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!

Protect your Property against the Elements

Protect your Property against the Elements

Where you one of the many East Lancashire residents who woke up to a path of destruction, after an unseasonably windy spell at the beginning of the month? With gusts as strong as 78mph recorded, trees were uprooted and blocked access routes in Castle Road Colne, Aberdeen Drive in Blackburn, Mayfield Gardens in Oswaldtwistle and branches were strewn across Nelson town centre too.

So as we enter the height of summer you may think it strange to start preparing your home for the autumn and winter months, but you want to be sure that it’s protected against the ever-changing British weather don’t you?

With this in mind, we have created the following tips to prepare your home for the long winter months, as well as unforeseen bouts of weather such as these:

  • Strong Winds

Did you know that gales are the most common cause of property damage in the UK? Limit potential wind damage by:

  • Bring in or tidy away items such as potted plants, hanging planters, garden furniture, etc.
  • Weather-proof outside buildings, such as sheds and fencing, by properly securing and making sure the roofing is in good condition too.
  • Weigh-down larger items that can’t be bought in.
  • Keep up to date on your garden maintenance, e.g. trees. Falling trees and blowing debris can be fatal and cause severe structural damage. Therefore removing weak branches and trimming back foliage will help considerably.
  • High winds can seriously damage plants too. So implement windbreaks, garden canes for additional support, etc.
  • Flood

No-one will forget the floods that deeply affected many properties and businesses across the country last year. And although there are better flood defences in place, a flash flood could easily occur with no warning whatsoever.

Firstly, make sure all your fixtures and fittings are in good condition and if not; be sure to replace them with high quality materials. Before making any permanent changes to your property to protect against flooding, be sure to contact your insurer and find out what work can be paid for under your policy. Changes that can help against flood include:

  • Raising the height of electrical sockets,
  • Using lime plaster instead of gypsum plaster on walls,
  • Installing flood resistant air bricks in place of existing vents,
  • Fitting a stainless steel or solid wood kitchen instead of a chipboard one,
  • Fitting non-return valves to all drains and water inlet pipes, which will only let water flow one way.

Furthermore, did you know that you can find out specifically whether your property is at risk of flooding? Do so, simply by emailing enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk to get the flooding history of the land around your home.

  • Routine Checks

Routinely checking each area of your home thoroughly will protect against possible hazards in bouts of troublesome weather. For example, look out for cracked or dislodged tiles, cracks and/or debris blocking guttering, etc.

If you’re selling or renting out property, a competent and experienced agent will do this for you.

  • Be Proactive

Check for local weather and flood warnings on the Environment Agency’s website.

If you are unsure what changes can be made to your home please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us, on 01254 760660 or email: Darwen@AinsworthLordEstates.com.

The Right-to-Buy Policy

The Right-to-Buy Policy

Have you heard that our very own MP for Rossendale and Darwen has been speaking out about the government’s Right-to-Buy policy this week?

Firstly, what is the Right-to-Buy scheme?

Originally introduced in the 1980’s by the Thatcher government, and then changed by David Cameron in 2012, it’s designed to help council and housing association tenants in England to buy their authority-owned home at a discount.

How does it work?

Those that have been in their property for over 3 years will be able to receive a discount on the properties sale value. Discounts start at 50% on a flat and 35% on a house, with 70% as the maximum discount. However this is capped at £103,900 in London and £77,900 anywhere else, increasing each April in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

In the House of Commons on Wednesday, Jake Berry MP addressed his fellow MPs by stating:

“I support the government’s new right-to-buy policy of extending home ownership to 1.3 million housing association tenants.”

“As a flagship policy of the last general election, the policy demonstrates the Conservative party’s commitment to home ownership and helping people achieve their aspiration of owning their own home.”

“I hope that, through debate in this chamber, this excellent policy will be improved.”

“Rural exception sites, as set out by the National Planning Policy Framework, are often owned and managed by housing associations. Members will probably be aware of such sites in their own constituencies. They are often outside a village boundary, and always outside existing planning policy. They are built in locations where market housing would not be acceptable because of local planning constraints.”

