Good Signs for the Housing Market


2011 looks to have started well for Estate Agents in Devon and across the UK with the latest news from the NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents).  The NAEA have reported that their members saw a rise in demand from house hunters in January as well as an increase in the offers from sellers.

January saw the number of registered house hunters reach their highest levels for 6 months with an average of 252 per branch, up from 227 in December, according to data from the National Association of Estate Agents.

The President of the NAEA said the figures were “encouraging” he went on to say “However, when compared with our report from this time last year, the market is still showing signs of consumer reluctance. Macro-economic issues such as the VAT rise and interest rate pressures continue to put many people off searching for property.”

The NAEA also revealed figures that showed the number of houses put up for sale in January were on average 69, which is up from 64 in December. When the NAEA questioned 700 estate agents across the country a massive 45 per cent had said they had seen an increase in enquires from those looking to sell their property.

In other good news the Department for Communities revealed that house prices increased by 3.8 percent during the year with the average price of a property now standing at £208,148.

Tips for Selling your Home

Selling your home can be for many different reasons either positive or negative. A loss of job or divorce can lead to a forced sale just as much as a new job or moving in with a partner can. Whether it’s executed with a leap in your step or done with a heavy heart selling your Devon Property successfully will mean you have to do the same either way to get a buyer and move on.

Ideally, you want to be able to sell your home before you buy your next. Doing the latter can cause all sorts of problems and if you hold off until your property is sold then you are in an enviable position which sellers will find attractive. Often, you can ask considerably less than the property is worth and get an acceptance due to your ability to exchange quickly.

Although circumstances may not permit, try and sell your property in a robust market. Any Devon Estate Agents worth their salt will be able to talk you through property trends of the moment and help guide you with the whole process.

First impressions with houses count enormously so check out your kerb appeal. By that I mean, on arrival, how does your property fare? Well kept lawns and borders along with more substantial elements like pristine windows and paintwork, good pointing on brickwork etc can make or break someone’s opinion of the property, so much so that regardless of what the interior is like, their impression is formed and could be detrimental to the popularity of the property.

The standard on the outside should be kept throughout the inside of the property, a good declutter along with a neutral touch with colours and textures will go far when it comes to appealing to the masses: People won’t necessarily like your taste so go for the wider market appeal.

One Way to Help with the Mortgage

If you have been struggling to make ends meet, fretting that you cannot keep up with your mortgage repayments and loosing sleep thinking about how to achieve a quick property sale, then there may be one thing you can try before it comes to that.

Thousands of parents have seen their children fly the nest and leave for university this week and whilst many may be feeling that ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’ others are already thinking of ways they can cash in on the extra space they now have in their home, in the form of lodgings.

Of course, you would have to allow the room that was once occupied by your child to be available on weekends and during holidays but many lodgers these days are flexible and often only want to rent a room during the week whilst they are at work instead of commuting.

Another alternative is to use the room as a guest house, charging by the night rather than the month. You could receive even more money a night if you installed an en suite in the room, as people prefer not to have to share bathroom facilities where possible.

This idea may not appeal to everyone and receiving cash for property may still be more of a desirable choice but it may be worth looking into the feasibility of sharing your house and earning some much needed extra cash. Offering breakfast and even tea could see even more money brought into the household, which could be much needed.

A Novel Way to Sell Your House

Anyone in the property market will tell you they’ve had a tough old time of late. The recession, government changes and a general downturn in spending has meant that houses on the market aren’t shifting. Not anywhere near fast enough anyway. People have had the unfortunate experience of having a house up for sale for as long as they can remember it feels like, often with not even one measly viewing. Whilst people will suggest they lower the price of the house, this is not always possible for the homeowner. For those that it is possible to do, they have found using Online Property Auctions can help. The auction format means that more often than not the house is sold for less than the market may offer but it will provide a quick property sale which for many, is highly desirable.

For people who have struggled to drum up any interest in their property it may be an idea to think outside the box. A farmer in Devon had his house on the market for nearly two years and has had very little interest. He has decided to offer a £20, 000 cash reward to anyone who manages to introduce him to a buyer. Spread the word people! Another optimistic seller has decided to try a different initiative. A businessman in Buckinghamshire has decided that anyone who ends up buying his listed house will get his 36-year-old Triumph TR6 – For free with the sale and a seller in Nottingham is offering a brand new Ford Ka with the sale of his house.

Whilst it is still a good idea to try more orthodox methods like Online House Auctions in the first instance, if the going gets really tough, consider what else you could offer alongside your property to incentivise the buyer.

Questions to ask when buying a House

When looking to buy a Devon property there are a few questions you should always keep in mind to make sure you end up buying the house of your dreams, rather than a home from hell.

When speaking to the seller, either directly or via a Devon estate agents there are a few questions you might need to ask:

  • What exactly does the sale include – garage, size of land, fixtures and fittings etc
  • How much is the current council tax bill and utility bills
  • What are the neighbours like
  • Has the loft been insulated
  • Have there been any problems with the boiler and when was the last time it was inspected
  • Does the property have cavity wall insulation
  • Does the property have central heating, and if so how old is it?
  • Is the property a listed building or is it in a conservation area
  • Has the property been altered in anyway, and if so is it possible to see the relevant planning documents

When viewing the property there are some questions that you should be asking yourself.

  • Does the property need any updating?
  • What are the views like?
  • Do the windows need updating, if it’s a wooden frame and you can press your fingers into them they could well be rotten
  • Is there enough storage space?
  • Are there enough power points?
  • Are there any cracks in the walls that could be a sign of subsidence?
  • Can you see any signs of damp?
  • Is the pointing on the walls still intact?

