Family Offset Mortgages: Are They A Good Way To Help My Kids Get On The Property Ladder?

Many parents in Gloucestershire are keen to help their children get onto the property ladder, but if they don’t have a large lump sum available to hand over, they often believe that there’s nothing they can do to assist.

However, that isn’t actually the case. At TG Sales & Lettings, we often advise clients who are searching for property solutions for their kids, and one of the options we recommend is a family offset mortgage.

Family Offset Mortgages – What Are They?

A family offset mortgage is one of the types of offset mortgage on the market today. All kinds of offset mortgage work by offsetting savings against the home loan to reduce its total amount and, thus, reducing how much interest is paid overall.

There are three key points to note when it comes to family offset mortgages:

  • The total capital repayments stay the same, but the amount that interest is charged on, will reduce.
  • The linked accounts won’t earn interest.
  • A family offset mortgage may not have as competitive an interest rate as a standard mortgage.

Bearing these three points in mind, it’s important to work out the advantages and disadvantages before going for this option.

How Much Do I Need To Have In My Savings Account To Apply For A Family Offset Mortgage?

All lenders have their individual criteria when it comes to applying for a family offset mortgage, but in general, you’ll need around 10% of the property’s purchase price. With some lenders, the levels will be significantly higher. There may also be extra stipulations, for example, a minimum yearly income.

Can I Make A Family Offset Mortgage Application?

If you have sufficient savings, there are some other considerations to keep in mind when determining whether you can make a family offset mortgage application. Approval will depend on your credit history, your debt-to-income ratio, and even the type of property being purchased.

Does Every Lender Offer Family Offset Mortgages?

There are some lenders who offer this type of offset mortgage, but many of the big-name lenders don’t offer these specialised products. Other lenders offer them but call them by a different name! It’s therefore essential to seek professional advice if you’re interested in taking out this kind of mortgage.

Should I Opt For A Family Offset Mortgage?

There are a number of advantages in applying for a family offset mortgage as a way of helping your child buy a property. They include:

  • Less interest will be paid overall.
  • There is more flexibility so the mortgage duration could be shorter or lower amounts could be paid each month.
  • Most family offset mortgages accept overpayments.
  • If you’re a higher-rate taxpayer, this mortgage could potentially benefit you.
  • Your savings can still be accessed.

On the downside though:

  • You’ll receive no interest on your savings.
  • The interest rate will likely be higher.
  • You will be restricted to only a few lenders.
  • The terms may not be especially attractive.
  • The LTV ratio may be prohibitive.
  • You may not have enough savings to make it worth your while.

With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why talking to a mortgage professional is so important. However, once you’ve made your decision, or if you need advice about finding a suitable property for your child to help them onto the property ladder in Gloucestershire, don’t hesitate to give our team at TG Sales & Lettings a call on 01452 300822.

Buying a home in Gloucestershire: Budgeting for Fees

Out of all the purchases you make in your life, your home is likely to be the most expensive, but it’s not just the price of the property you need to take into account. When you purchase your new home in Gloucestershire, you’ll have fees and other costs associated with the move to take into consideration. Make sure you budget well so that you don’t end up with a nasty surprise!

If you are looking to buy a home in Gloucestershire, do make sure you take into account all the associated fees with your purchase. To help you, we’ve created this handy guide to the most common fees.

Stamp duty

Currently, stamp duty is payable when you buy a home that costs over £125,001, although if you’re a first-time buyer, you won’t pay stamp duty on the first £300k. The rate of stamp duty increases as a percentage depending on how expensive your home is, so if it’s under £250k it’s 2%, and if it’s under £925k it’s 5%. There are also higher rates payable for people with second or buy to let homes. Stamp duty needs to be paid to the HMRC within 14 days of completing the process of buying a home, and your solicitor will usually deal with this, so make sure you’ve budgeted for it.

Surveyors fees

When you buy a house, a survey is essential, as it ensures you don’t buy a place that’s full of problems. In some cases, your mortgage lender will require you to instruct a survey, which could be a basic survey costing £250, through to a structural survey which can cost from £500 to £1,300 depending on the condition of the property.

