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Five Top Tips for Selling your Home

The idea of selling your home can be an overwhelming one and can be very stressful at times. But what can be even more stressful is if your home isn’t selling… Here are our top five tips to make sure you get a buyer who offers a good price!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

- Make sure as soon as a potential buyer opens the door that they don’t want to look back. By giving your home a fresh lick of paint and a tidy up of large furniture, the bigger your home looks and the more space to look around the more positive the experience will be.

DE-CLUTTER, BUT DON’T DE-PERSONALISE

- It is important that you clear up your home so that potential buyers can see it looking it’s best without any of the everyday clutter. However, by no means does de-cluttering mean you must take away everything that makes your home yours. Buyers want to see what your home looks like lived in, so they can imagine themselves living there!

FIX AND CLEAN

- If there are any minor repairs make sure you don’t over-look them, things like patching up holes in the wall, cleaning scuff marks and tile grout make all the difference when advertising your home. What seem like only little things are often the biggest things!

CHOOSE THE RIGHT ESTATE AGENT

- This one goes without saying – you need a dedicated agent who will go above and beyond to make the sale of your home go through quickly and easily at the best price. Find someone who knows the area and their industry inside out and who’ll do whatever it takes to get the sale.

HAVE A REASONABLE ACCEPTANCE PRICE

- Being reasonable with potential buyers goes a long way, by no means should you accept less than what the house is worth, but don’t get greedy. Have a clear outlook from the start what offer you’ll be prepared to accept and make sure there’s some room for negotiation.

If you’re thinking of selling your home in the near future but need some advice and guidance, get in touch with Fraser Lake today and we’d be more than happy to offer our help!

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Maintaining your Property for Tenants

Not only does maintaining your property allow it to hold its value, it means that if and when your property is advertised on the market, its snapped up quickly by a tenant! Not only this, the nicer the environment tenants live in, the more likely they are to treat the property well and keep it at a high standard.

If you are looking to update your property and need some pointers, take a look at these 5 tips to help you get started!

Invest in time and money

If you’re going to do it you need to make sure you get it right, it won’t be worth putting the minimum amount of time and money possible to get the result needed. Be patient and take your time and the results will speak for themselves when you come to let.

Shop Around

Don’t just take the first quote from tradespeople etc. Make sure you shop around to get the best price and this could save you hundreds in the long run!

Build good relationships

Not only with your tenant or prospective tenant but with the people you have chosen to help keep your home up to date. You never know when you may need their help again and its good to have as many contacts as possible should anything go wrong with your property!

Act quickly & service often

Don’t let any problem you may come across go on longer than it needs to, it won’t save you money! Things like boilers/cookers need servicing regularly, if left a long time you could end up paying out more than you need to.

Carry out property inspections

This is probably a given, but very important. No matter how much you trust your tenants you must make your presence known with them so you can keep on track of how well they’re looking after your property. This way, you can avoid any serious damage to anything you own.

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Five Hints and Tips to Help Maximise your Rental Income

When renovating your rental property, it is important to keep a clear outlook on what you want to achieve and the kind of tenant you want to attract. Once you have this in your head, it will be much easier to budget for what you need and maximise the income potential.

Here are some great tips to get you started:

1. Try not to over renovate a property, the main goal is to make sure that the property is inviting to a tenant so they can see themselves living there, this doesn’t mean you need to spend excessive amounts on your property, so you need to remember that sticking to the budget is key!

2. Make sure that the property is cleaned and tidy before any tenant comes to view it and that the space is bright and airy, not only will it make each room look bigger but it shows tenants that you aren’t trying to hide anything from them. If you still feel the room needs brightening up, add a free-standing lamp or change the colour scheme to make it lighter.

3. Make sure your kitchen and bathroom are of a high standard – this doesn’t mean they need to cost a high amount but they need to be presented well as they are usually the make or break to a tenant. Treat the property as if it were you moving in – would you want to cook in an outdated kitchen? Make sure you offer the ‘wow’ factor to each person that walks through the door!

4. Replacing minor fixtures in a property can make a huge difference, for example a door handle that doesn’t work properly or a tap that drips – they are inexpensive to renew and you are then more likely to have a better level of interest from potential tenants.

