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For many of us, 2016 did not make a welcoming atmosphere for property investment. From the political instability and currency crash of the Brexit vote to a generally stumbling economy and the huge leap in house prices over the last couple of years, you’d be forgiven for a certain amount of uncertainty.
Still, many of us still dream of taking that first or next step onto the housing ladder, leading us to ask the question – where, exactly, are the most affordable places to buy in the UK?
In this guide, we’ll be looking at the most affordable places to buy a property in the UK. Affordable, in this case, doesn’t mean the cheapest. Instead, it compares the average house price with the average annual wage to find the most affordable places to live.
There are some surprising answers in the list, compiled by Zoopla, so join us as we run down five of the most affordable places to live in the UK.
- Copeland, Cumbia.
There’s a tremendous amount of local pride that comes from Copeland’s population of around 70,000, and there’s a good reason for that – Copeland is home to a huge amount of architectural and geological history, countless acres of protected natural beauty and some great jobs.
With an average house price of £114,011 and an average wage of £37,492, it’s the cheapest place in the UK to hop on the property ladder, providing you’re working in the area
- Blaenau Gwent, South Wales.
An area of astonishing natural beauty, the Rhondda Valley is located to the north of Cardiff and is a just a short drive to Bristol. Made up of a number of small towns, each with excellent amenities and distinct charms, there are some tremendous bargains to be had.
Average house prices sit at £79,715 and the average wage is £19,968. However, house prices have risen an incredible 10% over the last 12 months, so you might have to move quickly if you’re keen to land a property on the cheap.
- Burnley, Lancashire
Located to the west of Leeds and to the north of Manchester, it can be easy for Burnley to disappear in a discussion of property in the North. However, it’s got plenty to offer. This charming market town is home to some lovely Victorian architecture thanks to its prominent role in the Industrial Revolution.
Named ‘Most Enterprising City’ in 2013, Burnley is very much on the up and with an average property price is just £75,445, it’s extremely affordable to climb on the property ladder there. Average annual wages sit at £18,824, but with strong transport links to Manchester, you’re in no way limited to the local economy.
- North Lanarkshire
Taking a trip north of the border, we find North Lanarkshire, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, bordering the northeast of Glasgow. Big towns like Cumbernauld, Coatbridge and Airdrie occupy the area and with tremendous links to Glasgow, there’s plenty of job opportunities.
Buying in the area costs an average of £97,875, 2% over the previous year, with annual wages at an average of £21,684.
- County Durham
Situated between Sunderland and Middlesbrough, County Durham is much more than a footballing rivalry middle ground. It’s home to Durham, the stunning cathedral city which lends its name to the county and a host of smaller, equally lovely towns and villages.
It’s not just scenery though, because County Durham is extremely affordable, with average house prices of £96,883 and annual wages in the region of £21,000.
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So you’ve decided it’s time to sell your home, but you want it sold fast? You’re not alone in that regard, but it’s never so easy.
Perhaps you’re buying another property, moving out of the country or you’re going through a divorce – whatever the reason is, you want to move on your property as soon as possible. If that’s the case, follow these steps to sell your home as quickly as possible.
Sell your home with an online estate agent
Going for a traditional estate agent when you’re selling your home is a great way to target the local market, but it’s often a poor choice for selling your home quickly. By using an online agent, you’ll enjoy the same benefits of a traditional estate agent but also benefit from the huge exposure that having your house across major home selling websites like RightMove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation provides.
Price your property reasonably
If you don’t have the luxury of time, it’s only sensible that you revisit the amount of money you’d consider to be acceptable for your property. Pricing your home at the top of the market might well yield a sale at some point down the line, but who knows how long that could be?
By lowering the price of your property, you’ll find your property is instantly more attractive to buyers and much more likely to sell quickly.
Be prepared to make changes
Your property might be right for you and your aesthetic sensibilities, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be right for a potential buyer.
