Review Category : News

Moving house can be stressful for a whole myriad of reasons. You never feel certain that the whole things going to work out the way you want it to until youre actually in your new home – and aside from all the logistical issues of packing up all your stuff and getting your kids acclimatised to a whole new space, there are also a lot of financial issues that you need to think hard about before you move. Here are some simple tips to help you manage your money while youre moving house.

 

Make A Budget

First of all, ensure that you make a budget. This will help you to become much more certain about exactly how much money you have and how much you can spend. Figuring out exactly how much you have to pay in taxes before you actually have to do so, will help you figure out whether you can easily afford a moving company or whether you should pay your friends and family in love and pizza to help you out instead. Being aware of your financial situation is the first step of learning to harness it and work with it.

 

Talk To The Professionals

Secondly, dont be afraid to talk to the professionals. If you have never bought a house before by yourself, or if youve split from a partner who always helped out with the financial side of things, or even if your money situation has recently changed, you might be feeling a lot of uncertainties. Remember thats okay – no one is sure of everything in their lives. But you shouldnt try to battle through alone as you might end up making mistakes and getting into a bit of a mess. Talk to a broker like Enness Private who will help you to figure out what exactly youre doing.

 

Get Prioritising

Thirdly, if youre looking around at your brand new home and trying to figure out what comes next, its time to start prioritising. Sure, you might want a shiny new waterfall shower but that doesnt mean that you shouldnt prioritise an extension that will mean that your kids get to have separate bedrooms. Before you think about what you want, think about what your new house needs. From there, you can make decisions that will benefit every member of your family.

 

Consider Your Other Costs

Finally, make sure that youve considered the costs of moving that you havent quite thought about before. For instance, packing materials can be pricey, and so can hiring a moving van. Cleaning services can cost a lot of money and you may not get all of your deposit back if youve been renting. You may have to pay for childcare or to put your pets in kennels safely so that you can move house without unsettling and disturbing them, and if you work freelance or you have to take unpaid days off to move then youll be losing out on money. Make sure that you consider all the costs of moving to work out your budget.

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Knowing the lingo isn’t the only thing that you need to be up to speed on if you are looking to purchase a property in the capital. In fact, there are a lot of ins and outs that you need to be aware of to make the best of your investment. So read on to find out more.

 

Is the area up and coming?

One of the most important factors to consider when buying property in London is whether the area is an up and coming one. This can be easier said than done though because the gentrification of a borough can happen very quickly.

To help you with this look for signs like high-end stores and restaurants being open in the area. As this usually points to an influx of well-paid workers seeking accommodation.

Also rising rent and purchase prices are another sign that the area is up and coming. But when buying it’s important that you swoop in at the right time. So you aren’t paying too much and can still make a decent profit if you choose to rent or sell.

 

What are the transport links like to central?

Another very vital aspect of getting property investment right in London is checking how good the transport links are from that area to central London. This is particularly important for two reasons.

The first is that many people will work in central, which means that they want to be able to commute in the easiest way possible.

This could be by either tube or bus, and one of the most important things is that the distance from the property to the tube or bus stop isn’t too far. As this can really increase the desirability of the home. As it makes it a lot easier for the person that is living there to get around.

Secondly, it’s important to be near the transport links for when you are not working. This is because most people in London don’t run cars due to the traffic and congestion charge. So to get anywhere, they will need to use the city’s transportation system.

 

It’s it close to shops and pubs?

Of course, it not just about how good the transport link to the centre is, but also what the local area is like that is important when buying a property in London.

For example, flats and houses that are close to larger supermarkets chains, good shops, and decent pubs are going to be much more desirable than those that aren’t.

This is because they allow the resident to have a better quality of life, without travel great distances for everything. Which can be something that gets tiresome in London, after you have lived there for a long while.

 

Is there a garden or outside space?

Lastly, also remember when buying a property in London is that anywhere that has access to a garden or an outside space is more valuable than this that don’t.

Think about it if you are living in a city jammed full of people, with only limited green areas, having you own little slice of greenery can be a lifesaver!

 

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Building up a property portfolio is something that many of us would like to do. However, it is a process that takes a great deal of time, hard work and commitment. A property portfolio can generate a healthy second income, while the marketplace seems to be growing all the time. There are nine million renters in Britain, and one in five renters is a family. Before you get carried away with dreams of your property empire, it is worth making a few important considerations first.

 

 

Treat It A Business

The first thing that you would do before starting any business is carefully do your sums, and this is exactly the same when it comes to investing in property. You will need a substantial amount of cash before you can even think about getting rental property. A deposit of around 25 percent will be needed before getting a buy-to-let loan. You should also work out where you are planning to buy your home and think about which neighbourhoods are up and coming. If you are planning to undertake major work on a house or developing on a plot of land, it is worth getting in touch with property development solicitors. Ultimately, you can never be over prepared.

 

Local Research

Think about the type of person you are likely to rent to before you invest in a property; will they be students, families or young professionals? Consider the demand in the area. If the property is located close to good transport links, or surrounded by good facilities then you are more likely to find renters. Scouting out the area in which you are buying should be one of your first priorities.

 

Check Lettings Agents

There is no doubt that being a landlord can be hard work, particularly if you have difficult tenants. Lettings agents can take away a lot of the strain in exchange for a fee. You may decide that they just take care of just the actual lettings process itself – advertising the property, finding a tenant and collecting the rent. The other option is full management which means that they will take everything off your hands including repairs and maintenance. Ultimately, you have to factor into your calculations the cost and work out which is the most desirable option for you.

