Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Why Savvy Warrington Buy-to-Let Landlords Don’t Use 10-Year Mortgages


I know of many Warrington buy-to-let landlords who fell into property investing by accident. Many didn’t want to sell their family home when the Warrington housing market crashed in the Credit Crunch of 2009/10, yet still needed to move (often for work). They thought they would keep their Warrington family home in case they ever moved back to Warrington. Yet by keeping it, it couldn’t remain empty (there was still a mortgage to pay on it), so they ended up renting their home out.

And that was the start of many Warrington buy-to-let landlord's journeys!

Many of you Warrington landlords reading this have had your fair share of problems, from tenants doing a midnight flit, rent arrears and troublesome tenants, yet also had your rewards.

The average Warrington landlord in the last ten years has seen their investment rise by an average of £81,900 and has earned in rent (before costs) £69,440.

Many of you reading this have started to learn about investing and creating a property portfolio by buying additional Warrington homes to rent. The average Warrington buy-to-let landlord now owns 3.38 properties that generate an impressive passive monthly income with the bonus of growing their household net-worth through growth in the value of their buy-to-let portfolio.

With the average Warrington buy-to-let landlord in the 56-to-58-year age range, one thing I learned about savvy buy-to-let investing, the shrewd Warrington landlords tend to want longer-term mortgages.

Taking longer-term mortgages reduces the risk to the landlord.

It sounds counterintuitive, yet it comes down to leverage. Let me explain that whilst leverage is formidable in buy-to-let, it is also quite risky.

Before I explain why some readers might not know what leverage is and how it relates to mortgages and buy-to-let, two-thirds of landlords are debt-free, yet those landlords who have come into the property investment games in the last 10 or 20 years have had to use borrowed money (mortgages) to finance their deals. Therefore, by putting down a small amount of say 20% and borrowing the other 80%, if you calculated your return on an investment base only the money that you put into the deal, then that is what is called leverage (i.e. using borrowed money as a funding source when investing in property and generate greater returns on borrowed money).
You would think, as, say a typical 55-year-old Warrington landlord, you would want to be only taking a mortgage out for however long you intend to work (say ten years at most) – meaning your portfolio would be all bought and paid for by the time you retire. Yet the clever buy-to-let Warrington landlords I talk to don’t see their portfolio as having to be paid off (and mortgage-free) by the time they retire. They have understood how to utilise and administer their mortgage debt rationally to enhance their returns without taking on unwarranted risk.

By taking a short-term mortgage of say ten years, compared to a 25-year mortgage, during those ten years, your monthly mortgage payments will be particularly high (because the longer the mortgage term, the smaller the monthly payments will be).

Also, you can pay off a 25-year mortgage in 10 years, but you cannot pay off a 10-year mortgage in 25 years.

Longer mortgage terms mean lower monthly mortgage payments, which in turn means greater cash flow and more elasticity within your rental portfolio. Now to some Warrington landlords, possessing their rental properties debt-free is very important. Yet, I would still seriously consider taking the 25-year buy-to-let mortgage and make additional payments every month to help you to pay the mortgage off early …

Therefore, if for example, you have a bad couple of months without any rent coming in or unexpected bills, you can return to making the mandatory lower monthly mortgage payments without getting your property repossessed.

So, by taking on the longer-term mortgage, you decrease your risk because it has the lower required payments.

Let me give you an example - if our Warrington landlord wanted to buy a Warrington terraced house property for say £152,100 and put down a 25% deposit of £38,025, the best buy-to-let deal I found online on the day of writing this article was a 1.79% Santander 5-year fixed-rate buy-to-let mortgage.

Looking at the mortgage payments per month when comparing the mortgage terms; on the 10-year mortgage, the mortgage payment would be £1,048.11 per month. Therefore, our landlord would have to top up from personal savings to make up the monthly mortgage payments. Whilst if they choose the 25-year mortgage, the mortgage payment would be £481.85 per month. This would mean our landlord would be in profit from day one.

Some might say though the longer term means more interest payments, as it's 25 years and not 10 years. Yet, at today's low interest rates, that would only mean an additional £18,781 in interest payments spread over 15 years – not much in the grand scheme of things.


Therefore, by taking the longer-term mortgage, as a savvy Warrington landlord, you are 'cash flow positive’, meaning you can build a reserve fund for every one of your rental properties to enable you to deal with any unforeseen voids and repairs.

The best way to deal with a buy-to-let property is to see it as a small mini-business, and as with all businesses, you need to grow your income and reduce your expenses whilst in the background provide a decent rate of return for your investment.

The greater the amount of mortgage debt you carry, the greater your monthly mortgage payments, and the simple fact is, the shorter the mortgage term, the higher the monthly mortgage payments. So, if you take on a sensible level of mortgage debt and be ‘cash flow positive’, you can profit from much better returns without taking on excessive risk.

These are my thoughts -please share yours.

P.S. Before I go, I have to say this to cover my proverbial. My comments are only a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as financial advice and that no liability is accepted for such reliance, and that anyone needing such advice should consult a qualified financial adviser or other authorised person.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous blog articles from the Warrington Property blog and check out 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
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Friday, 23 July 2021

How Long Does It Take to Get a Mortgage?


Buying a property in Warrington can be a lengthy process simply because the process involves many factors. One of those factors is the time it takes to get a mortgage.

There’s no hard and fast rule as to how long it will take, but as a general rule of thumb you can expect to wait around 18 to 40 days after submitting your mortgage application before receiving a formal mortgage offer.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Mortgage in Principle?

You can get a mortgage in principle in a matter of minutes, and this will allow you to start viewing properties in the Warrington area within your budget and put in an offer on a property.

