Friday, 18 June 2021

Buying a home in Warrington: 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 Warrington, 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 Warrington, 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 Warrington, you’ll realise that it was worth all of the stress.

For a wide range of properties for sale in Warrington, contact our friendly and professional team of experts at Hamlet Homes Warrington on 01925 235 338 and speak with us today about your next home.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.


Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
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Monday, 14 June 2021

How Eco-friendly are Warrington Homes?


‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’, was the song that Kermit sang on Sesame Street.

Yet now being green is a normal way of life for most of us. Walking or cycling places instead of taking the car, recycling and even shunning meat are some of the things most Warrington households are trying to do their ‘bit’ for going green.

Our conduct may have improved but when it comes to our Warrington homes, there is still a long way to go. It is estimated around a fifth of carbon emissions come from home energy usage (nearly three quarters from heating and lighting). The country is releasing 37% less carbon into the atmosphere than in 1990, yet we have legally binding targets to hit 100% by 2050 — and the Committee on Climate Change has stated the UK will need to eradicate greenhouse gas emissions from homes to meet that target.

Landlords were hit first because since April 2018, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations with regards to eco-friendliness of the rental properties have required all rental properties to have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘E’ or above otherwise it is illegal to let out a property, bar a couple of exceptions. This has meant Warrington landlords have had to spend many thousands of pounds to improve their rental property’s EPC rating (an EPC rating of ‘A’ being the best eco rating through to a ‘G’ for the worst – just like washing machine or fridge ratings).

But new Government plans could hit Warrington homeowners in the pocket as well.

The Government is planning to force banks and building societies to penalise people wanting a mortgage of draughty low-eco homes with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of D or lower. For those properties not hitting the correct level of EPC rating, it is suggested some form of levy will be placed on the mortgage provider, who in turn will pass that on to the home buyers in the form of higher mortgage payments. Some are describing this charge as an ‘eco-mortgage levy’.

Just under 6 in 10 (56.5%) homes in Warrington would be hit by this ‘eco-mortgage levy’, thus potentially reducing the value of those homes

Interesting when you compare this with the national average of 60.6%.

In real numbers, 39,625 homeowners and landlords in our local authority area would either struggle to get a mortgage from a bank or building society or it would cost them more because they were a ‘D’ rating on their EPC or below.



Looking at the stats broken down for Warrington:
  • 54 properties are classified as A on the EPC register
  • 6,559 properties are classified as B on the EPC register
  • 23,874 properties are classified as C on the EPC register
  • 28,676 properties are classified as D on the EPC register
  • 8,765 properties are classified as E on the EPC register
  • 1,703 properties are classified as F on the EPC register
  • 481 properties are classified as G on the EPC register
So, what can Warrington homeowners and landlords do to improve their EPC rating?

Well surprisingly, it need not cost a lot to improve the EPC rating of your Warrington home. One of the most inexpensive ways to help improve your Warrington home’s energy efficiency is low energy light bulbs with an estimated cost of just under £40 per UK property. Other efficiencies can be gained by insulating your hot water cylinder, draught proofing any single glazed windows, increasing your loft insulation and upgrading your central heating controls, all of which can be done for a total of around £750 to £850 per property.

If you want to know the EPC rating of your home, either google the phrase ‘EPC register’ or send me a message and I will find out for you.

Finally, as Kermit famously also said, “Life's like a movie. Write your own ending”. If you are a Warrington homeowner or Warrington landlord, why not look at your property’s EPC rating and look at the recommendations. You are going to have to spend the money sometime, so why not do it now and enjoy lower energy bills and when you come to sell, you won’t be penalised ... a win-win situation for you and the planet?

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated articles from the Warrington Property blog and our social media sites.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
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Thursday, 10 June 2021


When you find your dream property in Warrington you don’t want anyone else to have it, so it’s quite normal to want to jump straight in with an offer, but here at Hamlet Homes Warrington naturally we want all our clients to be happy and so that involves always negotiating the best price whether we are involved in the sale or purchase of a property. It’s always worth taking your time to negotiate the best deal – and here’s how we do it.