There’s certainly a market for homes that require renovation and many people will wish to put their own stamp on your property, but the remainder simply want a place they can move into and start living. That means neutral paint where it’s needed, replacements for damaged flooring and other flaws in your property have to be addressed. It might take a week of DIY, but you’ll have a much more desirable property to present to potential buyers.
Try to sell in the right season
It might sound odd, but there’s no doubting that when it comes to selling your home, there’s a right time and a wrong time to do it. Traditionally spring is the best time in which to sell, thanks to buyers who wait out the winter period to start looking for properties. Lots of people have spent the months after New Year’s surveying their finances and now they’re ready to pounce.
The other positive season for selling is autumn, thanks to the kids being back at school and the light remaining good. However, you’ll find that selling at the height of summer and during winter really slows down the sale of your property. Of course, sometimes you can’t avoid selling in these period, but do be aware that it could slow your sale down.
Start the conveyancing period early
Traditionally left late, you can instruct a lawyer to get ahead on the conveyancing pretty early into your sale. They can work on drafting up a contract and applying for title deeds to your property, all of which can speed up your sale once you’ve got a serious buyer involved.
Contact Agent Online today and let us help you sell your home quick and easy.
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The internet has fundamentally altered a great many aspects of our lives, but there’s no denying the effect that it’s had on the housing market. Whereas not so long ago to find a property you’d walk from high-street estate agent to high-street estate agent, now the whole housing market is available at the click on a mouse and the tap of a keyboard.
It’s a fundamental shift that’s meant that now, more than ever before, there’s huge competition for every house sale.
So, how do you make your home more attractive to buyers in such a crowded marketplace? Here’s five huge tips:
- Declutter, but keep the personality
What we might see as everyday essentials in our home can look an awful lot like clutter when viewed by a stranger. As such, it’s become essential that before you have your home photographed that you declutter your home.
That doesn’t mean getting rid of every family photo and making your home a sterile selling machine, but it does mean presenting your home in such a way that other people can imagine living in it. Keeping the personality is essential to landing a quick sale in a market flooded with anonymous cream boxes.
- Improve the exterior
The outside of your home is just as important as the inside, so don’t neglect the curb appeal of your property.
Simple things like removing the weeds, pressure washing any slabs, buying some fresh potted plants and trimming the hedge have a huge impact on the first impressions potential buyers will have of your property. Add that to a fresh lick of paint to any woodwork on the outside of your home and you’ve just greatly improved the attractiveness of your home.
- Fix what needs to be fixed
If you’re moving out of a property (or at least hoping to), there’s a tendency to leave the issues with your property for the next person to deal with. We’re talking about walls that need painting, doors that need fixing, carpets that need replacing and all the little things around your home which might cause a buyer to pause for a moment.
Not everyone has the appetite to renovate a property, so if you can make your house easy to move into without heaps of renovation to be done, you’ll see a sale much faster.
- Consider renovating your kitchen
It’s no secret that whilst the kitchen is the most valuable room in your home, it’s not one that sees change often, which leads to a great many old fashioned and rather stale looking kitchens in British homes.
If you don’t want to spend the money on a whole refurb though, why not make some cheaper changes? Re-facing your kitchen cabinets can have a huge effect on the space and investing in new linoleum flooring can really update a space. It doesn’t cost a lot, but it’s extremely effective.
- Light a fire
It’s an old house selling trick, but if you’re showing a property on an evening or on a cold day, why not light a fire? The smell alone is enough to improve a property showing, let alone the warmth and comfort it offers. It’s simple and free!
Get in touch for more advice about making your house more attractive to buyers and find out how you could save thousands by using an online estate agent.
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Moving house is one of the most exciting times of your life. Whether you’re buying or renting, it’s the start of a fresh chapter, new surroundings and endless possibilities. It’s neither simple nor free from stress though and before you make the move there are some questions that you need to ask yourself.
Over the years, we’ve worked with countless people selling their homes and moving on to greener pastures, and so we’ve come to know a few of those vital questions. In this guide, we’re going to share with you Three of them. Let’s dig in.
