This week Tom’s Take will look at Empty Nesters! With 70% of over 55's looking to relocate now their children have left home, Tom has some advice for both sellers and buyers in this particular market segment.
Being honest with you, downsizing is hard! You’ll look at loads of smaller houses and flats but you’ll find it hard to get used to the size, location, shape, facilities and features. That is because you feel as though you are sacrificing something. Well, it doesn’t have to be a sacrifice, you can get everything you want! My advice is listing all the things you love, and hate, about your home right now. Try to be objective and ruthless! Then, list all the things you want, and don’t want, from a new property and why. You’ll end up with a clear idea of your must haves, as well as things you are willing to compromise on. Now all you need is a location and you have a much easier property search to begin. Oh, and don’t book viewings at properties that are the same as yours, you are just wasting your time. Most decent agents will provide floor plans so check room sizes ahead of viewings to keep your search focused on real options. One last thing, don’t forget your motivation for moving, maybe you want to bump up your pension fund or maybe it is time to live in that idyllic location you have always dreamt of!
The hardest thing for sellers is that you’ll have loads of memories and sentiment in your home. So when you sell, try to remember that your buyers are going to start their own memories. They’ll probably redecorate and they might even rebuild parts of your home. That could be hard to accept if you’ve raised your family in that home but try to remember when you bought the house and started your story. Your buyers will do the same! They’ll raise their families and build their own stories in your home. They’re probably upsizing to grow their family. Remember that feedback from viewings can be really hard to take on board. Try to keep in mind that people might not like your décor or layout. That’s up to them and it’s nothing personal. Lastly, do your research on finding your next property. It will take a lot to get used to and you should follow the advice for buyers (see above) before you commit to selling your current home.
This week’s Tom looks into his crystal ball at the likely scenarios for the housing market in 2018.
1. I think the average purchase price for first time buyers is going to go up by 10-15% because of the removal of stamp duty for first timers, the support from the government such as the help to buy, and the mortgage lenders are lending again. This has a knock-on effect as there will be more demand for more properties which always drives prices up.
2. I think landlords with larger portfolios will sell off some properties, so they have less properties with less mortgage after the reduction in tax relief on mortgage payments. Landlords with smaller portfolios will push the rental prices up as a result to try and recover the lost tax relief.
3. I think we’ll see a lot of small independent high street estate agents either closing down or being bought. With agency fees being driven down further and further by companies like Yopa and Pink Street, the high street agents are forced to compete. The smaller agents will struggle on two fronts… One, they won’t be able to bring on as many new properties because the public will not pay the higher fees anymore and will elect to go with other agents. Two, if they try to compete on price they won’t be able to generate the revenue without completely changing their entire business model, overheads, premises and staff. I think that will push a lot of them into trouble.
At Pink Street our property experts forecast that the Bank of England will increase interest rates by 0.25% in May. In addition, we estimate interest rates will rise up to 1% by the end of 2019.
The Bank of England will increase rates gradually for a number of reasons, one of which being to protect the housing market, mainly because a lot of people have bought properties over the last 4 years during the country’s low interest rates and this will be the first time they’ll have to properly deal with continued interest rate increases.
That means mortgage payments will increase unless you’ve got a fixed rate.
This week for Tom's Take we explore the rather less inspiring ways that home owners choose to display their largest asset for sale.
1. Leave washing up everywhere – Literally dishes, plates, cups all piling up in the sink, around the worktops, in the lounge, in the dining room. Even in the bedroom! I would say half the time people leave it in the sink when you go round to take photos. If it’s in a bowl, I’ll take it out and put it all on the floor. If it’s not, I leave it in the photos and show them after.
2. Leave food and mess all over the kitchen worktops – It’s like they don’t even notice! All sorts of food just left out. Sometimes it’s leftovers, sometimes it’s like the worktops act as storage for their tins, veggies, fruits, crisps and all that. When you walk into a house where there’s last night’s dinner laying around, it stinks and it’s vile. I’d say this laziness loses people £3-5k on their property! Maybe more.
3. Leave dirty washing all over the bedroom – Sometimes, as their agent, you feel like you’ve got to clear it away when you’re taking photos. There has been occasions where I’ve left it in the photos and shown them afterwards… Sometimes they’re not bothered, sometimes they say “oh, should I move all those clothes??” If the washing has been there a while it absolutely stinks too!! In some instances, the owner has cleared up for photos but when people come around to view they don’t bother. Other times they have it tidy and clean for the first couple of viewings and then they can’t be bothered. But they still expect the top money for their house even though they can’t be arsed to present it in its best condition. We hear excuses like “well viewers want it to look ‘lived in’” or “oh I haven’t been able to clear up from dinner last night” and so on… It amazes me that people want top dollar for the most expensive thing they’ll ever buy, own and sell but they will take more care in selling their car on auto-trader or a jumper on eBay!
4. Let their dogs jump up at viewers – they expect the buyers to love their dogs like they do. They say “don’t worry, he won’t bite” … We don’t want your stupid dog jumping all over us!! You get hairs all over you, it stinks, it slobbers!! Most dogs are lovely and friendly but it’s a house viewing not a dog show. Take your dog out, put it in the garden… Whatever!
With the likely collapse of construction giant Carillion, we asked Tom Soane, MD of Pink Street for his view in this week’s Tom’s Take.
The construction industry will suffer which could mean less new property developments in the near future and existing developments could be delayed. Large house-builders will have to cover the cost of completing Carillion’s unfinished work. Then there’s the smaller companies and sub-contractors that will be left without work.
This will mean property development projects either won’t be completed or will take a lot longer to complete. It all depends on whether these firms get the money owed to them by Carillion fast enough but I doubt it will be a quick process unless the government step in… which they won’t. I don’t think it’s a long-term issue but it certainly will be some short-term suffering for a lot of innocent companies and contractors who have just been getting on with their jobs.
I would also like to spare a thought for people who may be affected by the pensions. It’s not funny at all when people pay into a pension scheme throughout their working life only to have it threatened by inept management.
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