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When it comes to moving home, the figure that sticks in the mind is the big one – the cost of your new property. Whether you’re buying or renting, that headline figure dominates our thinking and influences our budgeting.
But as anyone who’s moved house before will tell you, there are significant costs incurred that you might not have thought of. From the physical moving of your possessions to unforeseen repair work and cleaning, those little costs can quickly stack up and leave a surprising hole in our finances.
So, when you’re moving home, how do you cut those costs? Here’s 5 essential tips.
- Ditch the traditional estate agent
The old model of estate agencies is dying, thanks to high fees and questionable utility. More and more, house sellers and buyers are using online agencies which put buyers and sellers in contact directly – often for a dramatically reduced fee. If you’re looking to save money on your house move, this should be the first place you start.
- Compare your quotes
Moving house means hiring a lot of external services, and in the rush to get the whole thing over and done with, we all have a tendency to accept the first offer that comes.
However, by comparing quotes for your moving services, like conveyancing solicitors, house surveys and removals, you can save a bundle. Websites like reallymoving.com can help you compared the prices of home moving services, and we’d highly recommend doing so – it might just help pay for that new paint.
- Decide what you really need
Moving house doesn’t have to mean moving everything in your house. Over the years, we accumulate all sorts of things which might mean something at the time, but have since only occupied space.
Before you move house, decide what you really want to keep. Anything else can either be recycled or sold on local buy/sell websites like Gumtree. You’ll save money moving, as well as generate additional cash – perfect!
- Get a house survey
So you’ve taken a good look around the property you’re buying and you’re convinced that everything’s up to code – but how sure can you really be? Houses are big, complicated affairs and there’s an awful lot that can be wrong behind the wallpaper.
Getting an independent house survey from a Chartered Surveyor is essential, as it will investigate the condition of the property you’re buying, and could save you significant money if it turns up any issues. A house survey is a useful bargaining chip in negotiations, and can help bring down the cost of your property purchase.
- Call in those favours
Doing your own packing and dismantling of furniture can help save money on removals, but why hire a team at all, when you’ve got friends and family? By calling in those favours, you can make light work of your house move and save cash in the process.
Oh, and if you’ve still got any favours left after that, why not draft them in for some light renovation work in your new property?
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Before you have children, moving house is so simple; you find an area you like, and you move to it. With children though? Well, things change somewhat.
Everything from local crime rates to green space access comes into play when you’re thinking of your children, but there’s one area that none of us want to skimp on – education. Finding the right property in the right area for a good school can be extremely tricky, but that’s where we come in.
With data supplies by Savills, we can reveal the areas which have the top performing state schools.
In the south, Savills found that Watford, Hammersmith, Fulham, Epson and Ewell were the areas with the highest proportion of students in schools classed as ‘high performing’, but you’ll have to pay handsomely if you want to live in those areas.
Average house prices in Watford currently sit at £428,696, whilst Hammersmith costs an average of £976,619 and Fulham comes in at an astonishing £1,273,488. Those prices mean that the vast majority of the country simply can’t afford to live near those schools.
However, there are relatively bargains to be had in the market, especially if you’re willing to look further north. In particular, Gateshead, Trafford and Harrogate stand out as fantastic options for those looking to spend less and ensure a top quality education.
House prices in Gateshead sit at an average of £138,257, whilst Trafford and Harrogate come in at £188,380 and £342,065 respectively. The price of property in Harrogate is up to 79% more expensive than comparable properties in the rest of Yorkshire.
Those high prices are, indeed, affected by the superb schools in the area, but Harrogate boasts significant charms otherwise which make the area highly desirable.
The best value property with the highest performing school was found to be another Yorkshire school at Heckmondwike Grammar School. According to Zoopla, the average property costs £124,876. That’s excellent value, considering that kids at the school emerge with an average of 161 GCSE points per pupil.
What are the top 15 performing schools in the UK?
If money is no object and grades you’re #1 consideration though, which are the best performing independent schools in the UK? The following are ranked by the percentage of students who received A or A* GCSE grades.
- St Paul's Girls' School - Hammersmith – 99.5%
- Westminster School – 98.51%
- North London Collegiate School - Edgeware – 98.06%
- Wycombe Abbey School – 97.86%
- City of London School for Girls – 97.82%
- St Paul’s School – London – 96.75%
- Royal Grammar School – Guildford – 96.66%
- Guioldford High School for Girls – 96.60%
- Lady Eleanor Holles school – Richmond – 96.10%
- King’s College – Wimbledon – 96.08%
- Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School - Elstree – 95.67%
- Eton College – 95.63%
- Withington Girls School – 95.49%
- Godolphin & Latymer School - Hammersmith – 94.94%
- Magdalen College School – 94.75%
Thinking of making a move? Get in touch and we can sell your old property for a fixed fee of just £779.
- Hits: 40
There comes a time in the life of many young families that their once spacious home starts to feel just that little bit too small. Fights over bathrooms and tripping over each other’s feet are the early signs, but it can soon spiral to the point of discomfort.
Your family is growing, and so are your ambitions, both of which make upsizing not only desirable, but necessary too. Moving to a larger property brings its own stresses and challenges, many of which you may not have encountered in your travels up the property ladder thus far.
So, in this guide, we’re going to share with you our essential tips for upsizing.
Look beyond the bedrooms.
The primary reason for upsizing is to increase the number of bedrooms. There might be another little bundle of joy on the way, or maybe it’s time to split your kids into separate rooms, but whatever the reason, don’t forget to look beyond the bedroom count.
Online house hunting has taught us to filter our search based on the number of bedrooms we need, but that doesn’t always tell the full story. The size of those bedrooms matters, but so do things like the number of bathrooms available and how large the living spaces are in a property. Widen your search and take your time, upsizing is about a great deal more than just bedrooms.
