7 Ways to Add Extra Value to your Home

7 Ways to Add Extra Value to your Home

As we approach the August bank holiday, not only does it mark the beginning of a new school term but it’s also a perfect time to get your property on the market. You want to be safe and snug in your new Lancashire-based home before the Christmas holidays start, so here are some options you may not have thought of to add an extra bit of value, and catch the eye of the more serious and discerning buyer. According to Nationwide Building Society, for every 10% extra floor space added you can boost your homes’ value by around 5%! So what could you do to add extra value to your home, before putting it on the market?

  1. Loft Conversion

Go up in the world and increase the value of a property by as much as 20% with a loft conversion. It can then be used as another bedroom, a nursery, a home office – the list is endless. The bottom line is that the more space your home has, the more desirable it’s going to be to potential buyers. Remember to find out if you need planning permission.

  1. Add Central Heating

Buyers want the bare essentials, and central heating throughout the house is a real must nowadays. If you don’t have it already start getting quotes now, as it will add approximately £5,000 to your property’s value.

  1. Double Glazing

New double-glazed windows, or secondary glazing fitted within the existing windows, will make your home considerably more ‘sellable’, as well as adding value to it. Be sure to match the frames with the style of your home, e.g. don’t replace wooden frames with plastic ones. Tap into the era and style of your home and then enhance it.

  1. Complete Cosmetic Redecoration

An extreme cosmetic makeover could add between 5-10% onto your property’s value. Ideas to seriously consider are: an up-to-date kitchen, new tiling throughout, underfloor-heating, etc.

  1. Extra Bathroom(s)

If you are trying to attract families then an extra bathroom/toilet facilities will be a definite bonus to them – especially if it requires no extra work and is in a great location. You can expect a 45%-50% return on your investment by doing so.

  1. En-suite Bathroom(s)

If your property has two bedrooms or more then adding an en-suite bathroom can really boost its value. Where, according to Nationwide, it can add around 6% onto your home’s worth. En-suites will also be more desirable in higher value areas.

  1. Conservatory

Whereas other home improvement options fell by the wayside during the economic crash, conservatory building remained steady and popular. Done well an average conservatory can add around 7%-11% to the value, depending on its size. Be sure to get a selection of quotes, as a badly constructed conservatory could work against you and knock thousands off your home instead!

 

Please get in touch with us for more help and ideas on adding extra value to your Lancashire home, on 01254 760660 or email: Darwen@AinsworthLordEstates.com.

7 ways to add extra value to your home, for a successful Autumn sale

7 ways to add extra value to your home, for a successful Autumn sale

As we approach the August bank holiday, not only does it mark the beginning of a new school term but it’s also a perfect time to get your property on the market. You want to be safe and snug in your new Lancashire-based home before the Christmas holidays start, so here are some options you may not have thought of to add an extra bit of value, and catch the eye of the more serious and discerning buyer. According to Nationwide Building Society, for every 10% extra floor space added you can boost your homes’ value by around 5%! So what could you do to add some real value, before putting your home on the market?

  1. Loft Conversion

Go up in the world and increase the value of a property by as much as 20% with a loft conversion. It can then be used as another bedroom, a nursery, a home office – the list is endless. The bottom line is that the more space your home has, the more desirable it’s going to be to potential buyers. Remember to find out if you need planning permission.

  1. Add Central Heating

Buyers want the bare essentials, and central heating throughout the house is a real must nowadays. If you don’t have it already start getting quotes now, as it will add approximately £5,000 to your property’s value.

  1. Double Glazing

New double-glazed windows, or secondary glazing fitted within the existing windows, will make your home considerably more ‘sellable’, as well as adding value to it. Be sure to match the frames with the style of your home, e.g. don’t replace wooden frames with plastic ones. Tap into the era and style of your home and then enhance it.

  1. Complete Cosmetic Redecoration

An extreme cosmetic makeover could add between 5-10% onto your property’s value. Ideas to seriously consider are: an up-to-date kitchen, new tiling throughout, underfloor-heating, etc.

  1. Extra Bathroom(s)

If you are trying to attract families then an extra bathroom/toilet facilities will be a definite bonus to them – especially if it requires no extra work and is in a great location. You can expect a 45%-50% return on your investment by doing so.