It’s important to note that a mortgage in principle shouldn’t be taken as gospel, and there are no guarantees that you’ll be offered that mortgage when it comes to the full application.

However, it does give you a good indication of what you should be able to borrow based on some general information you provide.

The mortgage in principle can be obtained so quickly because it doesn’t look into your finances in great detail, just a rough overview. That’s why, until you have your formal mortgage offer, you cannot fully rely on the mortgage in principle, as a formal mortgage offer will dig much deeper into your finances.

How Can I Speed the Mortgage Process up?

The key to getting your mortgage offer in a timely fashion is preparation. Lenders will need lots of information from you and will require evidence to support your application.

Typically, this will include:

  • Valid ID to prove your identity. A passport is ideal.
  • Proof of address. A utility bill or council tax bill is sufficient.
  • 3 months of bank statements. This is so lenders can assess your spending habits and get a clearer picture of how much you can afford to pay each month.
  • 3 to 6 months of payslips. This is to prove your monthly income and factor in any contractual overtime or bonuses too. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to show your accounts and tax returns.
  • Proof of your deposit. A bank statement showing the funds in your account will be needed, and if any of the money has been gifted you may need a letter from the person who has gifted it.
  • Details of the property you are buying.
  • Details of the estate agent you are buying the property through.
  • Details of your solicitor or conveyancer who will be handling the transaction.

What Can Slow the Mortgage Application Down?

If you’re unable to provide any of the information required in a timely manner, then this can be a big factor in slowing your mortgage application down. Therefore, before you even start the process it’s wise to have as much of this information to hand as possible.

Also, your credit history can play a part in how quickly the process is completed. Generally speaking, the more complex your history, the longer the mortgage process will take.
What Happens After the Mortgage Application has Been Submitted?

The lender will arrange to have a property valuation carried out. This is simply to determine if the price of the property is fair and if it’s suitable for a mortgage.

It’s important not to confuse the lender’s property valuation with a survey, which is something that is carried out separately and paid for by you, as the buyer.

Most lenders will require a survey to be carried out as a condition of offering a mortgage. You can pay for a full buildings survey or a homebuyer’s report.

The homebuyer’s report looks at the property in more detail than the lender’s valuation and takes into account any current and potential issues with the property. If the report is satisfactory then it’s likely that a lender will approve a mortgage application without the need for a full buildings survey.

The full buildings survey is a more detailed survey of a property than the homebuyer’s report. It looks at structural safety, maintenance costs and repair costs. It’s more expensive than a homebuyer’s report and it may be carried out immediately or following a homebuyer’s report that has raised concerns.

Once the lender has received the survey(s) and is satisfied with them, they’ll be in a position to make a formal mortgage offer.

How Long Does It Take to Receive the Mortgage Offer?

Once the lender has completed their checks and is satisfied with the survey carried out, you can expect to receive a formal mortgage offer in as little as a few days, and no more than 2 to 3 weeks.

How Long Does a Mortgage Offer Last?

A mortgage offer will typically last for up to 6 months. Some lenders may put a completion deadline on the offer instead of a fixed time limit, but it’s dependent on the individual lender.

If the transaction isn’t completed in time, or you’re quickly approaching the deadline then you can contact the lender to try and get an extension on the offer to avoid starting the whole process again from scratch.

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

Monday, 19 July 2021

Warrington Homeowners Profit by £45,750 in Last 5 Years


Investing in property has historically been a sound investment, yet alternative investments (like Cryptocurrency) have been gaining traction over the last five years. So, should we all ditch buying our own home and buy Bitcoin?

Cryptocurrency with such names as Bitcoin and Ethereum are being bandied about as the new investment vehicle everyone should be investing in. But is Crypto a sound investment or just an ‘end of the seaside pier one arm bandit’ speculation?

Well to start, I need to discuss the difference between investing and speculation.

I have always seen investing as making a thorough detailed evaluation (and you are realistically sure your principal lump sum is relatively safe), you then have an opportunity to make a profit. Whilst speculating is all about putting your money into an asset that has ambiguous protection of your principal lump sum … and you have an opportunity to make a large profit but also the potential to make a huge loss.

In a nutshell, investment should be as interesting as watching paint dry and speculating should be as exciting as putting all your money on red on the roulette wheel.

So, let’s see what has happened to both Cryptocurrency and Warrington property in the last five years.

The average Warrington home five years ago was worth £196,900, today it’s worth £242,650.

We now ask, what would have been the return if you had invested the same amount in Bitcoin?

If you had invested £196,900 into Bitcoin in 2016, it would be worth £10,002,500 today.

What about the return if you had invested the same amount in Ethereum?

If you had invested £196,900 into Ethereum in 2016, it would be worth £32,514,100 today.

Yet only In June, when China placed stringent controls on how its population can use Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin dropped in value by 30% in one day. Also, this year, we saw another fall in Bitcoin when Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla were banning the acceptance of Bitcoins to buy its cars.

Can you imagine the value of your Warrington home dropping in value by £74,008 in just one day because of one tweet?

So, if Cryptocurrency is speculation and extremely high risk, surely buying your Warrington home is an excellent investment?

It is my opinion that purchasing a home to live in is a massive financial choice that can give you peace of mind and a lovely place to live, yet it is not an investment. I know this is going to sound strange coming from someone in the Warrington property industry, but whilst I know it’s common for people to think of their Warrington home as an investment, I believe nothing could be further from the truth.

I am not suggesting every 20 and 30 something should avoid homeownership, but if you are edging towards buying a Warrington home because you think you are making a savvy investing choice, think again.

