans will require a guarantor, with their property being used as security against a proportion of the mortgage. A 100% mortgage isn’t the only choice that first-time buyers have when looking for a different route on to the property ladder, and it’s always a good idea to shop around and consider the range of mortgage products on offer.  If you’re a first-time buyer looking for a property in East Kilbride, get in touch with Joyce Heeps Homes today for help and...

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Get your Garden Ready for a Summer House Sale

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Get your Garden Ready for a Summer House Sale

Get your Garden Ready for a Summer House Sale

Each year the big property sites including Rightmove and Zoopla release a list of the keywords that are searched for most on their websites, and each year ‘garden’ tops the charts.  Now, gardens are not for everyone!  Some of our customers are desperate to downsize to a beautiful property with no outdoor space to care for; but if you do have a property that could attract our green-fingered property seekers, then here are our top tips to get your outdoor space ready for a summer sale! Cover the basics Before you get carried away with sledgehammers and rolls of turf, think of your garden like any other room in your house and don’t go crazy!  In all likelihood, the new owners of your property will want to put their own mark on the outdoor space as much as they will on the interior, so think ‘maintenance’ not ‘makeover’!  Remove the junk, cut the lawn, cut back anything dead or dying and say goodbye to the weeds.  Top tip – Tidy and manageable are what buyers are after. Add some colour Whatever time of year you are selling, there will be some flowers in bloom.  If you’re stuck go to a garden centre, or even somewhere like B&Q and pick up some inexpensive, brightly coloured flowers to bring a bit of brightness to the garden.  Keep them in pots, or add them to flowerbeds – whatever suits you. Top tip – don’t break your budget, and don’t spend days on it, just think easy to manage, and pretty to look at! Take care of the lawn A brown, or overgrown lawn is not an ideal first impression for a prospective buyer!  Many people do ‘drive bys’ before they arrange a viewing of a property so do your best to make sure your house looks great at a glance!  Cut the grass, remember to do the edges and make them look neat and tidy, and add some feed and weed if it needs it. Top tip – don’t go crazy with moss or weed killer even if it is specially formulated for lawns as it can make things worse before they get better. Get a bit creative If it’s a lovely day, and viewers are coming over, set out the chairs, or open up the BBQ.  Make a bit of a show that you were enjoying a cool drink in the garden, or that you’re having people over later to enjoy the space.  The same way as you would with the inside, do your best to help them visualise living in the space. Top tip – be honest, don’t pretend you’ve hosted a garden party for 20 if the most you’ve had is a disposable BBQ for...

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Mortgages more affordable, and more people buying

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in Blog | Comments Off on Mortgages more affordable, and more people buying

Mortgages more affordable, and more people buying

Three news stories in the last couple of weeks have painted a very favourable picture for the UK housing market.  Research has shown that: mortgage affordability is at its highest since 2007; more people are moving than in the last 10 years; and buying is overtaking renting in popularity.  But why the big improvements and who is it good news for? Mortgage Affordability Mortgage affordability has soared since 2007, with loan repayments now taking up less than a third of homeowners’ disposable incomes.  Just 29% of a typical person’s take-home pay was spent on mortgage repayments in the fourth quarter of 2017, while it was closer to 48% ten years ago.  The improvement has mostly been driven by the significantly lower mortgage rates we are still seeing. Andy Bickers, mortgage direct at Halifax, said: “This is a real boost for both those who already have a mortgage and those preparing to take their first step on the property ladder.” Buying vs Renting Recent research by AA Mortgages suggests that buying a home is set to be more popular than renting in 2018.   The study found that almost a quarter (24%) of those surveyed in the UK are planning a move in the next two years, with a greater number of people planning to buy (46%) rather than rent (42%) their next property.  In fact, nearly a quarter of those currently renting (24%) are planning to purchase a new home rather than renting again. Again, favourable mortgage rates look like the main cause for this change, and it’s pretty much the same story in all areas of the UK. More people moving home According to new research by Lloyd’s Bank, the number of people moving home at any one time, has now reached its highest level in 10 years. The number of UK home movers (that is, those who are moving from one owned property to another rather than first-time buyers) increased by 2% to an estimated 370,300 in the past year, which is a massive 18% up on the same period in 2009. With all of these positive signs, 2018 is expected to be a great year for the housing...

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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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