“The local community may come forward with a site, but those sites can be brought forward only where there is proven and demonstrable need for affordable housing. I am talking here about areas such as the Lake District, Dingle’s Way in Cornwall, which I have visited, and local areas in my constituency. If such rural exception sites were to become subject to the right to buy, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to see how they could be replaced.”

So what are the benefits of the right-to-buy scheme?

  • It brings those on the lowest incomes a step closer to home ownership.
  • Improves people’s lives.
  • Increased stability and security for the future.
  • Extra privacy.
  • Homeowner costs are more predictable and stable, compared to renting.
  • Potential for closer ties to your local community.
  • The extension of the scheme will increase the number of tenants eligible in England by 1.3 million.

Are there any possible negatives to this scheme?

  • Social housing stock decline.

E.g. Since 2012, only 46% of homes that have been sold off have been replaced with new properties. The scheme has been rejected by both the Scottish and the Welsh Governments primarily down to this controversial issue.

  • Potential structural issues within the housing market.
  • Extending the right to buy to housing association tenants could make the housing crisis worsen, if the stock is not adequately replaced.
  • Your discount could be less if your landlord has spent money building or maintaining your home.

What do you think about the Right-to-Buy Scheme?

Whether you’re thinking of buying your first home, looking to take a step up the property ladder or wanting to rent your home in East Lancashire, please get in touch on 01254 760660 or email: Darwen@AinsworthLordEstates.com.

Sell your Lancashire home faster by giving it some kerb appeal

Sell your Lancashire home faster by giving it some kerb appeal

As part of ‘Keep Britain Tidy’, a Marsh House Councillor has recently managed to persuade Blackburn and Darwen borough colleagues to back a call for a £1,000 fixed penalty for pesky Lancashire fly-tippers.

It’s a sad fact that fly-tipping has become a major headache for Darwen residents over the last few years, and is actually one of the biggest complaints our local council receives! So tougher penalties for dumping rubbish in our area would hopefully prevent this from happening, bring the councils costs down, as well as properly cleaning up our area.

For those of you hoping to sell your home over the upcoming summer months, if you suffer from local fly tipping it can be a definite hindrance to the way your property appears to buyers.

First impressions truly count when searching for your dream home, and if something is unsightly it could be putting off your dream buyers.

What does “kerb appeal” actually mean?

The term ‘kerb appeal’ originated from the housing boom in America, and refers to the attractiveness of the properties exterior as viewed from the street by potential buyers.

So if you’re having difficulty selling your home, we’ve devised the following 5 top tips to add some simple yet effective ‘kerb appeal’ to your home.

Create Simple Kerb Appeal By:

  1. General Maintenance

Weeds and overgrown plants will detract from the wonderful space that you’re trying to sell, so make your first priority to tidy up the plants and flowerbeds in the front garden. For a more organised and stylish look, match your plants and pots to the style of your home. For example: if it’s a traditional cottage, surround it with beautiful flowers or if it’s a modern, new home place succulent plants in pots on decking/porch areas.

If you have a driveway or path, repairing splits and cracks or replacing these areas will make the world of difference to your street view and buyers’ perception. And a fresh lick of paint to the building can also make the world of difference.

  1. Porch

If you are lucky enough to have a large porch area that’s clearly visible from the street enhance the space with fresh looking porch furniture, in keeping with the properties flora, colours and style.

  1. Doors

Create a warm and welcoming entrance to your property by giving your front door a fresh coat of paint or replacing it entirely. And if you have a garage make sure it looks at its best by painting or replacing the garage doors too.

  1. Lighting

Create a warm and inviting atmosphere, especially for those evening viewings, with some outdoor lighting. Most serious buyers will drive past homes they’re interested in, to see how they appear from the outside. Because this will mainly occur at night after they’ve finished work, well placed lighting will enable them to see every aspect of the property as well as the neighbourhood. A dark house will appear very unwelcoming, but with some tasteful low voltage and/or solar lighting it can even make your home look more expensive.

