Using Your Property to Release Cash Fast

Using Your Property to Release Cash Fast

Property Market

If you need to free up some cash quickly and you own your own property, you have several options available to you. The first and most popular option is to remortgage your home – this is essentially taking out a loan against part of the value of your home which you pay back over a number of years while retaining ownership of your property.

Another option if you are looking to sell or require a larger amount, is to find a company that buys houses fast for cash. These companies won’t offer you the highest amount for your property but they will potentially offer you the fastest way to get your hands on a large amount of money. This is a great option if you are moving house and your buyer pulls out and you want to stay in a chain, or if you need finances for unexpected fees such as funding a care home or large medical bills.

Equity release is another option, this allows you to cash in a part of the value of your house while still being able to legally live there. There are many reasons that people choose to do this, some of which will be covered in this article. There are also a few different ways you can go about releasing the equity on your home – we will also go through these and make sure that you are fully understanding of what this means and what rights you will have.

Knowing all of the facts before you make any final decision will stop you from being scammed or losing out on money that you could otherwise have.

As a quick introduction, equity is the difference between the current market value of the property, and the amount the owner still owes on the mortgage. The part of the house which is mortgaged is technically owned by the bank, until the owner has paid back the mortgage. Equity release involves making this difference available to the owner (either all or part of the equity) so they can make use of the cash. However, this money will be added on to the amount that they then owe to the bank – essentially becoming a new part of the mortgage.

Many people choose to release their equity for a number of reasons. One of the most common reasons is that people often need some money to do home repairs. Many people find that if damage is caused to the house that their insurance won’t cover then they can use their equity to help pay to repair this damage. Another common reason to release equity is when two home owners are splitting up the property due to divorce or separation. By releasing the equity, then the two home owners may have enough money for a deposit on another property, and they can then split up the remains onto separate mortgages.…

Should I Repair or Replace My Boiler?

Should I Repair or Replace My Boiler?

Property Maintenance

Whenever people have problems with their boiler, they have the dilemma of whether to repair it or replace it. The decision depends on a number of factors. You should consider each of these factors carefully before making your decision.

“It’s important to choose honest, experienced and fully qualified heating engineers” says Stuart of MP Plumbing, a Bristol based plumber “that way, they will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your boiler – whether that be repair or replacement. You don’t want to pay for repairs if they are going to cost more than replacement, it’s just not logical and will end up costing you more in the long run”.

Age of the Boiler

If your boiler has been running for 10 years or longer, then you should think about replacing it. If your boiler is not that old and you are having problems, you can usually get away with repairing it. It is common for manufacturer’s to include a warranty of up to two years when you buy a boiler, so if you have any problem with the boiler within this time frame, the manufacturer will repair it for you or replace any parts if needed.

A boiler that is more than 10 years old may also be unsafe. It may not meet the latest laws and guidelines concerning boilers and gas safety. Before repairing your boiler, you should ask a professional to inspect it to see whether it’s safe to continue using it. Boiler safety is very important because faulty boilers can release carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is very harmful to your health and can even cause death if you’re exposed to it for long periods.

Repair Cost

The repair cost depends on the nature of the problem. It can be more expensive to repair old boilers, especially if they are more than 10 years old as it’s likely the manufacturer will have stopped production of the parts. Availability of parts will become less, so the prices for them will rise. If a newer boiler has a problem then you can find the parts easily and it will cost you less to fix. However, even with newer boilers, you may need to do expensive repairs. In such case, it may be better to replace your old boiler with a new one. If the problem with the boiler is minor and it can be fixed quite easily then you should repair it instead of replacing it. You should compare the cost of repairing and replacing the boiler, and then make your decision. As a rule of thumb, if your boiler has passed three-quarters of its lifespan and the cost of repairing it is one-third of the price needed to buy a new one, then you should replace the old boiler with a new one.…

Top Tips For Living In A Rented Property

Top Tips For Living In A Rented Property

Tenant Advice

Private rentals are extremely popular in the UK due to an increasing preference among the population to stay relatively flexible and mobile. Another factor is the difficulty of saving for a deposit and securing a mortgage, and these aren’t always considered the essential next steps for young renters any more.