Solicitors fees

Whilst you can attempt to do your own conveyancing, it’s one of those things that isn’t recommended as it’s very tedious, involves a lot of legal terms, and if something goes wrong, you have very little comeback. Therefore, you should budget for conveyancing fees, which can vary from hundreds to a few thousand pounds depending on whether you are buying and selling or one or the other.

Mortgage costs

There are a number of costs you need to budget for when it comes to your mortgage.

  • Deposit: This is usually the most costly part of moving. You’ll need to put down a deposit of between 5% and 20% of the property price. If you’re already a homeowner, then the deposit is usually paid out of the equity in your current home.
  • Valuation fee: Some lenders will charge you a valuation fee so they can work out how much they’re willing to lend and some banks will waive this fee.
  • Transfer fee: Many mortgage providers add a fee of around £40-50 to transfer the money to your solicitor for the property purchase.
  • Arrangement fees: These are the fees charged to set up a mortgage, and they can range from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. In some cases, you can find mortgages with no arrangement fee, and some lenders will give you the option to add the fee to the overall cost of the mortgage. Keep in mind that if you add the fees to your mortgage, you’re likely to pay more due to interest on the combined figure.

It’s definitely worth shopping around when it comes to mortgages, and considering using a broker, as fees can vary and you’ll want to secure the best deal.

Removal costs

It’s worth getting some quotes and choosing not just the cheapest removal company, but the one that has the best reputation and offers best value for money. Some removal firms offer extras such as boxes and packing, which can be helpful when you’re busy dealing with all the other paperwork and stress!

Some people choose to hire a van and do the move themselves, but anyone who has done this will no doubt tell you it’s not always ideal. On the day of completion, you’ll be busy dealing with solicitor calls and trying to get the keys to your new home, so you won’t want to have the responsibility of loading up the van and unloading at the other end! Leave it to the professionals.

Repairs and decorating

Even if your new home appears perfect, when you move in, there are bound to be a few things that might need to be fixed and of course you’ll probably want to redecorate, so it’s a good idea to budget for this.
Moving home can come with a lot of fees, not to mention paperwork, but once you’re comfortably settled in your new home in Gloucestershire, you’ll realise that it was worth all of the stress.
For a wide range of properties for sale in Gloucestershire, contact our friendly and professional team of experts at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822 and speak with us today about your next home.

2022 Update: EPC Rules are Changing

Energy Performance Certificates (or EPCs) have, until now, been barely significant when it comes to the Gloucestershire housing market. But it’s important to be aware that there are big changes afoot with regard to EPC requirements, and landlords in Gloucestershire need to pay close attention.

So, what changes are coming to the EPC requirements?

What kind of impact will those changes have?

Here, we take a closer look at the facts.

What Are EPCs?

The EPC or Energy Performance Certificate is a building’s official energy efficiency rating. The ratings range from A – the best – down to G – least efficient.

All properties listed on the market must have their EPC included within the sale particulars. Furthermore, all tenants need to receive their rental home’s EPC on moving into the property.

An Old Housing Problem

In Gloucestershire, there are many different house types, and some of them are very old. These period homes often have poor insulation. Stone cottages, for example, have no room at all for any cavity wall insulation to be installed, while houses with unconverted lofts often suffer from poor roof lagging.

For this reason, it’s been estimated that around 60% of all homes in the UK currently have a low EPC rating between D and G. In contrast, though, most modern homes have an EPC rating of A, B, or C.

The Reason Why Energy Performance Certificates Are Becoming Increasingly Important

EPCs are becoming more important for two different reasons:

  • In 2022, electricity and gas prices are going to go up as the cap that the government put on the amount that energy suppliers could charge has been lifted. The result is going to be enormous increases in utility bills. Therefore, energy efficient homes that have excellent insulation will be in higher demand, since less fuel will be required to heat them and thus energy bills will be lower.
  • It’s likely that new legislation will require everybody owning a property, whether a landlord or owner-occupier, to create an energy-efficient home with the aim of helping the UK government meet their emissions targets to combat climate change.

Already, the possibility of this new legislation is having an impact on the Gloucestershire market.

Deadlines And Targets To Improve EPCs

There’s an obvious incentive for owner-occupiers to improve their home’s energy efficiency. After all, a property that has an excellent EPC rating is going to be more attractive to prospective buyers. Younger home buyers will be more attentive to EPCs when compared with older purchasers.

