Monday, 8 August 2022

Five Signs That It's The Right Time To Downsize


People downsize for a variety of reasons. Downsizing is selling your home in order to buy a smaller one. If you are thinking about downsizing but are still not sure whether it is the right decision for you we have rounded up the top five reasons that people downsize below.

Maintenance

Larger houses require more work to maintain them. This isn’t just limited to repairs but also weekly cleaning and basic upkeep. Maybe you are finding that you are not as mobile as you used to be, or that your priorities have changed and you would rather spend more time with family and friends rather than maintaining your home. Choosing to downsize can reduce the amount of maintenance that you have to do, freeing up your time to do more of the things that you enjoy.

Space

As families grow they need more space so over the years you will probably have moved several times to accommodate your growing family. However, once your children have grown and flown the nest you may well find that you feel like you are rattling around in a big empty home with lots of unused bedrooms. If you have more rooms than you know what to do with then it may be time to consider downsizing.

Health

Is maintaining your home taking its toll on your health? Or maybe you have developed some mobility issues and even with adaptations you are finding it difficult to cope with moving around in your home. A smaller property is not only easier to maintain but many people choose to downsize into a home with no stairs to assist with or prepare for potential mobility issues.

How does your home make you feel?

You should feel happy, safe and comfortable in your home. If these are not the feelings that your home elicits from you then you should definitely be considering moving. This is particularly true if being in your home makes you feel sad, lonely or scared. While moving will not automatically solve all of your problems, a fresh start in a new community may give you the opportunity to make new friends and feel safer.

Bills

The larger the property, the bigger the bills. The sharp increases in energy bills and the rising cost of living may be making you consider downsizing to reduce the size of your bills and make your monthly outgoings more sustainable. Alternatively if you have recently retired or if you or your partner have started to reduce your working hours then you may quickly find that your outgoings have started to outweigh your incomings. Downsizing can help to make your bills more manageable.

Choosing to downsize can be an emotional decision. If you would like to have an honest and sympathetic discussion about whether downsizing is right for you please give us a call on 01925 235 338 .

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

July 2022 Market Report For Warrington


How are your summer holidays progressing? We hope you’re enjoying yourselves and coping with the inevitable juggling act the kids off school presents.

The property market continues strong with our team busy helping Warrington move. The summer holidays are a great time to move home because it means you’ll be fully settled into your new place by the next school holidays, also known as Christmas time. The post-pandemic delays in sorting the paperwork once an offer has been accepted means you really need to factor a little longer into your home-move timeframe.

Let’s have a brief look at what’s been happening over the last month in the local Warrington property market.

There are currently 283 properties available for sale in Warrington. This is 8 more than last month. Of these 283, 59 were new to the market in the last two weeks. The average price of properties in Warrington is £257,282 with the median price at £230,000.

Most of the properties available are in the £100,000 to £200,000 bracket with 94 currently on the market. There are 18 properties available, in the £500,000 to £1 million bracket. In May, properties in the £500,000 to £1,000,000 bracket were selling the fastest, only on the market for an average of 33 days. They are still the fastest but the length of time was extended to 49 days in June and that increased to 58 days in July. This month, properties priced between £300,000 and £400,000 are the second-fastest movers, only on the market for 65 days.

Properties priced at £100,000 and under, are now taking 374 days to sell. This is similar to one-bedroom properties with a median price of £90,000 as they are currently sitting on the market for an average of 389 days. This has gone up from 326 days last month.

This is another example of how selling property can take longer than people often imagine. If you’re looking to upsize from your first home, or are an investor looking to change your portfolio, please bear this in mind when planning.

Let’s take a look at the annual figures now.

The majority of sales in Warrington during the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £250,274. Terraced properties sold for an average of £180,622, with detached properties fetching £417,670.

Overall, sold prices in Warrington over the last year were 2% down on the previous year and 12% up on the 2019 peak of £229,734. When considering the facts presented in this way, the talk of an impending property crash can be explained as media sensationalism. There is cooling in the market prices but after the last couple of years, this is to be expected.

