Top Tips To Sell or Let in Current Market

Why the market price is slow?

Let’s start with what most are concerned about; Brexit. That’s right, the whole fiasco is stressful for everyone now be it buyers, sellers’ landlords or renters. There is so much uncertainty how Brexit will affect us.

Asking prices are down across London with Zones 1,2,3 and 6 getting the worst of it. The market is slower taking approximately 89 days for a property to get under offer which is longer than last year. (Rightmove)

The best time to sell a property is traditionally, during the spring/ summer months. For my fellow renters, as I’m sure you know, renting prices are increasing partly linked to Brexit so I would consider buying now, as mortgages are currently lower than rents.

Tips to help you make your property more appealing.

When it comes to homes be them flats, bungalows or houses, we may ask does my home look okay? What could I do to improve it? Will it cost an arm and a leg?

Well the answers to these questions are very simple and not what you think.

Little tricks and minor changes can make a big difference. If you walk into a dark room without the ‘light’ factor, buyers may not find it attractive. When you walk into a room, you will notice you’re drawn to the walls. What would you say if I told you going for neutral colours will make the room stand out.

In rooms, organisation is key to selling or letting, make minor changes to get the most out of the space – wow!

Take away shelves, minimize ornaments rearrange your sofa or table and chairs, making more space.

BEFORE                                                             AFTER

         

If the natural style of the building is 1930’s, going for the authentic old school furniture can help to keep the look uniformed.

 

It’s a good excuse for new bedding! Try some bright cushions, throws, rugs, maybe put up mirrors. Placing lamps in dark corners, along with changing heavy curtains for blind or voiles think, LIGHT, LIGHT, LIGHT!

Cleanliness is one of the main points that we can overlook, it’s a cost-free way to make your home look and feel fresh. Have a spring clean first, followed by weekly tidying, vacuuming and dusting.

 

 Why sell or let with Revere Properties

Selling properties can be difficult, managing buyer expectations and supplying correct information. If you’re a Landlord there’s no denying it, letting can be a minefield – making sure you do ‘right to rent’ checks, having correct and valid certificates, plus, correct and up to date paperwork etc. why not pop into our office, where I work (link below), to discuss your property journey.

http://www.revereproperty.co.uk/

We list our properties on the most popular property platforms, including Zoopla, On The Market and Revere, giving you the chance to be seen by your potential buyer or tenant.

When it comes to selling if you list your property above what it’s worth is just wasting your time, you will gain more interest and sell when listed at the right price.

Revere is a local estate and letting agent we are reliable, friendly and honest and will save you lots of stress, giving you more me time to enjoy spring and summer.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Sahid Obalola

South London Seller Stays Put

As many of you will be aware the cost of moving can be extortionate, maybe, the reason why many of us will choose to stay where we’ve already made a home ……and made friends, …….become a member of the local gym, ….and shareholder, I mean, regular, at the pub, plus always wanted, but never found the time, to try that Lebanese restaurant at the top of the road!   This is exactly why a South London seller has decided against selling, instead, to stay where he and his family call home, just……. make it BIGGER!

Visiting different properties everyday across areas such as Battersea, Clapham, Balham, Brixton, Tooting and Croydon and continuously reading home and property related material- basically living and breathing property! – we have a good eye for interiors and furnishings.  Here, we are going to look at how to make your home meet your expectations with some basic steps to planning an extension.

1. Architect- Speak to friends, neighbours and colleagues, research recommended companies, or individuals, check they are a member of a recognised body.  A good place to start would be RIBA Royal Institute of British Architects. A quality architect will have knowledge in engineering and understand what can and cant be achieved with a building, thus avoiding costly surprises later in a project.  A perfect example is surveying the ground correctly, being aware of drain distances and depths, or as I recently discovered, being aware a certain tree species in your garden could mean foundations have to be dug deeper than standard depth!  Imagine the building officer visiting site and ordering foundations to be re dug……Eeeek!

2. Builder- Often your architect will be able to recommend builders suitable for your project. Tender the work out and again DO YOUR RESEARCH! (you’ll be able to sign up to Mi5 after completing your extension!) You could try recommendations, or on line reviews, check ‘Companies House’ if they’re Ltd to make sure they are still trading.  Go to see recent work and get to meet builders face to face – seriously ask yourself ‘can I work with this person?’  A friend of mine recently instructed a builder only to find out later he was very domineering and overpowering with decisions being made.  My friend found the whole process extremely taxing!