It has been suggested that eventually, taxes such as stamp duty will be linked with EPC ratings, meaning that better EPCs will result in lower amounts of stamp duty to pay and, (at least in theory), a faster home sale.

For landlords in Gloucestershire, these are tough and specific targets.

Currently, a rental property must have a minimum of an E-rating on its EPC. But for all new tenancies beginning in 2025, the government is keen to change this to a minimum rating of C. It is also eager to introduce a minimum C rating across all rental homes by 2028, even for those that have long-standing tenants.

Further, although it hasn’t been confirmed yet, from 2030, a rental property’s minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating looks set to rise to a B.

Will There Be Any Exemptions?

Although there are a few exemptions, there aren’t many.

Listed buildings and buildings that have restricted covenants that would have their appearance unacceptably altered by energy efficiency improvements are the obvious exemptions.

Also, some temporary properties, and those used for under 4 months per year, are exempt too.

For landlords in Gloucestershire unable to improve their property to its required minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating, a £3500 rental cost cap has been put in place. This allows them to make the necessary improvements to that amount, then register their exemption as “all improvements made.”

The Impact On The Market

It has recently been reported by Rightmove that those sellers who improved their EPC from a G, F, E, or D rating to a C, received as much as 16% more on the sale price of their property.

Trade bodies representing the rental sector have reported, though, that some landlords have already taken the decision to sell up since they’re afraid of being unable to afford to make the required improvements, particularly on older homes, and particularly if the cost cap of £3500 is increased.

Everybody wants to do their bit to reduce global warming, however, it’s essential to avoid making such strict targets that owners struggle to afford them or find them too disruptive. Fewer properties may, as a result, be available for renters as an unintended consequence, and some flats and houses that are owner-occupied may become challenging to sell.

It’s possible that there will be some softening of the targets, but regardless, energy is going to be an ever-larger factor this year in the housing market, and for the foreseeable future.

TG Sales & Lettings are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to find out more.

Property Market Update: What’s Happening In The UK Property Market: March 2022

Interest rates have increased again, the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme has launched, and one major lender has reported record annual price rises.

Read on for all this and more in our March property market update.

With the clocks going forward at the end of the month, lighter evenings and Easter just around the corner, the traditional Springtime boom could also be on its way! And none too soon as there is still a desperate shortage of housing stock.

Here are some of our predictions for what to expect next month…

Now is the time to sell

Figures recently released by leading property portal Rightmove have revealed that the UK’s average property price saw its most significant month-on-month increase for 20 years between January and February this year.

According to their stats, the average asking price of a property rose by £7,785 in the first two months of the year, as sellers have increasingly been taking advantage of a shortage of homes for sale.

The figures have also revealed the startling increase in house prices since the start of the pandemic, with average asking prices having risen nearly £40,000 in the past two years, compared with a rise of around £9,000 in the two years prior.

For homeowners who have been considering selling their property, now is a great time to bite the bullet. Spring is traditionally the best time to list, with the most active buyers on the market, and with COVID-19 restrictions now lifted and house prices expected to cool off over the next few months, it could be the last opportunity to take advantage of increased asking prices.

Nationwide reports record cash rise

The UK’s biggest building society, and one of its biggest lenders, has reported a record rise in the cost of a UK home.

According to figures released by Nationwide, the cost of a typical home rose by £29,162 in the past year – the biggest cash increase in property prices since they started collecting comparable data in 1991.

This means the average asking price across the UK reached £260,230 in February, with the increased cost of living appearing to have little effect on house prices.

The findings are bad news for first-time buyers struggling to get onto the property ladder, although with many property experts forecasting a slowdown in house prices in the coming months, there may be some respite for those looking to take their first steps.

Buy-to-let mortgages becoming more appealing for investors

Research from Mortgage Broker Tools has shown that affordability for buy-to-let mortgages is at its highest point since they started collecting data.

According to their figures, average maximum loan sizes have increased by 13% in the past year, with the average currently being a little over £421,000, which represents a £20,000 increase in the past two months.

And in further good news for potential landlords, figures released by Moneyfacts show that there are currently 2,235 mortgage products available to first-time investors – a considerable increase on the 1,311 products available at the same point 12 months ago.