  1. Ensuite Bathroom(s)

If your property has two bedrooms or more then adding an en-suite bathroom can really boost its value. Where, according to Nationwide, it can add around 6% onto your home’s worth. En-suites will also be more desirable in higher value areas.

  1. Conservatory

Whereas other home improvement options fell by the wayside during the economic crash, conservatory building remained steady and popular. Done well an average conservatory can add around 7%-11% to the value, depending on its size. Be sure to get a selection of quotes, as a badly constructed conservatory could work against you and knock thousands off your home instead!

 

Please get in touch with us for more help and ideas on adding extra value to your Lancashire home, on 01254 760660 or email: Darwen@AinsworthLordEstates.com.

Lancashire Landlord Legislation – Autumn 2015 Onward

Lancashire Landlord Legislation – Autumn 2015 Onward

At Ainsworth Lord Estates, as landlords ourselves, we know how important it is to keep abreast on all the latest and upcoming legislation that could seriously affect us and our tenants. And with so many regulations and laws that today’s landlord must understand and adhere to, or face serious consequences, it can become really confusing! So with this in mind we have come up with the 5 most important legislation changes, happening from this Autmun onwards.

  1. New Fire Safety Laws

Following years of campaigning, all UK landlord will finally be required by law to install fully functioning smoke and carbon monoxide alarms from 10th October 2015. This means that it will be a compulsory requirement for all residential landlords to fit smoke alarms on every level of the property, as well as carbon monoxide alarms fitted in applicable properties – e.g. those that burn solid fuels. At the beginning of each new tenancy landlords (or their agents) will have to check that all alarms work correctly before signing anything, or they could incur a penalty of up to £5,000 for failing to comply.

Thought to help prevent up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries a year, it’s vital to remember that tenants must make sure that they regularly test these alarms throughout their tenancy to make sure they’re working. Therefore regular testing of these devices firmly remains the tenant’s responsibility.

So with around 445,000 smoke alarms and 40,000 carbon monoxide alarms now issued to every fire and rescue authority across England now is the time to act, to ensure you comply before the deadline.

  1. Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for people in or out of work, which merges together some of the benefits and tax credits that your tenants might be getting now. Welfare reform via Universal Credit replaces: Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance. Essentially, this means that tenants in receipt of benefits will have to pay their rent themselves, pay bills and budget for food, which is worrying many landlords that these tenants will inevitably fall into arrears, coupled with the recently announced welfare cuts.

This scheme has suffered many setbacks, mainly due to problems with the multi million pound IT system and staffing issues, but is expected to be fully rolled-out on a national scale by 2017. – So another ‘watch this space’ for further information on this flagship reform.

  1. Right to Rent

It’s predicted that the national implementation of Right to Rent Immigration Checks, where landlords and agents must determine whether a prospective tenant has the right to reside in the UK before tenure, will come into effect at the end of 2015. However there is no specific date set yet, following the Right to Rent pilot results from the West Midlands being deemed a ‘failure’ by critics.

Failure to conduct specific checks within the scheme, therefore providing accommodation to those who have no legal right to reside in Britain, could incur penalties of £1,000 per tenant rising to £3,000 (per tenant) for repeat offences. The checks also include lodgers, where failure to comply can incur forfeits of £80 per illegal lodger, increasing to £500 (per lodger) for repeat offences.

Once more is widely known on this issue we will update you as soon as possible.

  1. Buy to Let Wear and Tear Allowance Reform

The current system, allowing landlords who let furnished accommodation to claim 10% of their rent back on wear and tear, will be scrapped from April 2016. This means that, from April 6th 2016 for Income Tax purposes and April 1st for Corporation Tax, landlords will only be able to deduct costs that they actually incur. It will cover the cost of replacement furniture, furnishings, appliances and kitchenware that you provide for your tenants; including moveable furniture and furnishings, carpets and flooring, fridges/freezers, televisions, curtains, crockery or cutlery and linen.

Of course, welcome news to those of you who have mixed portfolios, part furnished or unfurnished property to let – but not so great for many of you who let accommodation exclusively on a furnished basis. Will tenants end up taking the hit, through landlords recouping their costs simply by increasing their rents? Or could there be a mass sell-off of homes on the horizon? – Only time will tell!

Any other questions or queries? Whether you’re a landlord who’s unhappy with the service levels being delivered by your current agent or a tenant who isn’t happy with their current living conditions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our friendly and knowledgeable team today; on 01254 760660 or email: Darwen@AinsworthLordEstates.com .

