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Sam Flint

Tailored Estates - Estate Agent - Essex > Articles by: Sam Flint

HIGH street banks are offering 100% mortgages once again!

Ever since the 2007 financial crisis, the mortgage deals have vanished.

Banks are offering 100 per cent mortgages – the same deposit-less deals that contributed to the economic crash of 2007.

But now Post Office and Barclays are among lenders hoping to lure in first-time buyers who can’t get a deposit together.

Often a family member is brought in as a guarantor to get around tough restrictions.

But critics of the schemes have warned it could lead to negative equity, or another market collapse.

Housing prices dropped 3.1 per cent last month – the biggest month-to-month drop since 2010.

Often a family member is brought in as a guarantor to get around tough restrictions.

Justin Modray, founder of consumer website Candid Money, told Mail Online buyers should be aware of the risks.

He said: “If things go pear-shaped people could end up losing their homes to the bank or being chased for their savings.”

Traditionally, buyers have to put down at least ten per cent of the value of their new home.

But escalating property prices led to banks getting creative with introductory offers, and driving down deposits.

When the economy crashed, these deals were pointed to as an example of credit-culture and were subject to strict City regulations.

The 100 per cent mortgages could even put the houses of your family guarantors in trouble if you fall behind with payments.

Last month’s decline in housing prices took the average UK house to £220,962, Halifax said.

Another problem for homeowners – those who are lucky enough to already have a foot on the ladder – is the lack of second homes available to buy.

Even though strong house prices mean that second steppers are likely to have made money on their current homes, they often can’t afford to move on.

Need some further help with your move? Get in touch with our helpful team on 01268 987984


Our Top Tips For Planning Your Move

Planning your house move? We have put together our top tips to help ensure the day goes smoothly.

Normally, there are two weeks notice between exchange of contracts and the completion date, but this can vary dependent on circumstances so always check with your solicitor.

Planning your move is essential to a smooth moving day, so here are our three top tips:

  • At least four weeks before the intended move date, obtain three quotes from removal companies who have insurance for furniture in transit, ideally using personal recommendations. Ensure the removal companies are members of either the British Association of Removers (BAR) or the National Guild of Removers and Storers (NGRS). Make sure your furniture will fit into the next property and colour code boxes for each individual room. Do a floor plan for the removers of where your furniture will go in the new home.


  • Obtain a cancellation policy in case the date for moving is changed at the last minute.


  • Removal companies quotes depend on a number of things including what day you move, distance covered, the size of the load, value, risk and amount of furniture, who packs/unpacks and the ease of access to your property, are all taken into account so try to have all of this information ready to give to the company.


Need some further help with your move? Get in touch with our helpful team on 01268 987984

Our Top Energy Saving Tips

New build homes save owners £600 a year on bills! Modern construction techniques are helping new build homeowners save hundreds of pounds a year through increased energy efficiency, says the Home Builders Federation.

People living in new build homes can save about £600 a year on energy bills. Eight out of 10 recently constructed homes in England and Wales have the top A or B energy efficiency rating, compared with just 2.2% of existing properties, according to the Home Builders Federation (HBF). These higher levels of energy efficiency mean the average person living in a new build home spends only £443.30 a year on heating, lighting and hot water, less than half the £1,072 people in older properties typically shell out.

New build homes use modern construction techniques and materials to make them more energy efficient. The properties typically use high quality insulation in the roof and walls to prevent heat escaping. They are also increasingly incorporating energy efficiency into the property’s design, such as installing boilers that only produce hot water when it is needed, or having double glazing filled with argon gas.

The lower level of bills is likely to appeal to first-time buyers, who may face bigger monthly mortgage repayments relative to their salaries than people who have been homeowners for longer.

Fuel costs have increased by around 36% during the past decade, so the savings of living in a new build home are likely to grow. With housing accounting for around 30% of the UK’s energy use, living in a recently constructed home also has significant benefits for the environment. But there are a number of simple steps everyone can take to reduce their energy usage.


Our top energy saving tips:

  • Turn your thermostat down by one degree Celsius to save up to £85 a year
  • Switch off the tech: leaving televisions and games consoles on permanent standby costs £45-£80 annually
  • Wash your clothes at 30-40 degrees celsius rather than 60 degrees Celsius to save significant amounts of money
  • Replace old inefficient light bulbs with modern ones, as lighting can account for as much as 20% of your power bill
  • Insulate your home; depending on the work you have done, the cost can be recouped in about three years. Also, there are grants available from some energy suppliers under a scheme called the ‘Energy Companies Obligation (ECO)’


Top 3 takeaways

  • People living in new build homes can save around £600 a year on energy bills
  • Eight out of 10 recently constructed homes in England and Wales have the top A or B energy efficiency rating, compared with just 2.2% of existing properties
  • The average person living in a new build home spends only £443 a year on heating, lighting and hot water, less than half the £1,072 people in older properties spend

What is ‘gazumping’?

Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, has announced the Government is launching a probe into ‘Gazumping’. They are calling for evidence from estate agents, solicitors and mortgage lenders over the next eight weeks in an attempt to make the house-buying process “cheaper, faster and less stressful”.


So, What is Guzumping?

Gazumping is the practice where people who have already put down an offer on a property are outbid by rival buyers.

In England and Wales, even though an offer has been accepted, a house purchase is not legally binding until contracts have been exchanged.

Gazumping rarely happens in Scotland, because the agreement is legally binding earlier in the process – as soon as seller’s solicitor provides a signed written acceptance of a buyer’s offer, which may be ‘subject to survey’.


When does gazumping occur?

About 25 per cent of house sales fall through after the offer has been made and before exchange and one reason for this is ‘gazumping’.

In the period leading up to exchange the seller – or buyer – can pull out of the sale with no financial repercussions.

The exchange of contracts doesn’t happen until all paperwork is in order: the survey has taken place, the mortgage arranged, searches conducted and legal documents completed.

This generally takes three months, depending on the number of people in the chain, how long it takes to have a survey done and how fast (or slow) the solicitor is.

In most cases gazumping happens because a higher offer has been made. However, it may also happen because a buyer is in a better position to move more quickly.

5 Surprising Things That Will Boost The Value Of Your Home

Forget good schools, a new bathroom and a south-facing garden, it’s the elements you can’t control that really affect your house value.

 When you’re looking to improve a property’s value, there’s a whole heap of accepted wisdom out there. Improve the curb appeal by adding a few flower pots and getting rid of that rusty bath in the front garden. Install a new bathroom and do up the kitchen.

But a new study has shown that simply living near a big-brand supermarket can add £22,000 to the value of a property, or even more depending on the shop. And that’s just one factor that can have a huge effect on the value of a property, no matter how nice the kitchen is.

Here are five surprising things that will affect the price of your property. Sadly, they’re almost entirely out of your control.


Be near a big supermarket

Research by Lloyds Bank shows that living near a well-known supermarket can add £22,000 to the value of a home, but that rises to an average of almost £40,000 if it’s a Waitrose.

Sainsbury’s adds an average of almost £28,000, while Tesco provides a house price premium of just over £22,000. Sadly, living in a proximity to an Aldi store adds just £1,333 to the average house price.

Mike Songer, Lloyds Bank mortgage director, explains: “There is definitely a correlation between the price of your home and whether it’s close to a major supermarket or not. Our figures show that the amount added to the value of your home can be even greater if located next to a brand which is perceived as upmarket.”


Don’t live on a ‘road’

It’s no surprise that the name of the street affects the value of a property to a degree.

Zoopla’s analysis, which showed that properties located on “Hills” and “Lanes” are worth 50 per cent more than the national average; while “Streets” and “Terraces” have the lowest average property values.

In fact, the average property on a street named “something Hill” is worth £185,000 more than the average property on a “something Street”.


Your neighbours

Even if you don’t want to spend your free time shopping at the organic farmers’ market or dining out, it’s better for your house price if your neighbours do. If more upmarket businesses open nearby then your house price could soar.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the National Association of Estate Agents says: “Aspirational amenities such as a Michelin-starred restaurant, organic farm shop or a local dining club can have a positive impact on the saleability of nearby homes. In addition, areas with high-value sporting and recreational activities like pony clubs and chess societies for children are also desirable, and when combined with successful local schools can see premiums on house prices of up to 10 per cent. 

“Parental competition is rife and many can regularly be seen battling to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ in order to provide the best possible upbringing for their children. This will in turn differentiate homes in certain areas from others on the market.”


Live near a sporting venue

One historical study by Halifax showed that houses near Premier League football grounds increased faster than average over 10 years. In the decade, up to 2012 house prices in the postal districts of 20 clubs rose by an average of 137 per cent, compared to an average hike of 90 per cent across England and Wales.

That’s a finding that estate agents say has been replicated across other sporting arenas. Mr Gosling says: “Living near a top sporting venue can really boost house prices. It’s well known that you’re likely to pay a premium to live close to Wimbledon.

“But we carried out some research on living next to an Open Championship golf course, and found that golf fans pay a 139 per cent premium. For example, the average property price next to Royal Birkdale, in Southport, was just over £1m, more than 400 per cent higher than the average property price in that postcode.”