Government launches Homes for Ukraine scheme

In response to the war in Ukraine, the UK government has launched the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which asks people who can, to offer a room to refugees fleeing the conflict.

You’ll need to confirm that your home is available for at least six months, and you’ll be entitled to a monthly payment of £350 for up to 12 months, although you won’t be expected to cover the cost of food and living expenses.

To register your interest in the scheme, just visit the government website.

Interest rates rise again

The Bank of England has increased interest rates for the third time in four months to try and lessen the effects of the continued cost of living increases.

The rise will directly impact around two million homeowners who have either a variable or a tracker mortgage, as they’ll see their monthly repayments increase again.

For homeowners with a £200,000 mortgage, this will mean around a £42 increase to their monthly repayments.

And Finally…

Homes for under £10k

While asking prices may have hit record highs and youngsters feel increasingly uncertain they’ll be able to get onto the property ladder, it’s certainly not all doom and gloom for would-be buyers.

A recent post by major property portal Zoopla has revealed a list of 14 properties for sale for £10,000 or less.

While some will need extensive work doing to them, and some will fetch higher at auction, it does show that there are still bargains to be had despite the significant increases in prices over the past couple of years!

For more property news and updates and a more detailed overview of the Gloucestershire area, get in touch with TG Sales & Lettings. We are your local property experts. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.

New Year…New Agent?

We’ve noticed a trend recently. You love your home, you love Gloucestershire, but you’ve also realised that you need somewhere new. Perhaps somewhere larger, somewhere with a bigger garden, somewhere closer to the countryside, or even somewhere a little smaller.

Yes, it appears you’ve got a dose of ‘ready to move’, and what better time than the New Year – a time often linked with new beginnings and fresh starts.

So, how do you find the best estate agent?

What questions should you ask?

As property experts in the Gloucestershire area, we at TG Sales & Lettings thought we’d give you our seven tips so that you can choose the best estate agent for you.

Phone a Friend
Ask for recommendations. Friends and family can point you in the right direction and equally they can steer you away from the agents to avoid! Ask them if they’ve had a great experience with a particular estate agent, and enquire about how communicative, knowledgeable and friendly the agent was. Did the agent get the job done – and achieve the asking price or above?

Tip: Social media is your friend! If you’re a member of a Facebook community group in a particular area, post your questions in that group. And while you’re there check out local estate agents’ profiles to discover more about their local area knowledge and understand how they interact with the local community.

Read Reviews
Check out estate agents reviews online. Facebook reviews, Google reviews and reviews on Feefo can all give you an insight into other customers experiences. Have a read through to get a good idea as to whether or not an agent is worth shortlisting.

Tip: Always have an open mind when reading reviews, because while most will be genuine, some negative ones (and some positive ones) may not be.

Check the Agents Website
If you have a couple of shortlisted estate agents, check out their websites. Compare and contrast the services they offer and the fees they charge. Research where they market their properties and check out their social media feeds.

Tip: If you’re comparing and contrasting, you need to ensure you know what you want your chosen estate agent to do for you. Write a wish list of your requirements.

Check Fees and T&Cs
When it comes to estate agents, each will offer a slightly different service, and each will have a different way of operating. You have high street offices, internet-based offices, and hybrid agencies that blend traditional with the internet. Each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your individual requirements, but always check the small print and look at the overall service.

Tip: Do some research and decide whether you want a sole agency agreement, or if you would like multiple agents to market your property. It’s important to read the contractual obligations if you choose the latter.

Review your Agent’s Performance
Remember, your estate agent will be working for you, to get your house marketed and sold. But it’s actually a two-way thing and you will need to do what you can to help them do their job too. Your agent should be prepared to communicate with you if they think things should change, like a review of the price for example. And you should feel confident enough to ask about performance and see results or otherwise.

Tip: Have a clear understanding of your expectations and what you will want to review. Is it the number of people shown your property, or is it the number of hits on property websites? Is it about proactive calls made to prospective buyers, or is it to get an offer within a certain timeframe?

Same Difference
When you are narrowing down your shortlist, have a look at the properties that the agent sells.

  • Are they similar to your house?
  • Do they have any experience selling homes similar to your property?
  • Can they talk with good knowledge about the local area?
  • How accurate are their valuations?

All of these are a must because you need to know that your agent knows what they are doing and can convey that to a prospective buyer.

