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Gloucester Property News

Information and advice on buying and selling your home in the Gloucester area.

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Buyers Spoilt for Choice when it comes to Mortgages

I read with interest a recent report from mortgage monitor Moneyfacts which confirmed there have been 15 months of consecutive increases in residential mortgages and that there are now over 4,500 different mortgage options available to home buyers in the UK.

The number of mortgages available hit an all-time low in April 2009 when there were just 1,209 different types.  Since then, though, the number of mortgage deals available has grown substantially as current figures testify.

Moneyfacts spokesperson, Charlotte Nelson, said “the numbers this month were boosted by several lenders entering the three-year fixed rate market, which saw the number of three-year fixed rate deals increase by 48 products to 439.”

She added that “the talk of an impending base rate rise means borrowers are starting to look at their options to protect themselves from a potential rise in monthly repayments.  Since a five-year fixed rate can be too long for some, a three-year deal can bridge the gap.”

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or take a look at our website farrandfarr.co.uk

Is this what They Mean by Sheltered Accommodation?

I was greatly amused by a recent posting on the BBC News website.

A newly built house in Langley Mill, Derbyshire, has been constructed immediately behind a bus stop and shelter.  And I do mean ‘immediately behind’ to the extent that you cannot access the front door without climbing over the fence!

Enjoy this video clip of the property:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-40529083

Local residents have labelled it ‘bizarre’ and ‘a laughing stock’.  

The Estate Agent tasked with selling the two-bedroomed terraced house with an asking price of £140,000 is Burchell Edwards.  Taking a typically optimistic line, a spokesperson said it was ‘attracting a lot of interest’ and emphasised that it has ‘a beautiful interior so it would make a great starter or rental property.’   

Goodness knows what is outside the back door but at least the occupiers should never miss their bus again…

Tagged in: bus stop house

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Government to Streamline House Buying Process?

I noted that while there were a number of things from the Conservative manifesto that were omitted from the recent Queen’s Speech, one item slipped through that could have significant impact on the way we buy and sell houses in the UK.

The Conservatives manifesto pledge to streamline the house buying process was included in the detailed paperwork that accompanies the Queen’s Speech.  However, there was no indication as to how this would be achieved or a relevant timeline.

The actual wording is as follows:

“In the housing market we will look at ways we can streamline the home buying process so it is cheaper, faster and less stressful for people when they make the biggest purchase of their life.”

This is all very well, but there were no other details, nor was an associated parliamentary Bill proposed, so we are all very much in the dark as to what this will entail.



The only hint in the run up to the election was a controversial comment by Michael Gove concerning the possible reintroduction a variant of the Home Information Pack.

We will await developments.

In the meantime we will continue to do what we are best at: selling houses.  If you are thinking of buying or selling a home  in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or take a look at our website farrandfarr.co.uk

 

Tagged in: buying house market

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Ripping Up the Rip Off Contract!

We are so confident that we can sell your home quickly and efficiently that we are tearing up our selling contracts – and here is a picture of our Managing Director, Julian Farr, doing just that!

Seriously though I cannot understand the reasoning behind the contracts some estate agents ask their clients to sign.  Some, for instance, require a seller to sign over sole selling rights for up to sixteen weeks.  Sixteen weeks!  What does that say about the agent’s confidence in their ability to sell a property?

Farr & Farr do not require you to sign a contract giving us sole agency for a minimum period of time.  We have absolute confidence in our ability to sell your property and we want you to share in that confidence.  So no sole agency contract required.

This is also useful if you want to test the market to see if you can achieve a quick sale within two or three weeks.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home  in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or take a look at our website farrandfarr.co.uk

Call Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore our website farrandfarr.co.uk

 

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I was delighted to see this slide show depicting how a pair of new homeowners refurbished a house in Court Road that they purchased through us.

It just goes to show what imagination and hard work can produce – a lovely and comfortable home!