The concept that the home you live in can be an investment comes from the statistic that, historically, property values increase. We all know someone, our Mum and Dad or Grandparents for example, who purchased their Warrington home in the 1950’s or 1970’s for the price of an Xbox and it’s now worth more than you make in ten years in salary.

Yet, I believe, it’s not an investment only because it goes up in value.

Between 1989 and today, Warrington property values, after removing inflation, have gone up by 50.37% … sounds great until you realise that is only 1.57% growth per annum (after inflation).

Sounds rubbish, doesn’t it?

But guess what? Does it really matter?

Even though your Warrington home’s value has outperformed inflation, there are other reasons your Warrington home is not an investment.

A real investment needs more than the outlook of an increase in value.

A home has a more important primary purpose.

Possibly the specific biggest reason why your Warrington home is not an investment is because its prime purpose is providing a roof over the heads of you and your family. One of the most rudimentary issues that makes an investment an investment, is your capability to decide the timing of your possession of the investment.

A true investment requires you to buy it and sell it at times (and under situations) that are probable to exploit your investment return, yet since your Warrington home is your family’s shelter, you will have hardly any power over the sale and purchase of your Warrington home from an investment perspective.

The absence of ‘real’ control over the timing of buying and selling our Warrington homes (and note I use the word home and not house) has had a significant harmful effect on property as an investment.

In all my years in the property profession, I have seen numerous Warrington people buy houses at the top of the market (1988 and 2008) because that was the time that they required a home for their family, but those same people became stuck, having to sell their homes a few years later because of personal circumstances, albeit for a loss.

Then I have seen other Warrington people buy at the bottom of the market (1993 and 2011) because that was the time that they also required a home for their family, and those same people had to sell their homes a few years later due to personal circumstances, albeit for a huge profit. Are the second set of people more savvy investors? No, it was just good or bad timing, and that is not uncommon when it comes to buying homes, and so has to, in my opinion, exclude a home as an investment.

A Warrington home cannot be an investment if you never plan to sell it … and not buy another home.

While it is fact that Warrington homes usually increase in value, there is only a partial opportunity to tap into that growth. The best way to sell your Warrington home is after it has experienced a massive amount of value increase, sell at the top of the market, move into rented accommodation, then buy at the bottom of the market. Nevertheless, how do you know when it is the top and bottom of the property market (and moving home is considered the third most stressful thing you can do after death and divorce)?

That doesn’t sound like an investment to me, does it to you?

Ok, most people sell and buy another home, so when you do sell your Warrington home, you will have to use the profit you have made from the sale of your original Warrington home to purchase the next home as you will be moving from one home to another. This means your profit (equity) is trapped profit.

The only time that doesn’t happen is when you either trade down to a less expensive home, or move into rented accommodation, yet both scenarios are quite rare occurrences.

Using your Warrington home as a bank account?

In the early 2000’s, many banks and building societies were encouraging homeowners to re-mortgage their homes as property values rose by 15%+ a year. By extending the term of the mortgage, you could easily borrow £20k, £30k+ for fancy holidays and new cars and the monthly mortgage payments would be lower – that was like free cash!

Known as equity-stripping, a lot of Warrington homeowners found out the hard way during the Credit Crunch that they had in fact bought themselves negative equity when property values crashed. That left them powerless to re-mortgage to lower the monthly payments when the interest rates dropped in 2009, yet unable to sell to move to a less expensive property because of the negative equity. Finally, to add insult to injury, as the mortgage term had constantly been pushed into the future, they had the prospect of having to pay their mortgages until their late 60’s/early 70’s.

Bitcoin doesn’t need a boiler replacing every ten years.

Every homeowner knows it costs money to maintain their home. Replacement windows, soffits, roof, carpets, kitchens, bathrooms, boilers, flat roofs – the list goes on. Over the 25 years of a mortgage, that can add up to many tens of thousands of pounds, yet one can justify those costs since your home is providing you shelter. But that gets back to the original principle - a home is a shelter, and not really an investment.

But isn’t renting out a property an investment?

The solid fact is that your Warrington home, the home that you live in, basically won’t provide any form of cashflow when you are a homeowner, unless you move out and rent the whole house to someone else. That is called a buy-to-let investment – of course that is an investment and I know many Warrington buy-to-let landlords who make a decent living at renting out their rental properties.

Yet, that wasn’t the point of the question I asked originally – “is buying a home, for you and your family to live in, a good investment?”

Of course, you could take in a lodger or rent rooms out as an Airbnb, and this will help you pay your mortgage, Council Tax and other costs associated with homeownership, so it can be worth it for many. However, an “Englishman’s home is his castle” is quite apt and most of us aren’t good with sharing it with strangers.

What do we buy homes for then?

To conclude, I believe the principal reason why so many Warrington people consider their home (not house) to be an investment is because we are all obsessed about how much our home is worth.

We are all guilty of checking out Rightmove when a property on our street comes up for sale. Yes, we are nosey by looking at the pictures, yet the most important thing is what price they’re asking and how it compares to our home. Our home is our biggest tax-free asset and especially when it goes up in value, which it certainly has done for the last nine or ten years, it certainly can feel like an investment then.

However, during the five property crashes that we’ve had since World War II, not only did property values not increase, but they fell. Some dropped dramatically. For homeowners in that position, not only was their home not an investment, but it had become a huge liability.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble in reading this article. I must stress that I’m talking about our own homes as an investment and not buy-to-let investment which is a completely different animal and certainly is an investment, if done correctly.

