Tag Archives: #buying

Buyers – Now is the Time to Buy in Golders Green

Despite data suggesting the demand for homes may be easing; 40% of Brits would choose bricks-and-mortar over other investments

For a long time now house prices in the capital have, in the eyes of many, been going crazy, outstripping house price growth in the rest of the UK by some way. Whether you pinpoint the cause of the rise on foreign investment, Help to Buy or genuine demand, there haven’t been many signs of a slowdown for some time now. No signs until recently anyway.

In the last week of August 2014 Rightmove released figures showing that asking prices for new properties being introduced to the market were down by 5.9% in the capital and this is not an isolated event; it was actually the third month running that asking prices had fallen and it was also the biggest drop recorded in the property portal’s history and is certainly worthy of note, so why the drop?

Expectations of an interest rate rise

As much as the Bank of England have been trying to delay it, it is inevitable that a small interest rate rise will be on the way sometime early next year and most industry experts are predicting this. The possibility of a rise might not just be affecting the decision making of buyers who may be wary of overcommitting themselves or of finding that they have overpaid for a property if values were to fall after the rise. It may also be affecting the expectations of sellers as they perhaps start to worry that their chances of selling their property quickly after a rate rise may begin to diminish and the value of their property may also start to erode too.

New rules on mortgage lending

While the new rules introduced earlier this year to tighten up criteria on mortgage lending may not have had the drastic dampening effect on the market that some may have thought it would, it has certainly had some effect as borrowers are grilled more intently about their ability to repay and find that they now fall outside of the affordability criteria.

Supply is starting to catch up with demand

Supply constraints, which have contributed to rising sales prices in recent years, have eased throughout 2014. Some owners and investors have chosen to capitalise on property gains and sell, while increased choice has motivated other vendors to move. This resulted in a 26% rise in the number of properties marketed in Q2 2014 compared with Q2 2013.

Despite the above and all the alarming media hype; let’s take a deep breath and remember…

#Rule 1: Never underestimate the London property market

If there is one thing that we’ve learned over recent years regarding the London housing market, it is never to underestimate it. This is not a ‘cooling’, more of a natural correction after a period of insatiable demand.

In reality, this is good news for anyone who was worried about being able to get on (or move up) the housing ladder. House price growth is slowing, a trend which will hopefully continue and will ultimately lead to a more stable market, and on a really positive note, it means first-time buyers won’t need to constantly worry about increasing their deposit requirements.

The drop in house purchase approvals shouldn’t give too much cause for concern. Yes, the stricter regulations following the MMR could be having an impact, but it shouldn’t stop those who can comfortably afford a home from being able to buy one. The process may take slightly longer, but it’s all for a good cause; the whole point of these new rules is to ensure that the market doesn’t return to pre-crisis approaches, which saw affordability become a serious issue and many people lose their homes.

It’s anticipated that, while the overall pace of lending activity could remain more subdued than previously, approval volumes are likely to recover once the market fully adjusts and processing times quicken. The likelihood is that it will end up being a more sedate market than we’ve previously experienced, but that equates to stability, and is therefore good for all concerned.

London has always been attractive to investors for many reasons and is still considered one of the leading international cities and many investors view London property as a ‘must-have’ trophy asset.

With supply on the increase and heightened concerns about interest rate rises and the potential impact of any annual tax on higher value property, buyers are now in a much stronger position to negotiate. For opportunistic buyers, this is a potentially attractive market, particularly as vendors look to complete before the end of the year.

Current activity levels and our own day-to-day conversations suggest strongly to us that neither international nor domestic interest in property is waning significantly. This is certainly the case in Golders Green where we continue to seen buyers from any nationalities.

There may be growing pressure on income levels and on seeing interest rates rise in the coming months but overall the prognosis for the property market remains positive and now will, we are sure, be looked back on in the future as having been a good time to move.

Register with Ellis and Co Golders Green today and we will find you your perfect home tomorrow.

 

Why this autumn is predicted to be one of the busiest yet!

September always feels like a new beginning in itself. Thousands of children return to school and even though we have worked during the summer months, there is a sense of returning to normality. It is also the time that many people re-start their quest for a new home, there are already signs this is going to be a busy autumn.

One of the signs that autumn is going to be a busy period is the recent news that a few major lenders released fixed rate mortgages deals that are back below 3 per cent. This is amazing news for buyers, with some being put off by the imminent increase in interest rates together with the new ‘stress test’. The worry of not only getting a mortgage but also being able to meet their repayments has seen some light.

Mr Hollingworth of broker London and Country in the Telegraph on 5 September stated that those ‘considering a five year fixed mortgage should not hold out for a better deal.’ In affect now is the best time to buy. He continues, “The recent falling five year fixed rates that we’ve seen shows just how rapidly prices can change. Rates might get slightly better but the market leaders are looking very competitive.”

We always see an upturn in properties coming on to the market this time of year.   This year is no exception; the first week in September we have seen a particular increase in the number of buyers looking for their next home and wanting to be in before Christmas.