Get on the same page.
It should go without saying on any property hunt, but when you’re looking for a new house, you should get on the same page as your partner and children. Their needs, wants and expectations of a house should all line up with your own.
Making decisions about the area you want to live in, the number of bedrooms needed, whether you want a large garden or whether you want to live in the suburbs are all important decisions, and should be made as a team.
Think of the children.
Building your upsizing search around your kids is a brilliant idea, and perhaps not for the reason you’re thinking of. Though getting the number of bedrooms right, ensuring there’s space to play and that the local schools are excellent means that your kids can have a bright future, it also means more money when it comes time to resell.
Green spaces, good schools and low crime rates will never go out of fashion with families, so investing in them now can really help resale values down the line.
Be prepared to spend.
Upsizing often means putting a good deal of money down for your new property, but there are other costs which you might not have considered.
For an example, you should look no further than the furniture you’ll need. A larger house means more space, which has to be filled. New decorations, furniture and interior design all cost significant sums of money, and should be factored in to your costs when you do the maths around upsizing. Failing to consider those costs have meant a lot of headaches for buyers, so don’t get caught out.
If you are thinking of upsizing, get in touch and we will help you save thousands in selling your old property.
- Hits: 95
When it comes to selling your property, we all use every trick in the book. From presenting your home properly to researching similar properties in the area, there are lots of little things you can do to ensure a swift and successful sale.
But what about the bigger things, like the time of year you sell your property in? Does it even matter, and if it does, what time of the year is best for selling properties? Join us as we dive into the facts.
Is there a perfect season for selling?
As odd as it might seem, there are predictable and reliable ebbs and flows in the UK housing market that typically line up with the seasons. Traditionally, the best season for selling your property is spring.
During early spring, the market welcomes in buyers who have been waiting for winter to come to an end and to see what the New Year holds for them. A great many resolutions are made around New Year, and with a few months thinking behind them, lots of people decide to take the plunge and move.
It also lines up with the end of the school year, a time when parents are much more comfortable about putting their kids through the stresses of moving house. That leads to a much higher demand for housing, especially if your property is within the catchment area for a desirable school.
Summer is often mistakenly thought of as the best month to sell your property in, but don’t fall in to that trap. Many potential buyers take their holidays during the summer, which severely limits your market.
Meanwhile, autumn presents a good option for selling. The light remains good outside, but do be aware that the market slows down dramatically in October, so be prepared to move fast.
Winter is the worst season to sell your home in. Most buyers don’t entertain the prospect of moving house so close to Christmas, so you’re better off waiting until the New Year to list you property.
Are there any regional differences?
The broad seasonal variations discussed above tend to be pretty universal, but as always, it’s worth taking a deeper dive into your areas housing market. A quick search online will reveal plenty of tools for examining your local housing market.
I want to sell, but the season isn’t right, should I still try?
Of course you should. Just because some seasons are better than others doesn’t mean that there aren’t keen buyers out there looking for properties just like yours. Though it might take longer, listing your property during summer or winter remains a viable option.
The same goes for selling during the ideal seasons or spring and winter – if you’re not ready to move, don’t rush your property on the market for a speedy sale. It’ll only lead to heartbreak.
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By and large, the UK is an incredibly safe country to live in. With good policing, relatively low poverty and strict sentencing for knife and gun crime, almost every area of the UK ranks low for crime. Indeed, like much of the developed world, the UK has seen a steady decline in violent and overall crime during the last decades.
However, it remains the case that some towns and cities are safer than others. So, which are the seven safest places to live in the UK, as of September 2016? Let’s find out.
- Aberystwyth, Wales – Aside from being one of the UK’s most underrated seaside towns, with beautiful coastline, plenty to see, do and eat as well as surprisingly low house prices – Aberystwyth has the lowest crime levels of anywhere else in the UK, according to Provident. It’s also the town in Britain where you’re most likely to hear a ‘hello’ from a stranger, with 89% doing so frequently.
- Worchester, England – If you’re looking for the safest city then you can look no further than Worcester, which had only 1,305 crimes last June, including only 7 robberies. When you factor in the fact that most crime tends to be non-violent and minor in nature, Worchester is a clearly safe city.
- Wrexham, Wales – Another Welsh beauty, the North Wales town of Wrexham has extremely low crime rates to pair with its long history, bustling city centre and strong public services sector. Though it ranks lower than Aberystwyth, it remains an extremely safe place to live in the UK.
- Aberdeen, Scotland – Our first Scottish entrant on the list comes in the form of Aberdeen, which takes the crown as the safest city north of the border. More than half of the residents there also use the local amenities, putting them well above the national average in that regard.
- Plymouth, England – Devon’s largest city also has very low crime rates, making it the safest big city in the south west of England. House prices might not be as low as some of the other towns and cities in this list, but its closer proximity to the big smoke and seaside location make it an excellent option for those looking to buy.
- York, England – York is a city that needs little introduction, with an abundance of history, a fantastic array of pubs and some world class tourist attractions, it’s a city you can’t afford to miss. Thankfully, for those visiting or buying in to the area, it has very low crime rates. A population of over 200,000 sees around 1,500 crimes a month – the vast majority of which are related to anti-social behaviour.
- Belfast, Northern Ireland – It’s fair to say that Belfast’s troubles have meant that in decades gone by, it wouldn’t have made this list. It’s a testament to that city though that it now occupies the #7 position on this list. It’s a city that also ranks high for civic pride, with a third of citizens saying they’re proud to come from the city.
If you're thinking of moving house, why not get in touch with us and find out how we can save you thousands when selling your old home?