 

Dont Forget About the Taxman

Remember that you will have to pay income tax on any profit that you make from rent. A number of the costs are tax deductible like repairs, letting agent fees and landlord insurance. You can also deduct any income you pay on the mortgage. As well as this, if you plan on selling the property then you will have to pay capital gains tax. Once again, it all comes back to making sure that you do all your sums.

Building a property empire is hard work, but for the people who succeed then it can really be a rewarding enterprise that is worth all the hours put into it.

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Life as a landlord can be stressful. Not only do you have a bunch of statutory obligations, but you also never know whether payment is going to come in and whether or not your tenants are going to trash your property. Given how many uncertainties there are as a landlord, it’s not surprising that many are in need of finding ways to chill out and manage their emotions.

The good news is that there are lots of practical things that you can do to help manage the whole process. Take a look at these tips on how to stay productive and manage your landlord stress.

 

Keep A To-Do List

Theres a lot involved with being a landlord, from ensuring that rent payments come in to repairing damage to your properties. Many landlords deal with problems as they come in, but simply reacting and not making a plan can give you that frantic feeling. This is why many landlords keep a to-do list. A to-do list allows them to get through all the tasks that they need to complete quickly and efficiently. It also allows them to prioritise tasks, depending on urgency: the most urgent first, followed by the rest. It doesnt matter whether you use a digital planner or a notepad, keeping a to-do list is an essential way of reducing your stress.

 

Keep Up To Date

The most common time landlords get stressed is when they face a new challenge that they havent seen before. Knowing what to do in a new situation can be difficult, especially if youre unprepared. Every landlord will, at some point, face problems that they havent encountered before: its all part of the job. But you can prepare yourself for these issues by educating yourself on the subject using educational resources. Once you know what youre up against, youll make better use of your time and money and wont be so stressed out when problems inevitably arise.

If youre super busy, you might not think you have time to educate yourself. But these days there are landlord podcasts you can listen to on the move or while youre driving.

 

Outsource Jobs

Its a myth that landlords have to manage their tenants all by themselves. Companies like Houseen can help them with the process, advertising their properties on leading websites and making sure that they have the right insurance. In fact, most jobs can be outsourced if you look hard enough.

Suppose for instance you own a multi-property building. Going and cleaning the public areas yourself is a big hassle. Thats why most landlords hire cleaners to come in once every couple of weeks to clean the communal areas.

 

Give Yourself A Weekend

Working for yourself can be great. You get to choose when you work. But working for yourself can also be not so great, since you can work any day of the week, including weekends. Many landlords experience burnout because they dont give themselves the weekend off to relax. Its a good idea, therefore, to let all your tenants know when youre available, and when youre not.

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Investing in property is considered one of the best ways to make the most of your money. Whilst the initial cost of buying a home to rent to someone else can put you out of pocket to start with, you certainly reap the benefits once its all been figured out and you have a regular income.

Its not easy being a landlord and it takes a serious commitment of time and money to make it work. If youre new to being a landlord then check out these tips on how to make your to-let a profitable affair. A good relationship with the tenants is one of the most important relationships in a landlords life and for some, its not all swings and roundabouts.

But it doesnt have to be like that. There are ways to ensure you maintain a happy, long term relationship with the tenants in your rental properties and below are some of the best.

  1. Get things done

One of your responsibilities as a landlord is making sure all repairs are taken care of. Doing so in good time is one of the most important ways to keeping your tenants happy. Theres nothing worse than a broken boiler in the winter, so dont make your tenants suffer whilst youre away living the high life.

 

  1. Small gifts get big results

Your tenants arent going to expect a free swimming pool installment any time soon but giving your tenants a little something, such as a gift card at Christmas will keep them happy and theyll feel like you care about their needs as a person rather than just a number on your bank balance.

  1. Give a big warm welcome

Moving can be a really stressful time, so helping to calm their nerves is definitely something that will be appreciated. Consider putting together a little welcome hamper that includes home essentials or leave a champagne gift in the kitchen for any young couple moving into their first home together.

  1. A little comfort goes a long way

You dont have to break the bank and purchase state of the art furniture for your tenants. But if youre offering an all inclusive deal in your rental property, then supplying decent furniture is a must. Beds and mattresses can set anyone back a fair whack, but there are cheaper alternatives out there. If there are children in the property, supplying a memory foam mattress single topper will do the job until they outgrow their beds.

  1. Respect their privacy

As the actual homeowner, you do have the right to inspect the property, but dropping in unannounced is very inconsiderate and it may ruffle a few feathers. Even giving a few days notice will make all the difference, so communicate with your tenants to let them know of any visit youll be making in the near future.

  1. Be child friendly

If youre hoping to make big money from larger properties, your tenants will most likely have a young family or will do in future. Making the home child friendly and safe is one way to attract young couples or families. Here are some quick and easy tips to creating a kid friendly home.

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In the aftermath of last month’s referendum result, British property buyers have behaved much as expected and slowed their purchasing activity considerably. However, the market has not suffered as much as many experts feared, thanks to an influx of international buyers helping to make up the shortfall.

London, in particular, has seen an influx of foreign interest in the wake of the Brexit vote. Demand for properties in the capital is coming from investors of many nationalities, including those from the Middle East, China, Spain and Italy. In the first few days after the referendum result was announced, UK agents reportedly took large numbers of calls from individuals and institutions based overseas, reportedly including one bank from the Middle East that wished to obtain a list of available properties for clients who were expected to begin buying at the end of Ramadan.