 

Live in Lancashire? Start Summer Selling Now!

Live in Lancashire? Start Summer Selling Now!

This week Nationwide have revealed that house price growth jumped by 0.4% month-on-month in July. This has managed to push up the average UK property value to a new all-time high of £195,621, meaning that Lancashire home-owners can now expect an average property price of around £177,000.

Summer isn’t traditionally a great time to put property on the market, is it?

Not usually, no. This is because July and August are generally seen as the main UK ‘holiday season’ and therefore widely construed that there won’t be as many buyers about compared to other busier times of year. But at Ainsworth Lord Estates we have been experiencing staggering demand from buyers at the moment! So we sincerely believe that Lancashire sellers, especially in the Darwen and Blackburn areas, should be taking full advantage of the fewer instructions coupled with the steadily rising house prices and increasing demand.

So how can I prepare my property for a successful Summer sale?

For those of you looking to sell your home, primarily you want a quick and profitable sale. So with this in mind we’ve come up with the following steps, to help you attract the most buyers in the least time:

  1. Declutter

When potential buyers enter your home you want it to be immediately aesthetically pleasing to them. So by making sure it’s presented in all its glory and that it’s easy for prospective buyers to imagine themselves living there, will go a long way to achieving your idea asking price. This means starting with a complete decluttering of each area. There are many issues that are outside of your control when it comes to selling your home, but this is the one thing that you have complete and total control over, so make sure you do it right!

  1. Depersonalize

Another way to be sure that viewings can picture themselves living there for years to come, is to depersonalize the space before taking any marketing photographs. This will aid in the staging process, so be sure to appeal to the broadest range of Buyer preferences by removing personal items such as family photographs, collectables, trophies, anything controversial, etc.

Not only will this appeal to prospective buyers but it will: 1. Mean that you’re organised and ready to move and: 2. Emotionally ready to sell up.

  1. Stage Your Home

Now that you’ve decluttered and depersonalized the space, you can now dress it to present it in its best possible light. Home staging your property will go that one step further in making it as appealing as possible to the masses. You can hire a professional, find an estate agent who is experienced in it, do it yourself or a bit of both! Especially for summer you could try: Make sure the house number(s) are visible from the street, add colour to your windows by dressing the inside with some colour potted plants or give the front door a fresh, inviting coat of paint.

  1. Repairs

Address any repairs that need doing, beginning with the most urgent and obvious ones. Make it easier for prospective Buyers to focus their attention on your home’s positive qualities rather than the negatives by fixing it up so that there aren’t any!

  1. Kerb Appeal

If you have a garden or outside space be sure to give it some ‘Kerb Appeal’. As we’ve highlighted how important it is for the inside to be pleasing, the same goes for the outside of the property.

A previous blog on Kerb Appeal, that may be of interest: Sell your Lancashire home faster by giving it some kerb appeal.

  1. Summer Touches

Lastly, give it that extra ‘summery touch’ by considering the following ideas:

  • Add inviting summery scents, e.g. zesty fruit, cut grass, morning dew, etc.
  • Make it light and airy by turning on the air conditioning or placing fans strategically around your home.
  • Leave out a jug of something cool and refreshing, to revaitalize your viewings down on hazy summer evenings.
  1. Research the competition

Now that you’ve fully prepared your home for summer sale success, find out what other homeowners are doing in your area to make their property appeal to the growing demand.

  1. Consider an Open House

An ‘open house’ is a type of ‘mass marketing’ of property that has become more popular over recent years. Viewings don’t need a specific appointment and will be able to view your home between certain times. It can relieve the pressure on potential buyers as they won’t be the only people viewing it and seeing others interested in the same property can sometimes push them into making an offer sooner rather than later.

  1. Availability

The great thing about using an agent is that you are free to go on holiday and leave them to selling your home. But don’t forget to let your agent know that you’re going away and give them the keys so that they can get in!

  1. Tell the World!

As well as all of the specialist marketing you’ll be accessing directly through your estate agent, don’t forget to tell your neighbours, friends and family about the sale too. Personal recommendation and word of mouth is still one of the most successful marketing tools readily available at our disposal, so be sure to use it!

So if you’re looking to sell, please get in touch with one of our friendly team today – and you could even sell in time for the new school year! 01254 760660 / Darwen@AinsworthLordEstates.com .