Tip: If you want to know how much similar properties have sold for have a look online so that you are fully informed.

Trust your Gut Instinct
There’s a lot to be said for getting a feel for whether you have picked the right agent to market your property. Something may simply click into place when you’re having a conversation, or you may know immediately that the agent is for you. Trust your instinct as it may well be right.

Tip: While we say trust your instinct, make sure you also carry out the checks and reviews as well!

For no-obligation advice on selling your Gloucestershire home, please contact our expert property team at TG Sales & Lettings on 01452 300822.

Property Market Update: What’s Been Happening In The UK Property Market – December 2021

The big news for the UK property market in December is the first rise in interest rates for three years, and various lenders are predicting a less frenetic housing market in 2022 .

These are just some of the headlines this month in December’s UK property market update. Read on to find out more.

Interest rates rise for the first time in 3 years

The Bank of England has increased interest rates for the first time since August 2018 as inflation runs at its highest rate for 10 years.

For homeowners with tracker or variable mortgages, this is likely to mean an increase in their monthly repayment of around £10 to £15 on average.

Around two million homeowners will be affected, but with fixed-rate deals being a popular mortgage type, the change won’t impact all property owners immediately.

The interest rate increase has been rumoured for some months and comes in response to inflation levels reaching 5.1% which is way ahead of the Bank of England’s 2% target.

UK house price boom expected to end in 2022

One of the UK’s biggest lenders is forecasting an end to the current housing boom next year.

According to Halifax, market growth is likely to remain ‘broadly flat’ in 2022, following two years of remarkable growth.

Following increases of 6% in 2020 and 8% in 2021, the lender is predicting growth of 2% at most, with a flat market being the more likely scenario.

The main reason for this slowdown is the rise in household goods and bills, meaning a squeeze on budgets for many households.

Bank of England plans to relax mortgage affordability rules

In positive news for first-time buyers, the Bank of England has revealed its plans to make mortgages more attainable.

As part of the current criteria, would-be homeowners have to prove they could meet the repayments on their lender’s standard variable rate if interest rates increase by 3%.

However, in the early part of next year, the bank will be meeting with big-name lenders and industry experts to discuss withdrawing the outdated rule.

The rule was one of many affordability rules introduced in 2014 following the 2008 financial crisis. Its aim primarily was to ensure that any sharp rise in interest rates wouldn’t result in homeowners being unable to afford their mortgages.

However, at that time, interest rates were forecast to increase to 2.25% over the next five years. Currently, interest rates stand at just 0.25%, and the latest forecasts indicate that any rise in interest rates is likely to be much slower than in previous years.

If the planned rule change does come in, it’s likely to be a big boost for first-time buyers, many of whom wouldn’t meet the affordability criteria under the current rules.

Survey reveals just how much parents are willing to help their children get on to the property ladder!

A study by property portal Zoopla has revealed some of the eye-watering figures that parents are willing to gift their children to help them take their first steps on the property ladder.

According to the study, the average amount forked out by parents to help their kids with a deposit is £32,440, while 14% of the parents polled have given them upwards of £50,000.

The findings also revealed that an incredible 64% of parents with grown-up children who are homeowners, gave them at least some money towards their deposit.

And it doesn’t stop once the kids have fled the nest either! The results also showed that 36% of parents have helped with their offspring’s rent or mortgage payments at some point.

Council finds unique way to solve housing crisis

One council has come up with a novel way of solving the housing crisis in its area.

West Devon Borough Council is offering money to tenants who downsize, as part of its efforts to tackle a shortage of affordable family housing.

Anyone with a council rented property who moves to a smaller home will be given a £1,000 fixed payment, plus £500 per bedroom they release.

So, a couple who downsize from a three-bedroom house to a one-bedroom flat, for example, would receive a payment of £2,000. The council also confirmed that in some cases, the payment could be as high as £5,000 on a discretionary basis, where housing stock is particularly pressurised.

Devon County Council’s leader has spoken openly about a housing crisis in the county, due to rising house prices and a lack of rental properties, and it’s hoped the new scheme will go some way towards combating the issue.

TG Sales & Lettings are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to find out how we can help you buy a new home or sell your property.