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UK buyers have become reluctant to purchase new properties in the aftermath of the referendum thanks largely to a climate of uncertainty. In the short term, the economy certainly suffered a shock as a result of the vote in favour of leaving the EU, which was something of a surprise result. In the longer term, nobody is really sure what the consequences of Brexit will be for the property market, and until an exit deal begins to take shape it is difficult to make predictions. Some high-profile buyers specifically included exit clauses in the event of a Brexit vote ahead of the referendum, and it is reported that such clauses have been exercised in order to allow buyers to pull out of deals already underway.

However, most experts believe that property investment in the UK is still a sound choice for weathering any storms that may come, and for international investors the aftermath of the Brexit vote may seem like an opportunity to gain exposure to the market. Likely the main factor at play is the effect that the leave vote had on the pound. Once the referendum results were unveiled, the pound rapidly tumbled to its lowest value for three decades, and for international investors this means a much more favourable exchange rate when buying sterling properties.

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For a Eurozone buyer purchasing an average-priced London property, the shift in exchange rates means an effective discount of 50,000 or 42,000. With the average London house price in euros hitting a record high as recently as November 2015, this sudden and pronounced discount looks all the more attractive to many investors from euro markets and beyond. Add the fact that stability within the Eurozone is somewhat uncertain at present, and it is quite understandable that some of the area’s investors are deciding that the UK’s risk profile does not outweigh the bargain prices.

 

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When the global downturn hit in 2008, London property weathered the storm extremely well and this was down in no small part to foreign investment shoring up the market. The influx of foreign interest after the Brexit vote is being tentatively taken as a sign that a similar trend may be set to take place in the coming years as the UK’s termination of EU membership is realised.

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Having adequate life insurance for the protection of your surviving loved ones and dependents is likely to be important for most of us.

Just as important as having the insurance, however, is comparing the very many different products available, weighing up their respective pros and cons, and knowing just what questions to ask about one policy compared to another – particularly so if you are aged fifty plus when your choice may in part be influenced by price and / or your health.

Meaningful and useful comparisons may be fraught with confusing or unfamiliar terms, the difficulty of comparing like with like, and the recognition of what makes one policy better value for money than another.

 

Comparing life insurance for the over 50s

One of the first choices you are likely to make is about the particular form of life insurance to buy:

 

Standard level term life insurance

  • this is probably the most widely sold form of life insurance;
  • it has the advantage of offering affordable cover and a guaranteed pay out if you die within a given number of years – the “term” of the life insurance;
  • the disadvantages are that you may need to arrange a further life insurance policy if you survive that initial term and, because you are going to be older, may face more searching questions about your current state of health;

 

Whole of life insurance

 

  • also called life assurance, this particular form of insurance guarantees a pay out to your designated beneficiary whenever you die – there is no fixed term;
  • the advantage, of course, is that provided you continue to pay the premiums, a pay-out is guaranteed whenever you die;
  • the biggest disadvantage is the relative expense of whole of life insurance policies, which tend to be used as a longer-term form of financial management and investment;

 

Over 50 life insurance

  • an over 50 life insurance policy is often referred to as a funeral plan as people tend to see them as a vehicle for paying towards their funeral costs when they die;
  • the sums insured (i.e the amounts paid out upon death) are typically lower than traditional life insurance policies (sums of £5,000-£10,000 are not uncommon with over 50 life insurance policies), which means that the premiums are lower;
  • acceptance in to this type of life insurance plan is typically guaranteed, meaning people with pre-existing medical conditions or those who have been unable to get insured elsewhere, can take out the cover;
  • “People who are aged 50plus and seeking insurance, but who have no pre-existing medical illnesses or haven’t been refused insurance elsewhere may find that this type of plan is not the most suitable for them” says Ashley Shepherd from over 50 life insurance comparison site Over50choices.co.uk. He adds that they may get up to four times more cover by investing in a traditional life insurance policy;

 

Over 50 life insurance comparison

 

  • the principal component of any comparison, of course, is the amount you pay in premiums relative to the benefits payable upon your death;
  • the underlying message from the Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, for instance, is to make sure you do your maths – essentially, this is a question of calculating the amount you are likely to pay in premiums for your over 50 life cover and comparing it to the pay-out that is guaranteed.

 

Making the right choice is clearly important but ensuring that you make an informed and considered decision on the 50 life insurance to buy may depend on your using the resources of an expert and experienced comparison website for independent and impartial advice.

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Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a house where you can just escape the world? If you want somewhere where you can go on holiday all the time, a second house might be an excellent investment. After all, buying property is one of the best things you can do with your money. You need to make sure that you have all your finances in order before you choose a home. That way, you will not make the mistake of wasting your cash. Here are some hot tips that will help you along the way.

 

Haggle for the best price

When it comes to buying a house, you always have to haggle. Don’t let the estate agents put pressure on you to make a high bid. After all, they want you to spend the most amount of money with them you can. You should talk to them about how much you can afford to spend and be honest about your means. That way, you can make sure that you buy an affordable property.

 

Avoid touristy places

Touristy places might seem like the best option for you, but they tend to get dull pretty fast. Sure, the novelty will be fun for a while. If you go to your holiday home all the time, though, you will get sick of seeing tourists everywhere. Instead, you should look for a place where there are loads of beautiful points of interest. You might like to get a holiday home in Cornwall, for example, where you will find loads of small fishing villages.

 

Get the help you need

You might think that you don’t need help when it comes to moving new stuff into your second home, but you’re wrong. Look online at sites like http://www.bestrateremovals.co.uk/about-us/ and see whether you can get a deal. If you have movers to help you out, you will find that the entire event is stress-free. You might want to take furniture from your current house to your holiday home. Explain to the moving company what you want and they will make it happen.