How to find the right survey when buying a Lancashire home

How to find the right survey when buying a Lancashire home

When purchasing a property there are many issues that need to be taken into consideration and one of the most important parts of the house buying process is selecting the right survey. Once your offer has been accepted on the property a survey will highlight the condition of its structure, revealing any hidden problems along the way. A thorough and professional survey will also give you the power to negotiate the buying price down or persuade the seller to fix any problems that are found before moving into your new home.

With Lancashire house price growth accelerating last month, at Ainsworth Lord Estates we think that this is a great time to either get on the housing ladder or take that next step up. But do you completely understand the different property surveys available to you? If not, don’t worry! Simply follow this quick and helpful guide to home surveys, which we’ve created especially for you:

  1. Firstly we’ll start with the most basic of surveys available; A Condition Report.

This survey is designed to compliment your mortgage valuation, however it doesn’t actually include a valuation with it. Operating under a traffic light system, the RICS Condition Survey describes the condition of the main areas within the property and will include a summary highlighting any risks or legal issues found. This report is mainly intended for traditional and newer homes that are in good condition, and ideal if you just want to double-check that everything is ok with it before going ahead.

  1. A Homebuyers Report.

This survey is more detailed than a Condition Report and includes the condition of the properties additional features. It includes a market valuation, insurance costs, advice on any defects that could affect the property’s value, any necessary repairs and ongoing maintenance advice. But be aware that this is a ‘non-intrusive’ type of survey, meaning that your surveyor will only be able to identify ‘surface-level’ problems; so they won’t look behind furniture, under floor boards, etc. This report is mainly intended for most modern properties as well as older properties, provided they are in a reasonable state. It will take around 2-4 hours to carry out the RICS Homebuyers Survey, and is ideal if you have any doubts or worries about an older or unusual property.

  1. A Building Survey.

Out of the three surveys available, this is the most comprehensive survey around. Building surveys will give you an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition, including advice on defects, repairs and your maintenance options. This is an ‘intrusive’ and ‘hands-on’ survey, so every area of the property will be thoroughly examined, e.g. under the floor, behind the walls, in the basement, etc. It will take around a day to complete (depending on its size), where you will receive a comprehensive breakdown of the property’s structure, condition, projected costs and even timings for any repair work that’s needed if you so wish. This report is ideal for older properties that are in a poor condition and also if you’re planning to do significant work on the property yourself.

Remember there are no rules that are ‘set-in-stone’ on which type of survey you should undertake, but it will mostly depend on how much detail you would like on the property as well as the age of it. Think objectively and take your time to find an independent and professional surveyor to carry out your report. Also, don’t worry about the price of the survey, as the money spent on this helpful tool will protect your from making any ill-informed decisions and potentially having to spend thousands of pounds further down the line.

We would love to be involved in your next property purchase, so please get in touch with us today on: 01254 760660 or email: Darwen@AinsworthLordEstates.com.

Online or High Street Estate Agent – which should I choose?

Online or High Street Estate Agent – which should I choose?

Although the internet and online agents have been around for years now, there is still a nervousness surrounding them. For some it provides a quick and easy way to manage their buy-to-let properties and sell their homes, but others still prefer a more personal, ‘hands-on’ and tailored approach to sales and lettings via their high-street agent.

So we have put together the following benefits of using both online and offline agents, for you to make an informed decision:

Traditional Estate Agents

Stewardson Developments invest in Lancashire

Local Knowledge

In the property industry, you can’t beat local knowledge. Many high street agents will have been in business far longer than their online competition, and this should achieve a more accurate valuation on the property in question.

Clarity & Transparency

By regularly meeting up with your estate agent you can get to know them, find out what regulatory bodies they’re signed up to, check on your listing in their window and be certain that your property is in safe hands.

Awareness

A proactive estate agent will not only have a large shop window to display their instructions, but will also market them extensively through the local press and on the internet.

Personal Touch

One of the primary benefits of using a high street agent is that you can discuss your property with them face to face, as sometimes situations will arise where communicating by email or telephone just doesn’t cut it.

Time Saving

Although a traditional Estate Agent may have more cost involved than an online agent, they will make up for this by doing everything for you; from floorplans to viewings, to closing the deal. Giving you more time to focus on your family life, work, etc.