5. The exterior of the property can have just as much influence on potential tenants as the interior, you don’t want people to make up their mind before they’ve even stepped foot indoors! Even if it’s just adding a few plant pots and de-weeding the area leading up to the front of the house.

If you need any further assistance with renovating your property or getting it ready for tenants, we’d be more than happy to help out! Get in touch and our experienced team will offer you as much support as you need.

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Help to Buy – Can it help you?

When looking to buy a home, especially your first home it can be a very daunting time. There are many people who need a little help along the way! The help-to-buy scheme isn’t just for first time buyers however, it can also benefit those who are wanting to buy a larger home and move up the property ladder. With the rise in property prices across the UK, it is definitely worth looking at. Help to Buy has so far helped 220,000 people to buy a home and 82% of these people were first time buyers.

There are many routes you can go down with Help to Buy, however we have detailed the main ones below to give you an idea of what to expect:

Help to Buy ISA

This is ideal if you are already saving for your own home. For every £200 you save toward your home, you receive a Government bonus of £50, so your savings are essentially being boosted by £25%. The minimum bonus you can receive from the Government is £400, meaning that you need to have saved at least £1,600 into your Help to Buy ISA before being able to claim your bonus. The maximum bonus you can receive is £3,000 which means you’d need to have £12,000 saved in order to receive this.

Shared Ownership

If you can’t afford the mortgage on 100% of a home, shared ownership gives you the opportunity to buy a share of your home (between 25% and 75%) you are then able to pay rent on the remaining. You can then buy bigger shares of the house when you are financially able to.

You would be eligible for shared ownership if:

Your household earns less than £80,000 a year outside of London and less than £90,000 in London.
If you are a first time buyer, if you used to own a home but now aren’t financially able to buy a new one or if you are a current shared owner looking to move home.

Equity Loans

The third possibility would be to take out an equity loan. This is where you borrow up to 20% of the cost of your newly built home from the Government, meaning you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit to make up your 25% and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest of the cost of the home. You won’t be charged fees for the loan you take out for the first five years of owning your own home either!

For further information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team who'd be more than happy to offer adivce on buying your first home or take a look on the Help to Buy website!

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Want to take the plunge and invest in a property? Here are some reasons you definitely should!

There are many ways that you can make money by getting involved in the property market, generally people tend to go for Buy-To-Let or selling a property for profit. But if you’re thinking about doing so, do you really understand what it involves? Take a look at our top advantages of investing in this type of property…

Buy To Let

Advantages:

- Rent can bring you a regular income, providing you find a tenant who wants to stay in the property for a long time.

- You are the boss of your own income, and you can choose what property you invest in and how much rent you’ll charge.

- You choose the type of tenant you want in your property, meaning you can also decidd whether you let a furnished or unfurnished property.

- Rental income is money in your pocket. Once you’ve taken into consideration mortgage payments, monthly maintenance and vacancy costs – subtract this from your monthly rent and that number goes straight into your pocket.

Selling for Profit

Advantages:

- You can make a very good return on profit if you buy a cheap property to renovate, no matter how bad the property looks when you buy it, things can only improve from there!

- You are able to put your own stamp on a property by starting from scratch. Building up your property portfolio.

- Development costs can be cut if you’re willing to get stuck in yourself. If not, shopping around and not jumping on the first quote you’re given for any work that needs doing can save your heaps of cash too.

- Many people buy at auction, which cuts the process of making an offer on a property. As soon as the gavel falls you know the property is yours and you can get to work on it sooner than any other.

The main thing we advise is that you find out as much as you can and research your pros and cons before taking on a project like this. However, Fraser Lake are on hand to offer you all advice you may need about property investment and development! If you think this is the venture for you, don’t hesitate to give us a call an email, we can arrange for you to pop in for a cuppa to see how we can assist you!

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Helpful Buy-to-Let investment advice!

Despite the crack down on tax, buy to let investments are still very popular. The tax changes include extra stamp duty on purchasing a buy to let and soon will mean the end of the ability to offset all buy to let mortgage interest against income tax.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. If you still want to go ahead and invest in a buy to let property, the recent changes just mean it’s more important than it ever has been to get things right.