One final thought - for those of you buying and selling Cryptocurrency – enjoy your roller coaster. For me, the thing about property is this; you can touch it, you can feel it, there is something reassuring about a 9-inch red brick and tiled roof. It’s home, it’s where you bring up your family, it’s where memories are made and the best investment you can make in life is with them, your family … and for that - it is a priceless and enduring investment.

These are my thoughts, please tell me what yours are.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous blog articles from the Warrington Property blog and check out 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, 16 July 2021

Moving to Warrington: Pain Free Packing Tips


When you ask most people what’s been the most stressful thing they’ve gone through, many of them will put ‘moving house’ up there with changing jobs or having a new baby. Not only do you have the long process of trying to find a house to suit your needs, there’s months of paperwork and phone calls with solicitors, switching your utility suppliers to a new house, and sorting out things like new schools for the children. This is all before the actual moving day, where you may find yourself running around trying to cram things into boxes.

One thing that can help with the stress of moving is being organised, and this is especially important when it comes to packing. If you don’t want to be dashing around on the morning of the move, follow these tips for pain-free packing and a smooth move.

Declutter first

A new home means a fresh start, so in the weeks before the move, spend time decluttering and deciding what you really want to take with you. Garages, sheds and lofts can be real clutter zones after you’ve lived in a house for a few years, so you may want to get a skip or hire a van when you clear them out, making it easy to get rid of junk.

Try not to send too much to landfill. Charity shops will usually be grateful for donations, and some will even collect larger items such as furniture. Once you’ve had a big declutter, the job of packing will seem much less daunting.

Buy supplies

Having the right supplies is important, so make sure you have:
  • Plenty of strong boxes
  • Tape and tape guns
  • Labels and permanent markers
  • Bubble wrap
  • Strong bin bags
You can buy packing boxes online, or pick them up free from Freecycle or Facebook, as you’ll often find local people who’ve just moved and who want to get rid of their boxes.

Start early and pack things professionally


The earlier you start packing, the better the job you’ll do. Most people have things in their house they don’t use often, from decorative items to books, so start with these items that you won’t mind putting away for a while.

To pack properly, you should:
  • Find the right size box and assemble it with plenty of tape
  • Decide whether it will be used for fragile items, and if so, line it with bubble wrap
  • Put the heaviest items in first, then lighter items on top, wrapping in bubble wrap if needed
  • Don’t overfill boxes. If you have heavy items, pack them in a lot of small boxes rather than one very heavy, bulky box
  • Seal the top using plenty of tape
  • Clearly label the box with the name of the room and a brief description of the contents
  • Make sure the box is clearly labelled ‘fragile’ if your removal company need to take extra care

Pack a suitcase each and an essentials box


A few days before the move, pack a suitcase for each member of the family with the clothes they wear most often, not forgetting school and work uniforms, and then start gathering essentials together in a big plastic box. This box will contain the items you’ll need on the day of the move, from paperwork and toys to teabags and a kettle, so you don’t need to unpack boxes the minute you arrive.

Once you know which essentials to keep handy, you can go from room to room and pack up, using the same tips as before. The aim is that by the night before the move, the only things you’ll have left unpacked will be bedding, a few clothes, and some kitchen essentials.

The day of the move


When you’re getting ready on the day of the move, you can pack as you go. For example, bedding can be rolled up and placed in thick bin bags, ready to go to the new house. It’s worth having a couple of extra boxes made up so that you can throw in any odd bits and bobs as the removal company do their job.

It’s always recommended to hire a professional removal team, as they’ll make moving day so much easier. If you’ve packed everything properly, then it should be a smooth process to get everything in the van and ready to go. If you really don’t like the thought of packing, then you may choose to use a professional packing service, where everything is packed up for you a couple of days before the move, saving you time and stress.

If you are planning on moving to the Warrington area soon, why not telephone us or call in. We’ll be happy to advise you on our available properties in the area. Contact us on 01925 235 338 for more information.

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, 13 July 2021

£415,755 – ‘Wood’ You Pay That for a Warrington Semi-Detached House?


The value of an average Warrington semi-detached house has increased in value by £25,906 in the last 12 months, an increase in value of 13.21%.

Yet the costs of building a Warrington home have shot up even more in the last 12 months, meaning the price of Warrington new homes and any building works you do to your Warrington home in the coming months and years could be a lot higher.

The British house building profession is experiencing a building materials supply problem. Everything from cement to bricks, timber and roof tiles, plastic guttering, copper wire and pipe to insulation, even kitchen sinks have become scarce – and when people can find them, they are costly.

For example, looking at the timber industry, three-quarters of the UK's building timber comes from abroad, so lockdowns around Europe put a restraint on the timber processing industries of Sweden, Lithuania and Latvia throughout 2020. In addition, building material supply chains were interrupted due to the lockdowns imposed by their governments, resulting in many sawmills in those countries restricting shift work to comply with their country’s social distancing rules. Some mills even stopped all work for eight weeks last year, meaning they were incapable of cutting, milling or treating timber, causing their existing stocks of building wood to run dry.

Yet, whilst we were all in lockdown, everyone started doing DIY projects, so the public demand for building timber in the UK remained high, giving little opportunity for UK sawmills (let alone North-eastern Europe) to catch up and restock to the levels previously held before the pandemic.

Building timber costs 112% more than a year ago, steel RSJ’s are a lot more expensive because iron ore has gone up 120.1% whilst aluminium is up 56.8%, and copper is up 59.7%.

All the blame cannot be laid at the feet of the virus and lockdown. The ‘B’ word caused issues with supply at the start of the year. Building materials are a worldwide supply chain issue; this Spring’s Suez boat crisis, when many boats were diverted around Africa (as the length of time the blockage was going to last was unknown) exacerbated the problem. All this has combined to make the cost of sending a 40ft container from China to Tilbury Docks £7,576 today, compared to £1,195 just before the crisis. Also, supplies of sand and cement are particularly low with massive demand from the large £98bn High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project. All this combined is affecting many building projects, big and small, across the UK.