Local Economy

By instructing a local high-street agent you are helping to support your local economy too.
Online Estate Agents

Online-Estate-Agents

Cost

Although you shouldn’t be basing your agent decision solely on the amount of fees they charge, this is the main advantage to using an online letting agent. Their fees can be much lower as they don’t have the added cost of high-street premises overheads, and so can usually keep their costs fixed and low.

Audience

Online agents use the same property portals as high street agents to market your home. It is a known fact that over 90% of people looking for property to buy or to rent do so online, through portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.

Flexible

You may not be able to walk into their office whenever you like, but an online letting agent should be more readily available outside of normal business hours than a traditional agent. But what you miss is the connection with an agent face to face, with a high street agent you know exactly who is selling your home.

Viewings

With an online agent your viewings will be organised by them but carried out by you. Conducting a viewing is more than just showing someone around you home. If carried out by a High Street agent you can be assured that they will be working your sell you home and find you the buyers in the best possible position.

At Ainsworth Lord Estates you can access the best of both worlds, as all of our properties for sale and to let are fully online, with the added bonus of having a shop front in the heart of Darwen too. As the most pro-active Property Agent in the Darwen & Blackburn area, we are also open 7 days a week (weekdays until 8pm) and officially deliver the quickest sales for our vendors and the quickest occupancy rates for our landlords too! (Independently verified by leading industry sources.) So if you’re thinking of buying, selling or renting property in the Lancashire area, please get in touch with one of our friendly team today; on 01254 760660 or email: Darwen@AinsworthLordEstates.com.

What Impact will the Budget have on Landlords and Tenants in Lancashire?

What Impact will the Budget have on Landlords and Tenants in Lancashire?

On the 8th July George Osborne unveiled his first Budget under a Conservative majority, describing it as a Budget “for working people”, “putting security first.” So at Ainsworth Lord Estates we thought we’d help you out by summarising the main points that could seriously affect you and your tenants in the future:

  1. Mortgage Interest Relief

Buy to let mortgages will only be able to offset interest against costs at the basic rate of tax; 20% instead of the higher rate of 45% currently on offer to landlords. This will be phased in over a 4 year period starting from April 2017.

According to the Chancellor this move will ‘level the playing field for home-buyers and investors’ – but many in the industry are worried that this could obliterate the PRS field completely. Some experts believe that this move will only force UK landlords to increase their rents to compensate for the tax-cut blow, which could be really bad news for tenants’ finances. Could this move starve the market of much needed homes for rent?…

  1. Wear and Tear Allowance Scrapped

The current system, allowing landlords who let furnished accommodation to claim 10% of their rent back on wear and tear, will be scrapped from April 2016. This means that landlords will only be able to deduct costs that they actually incur, following on from the tax concession of unfurnished property being withdrawn back in 2013.

  1. Rent-a-room relief

To encourage more people to rent out their spare bedrooms, make use of the countries existing stock and help ease the housing crisis (particularly in London), the current tax relief of £4,250 will be increased to £7,500.

The Chancellor said: “The rent-a-room relief is designed to help homeowners who rent out a room in their home. It’s a good scheme, particularly in a world where more and more people are renting out rooms online, but the relief has been frozen at £4,250 for 18 years. Next year, we will raise it to £7,500.”

  1. Clamp Down on Tax Avoidance

At the moment, people who live in the UK are able to claim ‘non-dom’ status on their income. This means they don’t have to pay the rate of UK tax earned on money that they earn outside of Britain, but from April 2017 this will no longer apply to anyone who has lived here for 15 of the past 20 years. This could seriously affect ‘non-dom’ landlords and tenants in London in particular.

  1. Welfare Cuts

Cuts to welfare provisions for 18-21 year olds, families and the disabled will affect many tenants living in the PRS right across the country, including:

  • No automatic housing benefit for 18 to 21 year olds,
  • A freeze on working age benefits for four years,
  • From 2017 child tax credits to be restricted to just two children,
  • Benefits to be cut and capped from £26,00 to £20,000 (£23,000 in London)
  • Cuts to employment and support allowance payments for new claimants deemed capable of “work-related activity”.

Do you have any more questions that you need answered about the summer Budget 2015? Or are you now thinking of leaving the buy to let market and need to sell? Whatever situation you may be in, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us: 01254 760660 or email: Darwen@AinsworthLordEstates.com today.