We know the local property market

Simply jumping in with a random offer, because you think that’s what the house is worth, can mean that you won’t get the best deal. We research the market thoroughly and keep a close eye on property prices. We make it our business to find out what other properties in Warrington were listed for versus the price that was eventually paid. And we note how long homes stay on the market.

We work for you!

We are always working for you and it’s in our interest to achieve the best price for your property if you’re selling and negotiate the deal you are happy with if you are buying.

We can advise you regarding your ‘buying position’

We’ve been in business a long time and can sniff out certain types of sellers who are on the lookout for buyers in strong positions, such as:
  • Cash buyers
  • Buyers with no chain
  • Clients who are keen to buy quickly with their own property sold
  • First time buyers who have their mortgage funding secured
  • Buyers who are renting or have some sort of flexibility in their move
If you can show that you’re in a good position to move and can complete the process quickly, then in our experience, sellers will offer a little more flexibility. Nobody wants to be stuck in a chain or waiting for someone else’s house to sell for the sake of a few thousand pounds, so this can invariably make an offer attractive.

We are professional and friendly at all times

We know that selling your family home can be an emotional experience, and some sellers will feel highly attached to their properties. After all, you may have spent years living there there and have lots of memories. Negotiations are always easier when empathy is shown and we pride ourselves on always being willing to work with our clients to reach an agreement whatever the situation.

We will work to secure the best deal

In many cases, negotiations initially start with a firm no on first offer! However, this is perfectly normal. If your first offer is rejected, we will work with you on a second offer and advise you if any counteroffer is forthcoming, liaising with the seller throughout.

We understand that buying a house can be a stressful process, and sometimes when you find the right property, it’s easy to get carried away. However, it’s advisable to speak with us regarding your budget before commencing negotiations so that we can handle this for you, allowing you to get the best deal on your dream home.

Call the team at Hamlet Homes Warrington today on 01925 235 338 and let us negotiate the best deal on your next home.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Twitter Page

Friday, 4 June 2021

The Benefits of Owning a Buy to Let Property


Owning a buy to let in Warrington and renting out your property can be very rewarding. It can be a way of having a regular income coming in, together with actually owning something that should increase in value over time.

If you are considering renting out a property, there are many things you need to make sure you get right, such as rental income, statutory obligations (e.g. gas and electric certificates), and of course having the right tenants in-situ.

What are the benefits of a Buy To Let?

You’ll have the option of a Buy to Let mortgage

Unless you can fund your property purchase with cash, the chances are that you will need a buy to let mortgage. For landlords, this is the most popular way of acquiring property, which in itself can benefit you in a number of ways including:
  • Interest only payments
  • Longer mortgage terms
  • Mortgage payments can be offset against tax
  • Less strict regulatory processes
The good news is that there are a number of products and lenders out there to choose from, and you should be able to get a good deal from a lender.

If you have a larger than average deposit to put down, for example around 35 to 40 per cent, then the deals get even better.

Consumer website which.co.uk has some very useful information on mortgage deals worth looking at, and of course as your local estate agent we are happy to help and put you in touch with a recommended mortgage adviser who will assist you with lending criteria and affordability.

You’ll get potential high returns on your money

When you own a rental property, you should benefit in two ways, financially speaking. Firstly, you’ll have a monthly income stream coming in. If you’ve done your sums right and have a rental income that produces a good yield, then this is good news.

Secondly, you should see your property price go upwards over the years. Despite everything, property is still seen as a sound investment. We know for example that as soon as a rental property in Warrington is marketed, then we get a huge number of enquiries.

Top Tip Do your homework. If you need help making sure everything adds up, talk to us and we’ll do our best to help you.

You’ll diversify the risks

It’s fair to say that the economy has taken a battering over recent months. High street shops and large businesses have come a cropper because of lockdowns and uncertainties over investment going forward. Where previously you may have been certain of your other investments, perhaps now there’s an added element of risk.

If you have a few pounds stashed away in various projects or investments and are worried what the future might hold, property in Warrington is still seen as a sound investment with good returns. Again though, you must do the maths and look at interest and repayments and make sure the rental income covers not only fixed costs, but also maintenance and the other expenses associated with rental properties.