If you, like many others, are planning to move into a rented property and you’d like things to work out for you in the long run, it’s probably a good idea to consider all of the following tips.

Get your finances in order

Obviously, an essential step before going ahead with a rental is getting financially prepared. You need a realistic understanding of how you’re going to stick to a budget each month, factoring in rent, utilities, council tax, insurance and so on. You will also have to pay a deposit at the beginning of your agreement which is typically at least one month’s rent.

Finding the right place

Another obvious but essential factor is finding a property that actually satisfies your needs. Viewing a few different places before making a decision is highly recommended, but if you find something great early on you should sometimes trust your instincts. Depending on how competitive the local area is, you will probably only have a matter of days to make a decision after a viewing, and sometimes only hours, but don’t be pressured into anything that won’t work for you.

Check and ask

You need as much information as possible before you make any commitments, so it’s only fair to ask questions and you shouldn’t feel obligated to go along with anything you’re not clear about. It’s common for things to be accidentally forgotten or missed off when you receive information from agents or landlords, so chase them up as required and make sure it’s clear who is responsible for different things. This definitely applies to when you come to actually signing a tenancy agreement, because this is legally binding.

Pay attention to the inventory

An initial inventory report will usually be prepared so the state of the property and any furnishings and fittings are recorded. Make sure any existing problems are accounted for so you can’t be blamed for them later. Photos should be included for clarification.

Report any issues quickly

In order to reduce the risk of any long-term problems developing between you and your landlord or agent, make sure any issues that arise are reported in writing as quickly as possible. It may be good for you to talk to your landlord on the phone or in person to make arrangements if things need attention, but anything that could affect your agreement should be done via email or similar methods so you have a record of it later.…

How To Photograph Your Property

How To Photograph Your Property

Property Market

When you come to sell a home, of course a lot is riding on the quality of the photos you include with the listing. This is true whether the property will be listed exclusively online, in a brochure or even in the window of your estate agent’s offices.

Surprisingly, many people still fail to understand the basics of taking great pictures of a property you’re intending to sell. Here are a few tips to bear in mind when you get to the stage of taking photos of your property.

1) Remember this could make or break a deal

The number one rule here has to be to not forget how important these pictures are. So many sellers treat them as an afterthought, perhaps because they known their own property well and fail to put themselves in the shoes of a potential buyer. Viewers do not know what your home looks like and they’re relying on these pictures to tell them where to invest tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds.

2) Be comprehensive

If you only include photos of two or three rooms when you’re trying to sell a large house, it’s going to come across as lazy at best, and very suspicious at worst. It may appear that you have something to hide by not showing off every room in the house. Try to include as many rooms as possible.

3) Tidy up beforehand

Is this point too obvious? Take a look at some of the listings in your local area, and we can guarantee you’ll spot some examples where the seller would have made more of an effort to spruce the place up before taking their promotional photos. Clutter makes it hard for your viewers to imagine themselves moving in, and generally looks unattractive.

4) Get the light right

Another common problem with property photos is that they come out way too dark. The flash on your camera will often produce overly harsh light, so this isn’t an ideal solution. Unless your property benefits from great natural lighting, turning on as many lights as possible is usually an easy solution.

5) Use a real camera

Smartphones are getting better and better cameras all the time, but most will still struggle to take professional-standard photos indoors with limited lighting. A professional DSLR camera will typically produce much better results, as long as the photographer knows how to handle it.…

Dealing With A Seller’s Market

Dealing With A Seller’s Market

Property Market

Unfortunately for buyers, the power in the current UK property market still remains with sellers. Due to high demand, they have free reign to pull out of your agreement at the last minute if something better comes along, which can be very frustrating and often seems unfair. Here we outline a few areas that you might be feeling anxious about, and provide some advice on getting the best possible outcome.

Firstly, gazumping is a major issue in the UK and has been for some time, although the situation has improved a little on the whole. It basically refers to being outbid on a property by a rival buyer, even though you have already agreed and confirmed a deal with the seller. In England and Wales, this breach of an agreement does not actually constitute a violation of the law, although in Scotland that’s not the case and you can actually file a lawsuit against the seller.