 

Consider letting it out

If you want to profit from your latest investment, you should consider letting out your holiday home to people. That way, you can make the house pay for itself. People are always looking for quaint little cottages they can use. If you put your holiday home on a travel site, you will see that you have loads of bookings in no time at all. Of course, there are some things you need to know about letting out a house before you do so.

 

Look at ‘project’ houses

If you haven’t got much money, but you do have time, you should look at homes that are ‘project’ houses. That is to say that they have a lot of potential, but need some work. These properties will be perfect for you if you want something of a project. All you need to do is dedicate some of your time to fixing up the area. Think about it. You can make loads of money if you spruce up an old home.

 

Consider a shared ownership deal

If you don’t have the funds to pay for a house, could you consider a shared ownership deal? Sure, there are some pitfalls to this idea, but it might be your only option. That way, you can afford your dream home without having to pay through the roof for it. Check out this option now and see whether there is anyone who is willing to strike a deal with you. Before you know it, you could have the holiday home of your dreams!

 

Photographer – Link

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You may think that shared ownership sounds like the perfect way of getting your foot on the housing ladder. You can pay a portion of the overall selling price of a property to purchase a percentage of ownership, which you can increase as time passes; a process known as staircasing.

This all sounds really good on the face of it, but you need to be aware that shared ownership is not always the perfect solution it appears to be. There are certain pitfalls around opting for shared ownership that it’s useful to be aware of before you follow this path.

Is shared ownership really an affordable option?

It can be tempting to purely consider the fact that the mortgage payments for shared ownership will be less than for full ownership of a similar property, but that is only part of the story. You need to remember that you will also have to pay rent each month, to the housing association or private developer who owns the remainder of the property. This rent is of course at a reduced amount, but it is still subject to potential annual rises which can quickly become costly. Most shared ownership properties are also leasehold so you will be faced with having to pay a monthly service charge. In addition to this service charge you need to ascertain how much you will be expected to contribute to other major maintenance costs, such as roof repairs, before you sign any contracts.

Take a look at all the costs involved in shared ownership and you can see that it isn’t always the appealing and affordable option you think it is.

Is it really ownership?

You need to be aware that the housing association or private developer has overall ownership of the property and as a landlord, they can evict you for rent arrears. Often mortgage lenders will add rent debt to the mortgage to prevent you from losing your home, but the fact remains that you can actually lose a property that you apparently have part ownership of. In 2007 a woman was evicted from her home for rent arrears, and the court found that she had no right to recover the cost of the 50% stake in the property that she had invested.

The expense of increasing your share

In order to be able to afford all of the associated costs you may be tempted to commence shared ownership with a relatively small stake such as 25%, in the hope that you will be able to afford to increase your stake in the months or years to come. What you may not consider is the amount of money this could potentially cost. You could be faced with:

  • Valuation fees to determine the market value of the property.
  • Solicitor’s fees as increasing your stake involves changing the details of your lease.
  • Mortgage fees if you undertake a change of lender.

It’s important to read the fine print about increasing your stake before you enter into any shared ownership agreement.

Restrictions you may encounter

Owning your own home may bring a vision of freedom; of being able to do as you see fit with the property. This is often not the case with shared ownership. Often there is no sub-letting allowed under your lease agreement so you cannot rent out any part of the property. You may also need to seek the agreement of the housing association or private developer to make any changes to the property, even something as simple as redecoration.

Problems with moving on

One of the biggest problems people often encounter with shared ownership is that it can be difficult to sell the property and move on. More often than not you will find that the provider of the property has the “right of first refusal” which means you have to offer to sell to them first. They may not take you up on the offer, at which point you can market your share of the property. This is not easy, as you need to find a buyer who satisfies the shared ownership criteria of the housing provider, and who can get a shared ownership mortgage. This can severely limit the size of the pool of people you have to sell to.

Taking all of these issues into consideration you can see that there are several pitfalls with shared ownership that are not always immediately apparent. If you decide that it may still be a good option for you then you need to ensure you read all of the contract information very carefully before you commit to what could be a problematic experience.

Love Removals is a domestic and commercial removals and storage company based in Brighton.

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Joining the already bustling train ride that is buy-to-let can seem quite appealing to any new investor, especially as the market seems to be on the up again in various parts of the country. Investors are always looking for ways to make a healthy profit without having to rely on the unreliable methods of the stock market and property is probably one of the most popular options available. Buy-to-let is something that investors have embraced over the last few years, but it’s important to remember that there are plenty of ways you can trip yourself up when it comes the decision making process. Newcomers will always be threatened by potential hiccups, so here are eight tips the experts would suggest for anyone considering buy-to-let in the near future.

1)      We all dream of living somewhere with period features that’s grade 2 listed, but in reality it’s not something you want to be looking out for when you’re thinking about buy-to-let. Remember that you’re pursuing a business deal, so any personal feelings towards a house shouldn’t have an effect on the decision you make. At the end of the day, you’re not the one who’s going to be living there, so make sure you look for something that’s reasonably new and in good condition. The newer the property, the less you need to worry about maintenance further down the line.

2)      As harsh as it sounds, run-down areas correlate with the sort of tenants you aren’t really looking to attract. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to focus your attention elsewhere and avoid areas that aren’t in good shape themselves. It has been proven that there is a connection between unreliable tenants and run-down areas, so keep this in mind when choosing a specific part of the country to purchase a buy-to-let property or perhaps start a chain of buy-to-let projects.