If an average Warrington semi-detached house had risen by the price of building timber in the last 12
months, today it would be worth £415,755, not the current £222,017.

RSJ (steel joists) take twenty weeks to arrive, compared with the typical five weeks, whilst plasterboard is being rationed with weeks of delays for the ‘good stuff’ and MDF wood, usually takes seven days to arrive; now it takes over a month. Roof battens need to be ordered a month in advance, whilst pre-lockdown they were commonly held in stock by every building merchant.

Demand for building materials has increased so quickly because many British homeowners are driving the explosion. Those people in safe jobs with little opportunity to spend money on foreign holidays and fancy restaurants decided to invest in their property and gardens. According to the Bank of England, this craving for home improvement has particularly exploded since the mature generation started to be double jabbed (their savings accounts have increased by £180bn during the pandemic).

As I have explained in previous articles, these increases in the price of raw material will fuel inflation, possibly affecting interest rates upward. An increase in interest rates will make a material difference to the value of Warrington property. To what extent? Please read my previous articles on the Warrington property market.

Please do share your stories of issues with builders and building materials over the last 15 months in the comments. I appreciate any stories you can provide to help others in Warrington.

Friday, 9 July 2021

7 Exclusive Tips for First Time Home Owners in Warrington


It’s great news that you have become a first-time homeowner and have got the keys to your new place, but it’s likely you may be unsure of a few things. After all, buying a home was never top of the school curriculum, was it?

So, we at Hamlet Homes Warrington have used our experience and knowledge to put together seven tips for first-time homeowners.

Tip Number One

Rest! We know this sounds a bit daft, but you’ve gone through the process of buying your first home and it may well all have been a bit stressful. So, give yourself a break. Time to think about how amazing it is that you have the keys and you’re now a homeowner. By doing this, you’ll give yourself time to think and to plan things like decorating.

Tip Number Two


Get to know everything. Seriously, you’re in a new house but do you know how to turn the heating on? Do you know where the stopcock is and what it actually does?

You will also want to make sure you have the best broadband connection, what day is bin day and where your water, gas and electricity meters are located!

All too often, we see people get in a muddle a little down the line not because they have done anything wrong, but because they are not sure what’s what. Take time to find things out!

Tip Number Three

Lock it up, code it right. You’ve moved to a home that you can call your own. Now is the time to change the locks and the security code for the alarm. Yes, this can seem a little negative when you’re still in the champagne-quaffing stage of being a new homeowner, but safety first!

You may not know who has a key or who used to pop by now and then or look after the property when the previous householders were out – so who might still have access?

Tip Number Four

Clean it up! Do a deep clean throughout your new home. That includes skirting boards, behind radiators, door frames and behind appliances! Once you’ve done this, it will instantly feel more like your home, and you can be reassured that everything is dirt free. Obviously, before you do this, get the kettle out and the teabags!

Tip Number Five

Home in on security. Security must be a priority, even if you live in a nice leafy area. These days many people choose to have video camera doorbells and CCTV cameras high on a wall. It’s amazing what you can do with your phones now, and soon you could be checking parcel deliveries at the touch of a button.

Ask in local Facebook groups or ask friends and colleagues for recommendations as there are different systems out there that could be useful.

Tip Number Six

Community is the buzzword at the moment, and by that we simply mean the people who live near you – your neighbours! It’s good to be sociable but think of the added benefits. Neighbours will know the local playgroups, the best pubs and restaurants, trusted traders, garages, and convenience shops, so it’s advantageous to get to know the people around you.

Tip Number Seven

This might seem dull perhaps, but make sure you sort your paperwork and filing out. You may well have lots of paperwork from your move, whether that’s directly related to the house, or associated documents like insurance or utilities paperwork. It may seem like a chore when all you want to do is enjoy your new place, but it will pay off in the long run.

When you’ve bought your first home, you want to get on and enjoy it, of course you do, but think long term!

First time buyer but not found your perfect home yet? We are always happy to help. 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

Monday, 5 July 2021

Is Warrington Heading Towards a House Price Crash?


Warrington house prices dropped by 1.4% last month, according to the Land Registry. This means the annual rate of house price growth in Warrington has eased to 8.8%, a drop from the 10.9% yearly rate experienced only a few months ago. Don't get me wrong, this is still decent growth in local house prices in anyone's eyes, yet the 'pedal to the metal' growth rates seen only a few months ago do appear to be easing.

Looking at the national figures, many people were concerned the UK property market was overheating as spring saw annual growth of 9.9%, the highest rate of house price growth documented since June 2007 (when national house prices were rising by 10.8% pa). It was only a matter of a few months later the Credit Crunch hit, and the value of the average UK home plummeted from £190,032 to £154,452 in 18 months, a drop of 18.7%.

Government economic measures such as the Furlough Scheme and the Stamp Duty Holiday have so far shielded the Warrington property market from the worst economic recession since 1709.


So, the question is, can this growth in Warrington house prices continue, or is this the start of a house price crash?

One thing is for sure, looking at the number of For Sale boards going up and turning to sold just as quick, shows this market is not maintainable for the long term. Most of the Warrington people looking to move home have brought forward their home-moves from 2022/3 to this year because of the Stamp Duty Holiday and the lifestyle choice of wanting a bigger garden/office space at home.