What Happens After Your Offer Has Been Accepted? 5 Immediate Things You Need to Do

So, you’ve found the home of your dreams and your offer has just been accepted. Congratulations! Your journey to owning your new home has officially begun.

If you’re wondering what happens next, here are five immediate things you need to do after your offer has been accepted to get things moving.

  1. Provide Confirmation

Once your offer has been accepted, your estate agent will likely give you a congratulatory call. But this won’t just be a courtesy. They’ll also request confirmation of a few things so they can finalise the offer.
You’ll usually need to provide confirmation of things like:

  • You have the funds available to make the purchase
  • Your mortgage in principle
  • You have a solicitor – or you’re working to get one now
  1. Remove Competition

Normally, estate agents will cancel viewings and take the property off the market as soon as your offer has been accepted. However, you’ll want to make sure this is definitely the case.

Remove the competition immediately and ask your estate agent to cancel any scheduled viewings and to take the property off the market. If the listing isn’t taken down, you could be at risk of getting outbid or even gazumped.

  1. Instruct Your Solicitor

There’s no better time to get the ball rolling than after your offer has been accepted. For a quicker sale, you’ll want to instruct your solicitor as soon as possible. If you haven’t already found a solicitor, ask your estate agent for a recommendation.

At this stage, your solicitor will start completing the checks and searches on the property. Depending on the solicitor, they may also ask you to pay up-front for some of their services.

  1. Complete Your Mortgage Application

Since the mortgage in principle was a principle agreement, you’ll need to complete a full application for the money now that your offer has been accepted. You’ll need to apply for the exact amount you need to borrow for the property in question.

If you have a mortgage advisor, they’ll guide you through this process and let you know what information you need to supply.

  1. Arrange a Survey

While surveys aren’t compulsory when you buy a new home, they’re a good idea. During a survey, a professional surveyor will inspect the property and cast an eagle eye over the place. Surveys can help you understand any current or future issues you may have with the property.

To arrange the survey, you’ll need to speak with your estate agent about booking time with the sellers.

Still Looking For a Gloucestershire Home?

If you’re still looking for your new home in Gloucestershire, TG Sales & Lettings could have what you’re looking for! Check out our listings or let us know what type of property you’re interested in so we can help keep an eye out for you.

Give us a call today on 01452 300822 or email us at rachel@tgres.co.uk to speak to a member of our friendly team.

Property Market Update: What’s Been Happening In The UK Property Market – October 2021

Welcome to our round-up of some of the property news stories that have caught our eye this past month.

Don’t forget, if you need to know about property in Gloucestershire we’re more than happy to help.

Call us on 01452 300822 or email us at rachel@tgres.co.uk

Prices Remain Strong

The average price of a house is still on the up, according to analysis of the figures by Halifax.

Looking at all the stats, the bank noted that through September the average UK property price is now priced at a record £267,587. What’s more, annual house price inflation is up to 7.4 per cent, from 7.2 per cent.

This is interesting because the Stamp Duty deadlines have passed, and so it is good to see prices still buoyed.

The slight fly in the ointment might be the fact that the Bank of England figures show the number of mortgages approved to finance house purchases fell in August 2021 by one per cent.

Perhaps there is a slight softening of the market overall.

Here in Gloucestershire, we are still selling properties for, or above, the asking price. What’s more, it is only taking days for some properties to sell, and just hours for properties to rent out.

If you’ve been thinking about doing something with your property, now is still a good time.

Overall though, supply is still down.

An ongoing issue in the property market has been further highlighted in a report that looks at key trends in the sector.

Landmark Information Group’s Property Trends Report shows that for a fifth consecutive month, there has been a low number of properties coming to the market. Demand, as they say, is outstripping supply.

There could be a number of reasons for this, but we would say that if you really want to sell, get your property on the market now. There will be interested parties lining up to look around and any one of those could be a potential buyer.

Negotiating Confidence

Around 64 per cent of UK homebuyers and renters say they feel confident negotiating over property prices, reports PropertyWire. But six in 10 admit “the biggest challenge is timing and knowing when to negotiate”.

It’s an interesting one. On the one hand, people say they are confident but actually, they don’t really know when to negotiate.

It’s what one might call a paradox. But, there’s a way through. Use an estate agent who can use their knowledge and expertise to negotiate at the right time.