3. Design-  Consider what you are trying to achieve. More space? More light? A more sociable area? What features would you like-  roof lights? A wall of By-fold doors? Are you aiming for the Renzo Piano style of extensions?  Perhaps designer chic, think of a BoConcept showroom?   Further considerations, a flat roof will be cheaper, however the lifespan is only 10-15 years. A pitched roof? It is more expensive, though can be more attractive and should last 50 years+.  Finishing the build, will you have the walls rendered or maybe have a brick facade? With high demands for quality insulation, what will be the most beneficial?

 

4. Materials- Whats your style? Mine’s a rustic french farmhouse style! Think exposed beams, exposed brick, flagstone floor, oh and lots of candles!….. Again, do your research and get ideas, designers will use a mood board, or apps such as pinterest to gather ideas.  Some clever ideas include- Using tall cupboards- giving larder storage, this is ideal for keeping mops and vacuum cleaners hidden.  Taking cupboards to the ceiling will give a seamless look and will mean less cleaning!  Find a home for your washing machine and tumble dryer, no one wants to listen to the whirring sound of a washing machine during Celebrity Jungle!  You may not wish to blow the budget on kitchen cupboards….so don’t! instead get the carcasses from a mainstream company, such as Ikea, then you can have fancy bespoke door fronts made!  How about a show stopping piece?  That decorative light fitting you remember from your favourite department store, a special piece will show your personality and creates a great talking point for visitors.  The floor will subtly finish a room, why not take it into the garden to visually extend your living space?  Look for a durable, waterproof tile, try porcelain which is hard wearing and can be digitally printed creating an array of finishes, including marble effect orwood effect.  A Battersea Landlord recently used the porcelain wood effect tile and I could not tell the difference! Consider extending a kitchen worktop to create a dining space, keeping the look uniformed. Open shelving can soften your look, offering character, plus giving essential space for displays of books (hopefully you still have some of those!) or CD’s (hopefully those too?!), china, jars, bottles etc. 

 

Now, go and try that Lebanese restaurant which you keep meaning to visit, then get researching for your new extension and…..good luck!

For further property advise please contact Melissa De-Vall and                  Bruno de Sousa at Revere- enquiries@revereproperty.co.uk

 

 

Household Appliance Fires- How Landlords Can Keep Their Tenants Safe

Did you know approximately 36% of accidental house fires are caused by appliances and white goods?  This is roughly 4000 fires each year.

At Revere we let and manage a huge number of properties across South West and South East London, including areas such as Balham, Battersea, Bromley, Brixton, Clapham, Croydon, Earlsfield, Fulham, Stockwell, Tooting and Wandsworth and we want our Landlords and Tenants, and even Sellers and Buyers to be aware of potential dangers.

Appliances and white goods are more than often provided by Landlords in both furnished and unfurnished properties. Some sales will agree for appliances and, or white goods to remain in the property once sold.

Have a look below at some suggestions which can help home owners, Landlords and Tenants as safe as possible-

  • Check any appliances are not subject to a recall.  Appliances can be registered on registermyappliance.org.uk  recalls are rare, though registering here allows you to be contacted if there is an issue.
  • Check where the appliance has been installed, The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) recommend not to install white good in sheds or garages as damp and extreme temperatures can impair safe usage. 
  • Keep areas behind/ on top and around white goods clean and clear to ensure adequate ventilation. 
  • Landlords should check each appliance’s lead and plug, making sure no wires are exposed or damaged and no plugs are showing discolouration.  Make sure the appliance isn’t standing on the lead or stretching to reach the socket. 
  • Appliances should never be overloading extension cables or sockets. 
  • Ensure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are fitted correctly (smoke alarms on each floor) and between Tenancies check these are working correctly / change batteries if needed. 
  • Remind Tenants to check all smoke alarms regularly, at least monthly to ensure working correctly. 
  • Advise Tenants appliances must be maintained – clean out filters in washing machines and tumble dryers and defrost freezers as required. 
  • Remind Tenants to contact you should any problems or repairs arise. 

Contact me or Bruno to discuss your property journey and how we can help.

Melissa De-Vall

Revere Property Limited

020 7223 3922, enquiries@revereproperty.co.uk

 

Battersea Landlord asks for Property Management Advise

Many Landlords ask Revere to manage their properties due to lack of time with busy work schedules, or expanding families, or sometimes travel! (I know which one Id like to be doing!….. travelling!)   We take great pride in managing properties and having the responsibility of looking after our Landlords’ biggest assets’.