If you find yourself struggling to answer any of these questions you might want to take a professional around so that they can point out any potentially problematic faults.

The biggest question you will have to ask though is one that only you can answer, does this feel like your home?

Save money and buy a distressed property

With the current financial climate the amount of repossessions is on the increase, figures show that house repossessions are at a 14 year high. Many people who are close to having their property repossessed are trying to sell their house as quickly as possible which in turn gives first time buyers a chance to pick up bargains by buying what the industry has named ‘Distressed property’.

What are the advantages of buying a distressed property?

One of the main advantages of buying a distressed house is the price; distressed sellers are looking for Quick Property Sale and to claim back the best Cash for Property they are selling.

Distressed properties can sometimes give buyers a price reduction of up to 30% of the properties recommended listing price. Another advantage to buying a distressed property is the fact that no chain is involved so the buying process is much easier and faster for the parties involved.

What are the disadvantages of buying a distressed property?
There are not many disadvantages to buying a distressed house; the only factor that can differ between distressed and normal house sales is the house condition.  Many houses are refurbished and renovated before they are sold to increase the value returned, with distressed houses they are sometimes in poor condition due to the owner’s financial situation. In some cases the previous tenants may have removed as much as humanly possible from the house to recoup as much money as possible to repay their debts, so houses in this condition will cost more to refurbish and make habitable again.

Buy a Cheap Home

Buying a property is a big step for anyone to take. A property will be the biggest purchase of your life and for low to medium earners one that can be very hard to initially buy. The hard work often pays off though as you can find yourself with a good return on investment, especially if you buy a Below Market Value Property which often come in the form of repossessed homes.

A repossessed home is becoming more and more common and whilst there are a wide variety of reasons for them to happen, one of the most common reasons is the owner struggling to pay their outgoings on a monthly basis. Once this happens more frequently, a back log occurs and they get into more trouble. Often, the only option for them is declare themselves bankrupt and it is generally at this point their house is repossessed and is put up on a Residential property auction.

Because these houses often require a quick property sale they can be available for far less than if they were valued and put on the open market which makes them a great investment for first time buyers. Of course, its not just first time buyers that like to take advantage of the investment opportunity, it is honed business men and women who see their next money making opportunity.

It is because of this that it is important that you do your research prior to attending the auction and if possible attend other auctions before the one you want to bid in so you can get a feel for how they work. If the process is all a little daunting or you find attending these live auctions problematic then there are a whole host of online property auctions these days that you can safely bid in the comfort of your own home.

Things you should know about Property Auctions

So, you’ve bitten the bullet and decided to try and buy BMV property through an auction. Hopefully you have chosen to do this having spent some considerable time researching and attending previous auctions so you have got a feel for what they are like, what the process is and how the format works.

Here are just a few reminders for you prior to your big day:

  1. Before bidding takes place it is a good idea to get pre-qualified by a lender so you know that you have the financing on the spot if you are the successful bidder.
  2. When the hammer goes down and the auctioneer says sold, that property is yours. There is no going back at this point so you need to have made sure you have researched the property well and are certain you want it.
  3. On any given auction day it is quite possible for twenty plus properties to be up for auction and each one could take as little as an hour to be won, so you need to be on the ball and make sure you are ready for your ‘lot’. If you snooze you lose.
  4. Keep to budget. One of the biggest pitfalls people face is when they get too excited and end up bidding more than they have originally allowed for the property. This can lead to all manner of problems so stay disciplined.

Of course, these days, auctions can be even easier than this. Surf online and you will come across Property for sale by auction online, which makes the whole process as easy as bidding for something on your other favourite online auction sites.

Property Auction Selling: Advantages

It is expected that over 35% of people will use Property Auction Websites to sell their own home in the next 5-10 years and there are several reasons why this may be.

One of the biggest and most attractive advantages of selling a property online is that it is guaranteed to be a quick sale. No time wasters are allowed and it means that you’ll not have to show your house to every Tom, Dick or Harry on request. One of the hardest things to do is sell a house when you are working full time and struggle to find the time for other important things, let alone to be at home so you can show a potential buyer around.

Another attractive advantage of selling your property via auction is that the house is put up and sold ‘as is’ rather than the open market where most estate agents will encourage you to ‘spruce it up’ and modernise the interior prior to selling if your house requires it. One of the biggest problems this causes is trying to find the money it will take to make the improvements and then also the time this will take too. An auction house will take the property as it is and anyone that is bidding on the property will be aware that it is sold as is.

When one of the main reasons to sell you house is to free up some money and help you get back on your feet, selling a house via one of the Online House Auctions is one of the best ways to do this due to the speed your house can be sold.

Sell your House Now

I’ve got an idea that might defy any or all of the good advice you have had over the years. You’ll be familiar with this good advice, it starts off with your parents telling you how important a good education is and carries on throughout the years to how important it is to get on the property ladder. I believe that whilst the first piece of advice is always going to be good, I feel the second piece of advice is only good when the timing is right. Buying a house in today’s climate is actually probably not a good idea and whilst many have already bitten the bullet and got on the first rung of the property ladder, those that haven’t shouldn’t feel envy.

It’s a known fact that many of the people that have got on the property ladder have been struggling to repay their mortgage with arrears mounting up month after month and as a last resort settling for a Quick House Sale for Cash. If you are one of those people, you will probably feel enormous pressure and stress especially if you are responsible for a family too. There is often a great deal of shame that comes with admitting you are in financial dire straits but the sooner you face up to the problems you have, the sooner you can get it sorted and move on with your life. Sell your property and rent it back could be a good option if you want a quick sale or alternatively you could cut your losses altogether, sell up, settle up and go and fulfil your dream doing what you have always wanted to do.