Top Tip Seek the advice of a trusted lettings and property expert to find out which areas will present the best opportunity for rental incomes.

You can help friends and family

We’ve seen a trend recently of people investing in buy to let properties as a way of helping friends and family out, while at the same time building up a property portfolio.

It’s an interesting concept and will not be for everyone but if you know someone going to college or university, it could be a way of generating useful cashflow.

Top Tip There are rules and regulations that tenants and landlords have to abide by whether your tenant is someone known to you or not! It’s probably even more important to get it right if you rent to friends or family as you won’t want conflict in the future.

These are just some of the benefits to owning a buy to let property. There are many things to think about, so if you would like some expert help, do give us a call and we’ll talk you through it. Hamlet Homes Warrington are your local property experts for the Warrington area. Call us on 01925 235 338 or email manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk to chat with a member of our friendly and experienced team.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Twitter Page

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Your Great-Great Warrington Grandfather Would Only Have Paid £289 10s 0d for his Warrington Home in 1871


Would it surprise you even more when I said the ratio of house prices to wages are still lower today when compared to 1871? Yes, you read that correctly, as a proportion of average wages British house prices are 17.6% proportionally cheaper today than they were in 1871.

I wish to talk about the last 150 years of the British property market and later in the article, the Warrington property market. I will also touch on why before the 1900s, buying a home in Warrington was considerably more expensive than today and why that changed.

So, let’s look at some interesting stats to get us started:
  • In 1871, each house was occupied by an average of 5.33 people (i.e. for every 100 houses, 533 people lived in them), whilst today that stands at 2.39 people per house
  • In 1871, there were 4.5 million properties in the UK, whilst today that stands at 27.9 million
  • In 1871, the weekly average wage was 13s 8½d (68p) and today £585.50
  • In 1871, only 20% of people owned their own home, whilst today its stands at 65%
I stated in the first part of the article it was more expensive to buy in the latter parts of the 19th Century than today. It may only be of historical interest, but back in 1871, the ratio of average house prices to average wages was 10.5 to 1 (i.e. the average house was worth ten and half times the average person’s wage), whilst today it stands at 8.8 to 1.

Interestingly, for the next 45 years, that ratio went on a downward trend relative to wages and only stopped falling after WW1, where the average house was worth only 2.2 times the average wage. This made houses more affordable and set the foundations for the homeowning passion we Brits have today.

So why did this happen, what can we learn from it and what does it mean for Warrington homeowners and Warrington landlords?

There are three significant drivers that made property a lot more affordable between 1871 and 1911: the Victorians built more property, made them smaller and people's wages rose significantly.
  • In the 40 years between 1871 and 1911, the number of properties in the UK rose from 4.5 million to 8.9 million. To give you some perspective, there were 18 million properties in the UK in 1981. If the UK had grown by the same rate between 1981 and today that was experienced between 1871 and 1911, there would be 35.6 million households in the UK (and not the 27.9 million mentioned above).
  • In 1871, the average plot size of a property was 0.23 acres, yet by 1911, that was down to 0.06 acres (or a plot of 72ft by 40ft). This came about from building smaller types of property (i.e. a change away from larger Georgian detached houses towards the infamous rows of Victorian terraces), and a downshift in the average size of houses within each category.
  • The average value of property dropped by 26% between 1871 and 1911, whilst wages rose by 85% over the same time frame.
So, by 1911, the average Warrington property had dropped in value from £290 in 1871 to £215.

N.B. – you might have noticed I wrote £290 in a slightly different way in the title of the article. Up to 1971, a pound was split not into 100 pence but 240 pence. There were 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings (or 240 pence) in a pound. It was expressed in the form £sd and spoken as "pounds, shillings and pence". I dropped that into the title as it’s the 50th anniversary this year of when the UK decimalised its currency (younger readers – do google the story – it’s a fascinating topic).

So back to the property market, and at the end of WW1, four in five people still rented, virtually all from private landlords. Politicians were concerned about the poor living standards of people’s homes, and this led to the ‘homes fit for heroes’ 1919 Housing Act which delivered subsidies for local councils to build council houses. The average value of a Warrington property in 1922 was £338.