Whilst this practice seems immoral and can be exhausting, bear in mind the following tips to help you avoid getting into the same situation:

  • If you move fast, there’s less chance of being outbid, so get your mortgage arrangements done ASAP.
  • Make sure your offer is actually fair to minimise the chance of the seller actively looking for better offers.
  • Ensure the property is taken off the market as soon as possible once your sale has been agreed formally.
  • Agents do not want this to happen, because it will negatively affect their reputation. You can work with them to try and make sure you don’t get gazumped.

Sellers may also change their mind about selling because they decide they want to keep the property for themselves. Sometimes if the market starts to pick up and there’s a good chance of the home’s value increasing within the coming months, sellers will decide to keep their investment and wait for the price to become inflated.

Upcoming changes in legislation could also influence a seller’s decision to put their sale on hold, if they stand to gain something financially from waiting. Another possibility is that the seller’s property chain collapses due to a problem further along the line, and unfortunately this tends to have a knock-on effect.

The bad news is that in any of these situations there is very little you can do. Once you have agreed a sale you are committed to buying it and you will probably incur some costs in the process of preparing to move, but if the seller does abandon the transaction you are not offered any legal protection. That is unless you have evidence that the reason for the cancelled sale was actually based on some form of discrimination against you, and in this situation you should consult with professionals for legal advice.…

Putting Your Possessions Into Storage

Putting Your Possessions Into Storage

Storage

It’s not something we normally want to do, but sometimes using a self storage company to temporarily keep your items out of the way and secure is needed when moving house. If you are moving to a smaller property you may not be able to fit all of your items into it straight away, and perhaps once you’re less busy you will be able to sell or re-home these possessions. You might simply have a gap between leaving one property and moving into the next.

In any case, you may need to consider a few important points in order to handle your possessions correctly and make sure they are safe when you put them in storage.

Preparing your furniture

Furniture may become damaged when it’s put into storage for a long period of time. If you’re not sure how long it will be there, or even if you think it won’t be long, it pays to be prepared. Make sure you ensure any repairs or cleaning work is completed before the furniture goes into storage. Lay protective sheets down on the floor of your storage unit if possible, and use similar packing materials to wrap up items. This protects the corners and surfaces from getting scratched or torn.

Packing fragile items

Many people don’t realise there are certain ways you can (and should) pack your most fragile and valuable items to ensure they don’t break while in transit or storage.

Plates – Wrap individually in paper and lay vertically in a box rather than stacking
Glasses – Place one inside the other to form small stacks and wrap in bubble wrap
Lamps – Disassemble as much as possible and wrap the individual parts
Artwork – Cover frames with additional padding on corners and wrap separately
Ornaments – Use multiple layers of bubble wrap and appropriately sized boxes

Plan for your space and stay organised

If possible you should always think about the unpacking process and where you eventually want everything to go. You don’t need to know the specifics, but grouping items together logically based on the room they normally need to be in will help you. Make sure you label things as much as possible so even if your items are being stored for a long time, you will remember how to find things later.

You might be interested in:

http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/business/expert-time-management-tips-to-save-stress-when-moving-home/news-story/799986458503ddb2cfb6a978b8458185Easy hacks for a painless move – Geelong Advertiser So much so that three quarters of Australians in a recent survey conducted by Origin Energy said moving homes is one of the most stressful life events. A stressful life event that we undertake an average of 13 times in our lifetime and lose around 208 …

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Rental Advice For Students

Rental Advice For Students

Tenant Advice

If you’re a student and planning to move away from home as part of your studies, or you already live in a different city with accommodation provided by your university, it’s time to start think about your accommodation next year. Are you going to have to move out of where you are now and find yourself a private landlord? If so, there is some advice you should bear in mind when renting properly for the first time.

Specialist letting agents for students do exist, so wherever you’re studying it’s best to try and identify a local expert as soon as you can, and go to them for some guidance and a place to start looking. They usually service a particular region, and often assist students from several universities. On the subject of student lettings, one agent explains the challenges students tend to face: “Students face a unique set of problems when renting for the first time, which can be pretty confusing. We do see a lot of people who are panicking slightly about being away from home or taking on the responsibility that comes with being in charge of a property. It’s just about good planning and having an understanding of what both parties need to do.”

