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Love, it was once said, makes the world go ‘round. However, for most of us, it feels like money is the grease which keeps that particular wheel turning. In our lives, the pursuit of gainful employment can take us all over the world. Sometimes, that means living out of a suitcase. Other times, it means moving house to an area where your talents are required.
But are there areas in the UK that are better for certain industries than others? The answer is yes, and we’re going to share with you five that you might not know.
Science, Medicine & Education – Oxford & Cambridge
Perhaps most famous for their universities, Oxford and Cambridge are home to some of the most qualified and best paid people in the UK. More than a third of the workplace in Oxford are employed in professions like science, health and education. In total, Oxford doubles the national average for people working in these professions.
Oxford also boasts a strong tourism sector (which should need no explaining), as well as manufacturing and publishing thanks to BMW and publishing companies like the Oxford University Press being set up in the area.
Meanwhile, Cambridge’s vital role in the pharmaceutical industry saw house prices soar almost 15% between 2013 and 2014.
Digital & Technology – Reading
You might imagine that when it comes to technology and digital, London would be the place to be, but in reality, Reading is the better bet. With superb links to the capital, a great many tech firms have taken up residence in the town.
Indeed, almost one-in-five businesses there are tech firms, with notable names like Cisco, Microsoft, Symantec, Oracle and many others. With an average salary of £621 a week and notably lower property prices than London, Reading makes an excellent location to purchase – provided you’re interested in working within the technology industry.
Other notable industries within Reading include accountancy, investment and finance.
Financial Services – Edinburgh
Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, is home to the UK’s second largest financial services sector, behind London. Thanks to the likes of The Royal Bank of Scotland, Scottish Widows, Tesco Bank, Virgin Money and Standard Life all setting up in the city, there are plentiful jobs available.
Additionally, the city has become the favoured location for financial services start-ups too, with cheaper property available than London and a readily available workforce. Put simply, Edinburgh makes for an excellent destination if you see your future within the financial services industry.
Energy – Aberdeen
Another one of Scotland’s major cities makes the list, but for an industry far removed from the sleek corporate nature of financial services – oil. Scotland’s plentiful oil reserves have meant that energy businesses have flocked to the city, bringing large numbers of jobs to the area too. During the last 10 years the city has seen an 8% increase in jobs and a 9% boost in population numbers.
It’s not just energy keeping this town going, either, because like Oxford it boasts a strong professional, scientific and technical sector.
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The dream of owning your first home is, for many of us, still a dream. Though hundreds of thousands hop onto the housing market every year, a great many remain renting property.
For lots of us, renting makes perfect sense. Temporary work or adverse housing market conditions might mean that it’s not the right moment to buy, but that barely scratches the reasons why many of us still haven’t bought our first home.
Whatever your reason, you might now be feeling like you’re ready to quit renting and buy your first property. It’s a big decision and a big step to take, but how do you know when it’s time to stop renting and buy?
Take a good, close look at your finances.
By far, the most common reason for renting ahead of buying a property is a lack of financial stability - and for good reason.
Buying a home is a significant financial event in anyone’s life, and if you’re not equipped to do so, you probably shouldn’t. Nobody is expecting you to be able to afford to buy a property outright, but being able to meet the deposit required is utterly essential.
Getting a mortgage became much harder after the financial crash, for obvious reasons, but being out of debt and having a clean credit rating can help a lot. You’re also going to need good and steady work. If you’re self-employed, you might have to go through a dedicated mortgage broker.
Question your motives
So you want to buy a house. Why? It’s important to question your motives in this regard. There are excellent reasons for moving into a permanent property and there are less worthy reasons. For example, wanting a pet when your landlord won’t let you isn’t a fantastic reason.
Question why you want to buy, why it has to be now and whether you’re really in the right mental, physical and financial place to be doing it. Plenty of good decisions have been taken for questionable reasons, but getting your reasoning fixed before you move on a property purchase is vital.
Decide whether you’re willing to live in the same place for 5+ years
Renting can be an incredibly liberating experience, because with very little notice, we can choose to move somewhere else. That freedom to move ends when you buy a property.
As such, you’ll want to be sure that where you’re moving to is where you’re going to be happy for an extended period of time. The time and expense of moving house means that most of us don’t do it often.
If you’re comfortable with the above and you’re willing to accept the financial and logistical implications of a move into a permanent property, then it might be the right time to step onto the property ladder. Though things like current market conditions might ultimately affect your timing, only you really know when it’s the right moment to leave renting behind and step into a property that you own.
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Going through a divorce is one of the toughest times many of us face in our lifetime. It signals the end of one chapter of our lives and the start of a new one, though it can often feel scarier than that.
Divorces, by their very nature, require the splitting of shared possessions and though it’s easy enough to split the DVDs and crockery, there are some things which require a little more work. We speak, of course, about your property.
In situations where the house is joint-owned, a sale is often required. In those circumstances, you’re going to want to ensure a quick sale, completed before the divorce is finalised.
Depending on your relationship with your ex-partner, it might be advisable to hire a solicitor to distribute the money from the sale. In this guide, we’re going to share with you some essential tips to selling your property after a divorce fast.
- Price your house realistically and competitively. We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve seen divorced couples aim for the very top end of the market when they’re both looking for a quick sale. Whilst your property might make that if you leave it on the market for 6 months, for an easy life, price your home competitively.
- Be prepared to make changes to your property. It might be tough to go back into the property, but if your home doesn’t look like it’s ready for the market, you’re going to struggle to shift it. Simple things like a fresh lick of paint, a good tidy and some new faucets can dramatically increase the saleability of your home.
- Do a little legwork. Our homes can hold powerful memories for us, and as such, many of us are all too happy to hand our home over to an estate agent and let them do all the work. Whilst this is a fine option, we’d recommend considering an online alternative. Though you’ll be required to show people around the property yourself, there’s really no better person to show potential buyers the house than yourself.
- Try to sell in popular seasons. It’s not always possible to sell during the popular seasons (for obvious reasons), but if you can, try to avoid selling in summer or winter. By selling in the spring or autumn seasons, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of selling your property quickly.
- Don’t neglect the exterior of your property. If you’re entrusting somebody to sell your home, don’t forget about things like the state of your garden or exterior decoration. If nobody is living in the property, you’ll need to hire a gardener to periodically tidy your gardens – an unmanaged exterior makes for a tougher sell.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure a quick sale of your property, and therefore a more seamless transition into this next phase of your life. For more advice and help with selling your property get in touch.
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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.