Nonetheless, the doom-mongers in the press say there will be a second wave of house sellers that will flood the Warrington property market in the autumn and winter when furlough ends. They believe many of the 3.4m people still on furlough will be made redundant when furlough finishes at the end of September 2021 forcing them to move home.

This was the catalyst for the house price slump in 2008/9 mentioned above, when many Warrington homeowners dumped their homes onto the Warrington housing market.

After all, many Warrington homeowners lost their jobs and had mortgages paying 6% to 7% in interest payments.

However, the devil is always in the detail. The industry groups with the highest take-up rates of furlough are the hospitality (public houses) sector, where 70% of staff are furloughed. 65% of hotel staff are furloughed, and 44% people in the creative arts and entertainment industry are furloughed. Most employees in these sectors are in their 20's and early 30's and are tenants, not homeowners. This is going to be more of an issue for landlords than homeowners.

And of those furloughed homeowners who do unfortunately get made redundant later in the year, looking at the last four most recent house price crashes, buyers were wrestling with significant declines in mortgage affordability. For example, back in 1988, average mortgage rates were 13.9% before that crash and in 2007 (the Credit Crunch crash) 6.5%. Whilst today, they are under 2%, meaning the mortgages are a lot more affordable, and most Warrington homeowners who get made redundant will be able to ride out the storm better.

But surely, if Warrington house prices are rising, won’t Warrington homes become unaffordable?

Well, with low-interest rates, this means Warrington homes are still relatively affordable. In 1989, the house price to earnings ratio was 5.4 to 1 (i.e. the average house was 5.4 times the average UK salary), whilst today that stands at 8.8 to 1. It’s no wonder some people are concerned there will be a house price crash (as there was in 2008 when that ratio hit 7.5 to 1).

However, it doesn't matter what the house price to earnings ratio is .... it is what percentage of your income is required to pay your mortgage.

In 1989, 74.6% of your income was required to service an 80% loan to value mortgage on an average UK home (i.e. you borrowed 80% of the value of your house on a mortgage). In the 1990s that percentage dropped yet rose steadily over the next decade and a half, so by the time we got to 2008, that was an equally eye-watering figure of 61.6% of your income to service an 80% mortgage.

Today, it's only 35.9% of your income to service an 80% mortgage because of low interest rates.

So, if the issue is not the affordability of houses, what is the problem for Warrington homeowners?

Interest rates!

Bank of England interest rates will affect what people pay on their mortgage (higher interest rates normally mean higher mortgage payments). Interest rates are used to reduce inflation, so if inflation rises, interest rates also rise to bring inflation back under control.

UK inflation has just gone through the 2% barrier, and I believe by the end of this year or early next, it will touch 4% or 5%. In normal circumstances, this would trigger the Government (or now the Bank of England) to raise interest rates. Yet, we had a similar scenario in the late 1980s/early 1990s with a spike in inflation to 8.5% due to a shortage of raw materials and labour, but this was soon sorted out, and inflation dropped quite quickly thereafter.

In the coming year, a shortage of raw materials might be an issue. If there is a shortage of raw materials (supply problems are being found in key items such as timber, concrete, aggregates and steel), this will fuel construction and manufacturing costs upwards.

Next, will there be a shortage of labour? Some say it won’t be an issue (as unemployment will be higher), yet there are certain sectors of the economy that have an imbalance of trained staff of specialised jobs or people not wanting work in that type of job in the first place.

For example, many hospitality and dining establishments are reporting a shortage of staff because they were often filled with hard-working European migrants. I have read reports of London restaurants advertising for chefs and waiting staff, who would have received 1000+ enquiries for such jobs pre-pandemic to only be receiving applications that could be counted on two hands this summer. The hospitality and dining sector was hit harder than most, having to stop trading during the three lockdowns and working under firm restrictions. This led to the majority of staff being placed on furlough (as mentioned above, 7 in 10 are still on furlough), which has prompted some to ride out the pandemic in their own Country.

The question is – will they return? If not, to entice them back restaurants will have to increase the wages they pay to attract the staff, which in turn will mean they will have to put their prices up (i.e. inflation). If businesses have to put their wages up and the cost of raw materials continues to rise, prices for everything will rise, and at this point, higher interest rates will kick in.

But how will increased interest rates affect the Warrington property market?

Thankfully, 91% of all new mortgages being written are fixed interest rate mortgages and 78% of all existing UK mortgages are fixed-rate (compared to 32.8% in the credit crunch) ... meaning we won’t have so many houses being dumped on the housing market like we did in the Credit Crunch, because on a fixed rate mortgage, if interest rates rise - mortgages don’t follow suit.

And that’s the key … unemployment combined with high-interest rates caused many Warrington homeowners to put their property onto the market in 2008/9. Tied in with curtailed demand for property, because it was really difficult to get a mortgage (that’s why it was called the credit crunch) ... we had an oversupply and subdued demand of Warrington homes - causing house prices to drop by 16% to 19% depending on what type of property you owned.

So, a good bellwether and indicator on what will (or will not) happen to Warrington property prices is the number of properties for sale at any one time.

There are only 178 properties available to buy in Warrington today, low when compared to the 14-year average of 822 properties for sale in the town, whilst at the height of the Credit Crunch, there were 1,878 properties for sale at one point in Warrington.

As we look to the future, if you want a crystal ball of what will happen to the Warrington property market ... you won’t go that far wrong by getting yourself on the property portals and seeing how many properties are for sale.

These are my thoughts ... what are yours?

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous blog articles from the Warrington Property blog and check out 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
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Friday, 2 July 2021

New House Vs Old House? Here’s How to Choose!


Out with the old and in with the new? Or, out with the old and in with the old?