3)      Once you jump into the property market, you’ll notice there are various different kinds of properties you can invest in, from two bedroom country bungalows to modern five bedroom detached houses. It’s vitally important that you realise there are certain properties that are more “lettable” than others, with two bedroom apartments and flats proving to be one of the most popular letting opportunities. Remember that the vast majority of people looking to rent will be struggling to get on the property ladder themselves, so large family homes won’t attract as many tenants.

4)      It’s much easier to purchase a property as someone who isn’t involved in a chain, which is anyone who is looking to invest. This is an attractive proposition for sellers who realise they don’t have to rely on you selling a property before you can buy, so they’ll be more than happy to enter negotiations with you ahead of anyone else. This gives you the freedom to be a lot more ruthless with your valuation of a property, giving you the chance to strike a good deal. However, patience is a worthy alternative, with so many other sellers around to choose from.

5)      A lot of people rely on letting agencies to look after their property and you may have decided the same. If you have, don’t rush into things by joining up with your local agency. Instead, try and play multiple agencies off against each other to get a good deal. Unlike in the old days, you no longer have to pay a substantial amount of your monthly income to letting agencies, so make the most of what you get today and do some research. If you’re desperate to save as much as you can, you could potentially look into running the property yourself, depending on your situation. It’s possible; just make sure you do everything by the book!

6)      Maintenance work is reasonably commonplace for any buy-to-let investor and your letting agent is responsible for this (if you have one). What you need to watch out for is any additionally fees that they decide to throw on top of the standard monthly payments that you make, as these shouldn’t have to apply. Remember that what they get every month from the rent should be enough to cover any issues the property encounters. To stay organise and cope with other potential issues such as tenant changes or further maintenance, agree an admin fee from the begi9nning and make sure they stick with this.

7)      Try not to restrict yourself to somewhere you’re familiar with, as this could prevent you from finding some particularly lucrative investment opportunities. Remember that there are much more important things to think about when choosing an area to invest in, such as whether or not it’s run down or not, its transport links, local retail stores and the community. Also, rental yields differ across the country, so you might be passing up the opportunity to get more from your investment. If you live in large town that is pretty expensive, try looking a few miles down the road for smaller towns and villages with cheaper property prices. Locations like these are great for investment, with excellent average rental prices.

8)      Finally, and one of the most important tips of all, is making sure you don’t give away your appreciation for a property during a viewing. It’s something that should go for any type of business deal, from viewing a house to buying a car. If you’re overly enthused by a property, it can cost you dearly when it comes to putting in an offer. Not only will they push you harder in negotiations, they may even increase the sale price. Lower offers are far more likely to be accepted if you stay calm and act as if you haven’t fallen in love with the place!

Over the years Mike James has accumulated many years experience working in the real estate industry both in the UK and abroad. He enjoys taking on housing projects in need of renovation and work and doing them up to release back on to the lettings market. He writes about his experiences and other relevant topics for Property Frontiers, an independent property consultancy.

 

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Living in London means that you have a magnitude of culture and entertainment on your doorstep, but is it just too expensive for today tenants and buyers? From the Tate Modern to the thousands of bars and places to eat, London is a desirable place to live but also the 15th most expensive city in the world to live in, and the price of living has just gone up again.

HomeLet have found that it is 9.4% more expensive to live in London then last year which is a huge rise, however, it does reflect tenants wage increases and personal wealth. They studied the North and South divide to compare market prices.

We’ve collected the best methods from others’ experiences and surveys to get more for your money when buying or renting a property in London and how to get by when you arrive in the city.

  1. Content Insurance

Although it may be an extra cost at the moment it can save you a fortune in the long run and you can shop around to find the best deal. You can never be too sure and if you’re valuables will be in kept in your home you need to be protected. If you are worried about the security risks of living in a big city then visit the area of a prospective property at night to gain an idea of the neighbourhood.

  1. Upcoming Areas

Just like everywhere else, there are always cheaper areas and some of these in London have a trendy young vibe with an easy commute to the centre. For example, Savills found that Queens Park is 64% cheaper than the rest of Westminster. It is worth familiarising yourself with these numbers when narrowing down your search and ask for recommended places from estate agents.

  1. Budgeting

To keep within your budget there are things you can find online to help, for example, Groupon and Wowcher primarily have deals based in the capital city. With offers on beauty treatments, days out, restaurants, gym memberships and many more to help you stick to your budget.

Try walking wherever possible to save public transport costs and learn more about the city, and eating in as much as possible could say you a lot of money if you do it right.

  1. Find a Buddy

The more people you spread the costs between, the cheaper it will be. So if you’re planning on living in a big city, it is always a good option to move with people you know or to find a house share that you feel comfortable with. There are many people looking for lodgers in London to help make it more affordable for them as well. In the most ideal circumstances, you may find yourself living with someone local who may be able to offer advice on where to buy the cheapest breakfast or find the best deals on furniture.

Let us know how you manage to afford living in London and any recommendations you have to make the transition easier for others.

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For anyone attempting to analyse the existing real estate market, there is a serious chance that they will struggle to arrive at a suitable level of understanding. After all, while the level of demand for British real estate remains high and the signs of growth are tangible, this does not negate the fact that spiralling prices pose a huge threat to long-term economic stability. Such a contradictory market can be particularly difficult for home-owners to navigate, especially those who are struggling with negative equity or a high price home that they are struggling to offload.