Revere’s management portfolio is spread across Stockwell, Brixton, Peckham, Clapham, Balham, Wandsworth, Tooting and Croydon and continues to grow.

Recently an existing Landlord, with a property in Battersea, asked for advise how she could successfully manage her property.   You see, managing a property well, can lead to the standard of the property remaining high, lowering overall costs for maintenance and increase the longevity of Tenancies.  I began to explain our strategy for managing properties-

  • Establish an open and honest relationship with the Tenants.
  • Always respond to Tenants’ management queries as soon as possible.
  • Agree in writing appointment times and dates in advance.
  • Keep Tenants informed of works or arrangements.
  • Use trustworthy, reliable and reasonable contractors, we have several we’ve worked with for years – none of which we take a commission or a ‘kick-back’ from.

Part of Revere’s management service includes six monthly property inspections, and this is what we’d recommend if managing your own property. We take a detailed look through the property room by room, taking photographs on general presentation and of any areas causing concern-

  • Walls- we’re looking for cracks, marks, blistering, signs of damp and excessive wear.
  • Ceilings- looking for signs of leaks, condensation, buldges.
  • Windows – looking for condensation build up to the inside, rotting to windows or sills (interior and exterior).
  • Floors- looking for any signs of damp, rotting, dips, excessive wear.

We’re also checking if a property is being treated as a home.   We write to Tenants giving advise on areas which we feel could improve living in their home and to avoid any possible deductions from their deposit. Such advise may include-

  • Wipe away condensation (which can lead to mould) have windows open after bathing, showering or during cooking.
  • Vacuuming beneath furniture to avoid carpet moths.
  • Use shower spray’s and squeegee’s to combat limescale build up to tiles and screens.

Following a property inspection we compile a report with photographs and suggestions , if any, of works, giving a true insight of the property’s condition. Working closely with Tenants, and Landlords we have a management service to be proud of.

Our Battersea Landlord has now asked Revere to fully manage her property including collection of the rent,  allowing her to concentrate on her career.   Our management fees can be paid monthly are are really reasonable.

If you too would like Revere to manage your property or you would like to get advise on property management please contact myself or Bruno on the number or email below.

020 7223 3922, enquiries@revereproperty.co.uk

 

 

What Property Gives Best Return in Clapham?

Last week I received a call from a Landlord looking to invest in another residential property.

The preferred area being Clapham. Now for the style of property, they don’t like blocks nor modern buildings – aesthetic reasons, so that leaves period buildings- the ever popular choice! Sharing knowledge of the most popular requests from Tenants, these being-

  • Garden/ outside space
  • Wood flooring
  • Generous Room Sizes
  • Bright
  • Modern
  • Close to Transport

My Landlord was now certain what features to look for, though she wanted to further understand what style property will give her the best return? I carried out some research (on properties with gardens) and came up with the following-

Style property         Average sale price              Average Rent                       Yield

1 Double Bed           £522,083.33                                   £1708.25pcm                     3.9%

2 Double Bed           £651,250.00                                   £2194.85pcm                     4.0%

3 Double Bed           £868,571.00                                   £2549.28pcm                     3.5%

4 Double Bed           £844,666.00                                   £2839.16pcm                     4.0%

Looking at the above we can see either a two or four double bedroom property will give the best return, depending on budget! Remember, if you are looking for a rental investment try to include as many of the popular Tenant requests as listed above.  My Landlord has since begun her search in Clapham for a well-proportioned, two double bedroom garden flat with wood floors and lots of natural light!

If you are also looking to invest in residential property, other popular spots to consider would be would be Balham, Brixton, Stockwell and Tooting.

Contact me or Bruno if you’re looking to buy rent, or want to sell or let your property.

Melissa De-Vall, Revere Property Limited

Energy Performance Certificate Regulation Changes – How Will These Affect Landlords And Their Properties?

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were introduced in England and Wales for rental properties on 1 October 2008 as a legal requirement for any property that is let out. They are a result of European Union Directive relating to the energy performance of buildings. An Energy Performance Certificate is valid for 10 years from the date it is completed, it contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs and also recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money.  It gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A being the most efficient to G, the least efficient.

Next year will see the 10 year anniversary since EPC’s were introduced, this will mean the renewal of EPC’s for many landlords who need to be aware of some very important changes that will take effect from the 1st April 2018.