Open all hours

Lastly, it’s a very good thing if a decent pub opens within walking distance of your front door. Research from Sarah Beeny’s online estate agency Tepilo shows that a good quality pub is a major selling point for 23 per cent of buyers, adding to demand and competition for nearby homes.

OK, perhaps that one isn’t that surprising.

15 Facts About The Playboy Mansion

With today’s sad news of Hugh Hefner’s passing we have taken a look at one of the most famous houses in the world – The Playboy Mansion.

We have come across these fantastic facts of the iconic house…

Why You Should Not Over Price Your Property


It is an instinct for many sellers in Essex and across the country to think that it’s a good idea to go to the market with an over ambitious asking price on their property.

It is understandable given that our overall local market is so buoyant and demand for quality homes in the town in every price range is very strong.

However, recent national Rightmove research have shown that during a time of slower price increases it’s riskier for sellers to over-price their property.

Additional analysis also shows that a property is 40% more likely to sell if priced correctly when it first goes to the market.

A recent survey of estate agents in England by Rightmove has reported that we are now living in a more price-sensitive market, with buyers reluctant to even make enquiries with the agent if a property is too highly priced.

In short, Rightmove states the obvious – that an over-priced property deters buyers from viewing a home.

We agree with Rightmove and it’s the reason why we take so much care in calculating the optimum asking price on all our sales instructions and bear in mind all the critical factors of the sale.

Price must of course accommodate the unique circumstances of each individual seller and their property.

Irrespective of circumstances some truths are self-evident.

Over-pricing loses that initial interest, freshness and impetus which is vital for securing immediate enquiries / viewings.

Even worse some buyers will have reservations about a property that has not sold as quickly as others, or has been reduced in price several times.

The best way to prevent over-pricing and sell your home at a great price to a well-qualified buyer is to instruct a good Estate Agent.

You don’t want an Agent who will over value your house simply to gain the instruction and then gradually reduce the price to a more realistic level over a period of many months.

The likelihood is that the ultimate selling price will then be lower than it would have been if a smart marketing plan and price had been in place from the start.

If you wish to discuss the above or are thinking of moving, get in touch with one of our team.

If you are thinking of moving, get in touch with our team for more tips and to find out about of £995 offer.

Give us a call on 01268 987984.

Visit our properties page to read all of our blogs.

Visit to view all of our latest properties.

5 Simple Improvements That You Can Make To Your Garden That Will Increase Your Home’s Value

5 Simple Improvements That You Can Make To Your Garden That Will Increase Your Home’s Value

What’s next for your garden? Consider making these improvements that make your property more attractive and therefore adding to the value of your property.

Make Improvements on Your Grass

You are likely to turn off potential buyers when your grass in the front or rear garden is patchy. Spend some time sprucing up your lawn before you consider selling your home.

If the existing turf is beyond repair, a smart idea is to invest in new grass. The increased value to your property cancels out the cost of this landscaping expense.

Start Mulching and Weeding

One effective way to convince home buyers that your home is a valuable option and to also keep your garden in tip top condition is to mulch and weed. These create a cleaner and smoother aesthetic.

Smarten Up!

Messy edges can jeopardise the overall look of your lawn, even if it is tidy and neat. The grass looks minimal maintenance when you edge your lawn, and it’s easy to do. This is going to be a huge benefit when you decide to sell your home.

You can complete the tasks of creating a divide or border with nothing more than a sharp spade. There is no need for special tools.

When it comes to paths and patios, gravel is a much more affordable surface than paving. To lay it in place; mark out the area, then scrape away loose soil or grass, pin down a permeable membrane to stop the weeds coming through and spread the gravel over it. Aim for a depth of 2.5cm.

Choose a pale gravel, like Honey Stone, to contrast with your lawn and planting. A large bag will cover around 20 sq metres.

Introduce A Touch Of Colour

Adding colourful containers, planters and installing impressive water features will liven up any dull garden. You might also add attractive clipped topiary along with bright flowering perennials and annuals.

If you have garden furniture, keep a feeling of warmth, even in a shady corner with bright cushions. Give your bench a coat of weatherproof wood paint, and (once dry) layer it up with cushions for a modern, budget conscious look.

This will give your garden an instant visual lift without costing you much. Plus, if you sell, you do not have to leave the containers, furniture or fountains behind. You can install them outside of your new home.

Limit Your Variety

Most of the time, having a large variety is a good thing. Yet, if you ever want to sell your home, take it easy on the variety. The more plant species there are, the more wary buyers will be of the upkeep that comes with such a diverse array.