But we must urge all those looking to sell that is not a done deal. Staging your home for sale will not only increase your chance of selling quickly but also can have an impact on the price offered, with many well-staged homes receiving above their asking price. Home staging is so important as it creates the lifestyle of your home, and is the first impression they may see of your home on property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.

Always go with the principle that they can’t see through your cluttered rooms or unique décor. The actual fact is that the majority of potential buyers want to be able to walk into a home without having to do any work to it. Yes they may down the line wish to decorate, but they want to move into somewhere where they can feel at home straight away.

With an increase in buyers and below 3 per cent fixed rate mortgage deals, why wouldn’t you want to move before Christmas. Contact us today to arrange your free valuation and register your buying needs.

At Ellis and Co we will not only sell your home quickly we will work hard to make it as stress free as possible. Let us to do the hard work, and you can enjoy planning your new home.

 

The Perfect Sale – Is there such a thing?

When you’re selling and buying a home, you dream of the perfect sale. The sale where you can sit back relax, the process moves swiftly and then you get a call to say you have exchanged. You collect/drop off your keys on the completion date and open the door to your new beautiful home. Everything has run smoothly and you blissfully move with no stress at all.

I’m afraid to tell you that this reads like a work of fiction, as many of us know. Why?, because that from the moment an offer is accepted the majority of what happens next is completely out of your control. Not only are you at the mercy of your solicitors’ efficiency, but also that of everyone in the chain. It’s a time where stress takes hold and frustrations set in.

At Ellis and Co Golders Green our mission, and we always choose to accept it, is to be the central control of your sale. We want you to have a pleasurable experience and we work hard to make sure it happens. It is our job to do all the chasing so you don’t have to. We keep in contact with your solicitors and your seller/buyers solicitors, we chase searches, documents and faxes and keep you updated so you can focus on planning your future. Not only do we keep on top of your sale but also that of your chain to ensure that we are in the best situation to advise and keep things moving.

In effect we are trying to give you The Perfect Sale.

But what can you do to help?

It’s all about documentation and information – any small delay can have an impact on the whole chain.

  •  Identity – make sure you have all your previous address, passport and other identity documentation ready and available.
  • Mortgage – Simple, have a mortgage in place. Please do not wait until after you’ve made an offer as you could delay things for the rest of the chain and there may even be a small chance that you can’t afford the home you’re seeking.
  • Deeds and Servicing. – If you are selling your home, start sorting through your documentation and making sure you have the deeds to your home and any annual servicing documents available. You do not want to be in a mad panic one evening as they weren’t where you thought you had left them.
  • Communication – Make sure your solicitor and estate agents have your contact numbers in case they need to get in contact with you as a matter of urgency.
  • Check – If you are asked to fax any documents, always ring to check the person they are destined for has received them.
  • Double Check – Keep on top of your emails and post, ensure any documents that are to be signed and returned, are read thoroughly and returned as soon as possible.

 

Help yourself to have The Perfect Sale.

Not all Estate Agents are the same; we work hard to ensure the service we provide is over and above your expectations. We don’t just say we’re the best; we prove it to our customers every day.

Contact us today and let us help you on your journey to The Perfect Sale.

 

 

What are we actually selling?

As an estate agent you may think that it is obvious what we are selling. We do have photos of houses in our window and on our website. Yes we sell houses but we sell much more than that. To sell a house you are selling bricks and mortar, it is a transaction. As though selling a product, each transaction is the same, and you offer the exact same service.

At Ellis and Co Golders Green we know that we don’t sell houses.

No, we haven’t completely lost the plot! So what do we sell?

We sell a home and a lifestyle.

Selling a home is privilege; it takes care, attention to detail and passion. Selling a home is not a transaction but a journey. The journey goes in two directions; on one side you have the seller on the other the buyer. Each has to go through a series of stages before they can cross to the other side. You have the excitement at the start of the journey about your next stage of your life, in trepidation that the process will run smoothly, and slightly stressed about the amount you need to do before you move.

When buying a home you are buying into the lifestyle you want. Wanting something and having something are two completely different things. Emotions are a natural part of buying or selling a home, and it is here where we can help. The agreement of an offer is only the start of our journey.

Many people believe that we ‘hungry’ estate agents only want the sale. As soon as an offer has been accepted we are on to our next victim. Oh how wrong can these people be? Having an offer accepted is just the beginning; it is our responsibility to coordinate all the pieces of the puzzle. We keep our eye on all the details, chasing paperwork and ensuring that things are moving swiftly and smoothly.

We want you to have the lifestyle you want, but we don’t want it to be marred by a stressful journey. It’s with a sense of pride that takes you to completion, knowing that you will open the door to your future.

Is that the end?

Does our journey together stop there?

No! Selling a home is more than a one-time deal. We keep in touch and are always here to advise. When at such time you are ready for a new beginning, we are more than happy to not sell your house but your home.

What we are selling is not just the home that you love, but the lifestyle you want and more importantly the journey it takes you to get there.

Thinking about selling or buying a home? Register with us today and let your journey begin. Call James Ryan on 0208 457 5590

How getting a mortgage just got a little tougher

Did you know that on the 26 April 2014 the rules to getting a mortgage changed? Why? “In the past too many people got a mortgage by simply telling their lender they would have no problem repaying their debt, and that was that,” said Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). “Our new rules will hardwire common sense into mortgage lending.”