How to use this year’s interior design trends to sell your property sooner

How to use this year’s interior design trends to sell your property sooner

With the wonderful summer we’re currently having we thought it the perfect time to have a look at what this season’s hottest and most popular interior design trends have on offer.

Talking of design, we were recently touched by a story where a Blackburn fashion students work was stolen. Just an hour before her exhibit was to close for good, the 4 Japanese-style kimonos student Aimee Grimshaw had spent a year researching and making were nabbed! So Ainsworth Lord Estates bought this young lady (and a friend) silver tickets to September’s fashion extravaganza, along with a goodie bag, train tickets and hotel room. So we hope they have a great time in September!

Interior design is a crucial factor to maximising the value of your property. We all know that contemporary and fashionable home-design will appeal to the masses, but what is fashionable these days? And how can you apply it to your home, for a quicker sale? Here are our top 5 design styles that are on trend this year:

Metallic Finishes

It’s no coincidence that Dulux’s colour of 2015 is Copper Blush, as copper burnished metals and rose coppers dominate the interiors world this year.

From accent touches;

Featured on Eat Sleep Live

Featured on Eat Sleep Live

To bold statement pieces;

Check out more copper ideas from Eat Sleep Live

Check out more copper ideas from Eat Sleep Live

Create a warm and welcoming atmosphere with copper touches this year.

Natural and Organic Design

Home owners are bringing the outside into their living rooms and homes this year quite literally, with green hues as well as light grey, beige, black and white. Nature and wildlife inspired decorations include leafy patterns, bright fabric prints, floral sofas, cushions buzzing with insects and statement wallpapers & wall hangings. Enhancing the space with flowers and house plants is also a budget friendly way to decorate your home.

Surface View Printed Wallpaper Mural, John Lewis

Surface View Printed Wallpaper Mural, John Lewis

Trio of botanical cushions, Alison at Home

Trio of botanical cushions, Alison at Home

So embrace and celebrate nature in 2015, even if it is just adding a few houseplants!

Combining Modern with Classical

This style fuses old and new styles together, for a unique and modern living space.

Fused apartment, featured on Digs Digs

Fused apartment, featured on Digs Digs

Experiment with the organic shapes of contemporary furniture alongside rustic accessories and retro colour schemes for the full effect.

50 Shades of Blue

Is blue the new grey for walls? Well it certainly seems that way this year, what with the popularity of midnight hues, chalky vermeer shades and bright cobalt’s. Vibrant and refreshing, there are some really uplifting and rich blue hues available. Calming and empowering, it makes a wonderful accent colour for your home too;

Odyssey Collection – Alhambra, Original Style

Odyssey Collection – Alhambra, Original Style

However you decide to integrate this calming, yet empowering colour get experimenting for a truly stunning effect.

Upcycling / Revamping

People have gone ‘revamping’ mad in recent years and 2015 is no exception. Great news for junk shop owners and reclaim yards, as revamping tired furniture, painting old cupboards, finding new uses for objects, e.g. suitcases as a dressing table, baskets as lampshades, old pallets turned into a garden fence, etc.

Vintage Wooden Pepsi Crate, The Other Duckling

Vintage Wooden Pepsi Crate, The Other Duckling

What is upcycling, Eat Sleep Live

What is upcycling, Eat Sleep Live

Think in the mind set of ‘one person’s trash is another’s treasure’ and start getting creative!

Monochrome

Using a palette of black, off-white and grey shades, keep the walls white and mix and match with black high gloss furniture alongside tonal photographs/canvases.

Inspiring home offices, Harpers Bazaar

Inspiring home offices, Harpers Bazaar

Domino Interior Classic Bathroom, Dulux

Domino Interior Classic Bathroom, Dulux

Establish a simple look that will also create a clean, yet sleek and modern view for potential buyers to picture themselves and their belongings in the property.

Please get in touch with us today for more ideas and tips on selling your Lancashire home as quickly as possible, at the right price. Call 01254 760660 or email: Darwen@AinsworthLordEstates.com.

New North West listings increase month on month

New North West listings increase month on month

Data from Ainsworth Lord Estates, in association with Move with Us and home.co.uk, shows that average advertised rents in the North West in Q1 were £639; a decrease of £7 or 1.16% from the end of last year.