Using Stainless Steel In Interior Design

Using Stainless Steel In Interior Design

Landlord Advice, Property Development

When you’re developing a property there are lots of design considerations to be made throughout the process. Using different materials is always hugely important in interior design, as there are often lots of different functions to one particular element in a room. For example, objects you choose to include in your room have to look attractive as well as being appropriate for what they’re going to be used for. This is especially true in kitchens, and that’s why using stainless steel kitchen worktops, splash backs and more features may be a perfect choice.

Stainless steel is obviously a variation on steel, a fantastically versatile metal made from iron with carbon and other elements added in through chemical processes to produce different characteristics. Mild steel is a standard type this is often used internally for construction, as well as for frames, brackets, supports and other small elements in pieces of furniture.…

Emergency Repairs On Your Rental Property

Emergency Repairs On Your Rental Property

Landlord Advice, Property Maintenance

As a landlord, there are plenty of potential headaches that are easily avoidable regardless of who your tenants are. If you are a landlord it is your responsibility to ensure your property is always kept up to a high enough standard for people to live in comfortably and according to what you have agreed. Emergency repairs may be necessary from time to time, although it can be tricky to judge what counts as an emergency if you’re inexperienced. Here are some examples of times when it would be the responsibility of the landlord to implement a fix as soon as possible.

1) Emergency plumbing and heating

“As we all know, the weather can take a toll on a property and its occupants. When it’s freezing cold and your property’s boiler needs servicing, this can be classed as an emergency for your tenants,” advised Jerry from Fast Action, emergency plumbers in Edinburgh. “Ensure you have the number of an emergency plumber and heating engineer so you can get this fixed quickly should you need to.”

Tips on how to sell your home abroad

Property Market

homeIf you’re like one of the many people who own a house abroad, you may look into selling them at some point in the future especially when you decide that you no longer have any use for it or when you’re in need of money. You may also look into selling or renting your property home.

When you’re at a point of finally selling your home abroad, you may look into selling it on your own or hire an agency to market on your behalf. It can also be a hassle to sell them as you’re not physically there when it comes to managing to sell your property. So to help you sell your home, we’ve come up with some useful tips below.

Exterior

The first thing the buyer will see is the exterior of your home. It’s also important to make a good impression for buyers as this will make them more interested in your property. You should look into making improve outside the house, and this may mean repainting the walls or changing the colour of your walls entirely. If you have an outside garden, you may also want to invest in maintenance or adding small improvements.

Best feature

When marketing, make sure to highlight the best feature of your home. Each house will vary depending on the built. Your house may be located in the city centre or a good area. The best feature could even be the patio or a nice balcony. Whatever it is, make sure they are highlighted as this will attract more people into buying your home.

Cleanliness

Although exteriors make a good impression, the cleanliness of your home can also make a huge difference. It’s an obvious tip, but you’ll need to keep in mind that when holding a viewing, ensure the house is spotless.

How to attract people into buying your home

Property Market

property for sale

For many homeowners who are in the process of selling their homes or simply struggling to sell their property, it would be ideal to make some improvements to attract more home buyers. Usually, sellers would decide not to make any changes since they are already leaving their home.

But did you know that you’re most likely to reap a bigger reward for investing on your home? Even just by improving some areas of your home can help you sell it at a higher price. If you’re interested in upgrading, we advise you to follow our tips below.

Backyard

Backyards or gardens are one of the main selling points of your home. Buyers love to see a well-maintained back garden as they love the idea of using it for the summer with their friends and family. It would be a big mistake to leave your patio in a mess as you could be missing out on a big return.

Storage

Ideally, people may also look for storage space around the house. If your home doesn’t have enough storage spaces, you may want to invest in adding a garage or simply building storage cupboards and units in each room as this will help increase the value of your home.

kitchenFlooring

Hardwood flooring is much more favourable than carpets as they are easier to maintain in the longer run. If you think your flooring is not up to scratch, it’s time to invest in a new shiny hardwood floor. This will attract more interest to your home.