 

How to Deal with the Threat of Negative Equity in 2014

 

With this in mind, what practical steps can home-owners take to deal with the threat of negative equity and maximise the remaining value in their home in the current climate? Consider the following: –

 

  1. Be Realistic in terms of Price Point

 

In a market where prices continue to spiral, it may be tempting to attach a premium cost to your property. This is often a false economy, especially if your house is faced with the prospect of losing value or you are in a position where you can no longer afford to make consistent mortgage repayments. In this instance, it is important to be proactive and seek out an alternative before the issue becomes unmanageable. Setting a realistic price point is the ideal place to start, as this enables you to strike the ideal balance between maximising existing value and executing a quick sale. Remember, as prices soar you can offer a more competitive deal by slightly reducing the cost of your home.

  1. Adopt a Frugal and Sustainable Lifestyle

 

If you find yourself in a position where negative equity has yet to take hold but you would like to retain your property, it may be worth tackling this issue head-on and creating a purposeful household budget. With a viable income source and a willingness to embrace frugality, it is possible to increase your level of disposable income and manage your mortgage repayments more easily. On a similar note, you may also wish to consider using a marketable skill to increase your earning potential as a freelancer, while continuing your day-to-day role of employment.

 

  1. Consider Executing a Quick Home Sale

 

For those of you who are already mired in negative equity and have passed the point of no return, it is important to take decisive action before the situation worsens. This is a difficult step to take, as it is likely to result in a far from ideal outcome that would preferably be avoided at all costs. The most effective option at this stage is to partner with a professional and reputable partner such as the House Buyer Bureau, as this type of firm operate by making a fair cash offer for your home and completing the transaction within a seven day period.

 

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The property market in London has not been hid as hard as the rest of the UK during the recession – people continue to buy and move around the city, and as such families continue to experience transition and upheaval in the desire to gain a better home.

Moving with a family is different to moving on your own or with a partner. You have far more dependents who are relying on you to provide support during what can be a difficult time; children are much more greatly affected by changes in routine and their usual surroundings, and don’t have the experience to be able to cope with the sudden differences. Hence why your role in moving must be to aid the transition for your young ones, providing stability where possible and ensuring their safety and wellbeing in the move.

How do you do this? Well, RSS removals have provided a fantastic in-depth guide to moving with family in tow, be that children, pets or older relatives, covering every stage from initial packing to settling in. Read through the guide below:

Ultimate Family Moving Guide – by the team at Removal Services Scotland

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The choice of restaurant equipment plays a massive role in the success or failure of a restaurant. Such equipment cover everything from large kitchen appliances, cutlery, through to chairs and dining tables. Buying the right equipment can be overwhelming for new restaurateurs; however, certain commercial kitchen equipment vendors offer expert advice to clients. The right equipment should simplify operations, improve the quality of service, and stand the test of time.

Choice between New and Used Equipment

For a restaurant to attract new customers, it needs superb décor as well as high quality restaurant equipment, whether new or used. Like any other business, the purpose of a restaurant is to save money; however, striving to save money in the short term may cost more in the long term. Buying new equipment is always good because of a number of reasons; nevertheless, if one decides to save money by buying used equipment; one should ensure that it is in excellent working condition.

Some of the advantages of buying new equipment include warranty, longer life, efficiency, visual appeal and much more. On the other hand, new restaurant owners who opt to go for used equipment should choose slightly used, top brand equipment. Equipment that is too old may require frequent repairs, or may stop working after a short while, forcing the owner to spend more money.

Space

The restaurant space has a part to play in the choice of equipment. It would be futile to invest in huge equipment if the space is limited. New restaurant owners should consider the space available and decide on the best equipment size, shape, and placement. The choice should allow for fast and safe foot traffic and work flow.

Another aspect when it comes to restaurant space is the location and type of electrical, water and gas outlets. For instance, certain equipment may have electrical ports that are incompatible with those in the restaurant; therefore when shopping it is important to choose equipment that fits perfectly. Careful planning is crucial to maximize space and promote efficiency.

Taking Inventory

Taking a careful inventory of everything required is essential to avoid making expensive mistakes and to prioritize which equipment to buy first. Certain key equipment like stoves, fridges, cutlery, and restaurant furniture should appear first in the list, since a restaurant cannot operate without them; however, the type of restaurant and the type of food will determine the must–have equipment. One can then buy the secondary equipment later on after buying all the crucial items.

Décor, Furniture and Utensils

Often, new restaurateurs focus solely on the major kitchen equipment and forget about the restaurant’s décor, furniture and utensils. The choice of décor and furniture can make or break a restaurant; therefore, keen attention is necessary. As for restaurant utensils, new owners should go for high quality, durable dishes that can survive the rigors of a commercial dishwasher.

Finally, since the aim of every restaurant owner is to make money and expand his or her business, buying off–premises catering equipment is a good idea. Outside catering exposes the business to a wider clientele. New investors can buy off-site restaurant equipment from E&A supply.

Article written by Lucile Pio

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The new redundancy figures were declared today at around 2.1 million. However, majority of the folks were expecting a big steep but the figure has increased considerably. Things are changing considerably as people are becoming more confident and positive in the marketplace. This article can aid you in getting a new work. Remember, it is completely different market and it is not what we were actually going through long time before. Even a year before an unemployed person looking for work never had the best. However, in all truthfulness, you should not be picky if a job is made available for you.

Even if the job offers very less salary and does not take exception try to accept it. It may not be up to your expectation level. Nevertheless, if you really want to begin earning, take it you’re your consideration and accept it. You can also take into account few voluntary tasks. Such jobs may pay you very less but it can be more appealing due to its lasting prospect. The new redundancy figures are really de-motivating for many unemployed. Apart from this, you should also think of different ways to become smarter in this competitive market. Labor marketplace is becoming highly competitive in nature.