The changes do not only affect first time buyers but also those looking to re-mortgage. The main area of concern for homebuyers and owners is the “stress” test. This is a more intrusive process than we are used to which means that taking out a mortgage could take longer than before.

2009_06stresstest

The stress test has been introduced so lenders can check your ability to repay your mortgage should the interest rates rise. With mortgage rates being low for some time a dramatic rise could seriously affect some peoples ability to repay. Surely the changes are sensible and a good thing?

Stress testing will determine if you can afford the repayments with the money spare in your family budget. This means that even utilities, your cost for commuting, membership/subscriptions, cost of living, clothes, personal goods and childcare costs will all be taken into account.

How to prepare for the stress test.

It has been advised that before you apply for a mortgage that you try and pay off any outstanding debts, cancel unused and unnecessary memberships/subscriptions and cut back on spending for at least 3 months prior to applying.

CWYNFH_2377470b

Gavin Littlejohn, founder of the Money Dashboard website, says borrowers can prepare for the new regime “by properly budgeting and showing consistent behaviour of being able to live within their means”.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders suggest that prior to your meeting with the lender that you anticipate the questions that may be asked and have the relevant documentation available such as pay slips and bank statements.

The changes make seem drastic but I am sure you will agree it’s better to go through a stress test than risk loosing your home.

Contact James Ryan today about where to get the best advise on the new mortgage rules on 020 8455 1014.

 

11 Non Emotional Tips for Buying a Home

Buying a home is romantic, we think with our heart and our emotions often play a critical part in the choice. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with emotions but buying a home should also be about the practical elements. This is the part that is described as ‘buying with your head’. Buying with your head takes away your wants and dreams and starts looking at the nitty gritty side to the property. No matter how beautiful the home is, it’s the practical elements that will ensure you don’t just lust but love your new home. Here are our 11 non-emotional tips for buying a home.

  1. Finances

It maybe a very easy tip, but only buy what you can afford. You will be surprised by the number of people who search for property on what they ‘believe’ they can afford, rather than what they can ‘actually’ afford. Before you start your search seek advice on what mortgage you are able to achieve, also get an idea of the monthly repayments, as it’s this figure that is the most important. Calculate the monthly repayments into your monthly finances; will you be able to live?

  1. Searching

The majority of people start their property search online, tempted by the property portals and the abundance of property at their finger-tips. Don’t discount the importance of your local estate agents. We can ensure you get to see property before it hit’s the portals, keeping one step ahead of other potential buyers.

  1. Shortlisting

One thing we see quite often is buyers trying to match a property to meet a long list of criteria. Try and create a top three list of requirements and be open-minded. At Ellis and Co Golders Green we like to chat to buyers and find out what they are looking for in a property. We want you to trust our judgment, and show you things outside your comfort zone, you will be surprised by the number of buyers who go for the wildcard.

  1. What to view

You have a shortlist but what to view? Go and see as many properties as you can. This will give you a feel of the market with regards to size and price. It is great to look at properties first online, but only when you physically walk into a property can you really get a sense of the space.

  1. Viewing

We have a motto for viewings ‘honesty is the best policy’. When you are viewing with your head and with your heart, tell the agent exactly what you think. You are not hurting people’s feelings but giving us, the agent, an invaluable insight into the type of property you are looking for.

  1. Questions

Please ask questions, we expect them. You will have questions about the street, neighborhood, the property, the services etc. ask away. You don’t want to leave and think ‘I wish I had asked’, yes we have all done it. If you forget to ask something, please feel free to contact the office, we will be more than happy to help.

  1. Buying a character property

A character home is all about emotions. You fall for the period features, the irregular shapes and the unusual details. But put those emotions in a box right now. Buying a character property is buying a piece of history and as such can be costly. Can you afford the maintenance this property will need? Have you got the time to do it? Yes we know, questions you don’t want to be asking yourself when viewing a beautiful home, but you do not want to be left with a huge bill you can’t afford a year or two down the line.

  1. Buying a newer property

One of the great things about buying a newer property is that the maintenance is considerably lower than a character property. Newer properties can have extras like an en-suite but their room sizes are often smaller than character properties and storage space is poor.

  1. Buying off plan

Buying off plan is exciting; you get to choose all the finishing touches, the style of kitchen, the colour of the carpets. But what will your property actually look like, and can you honestly get a feel for the size of the rooms? We would recommend visiting a show home, even if it’s on a different site, to not only understand the space but to see the quality of finish.

10.      Making an Offer

We all love a bargain and buyers are getting more confident in putting offers. Do your homework. What have property in that area sold for in the past? If you are one of several people interested in a property you want to make an offer that is fair, competitive and attractive.

11.      Emotion

Whoops! Our number 11 tip is to include emotion. We all have gut feelings when we walk into a property, and emotions play a critical part when buying a home. Home viewings should also be from the heart so enjoy each viewing; you will know when you have found the right home.

Thinking about buying a home or moving?  Register with us today and let your buying journey begin.

Call James Ryan on 0208 457 5590