Babies are still being born, families' needs will continue to change, people will pass away, and others will get married or the opposite. Whatever happens with the cost of living and other external forces, the property market continues to rumble on. People often have to move home, rather than choose to. Don’t worry too much about the scaremongering and instead, focus on your needs and the needs of the people you’re closest to.There is a lot of demand and plenty of people looking to move around Warrington. If you’re thinking of selling your property, feel free to contact us. If you’re thinking of buying, letting or renting a Warrington property, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call 01925 235 338 or email staff@hamletwarrington.co.uk.

Monday, 1 August 2022

How To Make Moving Home Less Stressful


Moving home is an emotional time. You may be sad to be leaving your old home but at the same time be excited about moving into your new one. Finding the right home for you and your family can be a stressful experience and then just when you have finished jumping through all of the necessary hoops and signing all of the paperwork the most stressful part of all begins, moving!

However, with a little bit of planning you can help to reduce some of the moving day stress and make moving into your new home a more enjoyable experience.

Start now

If you are reading this blog then it is likely that you are either fast approaching your moving day, are actively looking to move or are considering moving. Whichever of these best describes you it is never too early to start getting ready to move. The best way to start is to get decluttering. It’s easy to think that you have lots of time and everyone loves a bit of procrastination but the sooner that you start dealing with all of your excess clutter the less stressed you will be in the long run as you will have less to pack.

Get ahead

If you really can’t bear to get rid of some of your belongings but also know that you won’t need them before you move then why not take the opportunity to get ahead with your packing and pop them in a box so that they are ready to go.

Measure

Will your furniture fit in your new home? If not then paying to move it will be a waste of money and finding out now will be less stressful than finding out on moving day. If you have sentimental attachment to any particular piece then see if a family member would like to use it until you move again otherwise see it as an opportunity to start afresh in your new home.

Label it

Clearly labelling each box with its destination and contents will make it easier for the removal company (or you) to know which room to put each box in on moving day. If you unexpectedly need something before you move and have already packed it then clear labels will make it easier to find it too. The same applies when you are in your new home and need something before you have finished unpacking.

The night before

Pack yourself a bag with your important paperwork, identity documents, daily medication, toiletries, chargers and a change of clothes. You may find that you are too tired on the first evening in your new home to start unpacking so make sure that you have everything you need to be able to comfortably spend the first night in your new home in that bag.

Try to relax

Moving day can be stressful. Try to avoid putting extra pressure on yourself by setting yourself goals about what time you want to be in by as delays can happen, or how quickly you must unpack. By approaching the day with a relaxed attitude you will be much more resilient to and therefore less stressed if any hiccups occur. Just focus on how you are going to feel at the end of the day when you are settled in your lovely new home and use that feeling to help carry you through the stresses of the day.

If you are thinking of moving in Warrington and would like more advice on moving home then please do give us a call on 01925 235 338.

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Is The Housing Market About To Crash?


There have been lots of mutterings in the media about how the housing market is going to be affected by the cost of living crisis and most of them paint a rather bleak picture. However, the media does not dictate the state of the housing market, homebuyers and sellers do and currently we at Hamlet Homes are still experiencing high levels of demand for every single property that we list.

Despite the rising cost of living, demand for properties in the month of May was more than double what it was in the same period prior to the pandemic.

When the pandemic began and the country was sent into lockdown there were bleak prophecies made then too about how the housing market would be affected but instead of house prices plummeting they instead soared. Lockdowns had an effect on people's priorities and made them reassess their lifestyle with many deciding a house move was their next best step.

Since then house prices have continued to rise. Indeed according to Rightmove’s June Price Index in June the property market had a fifth record breaking price increase this year.

There was a 13% increase in the number of sellers in June this year compared to June 2021 which combined with the cost of living crisis may slow down the rapid increase in property prices. However, Rightmove has revised its annual growth forecast upwards from the 5% it predicted at the beginning of the year to 7% demonstrating that the market certainly isn’t about to flop anytime soon.

