Welcome to February's Newsletter
High Speed Compensation?
If you own a property in the areas neighbouring the path of the planned High Speed 2 (HS2), you'll doubtless have been concerned about how the scheme might affect the price of your house. Now, however, the government has announced details of compensation schemes which have been long awaited by homeowners and estate agents alike.
The new measures mean that there are now a number of options available, including the opportunity for affected home owners to sell their property to the government and then rent it back. If your property is affected by High Speed 2, ask your estate agent for information and advice.
In other news, figures show that there has been a huge increase in buy to let (BTL) mortgage repayments over the last year. While overall lending to homebuyers fell, lending to landlords has risen by 9 per cent. And you thought the start of the year would be quiet in the property sector?
How to Notch Up a February Sale
It’s impossible to sell a house in the depths of winter when it's cold and dark outside... er, isn’t it? Well, no, actually, says the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), which is offering some smart advice to increase the saleability of your home, even in a drab month like February.
A big tip is: get rid of leaves from the front garden and path to make your property more attractive (it's called 'kerb appeal' in the trade — and it's important because first impressions really do count); plus make sure gutters and drain covers are properly cleared of dead leaves and other debris as leaky gutters and down pipes aren't just unsightly, they cause damage, too.
Plus, make your house feel warm and homely because if a potential buyer enters a freezing cold property they probably won't stay very long; likewise they'll be gone if there's an odd aroma or damp smell in the house... so let the fresh air in (without making the place chilly) and put some coffee on or bake a loaf of bread. It really does work, says the NAEA.
Finally, if you're going away to sunnier climes this February (and who would blame you?) and leaving your estate agent in charge of the viewings, leave the heating on at a low temperature (a minimum of 15°c).
Movin' Out, Movin' In
Like most things, it's all in the preparation. If you're about to move home, the sheer volume of work you have to do can seem daunting... but pace yourself, think ahead and it needn't be. First of all, get various quotes from removal companies, or — if you're up for the challenge — hire a van for the big day and make sure you have enough help to load it. Get the big items of furniture dismantled first and pack a box of must-haves: phone-chargers, a kettle, mugs, etc. Check who has the keys and when they'll be available; and make sure your services are switched on asap for when you move in including broadband and phone, which can take longer to connect.
Making a Rental Property a Home
OK – so you might be renting a property, but there are still things you can do to transform it into your own personal space, not just a place with four walls and a roof.
You'll need the landlord's permission to paint walls; but if it's something you really want to do see if you can arrange to paint them back to the original colour before the end of your tenancy. If that's not an option, display your style and add oodles of atmosphere with posters and prints. And when in doubt, accessorise, accessorise, accessorise: add splashes of colour with cushions and throws, and show off your own taste with mugs, ornaments and personal treasures.