- Am I financially ready to move home?
It’s an ugly question, but when you’re thinking about moving home, it’s one you need to confront – are you capable of moving home at the moment? Whether you’re renting or buying will make a difference, but a full and frank assessment of your financials is always important.
It’s not just the monthly cost of your move that you need to think about either, because there’s also the costs of moving, refurnishing, decorating, conveyancers, surveys and more. Moving house is an expensive proposition, so you’re going to need to think about it.
- Do I need to move home?
Being aspirational is a fine trait to have, but, for the reasons listed above, you need to decide whether moving home is the best way to achieve your goals. Of course, people do move home for more reasons than simply to live in a nicer property or location. Having more room for your family, moving for a new job and other reasons are all perfectly legitimate, but a nicer home might be better served by interior decoration, rather than a move.
- Am I prepared for the move?
Moving house is stressful, no doubt about it. From getting your financials in order to clearing and cleaning your last property, there’s an awful lot of plates you’ve got to spin simultaneously. However, there’s more to consider than that. Here’s what you need to ask yourself to know if you’re prepared for the move:
- Have I had the post re-directed to my new property?
- Does my bank know that I’m planning on moving home?
- Is my new home insured?
- Have I taken my final meter readings and told my energy company I’ll be moving home?
- Have I told my car insurer about moving home?
- Does my Internet and TV provider know that I’ll no longer be residing at my old property?
- Have I changed my (and those I live with) address on the electoral register?
- Am I due to receive any deliveries at my old address?
- Have I told the tax office I’ve moved?
All these questions and more are vital to knowing whether you’re ready to make your move. Alright, we might have cheated by tacking nine more questions on to our last one, but without good answers to those questions, you’re going to endure more than a handful of headaches.
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Selling your property is both tremendously exciting and amazingly stressful. From the very moment you settle on the decision to sell, your life becomes a series of increasingly complicated and frustrating decisions – and none more so than picking an estate agent.
What used to be simple has become increasingly complex over the last decade, as online-only fixed fee estate agencies have joined the fray offering strong competition to the old hegemony of the high street estate agencies. For somebody just looking to sell their house, however, what are the benefits of a fixed fee estate agent over, say, your local high street outfit? Let us explain.
Potentially huge savings
Moving house is, often, a needlessly expensive procedure to undertake, and a huge proportion of the cost of moving house comes from estate agency costs.
On average, your high street estate agent will charge a fee of 1.3%, including VAT, according to a leading conveyancing firm. According to the Office for National Statistics, as of November 2016 (the last date with complete data), the UK average value for a property was £218,000. Together, that works out at £2,834 in fees on the average property sale through an estate agent.
Bearing in mind that in many places in the UK, you’ll be selling your home for a great deal more than £218k and you’ll soon come to realise that the traditional selling model is tough to justify.
Fixed fee estate agents, however, operate in a different way. By selling your property at a flat rate, you can ensure that you’re getting the best value for money available. For example, our fee is just £779, over £2,000 cheaper than the average fee at a high street estate agent! That’s money that could be put towards buying your new house, paying a deposit or refurbishing a kitchen.
Access to a much wider marketplace
Selling in your local shop window is fantastic for targeting local buyers, but it ignores the world’s biggest marketplace – the internet. Because many fixed fee estate agents are online only, they’re perfectly placed to promote your house across some of the biggest platforms around like Rightmove, PrimeLocation and Zoopla.
Every day, websites like these rack up millions of page views as the house hunting public across the UK and abroad look for property, alongside local people looking for houses in their local area.
All the benefits of a traditional estate agent
There are a lot of myths around online fixed fee estate agents, but in practical terms, they offer almost exactly the same service. At Agent Online, our customers get a free property valuation, home visit by a local field agent, professional photographs, floorplans, a for sale board, a fully managed viewing service, property negotiator and sales progression support as standard.
Indeed, those are all the benefits of a traditional estate agency service, and with you only paying you fee on completion or after 12 months, you don’t even need to worry about paying up front.