Moving house can be wonderful but how do you choose where you will be living next?

Do you go for the period property with the character and quirks in need of a little love and attention, or do you opt for the new house with the ensuite, the study space and the double garage?

Choosing your next home in Warrington is a big decision. It’s a huge investment and so it must be right.

At Hamlet Homes Warrington we’ve seen our fair share of old and new, so let’s look at what you should be considering when choosing.

What do you really want?

We speak with people all the time who know exactly what it is they want! However, equally, many don’t. So, what do you want from a new-to-you property?
  • Do you want a ready-to-live-in house?
  • Would you rather have a property where you know you will need to do some work?
Write the pros and cons of new and old and have a good ponder on the type of house you want.

Do you have the skills?

You may have decided that you want a doer-upper. You know the type. External walls need rendering, a rewire is required, new bathroom suite, the kitchen needs replacing…

But do you have the skills to do the work?

If you do, then great.

Do you have the time?

If you do, then greater still.

If you don’t, then this should steer you away from a house that needs work unless you have the budget to pay for professionals. If you’re going to bodge it, will it really become the home of your dreams? Unlikely! So, think carefully before taking on too much.

Is money no object, or are your finances tight?


Budgets play a huge part in any project, whether it’s a house you are renovating, or a new property that needs carpeting or decorating to your taste.

If you want to renovate, have you worked out all that you need to do, whether that’s materials or labour costs? And what about a contingency fund? What you don’t want to do is have a list of things to do and then forget important aspects which mean the budget is smashed through the roof.

You can of course renovate on a budget, but if you have not fully costed everything, you may be in for a shock.

New can mean brand new!


A new home is so easy to move into. You can practically unpack, add furniture and be having a cuppa within an hour or two!

If it is brand new, then there should be warranties on white goods or on the building itself, giving you peace of mind so brand new can be an ideal option if your skills are limited, your budget tight, and, to be honest, you don’t want to renovate a property.

Is an older property better?

Many older houses are perceived to have been better built than newer ones. It’s true, they might have more substantial building materials used in the construction process, have intricate tiled patterns, more spacious rooms, larger gardens, or handmade bricks.

But… newer homes will have up-to-date environmental standards, materials sourced from environmentally conscious suppliers, have better insulation, and have electric and plumbing systems that are unlikely to require replacing.

There are always going to be pros and cons to any house you buy, whether it’s an old one or a new one.

Right now, we don’t know what your requirements are, so come and talk to us and we’ll be able to help you make the right choice. In Warrington we’re lucky that we have old and new properties coming to market, so we could have the ideal house for you.

What do you prefer, old or new?

Call us on 01925 235 338 or email manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk and let us know what you’re looking for.

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, 25 June 2021

5 Amazing Lighting Tips to Help You Sell Your Home in Warrington


There are so many different tasks to take care of when selling your home in Warrington, from getting all the paperwork done to packing your old home up, to finding the right estate agent to help you sell it. Just when you think you’ve got everything covered, you find something else that needs taking care of.

Selling a property requires some effort on your part! After all your hard work into preparing your home for sale, you don’t then want your work to be sabotaged by the one little detail that so many people overlook: the lighting in your home.

When you’re trying to sell your home, first impressions make all the difference. Homes that are poorly lit and dark are less appealing to potential buyers. Low lighting makes the space look and feel smaller, colder, uninviting, and dingy, even if it isn’t. It can also look as though you are trying to conceal some kind of flaws in the shadows, which can be a huge turn off for buyers.

Good lighting is crucial, but if you don’t have the time or the budget to overhaul the lighting in every room of your home, have no fear. You can still improve your lighting situation and in turn, increase the likelihood of your home being sold sooner.

Here are five great lighting tips to help sell your home.

1. Audit each room’s lighting

The first step to take is to check out how each room in your home fares when it comes to it’s current lighting. Open all the blinds, pull back the curtains and turn on all the lights, then do a walk-through of every room in your home. You also might want to do this at a few different times during the day since viewings can happen from day right through to the evening when it’s darker. Try it in the morning with the morning sun, in the afternoon in full sun, in the evening at sunset, and then once the sun has completely set. It’s also a good idea to try it on rainy or cloudy days.

While you’re conducting your audit, put yourself in your potential buyer’s shoes and think about what they would think if they were walking through. Take note of any areas that are lit very well and any areas that need more lighting. If it helps, use your phone camera to take photos to highlight which spaces need some work.

2. Remember exterior lighting

Don’t forget about your home’s exterior lighting! Your home’s kerb appeal is important no matter what time of day. Consider that potential buyers could drive past your home at any time, or evening passers by could see the ‘for sale’ sign in your front garden. You want to make a good impression on these people, so keeping the exterior of your home well lit is crucial. The front porch and path leading to the door should be lit well to make your home look warm and welcoming. If you have a garden or patio, it should also be lit to help make the space look inviting and to highlight any features that are worth seeing.

3. Upgrade your current fixtures

Most home buyers are willing to accept that there will be some improvements needed once they move in, but the more work you’ve done for them, the more appealing your home is. This includes any dated light fixtures or fittings that don’t work anymore.

You also may want to consider upgrading your lightbulbs to LED lights which have less of an environmental impact, generate less heat, and allow you to get longer use out of your bulbs.

4. Use tricks to help brighten dark spaces

Sometimes your lighting may be fine but wall colours or decoration dark, making the rest of the room feel gloomier and smaller than it actually is. To combat this, you can address those problems directly by repainting and changing the colours. If you don’t have the time or the budget to go that far, you can take a few other steps that are quicker and easier.