So consider improving your skill sets or abilities further through extra training. According to the new redundancy figures, approximately around 2.1 million folks are facing unemployment problem. Developing a skill sets and getting into training can really add more value to your resume. In this way, you can make yourself little different from the rest of the crowd. For instance, you were an employee in IT industry, and then try to learn about web designing or something more interesting. If you can improve your skills, then you could possibly be employed over the other person.

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In Midtown and the City, there was no overhang of new stock directed at the investment market, but rather a collection of niche or boutique developments aimed at owner-occupiers. Even in the recession, proportionally fewer office jobs were lost in the greater diversity of sectors present in Midtown and the City fringes compared to the City Core and Canary Wharf. As a result the demand side saw less of a downturn in these two sub-markets and the evidence indicates that demand from owner-occupiers has recovered most rapidly here. In Bloomsbury, the sale of three bedroom mansion block flats has been particularly strong between £650,000 and £1 million.

Another factor, related to the availability of cash or equity, is the ageprofile of typical buyers in the three sub-markets. In our experience, have had less time to build up cash savings, inheritances or to generate equity through past price increases in the property market. Docklands was a mortgage-driven market, whether for owneroccupiers or investors, and mortgages in the first half of 2009 were like gold dust. Docklands is not likely to significantly recover until the banks begin to offer mass-market mortgage products at attractive rates.

On the other hand, the profile of Midtown and City buyers has tended to be older. Often these buyers have substantial cash savings that can be combined with equity from other property and other sources to purchase property outright, or with very limited borrowings. They are not risk-laden first-time or investor buyers, but rather established individuals, couples and families undertaking their third or fourth purchase of a principal private residence. This demand profile helped to sustain transaction levels in the first half of 2009.

The fact that the City’s residential market has been less affected than other areas by the downturn in the current cycle, demonstrates the growing maturity of the residential market. It is worth remembering that when Hurford Salvi Carr first opened in Clerkenwell in 1996, there was only a limited number of homes in the City, predominantly in the Barbican. 13 years later, over 10,000 people live within a short walk of St Paul’s Cathedral and demand for homes outstrips supply. buyers in Docklands have tended to be younger. As a result, they

More information about area

  • Limehouse Basin Property Guide
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Your Credit Score is compiled of five different categories based on very complex calculations to determine your creditworthiness. If you tighten up your credit before you apply, then you will save yourself a lot of money on long-term interest payments. Your credit score will impact your ability to have another credit card, mortgage, secured or unsecured personal loans.  Here are some tips on how to tighten your credit before you apply.

Understand Banker Mentality
When you go into a bank or financial institution, the loan officer will be doing everything he can to determine how “creditworthy” you are. He will consider your income, assets, character and credit capacity. In order to receive the best loan with the lowest interest rates, you will need to demonstrate that you have the ability and character to repay the loan. Banks are more hesitant to loan having had their balance sheets destroyed in the banking crisis, so it’s important to understand where they are coming from.

Pay Off a Portion of Your Debt Loads
The complex world of credit rewards those who have “plenty of space on their revolving loans.” One of the primary mistakes of a debtor is to completely pay off and cancel an entire credit card. While reducing your overall balance is good, getting rid of “credit card capacity is bad.” If you pay off a portion of your debt, while keeping your credit cards, this strategy will help you boost your credit score.

Spread Out Applications for Credit

The banker is looking for any “red flags” that will identify you as a credit risk: late or missed payments, maxed-out credit cards or too many loan applications. If you apply for a flat, get a car loan and apply for some credit cards at the same time – all of these requests will be reported to the credit reference agency. Too many requests make you look desperate financially and can lead to a lower credit rating.

 

Other Creditworthy Attributes
Before you apply for a new loan, among other things, you should create a responsible life demonstrating durability and longevity. Banks will look at where you have lived, what jobs you have worked and how long you have had a bank account. Longevity can lead to a better loan because you are a lower credit risk.

Banks prefer anything that is fixed, durable, stable and long-term: fixed land line phones, long time at one job, owning a home and a long record with the same bank. Longevity is one of the primary criteria for your credit rating. Demonstrate that you are stable, reliable and dependable before you apply for new credit.

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Last night saw Kew the Music kick off for another year and not only was the weather perfect for the opening night but the great music and relaxed, happy atmosphere emanating from the crowd meant that the evening was a great success!Headlining the first night was Blondie, who opened with the brilliant ‘One Way or Another’, followed by classic hits including ‘The Tide is High’, ‘Maria’ and ‘Heart of Glass’. Debbie Harry’s voice was undoubtedly as good as it was twenty years ago and her orange outfit and ivy headdress was a nice nod to the beautiful venue of Kew Gardens. The band was supported by Hugh Cornwell, original singer of The Stranglers, who also put on a great performance.

The crowd were on their feet throughout the night, singing along to all the songs and clearly having a brilliant time. The venue was packed with people enjoying picnics with their family and friends and there really wasn’t a better place to be in sunny London yesterday evening.

The night was topped off with an amazing firework display as Blondie performed their encore, the perfect end to a brilliant night.

Winkworth have been one of the sponsors of the event for the past three years now and have lots of on-sight branding to look out for if you are heading down to the event over the next five days, even including one of our branded taxis! We also have a team at the event every night handing out some freebies so make sure if you are going along to say hi to them – you won’t miss them in their Winkworth t-shirts!