The increase in the number of sellers will be a relief to buyers who have been struggling to find a suitable property in this fast paced market. However, they should not be lulled into thinking that this means that competition for properties will be reduced. Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Science wrote “We’re hearing from agents that though they might have had slightly fewer enquirers for each property in recent months, they’re still seeing significant interest from multiple buyers and are achieving successful sales”.

Therefore if you are looking to buy a property it is still very important that you put yourself in as attractive a position as possible in order to increase the likelihood that a seller will select your offer. Ensuring that you have already accepted an offer on your own property and getting pre-approved for a mortgage are becoming necessities in order for your offer to be taken seriously in the current market.

The rush to move created by the pandemic has caused a large backlog for conveyancers and the period of time that it is taking to move from having your offer accepted to reaching completion day is currently 150 days. This is being blamed on the fact that there are 44% more properties that are currently sold subject to contract, with buyers awaiting completion, than there were during the same period in 2019.

This means that if you would like to be in your new home in time for Christmas you need to be putting your property on the market now.

Deciding when to sell your home is a very personal decision. If you have been considering moving in Warrington and are not sure if now is the right time please do give us a call on

01925 235 338 and we will be delighted to have an honest conversation with you to help you decide what is best for you and your family.

Sunday, 17 July 2022

How To Improve Your Property's Kerb Appeal


Whether you are looking to sell your property or simply wish to make your home look more inviting to visitors the very first thing you should consider is often the one most people overlook. They are so busy thinking about their interior decor and the tidiness of their homes that they often forget that the very first thing that people see is the front of their property. If your home’s kerb appeal could do with being spruced up but you’re not sure where to start then don’t worry we have a few tips that will help you to take the front of your property from drab to fab in no time.

Front garden

If you have a front garden then ensure that the grass is neatly mown. Clear your path of weeds and use a pressure washer to make it look its best. If you have borders make sure that they are weeded and plant some nice flowers to help to make your home look visually attractive.

Front Door

If the paint is starting to peel off of your front door or the hardware like the handle or knocker are looking a bit old and unloved then visitors may get the impression that the rest of your home is uncared for too. Treat your door to a fresh coat of paint and a shiny new door handle/knocker and your door will go from creating a sense of foreboding to a welcoming entrance.

House number

Make sure that your house number is clearly visible. This will help both visitors and delivery drivers! If your house number is looking a bit old and tatty, consider replacing it with a shiny new one that reflects the care you take of your property.

Windows

Clean windows not only maximise the amount of natural light that you get inside your home but they also affect the feel of your home from the outside. Clean windows make a home look cared for and a loved home will always have more kerb appeal than a neglected one.

Exterior Lights

Many potential viewers will do a drive-by viewing before deciding whether to view the inside of your property. Due to working hours most of these will be done in the evening and most guests to your home will also visit in the evening so ensuring that your exterior lights are all working is essential to ensure that your home is bathed in welcoming light not shrouded in darkness.

Gates, fences and hedges

Check your garden gate and fence are in good condition. Oil the hinges and check the latch is in good working order. Replace broken fence panels and neatly trim any hedges.

Garage

While your visitors/viewers will not be entering your property through your garage doors they do affect the first impression that they will have of your home so make sure that they are in good condition and consider sprucing them up with a fresh coat of paint if necessary. Potential buyers will want to take a look in your garage so make sure that it is clean and tidy.


If you would like more advice on how to improve your Warrington property’s kerb appeal please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01925 235 338 and we will be delighted to help you.


Sunday, 10 July 2022

Diy Dos And Diy Don'ts!


The sun is shining and the long Summer evenings make us feel like we have plenty of time in the day. Plenty of time to get on with all of those jobs that we kept putting off during Winter! For many of us now is the best time to get out our tools and fix things that have been bothering us and upgrade our homes.

However, you should always keep in mind that any DIY you do to your property should not just create a better and more enjoyable home for yourself and your family but should also add value to your property when you decide to sell it.

You may be surprised to know that some DIY projects can actually devalue your home and DIY disasters can cost homeowners 1000s of pounds to fix.