The 1930s - By 1930, the average value of a Warrington property stood at £427. With the country building a third of a million houses per annum, interest rates fixed at 2% and hardly any planning regulations, supply of property was outstripping demand, so the average Warrington home dropped ever so slightly in value to £394 by 1938.

The 1940s - With the bombing of many towns and cities and housebuilding being stopped because of the war, this created a perfect storm to increase house prices after the war. By 1947, the average Warrington home had risen in value to £1,320 because just as food was rationed during and after the war, so were building materials. Builders could spend no more than £350 on building materials for a new home (and that lasted until 1954).

The 1950s - The '50s were all about building council houses – a quarter of a million of them each year. By 1959, the average Warrington home had risen steadily to £1,831.

The 1960s - This decade saw even more houses being built in the UK, with an average of a third of a million houses a year being built. Warrington is full of 1960’s council houses and now even more owner-occupied housing, meaning by the end of the decade Britain had as many homeowners as renters. The average Warrington house had risen in value to £3,358 by 1969.

The 1970s - We experienced the first boom and bust housing bubble in the early 1970s with house prices rising by over 30% a year in the early years of the decade (so the current 10% a year is child's play!) but prices dropped in 1974. They recovered quickly in the following years, not because of increased demand but due to hyperinflation, making the average Warrington house price rise to £17,078 by 1980.

The 1980s - This was the decade of council tenants being able to buy their own homes, although not many people know it was an idea from Labour. They decided against the idea, but it was seized upon by the Tories, who made it the cornerstone of their 1979 election manifesto. The property market helped improve the economy, and by 1988, Warrington property values increased to £35,721 (only to drop by 32% a couple of years later).

The 1990s - The housing market crash of the early 1990s was painful for all, exacerbated by mortgage interest rates being raised to 15% on Black Wednesday (16 September 1992) and left there for 12 months. Unemployment went from 1.5m to 3m for the second time in ten years, and many of those homeowners who had taken out large mortgages in the late 1980’s housing boom could no longer afford the repayments because of the high interest rates, meaning repossessions went through the roof. The crash also made builders nervous, and they only built 150,000 houses on average a year in this decade. Yet, by the mid-1990s, things started to improve. So much so, the average Warrington home was worth £66,962 by the turn of the millennium.

The 2000s - The decade of cheap mortgages and the rise of Buy-to-Let, together with a severe drop in the number of new homes being built, contributed to the UK’s third big housing bubble since WW2. The average Warrington house price more than doubled to £179,320 by 2008, before the Credit Crunch brought the boom to an end, and a year later (2009), the average Warrington property had dropped to £159,272.

The 2010s - The property market started to come back to life in the early 2010s with property values steadily rising throughout the decade, yet builders were only building around 135,000 new homes a year. It also might surprise you that by 2015/6, the number of homeowners was starting to rise quite significantly, meaning today, as we enter the 2020's decade, the average value of a Warrington property now stands at £231,425.

So, now we are back to 2021.

Yes, your Great-Great-Grandfather might have been able to buy their Warrington house for a shade under £290 in 1871. Taking inflation into account since 1871, that same Warrington house today would be £34,872.39, yet if his wages had increased by inflation at the same rate, the average wage today would be £81.91 per week, not the current £585.50 per week.

I appreciate there are plenty of other factors involved with this topic, such as the cost of renting, raising a deposit, changing lifestyles and the biggest point, the cost of borrowing money on a mortgage.

All this begs the question, what does the future hold for the Warrington property market?

It's obvious since the mid-1980s, house prices have sustained a period of impressive growth (even withstanding a couple of property crashes). The Bank of England has gone on record to say that much of the rise in average house values, comparative to wages, between 1985 and now can be seen because of a sustained, dramatic, and consistently unexpected decline in real interest rates and additionally concludes that: ‘An unexpected and persistent increase in the medium-term real interest rates will generate a fall in real house prices.’

Cheap mortgages and a lack of building have created this situation. So as long as interest rates don’t go back to their long-term average of the 5% to 7% range or the Government decides to increase building new homes to half a million a year (from the current 240,000 per year) ... things will carry on as they are in the medium to long-term.