Other significant findings include:

  • The North West was one of the highest contributors of new listings in Britain – only surpassed by the two strongest markets; Greater London and the South East.
  • The number of new listings in the North West rose each month in Q1 2015.
  • The average asking price reduced noticeably in Q4 2014, however (despite reductions) the average asking price rose in March to £177,051.

This is definitely a positive sign for our area, as although it shows that the rental market fell over recent months compared to last year, new listings have increased month on month. This makes the North West one of the highest contributors of new rental listings in Britain, which is a very positive sign.

Not only does this present ideal opportunities for first-time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder in Darwen and Blackburn, but it also provides a good time to enter the buy-to-let market too.

Help! I’m an accidental landlord!

Did you know that a recent survey by the National Landlords Association (NLA) found that some 24% of UK landlords (around 36,000) came into the PRS market accidentally or unintentionally? So you’re not alone!

Inherited your property or had to relocate? Whatever your situation, you are now an ‘Accidental Landlord.’ We want you to be safe, not sorry, by following these helpful tips:

Insurance

Firstly make sure you have the correct insurance in place to let your property out legally. Because if it isn’t it could be a very costly mistake, as the policy will (more than likely) be invalid.

Mortgage

After you have sorted your insurance out, it’s time to contact your mortgage provider. Let them know that you intend to rent your property out and depending on the type of mortgage you currently have in place will determine whether you have to switch or alter your mortgage contract.

Regulations & Obligations

Did you know there are now over 100 regulations and obligations that landlords in the UK must adhere to?

These include having a legal tenancy agreement in place, being sure that the property is safe for your tenants to live in (e.g. Gas Safety Certificate), protecting your tenants deposit in one of the three government backed schemes, preparing for new legislation (e.g. Smoke and Carbon monoxide detectors, October 2015) and being sure that utility bills are in the name of the existing tenants.

Instruct an experienced and knowledgeable Letting Agent.

Please get in touch with us today and we can further advise you; as landlords ourselves, we thoroughly understand the private rented sector and the many pitfalls involved. So let us help you avoid these and protect your investment for you and your families’ well-being and future.

Fracking – Good or Bad for the Lancashire Housing Market?

Fracking – Good or Bad for the Lancashire Housing Market?

Have you heard about Lancashire Councillors recently refusing planning applications for fracking?

Lancashire County Council’s development control committee turned down Caudrilla’s application to explore for shale gas by drilling, at Roseacre Wood (between Preston and Blackpool) ‘due to the impact on traffic.’ The committee must reach a decision on a second site proposal soon, at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, although planning officers have recommended the go ahead.

So with this fracking threat still hanging over the Lancashire community, we thought it a good time to explore the pro’s and cons of fracking with regards to the housing market.

Hang on a minute, what exactly is ‘Fracking’?!

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure; allowing the gas to flow out to the head of the well.

So why is fracking controversial?

Those who are against fracking (e.g. Friends of the Earth) highlight potential environmental impacts, such as:

  • Earthquakes,
  • Contamination of ground water,
  • Depletion of fresh water,
  • Risks to air quality,
  • Noise pollution,
  • Migration of gases and hydraulic chemicals to the surface,
  • Surface contamination from spills and flow-back.

Opponents also point to the dangerous example of the US, where the process of fracking has led to large areas facing a serious water crisis; due to the technique consuming vast amounts of water.

Can fracking reduce house prices?

It also raises the question of whether areas that are subject to fracking will reduce house prices – and as yet, it is too early to tell whether house prices in the UK will be affected or not. However, there was a case in Pennsylvania a couple of years ago where a couple applied for a new mortgage but were refused because of a new gas well located opposite their home. They were then turned down by two other national lenders for the same reason.

In an email, Quicken Loans told the American couple, “Unfortunately, we are unable to move forward with this loan. It is located across the street from a gas drilling site.”

So are there any benefits?

  • Shale gas can expand Britain’s energy resource,
  • Fracking will reduce the reliance on fossil fuels,
  • Will cut carbon emissions,
  • In the US it has significantly boosted domestic oil production and driven down gas prices,
  • David Cameron has promised local authorities all of the business rates collected from shale gas schemes.

So what do you think?

  • Do the economic benefits outweigh the environmental issues?
  • Will this destabilize the housing market?
  • Do you want fracking to come to Lancashire?

Whatever your views are on the issue, please share them with us!