We can do that for you! We know the Gloucestershire inside out and so are able to take action when we need to.

Going Green Paying Off

Have you installed eco-friendly systems in your home? If you haven’t, you could be missing out.

This has been written about by many, including Property Reporter, which says that property website Rightmove has looked at house prices and Energy Performance Certificates.

It’s been reported that people who have “upgraded their rating from an F to a C, are adding an average of 16% to the price achieved for their home”.

That’s a huge jump, but before you do anything, have a look at the costs involved and the efficiencies made. You’ve got to make sure the figures work for you. If you need any advice on this, give us a call on 01452 300822.

TG Sales & Lettings are your local property experts for the Gloucestershire area. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to find out how we can help you buy a new home or sell your property.

How to Keep a House Chi

Buying and selling a property in Gloucestershire can be a super stressful time, and our responsibility is of course to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.

Perhaps you’re ready to move, but the people buying your house need their buyers to get up to speed. And those buyers also need their buyers to press the pedal down on the transaction!

Before you know it, suddenly you’re getting into a long old property chain, and we know that sometimes chains can break, taking with them your hopes of a move into a dream property.

This can be absolutely heart breaking. Consumer body Which? surveyed 2,000 home movers, and discovered “around three in 10 (28%) people have experienced a property purchase falling through”.

There are several reasons why a property chain breaks. But, the good news is, you can do something about it and play your part in making sure the chain keeps moving.

So, here are our top seven tips on how to keep your house chain moving.

  1. Choose a Chain-Free Buyer

This sounds so simple, doesn’t it? You may get a few offers on your house, but only one may not be part of a chain. This means they don’t need to rely on something else happening in order to move. So, if you are lucky enough to get two or three people offering on your property (and the price is right), choose the one who you think will cause the least trouble!
Top Tip: This is where you can rely on us, your trusted estate agent in Gloucestershire to do our job and find out more about your potential buyers.

  1. Set Goals

When you are right at the beginning of the process with a potential buyer, make sure you stipulate, through your estate agent, your preferred timescales. Things may not always stick to plan, but if you are all aware of a date you are working towards, it will focus minds.
Top Tip: Be realistic. You may want your move to progress at lightning speed, but selling your home can be a complex process and take so much longer than you anticipate.

  1. Be Prepared

When you’re thinking about property chains, it’s easy to think about what all the other parties are doing, and focus on how they can stop your chain from breaking. But don’t forget, you’re part of the chain too, so don’t be the one who holds things up! Make sure your paperwork is in order, finances organised and mortgage offers are on the table.
Top Tip: Make sure your paperwork is to hand to refer to, whether you’re at home or in the office. If a query arises there won’t be a delay in you responding.

  1. Respond Well

Keeping the chain moving takes good communication from all parties, and that includes you. Your conveyancer may need information quickly or an email response before close of business on a particular day. Be accessible, and make sure everyone has the correct contact details for you.
Top Tip: Respond to any queries promptly to avoid delays in clarification. If you need to seek out information that you don’t have to hand, don’t put it off!

  1. Use Experienced Professionals

You’re selling your house – probably your biggest asset – so you should ensure that you have professionals doing the job for you. Choose your estate agent, not necessarily on their fees, but on their experience and ability to keep things moving. You want them to be progressing and chasing where necessary, and making the calls and sending the emails.
Top Tip: Draw up your shortlist of reputable, local estate agents and speak with each of them. You need a good relatiosnhip with your agent so making sure you are on the same wave-length and you get a good vibe is important. Remember, how they act with you is also how they will act with potential buyers!

  1. Think Outside the Chain

If there’s a problem with the house chain further up, consider selling your property and renting somewhere to live until the right property comes up for you rather than risk losing your own buyer. This might not work, of course, if you’ve got your heart set on somewhere in particular, but it could be an option.
Top Tip: Renting doesn’t have to be forever. You can usually enter into a short-term tenancy agreement which will give you time to look around and find somewhere new to call your own home.

  1. Be Agile

Should a property chain break, and you lose the property you were going to buy, make sure you can move quickly when it comes to other alternative properties. Is it possible for the chain to discuss the issues and come to an agreement, perhaps to negotiate on prices?
Top Tip: If you’re ready for all eventualities, then a broken chain may not lead to your heart breaking too. It really doesn’t have to be a dead-end.