From 1st April 2018 a property must have a minimum energy efficiency rating of E in order for a landlord to rent their property. This requirement will apply to all tenancies that begin or are renewed on or after 1st April 2018, for existing tenancies the regulations will not apply until 1st April 2020.

Where the EPC shows a rating lower than E, so a rating of F or G, this will mean the property is substandard and therefore the landlord unable to rent the property until energy efficiency improvements in the EPC have been undertaken.

Local Councils will have the task of enforcing the new regulations. They have the power to serve a notice and request that a landlord provide details to prove compliance. Where they find that a landlord is in breach of these new regulations, they can impose a penalty of up to £5000. Further penalties can also be applied to properties that continue to be rented out despite the breach and original fine. Such fines will not affect the legal standing of the tenancy which means that rent will continue to be due and payable from tenants.

We recommend landlord’s review their current EPC’s as soon as possible, to see what rating their rental property currently achieves in advance of the new changes. If your property currently scores lower than an E, here are 7 potential modifications you could make to help improve and push up the rating of your property before the regulations change:

1)Lighting – Change any halogen or non-Low Energy Lighting to Compact Fluorescent Light’s or Light Emitting Diodes.

2)Boiler– Change an old inefficient boiler to a modern condensing one as these are the most efficient boilers on the market. This change would reflect a significant improvement on the EPC.

3)Heating Controls – Getting a room thermostat, individual Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) and Boiler Programmer would also have a positive impact on the EPC.

4)Windows – Replacing old single glazed windows with new double glazed windows will not only substantially help reduce heat loss but will also aid in shielding the property from outdoor noise.

5)Roof Insulation – Consider getting the loft re-insulated if it is currently 90mm or less. Introduce insulation at least 270mm in depth as this will also help avoid heat escaping.

6)Walls – If there are any cavity walls these would also benefit from being filled. This will help spread heat around the property. It can also prevent the property getting too hot in the Summer.

7)Draught Excluders – Fitting these to the insides of doors and windows will improve the insulation of doors and sash windows by sealing gaps that let in cold air.

If you require anymore information, feel to get in touch and speak to either Bruno or Melissa.

If you’re considering renting or selling your property and need some advice, get in touch with REVERE, the award winning Estate & Letting Agent today. We offer FREE property valuations and would love to be of service!

Bruno de Sousa – Revere Property Limited – 0207 223 3922 – enquiries@revereproperty.co.uk

 

How New Property Tax Laws Effect Landlords

One of my Landlords with a rental property in Tooting recently asked what were my thoughts regarding new tax changes for residential property. For anyone uncertain of these changes, let me explain!-

The Government are restricting the amount of income tax relief Landlords receive on residential property. Landlords will no longer be able to receive tax relief on financial costs (such as mortgage interest). This change is being bought into effect gradually over the next four years –

2017-2018               75% of finance costs can be deducted from property income (previously this was 100%)

2018-2019               50% of finance costs can be deducted from property income

2019-2020               25% of finance costs can be deducted from property income

2020-2021               No deductions of finance costs can be made from property income

This would mean on an average one bedroom flat in Brixton, with a rental income of £1,400.00pcm/ £16,800.00pa and an ‘interest only’ mortgage with monthly payments of £450.00pcm/£5,400.00pa, – Year one (2017-2018), the Landlord would receive tax relief on 75% of the mortgage interest (equating to £4,050.00), leaving them to pay tax on the remaining £12,750.00 of the rental income. For a normal rate tax payer at 20% this would be £2550.00 for the year. It would be prudent to speak to an accountant, as there may be other costs which could be deducted from the rental income before tax.

So, what are my thoughts? Well if a Landlord doesn’t incur financial costs on their rental property this will not affect them. For Landlords with a portfolio of properties, some accountants suggest it could be more beneficial to run as a company, where such costs would be company costs, thought, with this model there are other tax changes to consider. I’ve adopted the thought that becoming a Landlord is a ‘decision’, and when making such a decision, costs must be considered. However there will also be an income generated – even if that income is just paying off the mortgage- it’s still an income, and with an income comes tax.

Until now having tax relief was a bonus that many of us have come to take for granted. Ultimately your rental property is your business, it will earn you money. Keep your property in good condition and keep up to date with legislation- even better, as many Landlords do, have Revere take care of all your property needs whether it be letting or selling.

Maybe its time to flick through a property magazine to get some ideas for your next property venture.

We’re happy to discuss any of your property queries, contact myself of Bruno.

Melissa De-Vall, Revere Property Limited, 020 7223 3922 enquiries@revereproperty.co.uk