Here’s a few helpful tips from us to make sure you hit the ground running…

1. Find the right letting agent.

This is very important, you should carefully choose your agent and make sure you have done all of the right research. Take a look at their website, social media and call in for a chat. Make sure they are aware of exactly what you want from them. Doing this means you are then able to establish whether you will have a good working relationship.

2. Do your research.

If you are new to buy-to-let it is essential that you do your research, are you well informed about the market? Are you aware of the positives and negatives of a buy-to-let property? You must make sure this is the right investment for you and if you are sure this is where you want your money to perform. Go into it with your eyes wide open, as buy-to-let can pay off substantially for many people, but it is essential to know it doesn’t work for everyone and you must put the work in.

3. Choose the right area for your property.

This doesn’t mean choose the most expensive or the cheapest – pick a location where people would like to live. Depending on what type of tenant you have in mind, think about what you will be able to offer them. Is it in a quiet area with good schools for young families? Are there transport links for professionals? Is it close to the centre and amenities for students? All of these factors need to be considered to make sure you invest in the right property.

4. Shop around to get the best mortgage.

Again, do your research! Don’t just take the first offer put on the table, it is important you consider more than one option to look at, even if this is just to compare deals. It may also benefit you to speak with an independent broker, they can offer you a wealth of information and will be able to provide you with the best deals available on the market at the time you are wanting to buy.

5. Find a reliable tenant.

It is imperative that you find a good tenant who will look after your property whilst they let it out as this will determine how successful you will be as a landlord. Your agent will do the relevant checks on tenants, such as credit rating and references however it may be worth your while meeting your tenant in person. Build up a good relationship with them from the beginning and this will give you the best start!

If you are looking into a buy-to-let investment this year, we would be more than happy to offer advice! With over 20 years of experience in the property market, you can be sure that we know the industry inside out.

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Merry Christmas from Fraser Lake

As 2016 draws to a close, the whole Fraser Lake team would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support throughout another year! We are looking forward to starting a new year and assisting you with all of your property needs.

Our Christmas closure will commence today and we will re-open on the 3rd of January.

Wishing you all you a very Merry Christmas and a great New Year! We hope you have a very relaxing break and we look forward to working together again in 2017.

Here’s to another successful year!

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First Time Buyer Hints and Tips

With 2017 just around the corner, you might be starting to think that next year is the year you’ll bite the bullet and buy your first house. Buying a home is a big step in anyone’s life, so we’re offering you a few hints and tips to make sure the process is as easy as possible!

- Don’t just stick to your idea of the perfect home. Go and view many types of houses, in all shapes and sizes. You may be surprised that what you think is right for you, isn’t!

- Commit yourself to viewing as much as possible, the more houses you see the quicker you get an idea of what you want and what you don’t want – it also shows you’re serious about finding your dream home!


- Look past the interiors, whether you’re viewing a home that needs renovating or a home that has been recently renovated. It’s important to look past what you see on the surface to get down to the nitty gritty.


- Ask questions! Before you view a property, write down a list of questions you want answers on. If there’s anything you’re unsure on when looking around a house, don’t be frightened to speak up. It’s so much better to have all the information you need upfront.


- Once you’ve found your dream home, don’t shy away from visiting the property with tradesmen. They can help you figure out if what you have planned for the property is feasible – after all, this may be make or break for you and you must make sure you get it right!


- Remember to think ahead. If you’re wanting to eventually make money on this property, you must have a good idea on what the house your buying is worth, and what surrounding houses are worth. This will give you a good idea on what kind of price to go in on when putting in your first offer.


- Organisation is key, once you’ve had an offer accepted make sure you’re fully aware of what the next steps must be. The coming months are going to be busy ones, so if you get organised straight away it’s only going to make the process easier!


- Enjoy it! You’ll never be able to buy your first home again and it’s something you will always remember. Try not to get caught up in the madness, take time to step back and enjoy this new chapter.

If you’d like to know any further information, or would just like to have an informal chat around the subject of buying a new home, give us a call or an email. We’d be happy to help!