If you want expert help on buying and selling or any advice regarding being in a property chain, then simply get in touch with us, TG Sales & Lettings. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

Property Market Update: What’s Been Happening In The UK Property Market – September 2021

The UK property market appears to be stabilising after a frantic 15 months, and the stamp duty holiday is finally coming to an end this month.

Read on to find out more, with some of September’s key headlines:

Stamp Duty Holiday To End

The tax holiday on stamp duty will finally draw to a close at the end of September in England and Northern Ireland after 15 months.

The scheme was introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in July 2020 to stimulate the housing market following the first national lockdown and is widely considered to have been a great success.

House prices have rocketed, and demand has soared thanks to the tax break, which meant savings of up to £15,000 for buyers.

Initially, the holiday allowed buyers to avoid stamp duty on properties up to £500,000. This was then lowered to £250,000 earlier this year, and from 1st October it will be axed completely, with stamp duty payable on all properties over £125,000 as the UK economy continues to bounce back post-pandemic.

Rents Outside London Rising At Fastest Rate For 13 Years

Leading property website Zoopla has reported a significant rise in rental prices across the UK, with prices increasing at their highest rate since 2008.

Their data indicates that rental prices have risen by 5% on average in the 12 months to the end of July, meaning renters are forking out an extra £456 a year on average.

The trend doesn’t apply to London though, with average rental prices in the capital actually falling 3.8% as renters moved away from the city during the peak of the pandemic.

Government To Spend £8.6bn on 119,000 Affordable Homes

The UK government has announced a new funding package to help thousands of people get on to the property ladder.

Approximately 119,000 new homes are to be built, with 57,000 available to buy, and just under 30,000 available for social rent.

The scheme has been confirmed in response to the growing trend of demand outstripping supply, which has pushed prices up to unaffordable levels for many would-be buyers, as the government looks to redress the balance.

Top 5 Hotspots For Sellers Revealed

A study by leading property website Rightmove has revealed the top five property hotspots for sellers.

With demand for homes far outweighing supply, some towns across the UK have become hotspots, with more buyers on the market than at any time in the past 10 years.

Newmarket in Suffolk tops the hotspot list. The market town that’s synonymous with horse racing has seen the number of homes available for sale drop by 49% in the past year, while the number of sales being agreed has gone up 79%. As a result, asking prices have seen a 9% increase since 2019, with average prices now sitting at £320,000.

It’s a similar story in the Hertfordshire town of Berkhamsted. The commuter town has seen a 57% drop in the number of properties for sale, with a 59% increase in properties sold. Similarly, prices have increased by 9% since 2019, with the average property now costing a shade over £694,000.

The rest of the top five is completed by Witney in Oxfordshire, High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, and St Ives in Cambridgeshire.

Perhaps tellingly, all five hotspots are peaceful, countryside locations away from the city centres.

Pet-Friendly Rental Homes Increase In Demand

A report from national property portal Rightmove has revealed a huge increase in demand for rental properties that accept pets.

It’s estimated that over a third of UK households have become pet owners since the first lockdown in March 2020, as furloughed employees and those who are new to working from home picked up pets to keep them company while spending more time indoors.

As a result, demand for pet-friendly rental properties has increased by a whopping 120%, with ‘pet-friendly’ and ‘pets allowed’ being the top searches for renters.

And in a sign of the changing demands of renters, and especially those with four-legged friends to consider, the next two most popular searches are for balconies and gardens, where demand is up 70% and 39% respectively.

Best Value Homes Revealed

Property portal Zoopla has revealed the findings of a study that shows where buyers can get the most floor space for their money, and it makes for very interesting reading.

Unsurprisingly, London is the least budget-friendly, with homes costing £562 per square foot on average, in stark contrast to the North East, which is the cheapest region at £157 per square foot.

In terms of towns, Burnley is the best value place in the UK at £123 per square foot, however, perhaps the most surprising finding in the report is the cost in Kensington and Chelsea, West London. The average cost there is £1,491 per square foot, which means the floor space required for a double bed would set you back an astronomical £46,550!

For more property news and updates and a more detailed overview of the Gloucestershire area, get in touch with TG Sales & Lettings. We are your local property experts. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.