Be realistic

We all know it’s tempting to try and save some money by doing jobs around our homes ourselves but if you are not particularly gifted at DIY then consider getting a professional in to help.

Start small

Small jobs are a great place to start building up your skills and your confidence. Start by replacing broken light bulbs, oiling creaky hinges and fixing broken kitchen cabinet handles. If small jobs are neglected in your home then it can give the impression to visitors or potential buyers that your home is not cared for and may cause them to worry that there are bigger problems that they have not noticed.

First impressions

Once you have finished all the small jobs the first thing that should get your attention is the front of your home. It is true that first impressions matter and whether you want to increase your kerb appeal in order to attract potential buyers or if you would simply like to impress your guests, the state of the front of your home is the first thing that they will see. A fresh coat of paint on your front door and a clean and tidy front path will make your home a welcoming place to visit. Not convinced? Good kerb appeal can add 2-3% to the value of your home!

Bathrooms

Beware of removing baths in favour of trendy wet rooms. These can actually devalue your home as properties without baths are less attractive to families. This will decrease the pool of people your home attracts which means less competition for your property which can lead to a lower sale price.

No DIY

If you are no good at DIY and can’t afford to hire the help of professionals then there are many things that you can do to improve your home that require no DIY skills at all. Decluttering your home can have a huge effect on the feel of your home as can a deep clean.

If you are considering a big DIY project or major renovation then do give us a call on 01925 235 338 to discuss how it will affect your property price. Not all projects will add value to your home and you should also be aware of the maximum price that properties will sell for in your area to avoid spending more than you can recoup.

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

What Are Tenants Responsible For?


Tenants are very used to the long list of don’ts that they are given when they first rent a property. Don’t redecorate. Don’t hang pictures. Don’t cause any damage. The list goes on.

Tenancy agreements also contain a list of must dos but, the focus on the don’ts can often overshadow them leaving tenants with the impression that as the property is very clearly not theirs, any problems to do with the property is for their landlord to sort out.

However, not all problems are the responsibility of the landlord. Some of them are for the tenant to sort out. So if you are a tenant what is it that you are responsible for?

Rent
The first thing is obvious. You must pay your rent.

Drains
The second is one that tenants often think is the responsibility of their landlord but is in fact yours. You must look after the drains. If you block them then it is your responsibility to unblock them. Most tenancy agreements stipulate that no cooking oils or fats are to be put down the drains as that will increase the likelihood of them being blocked.

Lightbulbs
Yet another thing that often catches tenants out. Tenants are responsible for replacing any blown lightbulbs. Lightbulbs are usually itemised in the check-in inventory and if when you hand the keys back you have failed to replace any blown bulbs the cost of them can be deducted from your deposit.

Garden
Tenants are responsible for handing back the garden in the state that it was in at the beginning of their tenancy. Even if you don’t use it you will still need to make sure that you look after it. Deductions can be made from your deposit if the landlord needs to hire a gardener to bring it back up to scratch at the end of your tenancy.

Bills
You are responsible for paying your utility bills unless your tenancy agreement explicitly states that these are included in your rent. Failing to pay these can not only result in large amounts of debt owing to the utility companies but can also result in the utilities to the property being cut off.

Report
If there is an issue with your property then you need to report it promptly. Most repairs are easier, quicker and cheaper to fix if they are attended to promptly. If left many issues become worse, especially if the issue is a leak as there is the potential for the water to cause a great deal of damage to the property.

Secure
It is the responsibility of the tenant to make sure that the property is kept safe and secure.

It is also your responsibility to pay to insure the contents of the property as landlord insurance does not cover the tenant’s belongings. It is not uncommon for it to be written into the tenancy agreement that you must not leave the property unoccupied for a period of more than 14 days. If you do go away for a prolonged period of time you will need to inform your landlord and insurance company.

If ever you are unsure as to whether you should report an issue or deal with it yourself please give our expert lettings team a call on 01925 235 338 and we will be happy to give you our advice.