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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…

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