And for more information about Winkworth’s time at Kew the Music follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook page – we will be posting up pictures and videos of every night so keep an eye out for them! And tweet us your pictures too, we’d love to see them. –

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Raj Kundra and his wife Shilpa Shetty tell Knight Frank’s Andrew Shirley why they are passionate about investing in sport

Sporting franchises are becoming an increasingly global commodity in terms of both audiences and ownership. Exemplifying this trend are British-born entrepreneur Raj Kundra and his wife, the Indian businesswoman and Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. The couple own a 12% share in the Rajasthan Royals, the first winners of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket competition, which has grown into a multi-billion dollar global brand after just four years. They also invest in numerous other sectors including property and renewable energy, as well as supporting a number of charitable ventures.

Most of the world’s biggest sporting franchises and teams are owned by wealthy individuals. Why do you think they are so keen to be involved in the world of sport when there is the potential to lose a lot of money?

Raj Kundra: When people first become rich they are often still not very well known. Sport can provide them with the limelight and recognition some want. But increasingly people see it as a good investment too.

When you decided to invest in the IPL was it mainly a financial decision or an investment of passion, and was there anything about the IPL in particular that attracted you?

RK In our case it was it a bit of both. We didn’t invest in the IPL in its first season, but it quickly became clear it was going to be a huge phenomenon and the figures looked very attractive. At the end of the day it’s a valuations game. We got a lot of advice on what the team was worth and took a calculated risk. Based on current valuations it seems like we’ve made a good investment.

According to some estimates the IPL brand alone is now worth around $4bn. Do you think it can go on growing?

Shilpa Shetty Kundra: Definitely. In India cricket is not just a sport; it’s a religion. Each of the IPL teams has a huge domestic fan base, not to mention all the overseas interest. That makes it a really exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs who enjoy developing brands and creating innovative marketing strategies.

Do you think the creators of the IPL learned from the downsides of other sporting leagues when creating the format and structure of the competition?

RK Absolutely. The revenue stream from the central sale of media rights is virtually guaranteed and it was a smart move by Lalit Modi [the architect of the IPL] to introduce a salary cap. Without that you’d have the richest teams signing up all the best players like you do in the English Premier League.

India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies, but it has been relatively low key on the global sporting scene. Has the success of IPL been a boost to the country as a whole?

SSK It has made the nation more confident. It’s something we can all be proud of.

Apart from your investment in the IPL, are there any other sports you would like to get involved with?

We are actually just about to launch MMA [mixed martial arts] in India. It’s the fastest growing sport in America and each round of the Super Fight League that we’re planning will be a really exciting event, just like the IPL. There is so much more room for sport in India.

Apart from your love of sport, you are also keen philanthropists. How important do you think it is for HNWIs to contribute something back to society?

SSK It is very important. Through my foundation we are trying to help as many Indian children who are in need as possible. Raj’s company Freeplay Energy India also donates a lot of its innovative wind-up radios and torches to areas where there is no electricity. Philanthropy and investment do not need to be mutually exclusive activities.

When talking about the world’s fastest growing economies China is always mentioned first. But India is actually predicted to overtake China in terms of GDP later this century. Do you think people sometimes underestimate or overlook the potential of India?

The infrastructure and factories in China are admittedly better, but there is great brainpower in India and pretty much everybody can speak English. From an economic point of view, there is also no real formal loan structure, which helps to insulate the economy from adverse global credit conditions.

What could India do to make itself more attractive to HNW investors?

RK The property market needs to be opened up. It is hard to buy there even for British Indians. Lifting the ban on casinos would also open up a lot of opportunities.

In 2009 you said that it wasn’t the right time to invest in property. Has that changed now and are there any locations or sectors that you think are particularly good opportunities at the moment?

RK I think capital cities still have a lot of potential. I bought something in central London not long ago, which I thought was quite expensive, but it’s already gone up in value. I’m also investing in real estate in Mumbai – there are lots of opportunities in India right now.

SSK There is also a huge amount of potential in India’s tier-two cities such as Nagpur and Ludhiana. More wealth is probably being created there than in the bigger cities and people have a lot to spend. Luxury goods sales are growing very quickly and I heard that tier-two cities are now the biggest buyers of Mercedes in India.

Read my full article in The Wealth Report 2012 about why the super-rich are increasingly attracted to alternative investments including sports teams

 

More pl goto  – http://globalbriefing.knightfrank.com/

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We all like to have a place where guests can stay the night. They is nothing more rewarding than having friends over and being able to say “we have plenty of room, stay over here tonight!”. But, for some of us, this could be a lie as we are not all blessed with lots of space.

If you are perhaps living in a flat or a small house you will probably not have a guest room, or even a spare room. In this case you may feel you have nothing to offer your guests. This is not the case; you can still find somewhere for them to sleep and there are plenty of guest beds that are easy to hide and then bring out when needed.

The first ideal guest bed for small spaces is the chair bed. It is exactly what it says it is, a chair that is also a bed. They tend to work in a similar way to a sofa bed, except on a smaller scale. The bed is folded up which makes the seat of the chair, you simply pull the folds apart and you have a very comfortable single bed.

A sofa bed is also a good guest bed for small spaces. You can have sofa beds that are easily as nice as a normal sofa, but you have the added advantage of it having a bed underneath. Pull it out and you have a good-sized double bed for your guest to sleep on in your living room.

Finally, you have the wonderful airbed. You no longer have the issue of hours and hours of pumping the thing up, as many airbeds are now built with a built in electrical pump. Just plug it in and watch it inflate. You then have a very comfortable bed on which your guest can find a corner in your home to sleep on.

Guest beds for small spaces are available at Dreams.co.uk, and they are a nice thing to be able to offer to your friends and relatives.

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