Strategically placing mirrors to help reflect light can help the room seem brighter and more open, especially in rooms with small windows or windows that don’t actually offer much natural light. Additionally, adding bright or light coloured cushions, blankets, pictures, or rugs can help brighten up your space in an instant.

5. Add more lighting if needed

When all else fails, adding extra lighting in dark spaces will be sure to do the trick. Table lamps and desk lamps can be stylish ways to bring more light into the room while adding accent lighting can help create or highlight an existing focal point. If you want to take it to the next level, under cabinet lighting, tread lighting for dark stairways and track lighting for shadowed ceilings will definitely brighten up the whole space.

If your property is for sale or you are thinking of selling your home, why not try some of these lighting tips today and ensure you create a lighter, brighter space ready for viewers. For further property related advice, contact the team at Hamlet Homes Warrington on 01925 235 338 and we will be delighted to offer you professional guidance.

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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Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Warrington Buy-to-Let Landlords Owed £1,046,046 in Unpaid Rent


There is no getting away from the fact that the rise in the number of buy-to-let properties in Warrington has been nothing short of astonishing over the last twenty years. As a result, many in the press have said Britain is a broken nation, with many twenty and thirty-somethings unable to buy their first home. The press has named this group ‘Generation Rent.’

Warrington landlords have been accused of scooping up all the smaller Warrington properties for their buy-to-let property empires. Others blamed the Government (of both persuasions) for pouring petrol on the buy-to-let fire for giving landlords an unfair advantage with the way buy-to-let has been taxed in the past. Many have said these landlords have priced out Warrington's 'Generation Rent'. Many say they are rogues, and you can see why there is little sympathy for landlords, especially as …

Warrington landlords receive £56,798,904 a year in rent – easy money or what?

So, as we come out of lockdown, I want to make a stand for Warrington landlords and talk about the great work they have been doing during the pandemic.

Since lockdown, it has been (almost) illegal to evict a tenant from private rented property. Yet, in the last few weeks, this ‘ban on evictions’ has begun to be eased, making some commentators forecast a ‘tsunami of homelessness’ as landlords ready themselves to kick out the tenants who cannot pay their rent.

You might say they can afford it, yet I need to highlight an often-untold story in the massive numbers of Warrington landlords who have co-operated with their Warrington tenants to evade eviction.

The personal finances of some Warrington landlords and tenants have been ruthlessly strained during the last 16 months — something that is going to have ramifications on the back pockets of both landlords and tenants, as well as the attraction of being a buy-to-let landlord (more of that later).

737 Warrington tenants are in arrears with their rent to the tune of £1,046,046.

That's money these landlords need to pay their mortgages with and even to live off themselves.

The eviction ban was imposed in March 2020 and the Government has expected private landlords to stand the cost of their tenants’ rent if they could no longer pay. It was estimated over 1 in 5 landlords with mortgages had requested a mortgage payment holiday in 2020. Thankfully, that now stands at 1 in 100 as most Warrington landlords with shortfalls in rent have been using their own personal savings to cover the mortgage payments.

I have seen so many landlords giving their Warrington tenants rent breaks and discounts to help them through these times. However, most landlords I talk to acknowledge that it is better to have a tenant paying something rather than a tenant paying nothing, hoping that total rent will start flowing as the economy recovers.

Going into the pandemic, 1 in 25 Warrington tenants were in arrears, yet that now stands at 1 in 11.

So, are we going to see lots of evictions? I would go as far as to rebuff the idea that we will see a rush to the courts of landlords to obtain possession orders now the eviction ban has been lifted. I have always viewed evictions as a last resort.

Before the pandemic, it took about 12 months for courts to hear rental repossession cases, so this backlog will be nearer two years (if not more). Nonetheless, the threat of a County Court Judgement (CCJ) often makes tenants pay up as it will demolish their credit rating, making it very challenging for them to rent another home.

I feel for those Warrington tenants under furlough or reduced hours as they have the quandary of wanting to reduce their outgoings by moving to a cheaper rental property, yet whose rental deposits will be sacrificed to cover their rent arrears. However, some have said that because house prices have exploded during the last 16 months, Warrington landlords should write off their tenants’ arrears as a goodwill gesture.

The issue is, 1,313 Warrington landlords only have a single property for rent, so the arrears would have to be funded by their personal savings.

For them, the pandemic experience could be the incentive to sell up for good.

A National Residential Landlords Association survey found around a third of all landlords were now more likely to sell their buy-to-let properties altogether or sell some of them. This would mean fewer properties for tenants to rent, thus driving up the rent.

According to government and industry data, evidence suggests that a tenant who rents a property directly through a landlord and not through a letting agent is between two and three times more likely to go into arrears of 2 months or more. Is this because tenants know that private landlords who advertise directly for tenants on Gumtree and other platforms don't carry out the checks letting agents do on them?

Many of those landlords are switching the management of their property to an agent, and for those landlords sticking with self-management of their property, there is circumstantial evidence they are starting to become a lot pickier when starting new tenancies. Even though illegal, spurning tenants on benefits is woefully all too common. I also worry there could be a stigma about renting properties to self-employed people because of the erratic nature of their income.

Looking into the future, I envisage a growth in the use of ‘rent guarantor contracts’, whereby the tenant is called upon to provide a 3rd party person to pay the rent if the tenant doesn’t. These are pretty common for student lets and those on certain benefits, and it wouldn't surprise me if these are used more often for self-employed tenants and regular professional lets.

That is why I believe Warrington landlords should be celebrated .. most of them have been saviours. These are my thoughts - what are yours?

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous blog articles from the Warrington Property blog and check out 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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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
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Twitter Page

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.

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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
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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