These are my thoughts. I would love to hear any stories of your family buying property in the late 19th Century or early 20th Century and what they paid for it, together with the affordability of Warrington property and the future of it.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated articles from the Warrington Property blog and our social media sites.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Twitter Page

Friday, 28 May 2021

How to Make Your Warrington Garden Summer Ready


Whether you are a green fingered fanatic and can’t wait to pull on your gardening gloves and get stuck in, or if you consider the maintenance of your outside space as just another household task that you need to tick off a list, you can’t deny that the imminent arrival of summer is the perfect time to update and refresh your garden.

From the planting of spring flowering bulbs to sprucing up your winter-weathered garden furniture, keep reading to find out how you can make your garden summer ready in six simple steps.

1. Get underway with weeding


Possibly the most boring and time consuming of all the garden maintenance tasks is weeding, but unfortunately it is a crucial step in getting your garden summer ready.

Start by removing any weeds that have accumulated in your flower-beds and then look to remove any dead plants from around your garden.

You can also tidy up your borders using a strimmer or an edging tool.

2. Tend to your lawn

After a long winter without a trim, your lawn is no doubt in need of a good mowing. It is always best to mow your lawn when it is dry, and you should also leave the grass clippings where they fall as this will provide the soil with moisture and nutrients, resulting in a healthier lawn.

Now is also the ideal time to aerate your lawn. This can be done either by hand with a fork, or with an aerating machine.

3. Fix up your fence


Fences can take quite a battering over the winter months and nothing can make your garden look as neglected and uncared for as a faded wooden fence. Therefore, it is vitally important that you repaint and treat your fence to ensure it looks its best once the sun starts shining again.

If you have painted your fence previously, you should first strip off this colour before you start the re-painting and treating process.

The colour of your fence is completely dependent on your personal preference although it should be noted that darker stains can make your garden appear smaller. If in doubt, try and choose a shade that will complement the plants and flowers in your garden, as well as any garden furniture that you may have.

4. Set up a scrubbing station

Depending on the items you have in your garden, you may have a fair amount of cleaning on your hands. From a rusty BBQ, to grubby outdoor seating, to debris littered decking; essential cleaning will definitely be on your list of tasks for ensuring your garden is summer ready.

To remove rust from your BBQ, simply mix one cup of baking soda with a little bit of vinegar, apply to the affected area, leave for half an hour and then scrub away with soapy water and a sponge.

Outdoor tables and chairs can also be revived with just a bucket of warm soapy water and a bit of elbow grease.

5. Sow your seeds


Whether you favour flowers or prefer growing a selection of edible plants, now is the perfect time to start deciding what you want to grow and where. Once you have established your preferred plants, you should start ordering your summer flowering bulbs and seeds.

Now is also a good time to hunt down and eliminate any hibernating garden pests that may attack and destroy your precious plants and produce once they awake from their slumber.

You can either use a shop bought pesticide, or you can make your own soap spray that will effectively eliminate any pests. Simply mix one tablespoon of dishwashing soap with one gallon of water and spray directly onto the insects.

6. Install a water butt

Keeping your garden looking fresh and vibrant requires a lot of watering, especially over the warm summer months. Using water from your tap can send your utility bills spiralling if you have a water meter fitted, so instead, install your own water butt.

There are a wide variety of sizes and styles to choose from including slimline options if you do not have much space and second-hand butts available on eBay if you are keen to save money and do your bit for the environment.

Other water saving tips for your garden include:
  • Using a watering can instead of a hose pipe
  • Watering your plants when the temperature is at its coolest, either first thing in the morning or later in the evening
  • Not overwatering your plants
  • Not worrying if your lawn becomes scorched, it will recover quickly once the rain returns

If you are getting your property market ready and planning on moving to or within the Warrington area soon, why not telephone us on 01925 235 338 or call in. We’ll be happy to advise you on our available properties in the area.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, whether you’re buying, selling or looking for an investment opportunity, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of the Warrington property market.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338 – we are based on the Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Twitter Page


 

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

37.1% of Warrington Landlords Could be Fined £5,000 each with New Energy Regs


As the UK has committed to a legally binding target to be carbon neutral by 2050, one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gasses are residential properties. To hit that target, every UK property will need to achieve a minimum grade of C on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) by 2035. The issue is two thirds of UK’s homes (around 19 million households) are rated D or below.

