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When is it time to downsize…?
The day comes when the family home, despite its happy memories, no longer fulfils the purpose for which it was originally purchased.
This usually coincides with an evolving lifestyle for people in early middle age and the freedom that comes with it. Mortgages get paid off and, as children become financially independent, costs fall!! This comes at a time when salaries might also have risen in line with more senior job roles.
This period between parenthood and retirement is one that should be grasped with both hands. It offers the freedom and the financial wherewithal to travel or to pursue other interests.
If this is you, it’s worth asking yourself the question: “If we were looking to buy a house today, would we choose our current home?” The chances are you wouldn’t – so why stay? This could be the beginning of a new lifestyle that is better suited to your current preferences.
A downsize can also be a cathartic exercise, as it’s a great opportunity to clear out the junk that has accumulated in the garage, cellar or those overstuffed storage cupboards over the years!
One of the major benefits of downsizing is that it usually frees up some cash as well. Add to this the fact that properties out of school catchment areas can offer much better value for money, and things begin to stack up quite nicely.
With no specific pressure to move, you’d have time on your side to find just the right property. The best place to start is to ask us to pop round, as we’d be happy to advise on how a downsize could work for you – both financially and practically. Worth a call? You might be pleasantly surprised!
Louise and Suzanne
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So, the 0.25% rise in the Bank of England base rate was announced last week - only the second increase in over a decade. The 0.75% base rate is now the highest it has been since 2009 but it is still pretty low when many of us still remember the late 1980’s, when a mortgage rate of 15% was to be expected!
The latest increase is probably designed to be nothing more than a shot across the bows in response to unexpectedly high consumer spending, higher employment levels and wage rise expectations in order to ensure inflation remains firmly under control.
Certainly, housing inflation is already under control, with predictions that house prices are unlikely to rise by more than 3% per annum until 2025. Stability during these uncertain times is exactly what is required to keep the housing market healthy, where people who wish to move for “real” reasons, can do so without fear of making a mistake.
These ‘real’ reasons typically cover those wishing to upsize to take account of a growing household or possibly those relocating for a new job. Of course, we have to acknowledge those first time buyers who are frantically saving for their first home!
This latest increase isn’t likely to have any direct effect on the property market, although if you are thinking about moving it might be worth bringing this forward in order to secure a low-rate mortgage now, in case of any further incremental rate rises in the future.
As ever, we’d be happy to advise on how this, and any other market influences, might impact on your moving plans or property value. Please feel free to call us for a chat on 01676 938888. We can put you in contact with a very competent and progressive mortgage broker.
Louise and Suzanne
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We know that when choosing the right estate agent to sell your property you have a great deal of choice, and, on the surface, most estate agents appear to do pretty much the same thing!
It is probably true to say that any reasonable estate agent can probably find you a buyer, unless of course they are one of those agents who habitually over-value in order to impress you - don’t be fooled!
We believe that it is as much about who we are as estate agents as it is about what we do. It is those personal elements of our service that make the difference to your move, not just the things we do to attract buyers.
For example, the fact that we are independent means we can tailor our service around your specific needs without “head office approval”. We also know that accompanied viewings enjoy a much better viewing-to-sale ratio than unaccompanied viewings, because we take advantage of the opportunity to engage with our buyers, which often leads to better-qualified offers.
Importantly, our attention to detail in following up an agreed sale means that most of our sales actually proceed to completion, rather than suffering the 37%+ average UK fall-through rate.
As you might expect, such personal service usually comes at a price. However, we have decided to offer what we believe is the most reliable and enjoyable service in the area, for a lower fee than you might have expected from an agency of our calibre.
So, for a refreshing new take on estate agency, it might be worth giving us a call on 01676 938888. Or why not drop into our office for an informal chat over a cup of coffee?
Louise & Suzanne
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One of the frustrations with the system of property transfer in this country is that moving day invariably coincides with the formal completion of a sale.
Generally, the buyer cannot move out, and the seller cannot move in, until such timeas the completion monies have been received by the seller’s bank, or in most cases, their solicitor’s client account. A delay to any link in a chain will have a knock-on effect which can mean that buyers are waiting with a removal truck full of their worldly possessions outside their new home, with no right to enter it.
Such delays can be caused by any number of reasons – even as apparently insignificant as a solicitor being out to lunch. If confirmation is not received until late afternoon, there may not be enough time for the removers to unload before they have to go home! They may not be able to return the following day as they might already be booked on another job!
So why not arrange to move out a day or two before completion and move in a couple of days afterwards? This can considerably de-stress the situation, and has the benefit of giving you time to clean the property you are leaving for the next people, and do any bits and pieces on your new home before your furniture moves in. Perfect if you are re-carpeting or want to do some minor redecoration. And the cost of staying somewhere locally is relatively insignificant in the context of the whole move.
A critical component of this idea is to use a removal company which will pack into pallet boxes (usually about three to a truck) which can be stored in their warehouse and then delivered to your door a few days later.
Aaah - that’s better! And if you need any other moving advice, be it practical, creative marketing or regulatory, then please feel free to get in touch.
We’d love to hear from you.
Louise and Suzanne
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