  1. Accessories

Does your home have a number on it? If not, how are potential buyers going to find it for viewings? Do you have a doorbell? Why not change it for a stylish door knocker, to enhance your newly painted front door?

Here are a couple of examples of great kerb appeal, from properties that are currently on the market in Darwen and Blackburn:

A 5 bedroom manor house for sale in Turncroft Road, Darwen. Located in a secure gated residence it has a sweeping driveway and a beautiful, easy to maintain gardens.

1Untitled 2Untitled 3Untitled

A 4 bedroom detached house for sale in Earnsdale Close, Darwen. Found in a quiet cul-de-sac, on the approach to this property you’ll notice the beautifully manicured front garden with a neat driveway to the garage.

4Untitled 5Untitled 6Untitled

As potential buyers drive past your home you want to catch their eye by creating a space where they can imagine themselves living; making it stand out from the crowd. Showcasing your home like this will also create attractive photographs for your online marketing; what with 90% of those looking to buy doing so online through portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.

We have lots more ideas to give your home the kerb appeal it deserves. So if you’re struggling to sell or just want a fresh approach to selling, please get in touch on 01254 760660 or email: Darwen@AinsworthLordEstates.com.

Noise prevention is cheaper than cure!

Noise prevention is cheaper than cure!

We are all affected by noise in some way or another in our every day lives, whether it be traffic disruption, a dog barking or simply having a conversation with someone. It’s certainly true that the issue is never out of the news for long; just recently, police in Lancashire threatened to seize cars after people living near the Capitol Centre in Walton-le-Dale contacted police complaining about noise nuisance from the unauthorised Preston Car Cruise meetings. And whether you rent or own your home, anti-social and unhealthy noise in your community is one of the most stressful and upsetting forms of noise pollution around.

Did you know that it’s Noise Action Week this week?

From 18th to 23rd May 2015 neighbourhoods, local authorities, housing providers, mediation services, community support teams and others are supporting this annual event to raise awareness about how noise impacts on people’s lives, right across the UK.

Reasons to bring noise disruption to the attention of the masses include:

  • Noise nuisance in the UK is drastically under reported,
  • Noise is an indicator of public health; used to inform government policy in England,
  • The number of people disturbed by neighbour noise increased by a shocking 17% over the period between 2002-2012,
  • Exposure to loud music is risking over 1 billion young people’s hearing worldwide,
  • For each noise complaint a council investigates it can cost anywhere between £130-£7k!
  • By preventing noise, instead of reducing it, through education and awareness programs such as these saves tax payers money in the long run.

A serious issue for hundreds of thousands of people living throughout the UK, noise nuisance takes many forms, including:

  • Domestic noise, e.g. loud music,
  • Animal noise, e.g. dogs barking,
  • Pub, restaurant or club noise,
  • Car/Intruder alarms,
  • Construction site noise,
  • General noise, e.g. aircraft noise, train noise, etc.

Don’t forget that noise is defined as a form of anti-social behaviour, so if you are directly affected or know someone else who is you can do the following:

  • Keep detailed records of the noise nuisance (As this will be needed as proof if you decide to report it to your Council/Environmental Health Department/Landlord.)
  • You should always attempt to resolve the problem informally before taking higher action, so to begin with try mediation. (Information on this can be obtained from your local authority or from Citizens Advice.)
  • If that doesn’t rectify the situation, contact your local council who will take action against noise nuisance that’s having a negative effect on your health.
  • You may be able to get your landlord to take action, as landlords and housing providers have additional powers to deal with noise problems that arise in rented property.
  • You can also take action yourself, by taking out your own statutory nuisance action. This is known as ‘Section 82 Action’ which involved the aggrieved party making a complaint direct to the magistrate’s court. However, there are risks involved in taking your own action so we would advise that you seek legal advice for this option.

Ainsworth Lord Estates is proudly supporting this event, as we more than understand the importance of reducing the impact of noise on health in East Lancashire.

Want to get involved? Well simply visit http://www.noiseactionweek.org.uk/ today!