To help the country hit its targets, in 2018 and again in 2020, the EPC requirements altered for buy-to-let landlords, meaning they couldn’t rent their property unless it had a minimum energy rating of ‘E’ or above.

And now for homeowners, the Government are considering forcing banks and building societies to publish the average EPC rating for all the homes they lend money on and if the banks and building societies don’t hit the Government EPC targets, they will be fined (meaning those homeowners with low energy efficient properties will have to pay much more for their mortgages).

So, let’s look at these two issues, first regarding Warrington landlords and their EPC’s, so you know what your lawful responsibilities are and what else Warrington landlords can expect in the future.

Since October 2008, all UK rental properties have required an EPC, yet from April 2018, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations with regards to EPCs have also required all rental properties with new tenancies and renewals to have a minimum EPC rating of ‘E’ or above. However, since April 2020, the MEES regulations have applied to all existing tenancies as well, meaning if your Warrington rental property doesn’t have a valid EPC rating of ‘E’ (or above), it is illegal to let out.

154 rental properties in Warrington are currently let out with a ‘F’ or ‘G’ EPC rating, making them illegal to rent out and each landlord liable for a £5,000 fine – they just don’t know it

The EPC lasts for 10 years and gives an energy rating of between A - very energy efficient to G - very energy inefficient. If you find yourself, as a Warrington landlord, with a rental property that has an EPC rating of below ‘E’, what are your options?

To start with, you have a responsibility by law to carry out the changes suggested in your EPC report to improve the energy rating of your property. The law states that landlords should spend up to a maximum of £3,500 on the energy efficiency improvements set out in the EPC. Yet, if by spending £3,500, that improves your EPC rating but doesn’t mean you reach the ‘E’ rating, whilst you will still be expected to improve the rental property and spend the money, you will be able to apply for a high-cost exemption via the PRS Exemptions Register and still let the property (even though you will have an EPC rating of F or G).

It must be noted that some properties are exempt from the MEES legislation. If your property is listed or protected and the improvements would unacceptably alter it, it is exempt from EPC requirements.
Once your EPC has been registered, it is then valid for ten years. Because the EPC regulations came into force in 2008, there will be some rental properties that had their initial EPC and not had it renewed on its 10th birthday. Now as a Warrington landlord, you do not need to get a new EPC if your EPC reaches its 10th birthday, unless that is, you are starting a new tenancy with new tenants. The issue is…

of 9,549 rental properties in Warrington, 3,546 of them have an EPC that is 10 years or older which has not been renewed

If you are a Warrington landlord, your EPC is 10 years old (or older) and your tenant leaves, you will require a new EPC, because if you don’t, you will be fined £5,000. If all those buy-to-let landlords in our local authority area ignored that law, accumulatively they could be fined £17.7m.

Secondly, what about Warrington homeowners and the mortgage companies?

Under new legislation being considered, homeowners living in poorly insulated and draughty homes (meaning they would have a low EPC rating) could pay more for their mortgages and lose value from their Warrington homes under Government plans to prioritise mortgages on properties with high energy-efficiency ratings.

There are 10,790 properties in Warrington with a rating of ‘E’ or below

The Department of Business (DoB) wants to force mortgage providers to classify the energy ratings of their borrowers’ homes and put the average into a Government league table, which will be presented on the DoB’s website. Mortgage providers will then get time sensitive targets to improve their average EPC scores, punishable by fines, meaning this would increase the mortgage costs for those with low energy efficient homes.

Maybe it’s time you looked at your EPC certificate and find out how you can improve your rating? If you are a Warrington landlord or Warrington homeowner and would like to chat about your legal position or would like a copy of your EPC emailing to you, don’t hesitate to drop me a line and I will be more than happy to discuss your personal circumstances further without obligation.

So, is it right Warrington landlords should have to fork out to improve the energy performance of their rental property, yet they aren’t the ones benefiting? Also, should Warrington homeowners have to have higher mortgage payments in the future because they have a low energy-efficient home?

Let me know your thoughts.

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