Try to group similar flowers together and pick complementary tones if you must have many species. This will make the yard easier to sustain when you sell your property.

If you are thinking of moving, get in touch with our team for more tips and to find out about of £995 offer. Give us a call on 01268 987984.

Visit our properties page to read all of our blogs.

Visit to view all of our latest properties.

3 Little Jobs That Can Help Your Home Sell Faster

3 Little Jobs That Can Help Your Home Sell Faster

So, you are thinking of selling your home? Everyone wants their home to get a lot of attention, get a quick sale and get the most amount of money for it, am I right?

Well, it doesn’t have to be as hard as it may seem. Here are a few tips from our team to improve the look of your home ready for the impending viewings on your home.

Start by Decluttering

Over the years you’ve probably accumulated a lot of stuff, which is only natural. However, potential buyers want to be able to visualise themselves moving into this property – they don’t want to feel overwhelmed by knick-knacks, piles of books and other unsightly clutter.

So, start by having a clear out or putting things into storage, while also making sure you aren’t depersonalising the space. Create an attractive, inspiring space by leaving some personal things lying around but without intruding on this open, inviting look you’ve created.

Give Your Home a Fresh Lick of Paint

You might love that psychedelic wallpaper in your living room, but the chances are, it won’t be to everyone’s taste. Therefore, giving your home a splash of neutral paint can add value to your property’s price. That’s because people feel as though it’s a blank canvas they can work with, and it also makes spaces look fresh, bright and airy. And don’t forget to give your door a new coat of paint (if it’s wooden), too, as this will help create a great first impression.

Get Fixing and Cleaning

Armed with all the necessary tools from places like B&Q, get to work fixing any minor repairs, such as cracked tiles, broken door knobs and chipped paintwork. This will make your home feel ready to move into, which a lot of prospective buyers will be looking for.

It’s also a good idea to have a huge spring clean so everything has a renewed look and extra-special sparkle. Look at where you can get rid of any limescale, whether your wooden floors need waxing and how you can get rid of any lingering odours (especially if you’ve got pets in your property).

Don’t Forget Your Garden

Finally, don’t forget to venture into your garden (both front and back) to make sure this is as tidy and appealing as the property itself. Mow the lawn, clean your patio furniture and weed the beds/pots. If your buyers like to spend time outside, this will help them visualise living within this space as well.

And there you have it, some very easy tasks that can add plenty of style, vitality and inspiration to your home, just in time for the first viewing!

If you are thinking of moving, get in touch with our team for more tips and to find out about of £995 offer. Give us a call on 01268 987984.

Visit our properties page to read all of our blogs.

Visit to view all of our latest properties.

Help To Buy Schemes Are Not Just For First Time Buyers

Help To Buy Blog

We are sure that most of you will be aware of the current Help to Buy scheme that was introduced back in 2013 for those looking to get onto the property ladder that are struggling to save the deposit needed for their first home. However, there are Help to Buy schemes that are not just available to first time buyers.

With as little as a 5% deposit, the Help to Buy Equity Loan will allow you to borrow 20% of the purchase price, interest-free for the first five years. In the sixth year, you will pay 1.75%, rising annually by the increase (if any) in the Retail Price Index (RPI), plus 1%. For those in the London area, you can borrow up to 40% of the purchase price.

So, if you’re in a position where you would like to move but wondering how you might be able to afford it, take a look below where we cover the Equity Loan in more depth.

Help to Buy Equity Loans

The Help to Buy Equity Loans are available for homeowners and first-time buyers however, it is only available on new build homes. This scheme ends in 2020.

Whether your current home hasn’t gone up in value enough to fund the deposit for your next house, or perhaps the price jump between your current home and the new house you want to move into is too high. In which case, the Help to Buy Equity Loan might be just what you need. The Help to Buy Equity Loan is excellent for those looking to move home into a new build property that is no more than £600,000 (£300,000 in Wales), but who are struggling to find the funds for a deposit.

So, if you already own a property and are looking to move to a larger home, the Equity Loan could give you the boost you need. Finding the deposit is still the largest challenge many buyers are faced with, and since the scheme started, almost two in ten applicants are already existing homeowners in need of that extra boost to move them up the housing ladder.

Need a little more information about this scheme or mortgages in general? Why not speak to one of our team?

Let us take the hassle away from you and get in touch today to arrange an appointment with one of our expert mortgage advisers.

We offer appointments either face-to-face or over the phone; whatever suits you best. As you may have heard… WE MAKE MOVING SIMPLE!

For further information, give us a call on 01268 987984 or drop us an email –

Please note that your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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