Energy saving

Buyers would want to invest in a property that comes with appliances or windows that helps them reduce energy consumption. Ensure that your property has double glazing. You may also want to invest in devices that are energy efficient. This reduces their energy bill.

Benefits Of Buy To Let Mortgages

Benefits Of Buy To Let Mortgages

Property Market

Buying to let mortgages have grown in popularity since they were first introduced in 1996. The increased allure of these investments has forced changes in banking and lending policies to accommodate buy to let arrangements. Lenders used to offer only variable-rate loans, but they now offer fixed rates, trackers, flexible rates, and discounts. These benefits alone could save investors thousands of pounds sterling over the course of the lending periods.

Benefits of Investing in Real Estate The long-term benefits include most of the traditional advantages of home ownership. The letting fees cover the loan payments, and most rentals include a financial cushion to cover incidental repairs and maintenance. Owners pocket any excess funds, which Inland Revenue treats as ordinary income. Other pluses include the following advantages.

  • The long-term outlook for property values makes real estate investments safer than stocks.
  • Insurance cover lets owners guard against many perils.
  • Excess letting fees and equity produce steady income.
  • The demand for rental properties thrives in the U.K.
  • The tangible benefits of ownership include having collateral for future investments or emergency loans.
  • Rising rents, better loan deals, and lower home prices make buy to let mortgages very attractive to investors.

Making Arrangements for Best Advantage

These deals have some drawbacks, but careful research and proactive measures can limit unpleasant eventualities. Lenders usually ask for a down payment of at least 25 percent, higher than most home loans. Landlords should set rates of 125–150 percent of their loan payments to cover incidentals and periods of vacancy.

The most difficult problems arise from landlord obligations. Repairs, inspections, and responsibility for properties pass to landlords. Screening tenants carefully, insuring against threats, and hiring letting agencies offer workable solutions to handle these problems. People handy with tools might want to make a go of handling repairs personally, but they should prepare to give up nights, weekends and the occasional holiday.

These investments rarely earn quick money, but they make solid, long-term investments for stable people. High divorce rates, university housing demands, and the trend toward single occupancy make rentals flourish. Investors that do their homework could find lucrative investments that need little work from them to earn generous dividends.

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Where To Find The Best Value Buy To Let Mortgages Online

Where To Find The Best Value Buy To Let Mortgages Online

Property Market

Investors have two choices when looking for buy to let loans online. The first option is to research individual companies to find out their terms and requirements. This method could prove time consuming, but online browsing beats phone calls or personal visits to banks and lenders.

The most effective way to find letting deals involves using a comparison site to evaluate several lenders. Buying to let has grown in popularity, and experts estimate that over a million U.K. citizens hold these types of mortgages. Banks used to require 25 percent down payments, and rental prices needed to cover 125 percent of annual loan payments.

The banks now offer competitive deals, basing down payments on personal credit. Some lenders even accept rental payments that only total 100 percent of annual loan payments. Home prices are rising again, and banks anticipate increases in equity to make up any shortfalls. Competition for these mortgages has also brought about more favourable terms.

Compare Vendors or Find Property Online

Online comparison engines make it simple to compare interest rates, down payments, and other particulars. Dedicated websites find the ideal loan, so a landlord only needs to look for qualified tenants. Online research helps consumers find out details about the following situations.

  • Investors can buy singly or enter partnerships to buy property.
  • Some lenders offer loans to Special Purpose Vehicle Limited Companies that protect loan property from bankruptcies.
  • Limited Liability Partnerships protect one or more partners from certain obligations. Some lenders will offer loans to these entities.
  • Online calculators help consumers analyse interest rates, payments, and their financial health.
  • Online advice provides useful checklists of facts to consider. Property values could rise or fall. Landlords might need to pay added insurance covers, management fees for hiring letting agencies, service charges for flats, and stamp duties.

Consumers can discover valuable resources through online sites, including tax advice, how to screen tenants, and facts to consider when choosing property. Research not only helps find the best loan but also assists buyers in finding viable property.