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Another Satisfied Client!

It isn’t every day that we receive presents so we were especially pleased to receive this gift from our clients Mr and Mrs M.


They rented a property in Churchdown after they had successfully completed their sale and move back to Longlevens from Anglesey to be nearer to their daughter.

Don’t think I’m fishing for compliments, or chocolates for that matter, but it is nice to have the team’s hard work appreciated and rewarded sometimes.

We pride ourselves on offering a friendly and professional service and can give you valuable advice regarding the property market in Gloucester, as well as helping you buy or sell your home.

Call Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore our website farrandfarr.co.uk

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Increase in Number of First-Time Homebuyers!

I was delighted to learn that the number of first-time homebuyers in 2016 was the highest since 2007.

Research in the Halifax First-Time Buyer Review has revealed that there were 335,750 first-time buyers in 2016 compared with 2007’s high of 359,900.

Speaking to the BBC, Halifax economist Martin Ellis emphasised that "Government schemes such as Help to Buy have improved affordability, enabling more first-time buyers to buy their own property."  He felt that high employment levels and low mortgage rates also made a big contribution to the increase in first-time buyer numbers.

The report also highlighted that the number of first-time buyers entering the market rose by 7.3% and is now 75% higher than the all-time low of 192,300 first-time purchases recorded in 2008.

Property prices have continued to rise, however, and the Halifax reported that for the first time the average price of a first-time purchase has broken through the £200,000 barrier.  In addition the average first-time deposit now stands at £32,000.

To counter-act these factors buyers are taking out mortgages over longer terms.  Last year 60% of first-time purchasers took out mortgages of 25 years or longer with 28% opting for a 30 to 35 year term.

If you are a first-time buyer seeking property in the Gloucester area then get in touch.  We offer a friendly and professional service and can offer valuable property advice as well as introducing you to a wide variety of properties.

Call Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore our website farrandfarr.co.uk

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Own Your Home by 25!

I think there are some real signs of optimism for first time buyers.

The government will soon unveil its Housing White Paper and experts are predicting it will be extremely positive in tone.

It will certainly be overdue as first time buyers have been hit hard in recent years.  The bad news is that figures supplied by the Halifax show that the average age of a first time buyer in the UK is 30.  They needed a deposit of at least 20% of the purchase price of the property in 2014 and that price was some 4.5 times their annual incomes.

Figures for 2016 showed a price increase of 6.7% compared with the year before and nearly a third of purchasers relied on friends and family for help raising the deposit.  The average house price in November 2016 £217,928.

There is good news, however, as shown in this link from the BBC News website.

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Get Your Free Online Valuation - Instantly!

I know this is one of those times of year when people consider making changes in their lives and none come much bigger than moving home.

I am pleased to say that we have introduced a tool that can help you make that decision a little more easily.

Why not take advantage of our new instant online valuation service.  Simply enter your postcode and how many bedrooms your property has.  Then indicate whether you want a valuation for selling or letting your property.  Pop in your name, email address and phone number and add any relevant comments.

Submit your completed form and we’ll come back to you with an instant valuation of your property – as simple as that!  

Then, if you like what you see, get in contact and we’ll explain how the letting or selling process will work for you and how we can ensure you get the best price for your property.

Contact the Gloucester experts, long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore our website farrandfarr.co.uk

We’re Confident We Can Sell Your Home – so No Contract Required!

I sell houses. That is my job and I do it very well. My colleagues and I know our area well and are confident that we can value a property accurately enough to be able to sell it. We know the market.

That being the case, I am often surprised at the stipulations other agents insist on. Some, for instance, require a seller to sign over sole selling rights for up to sixteen weeks. Sixteen weeks! What does that say about the agent’s confidence in their ability to sell a property?

Farr & Farr do not require you to sign a contract giving us sole agency for a minimum period of time. We have absolute confidence in our ability to sell your property and we want you to share in that confidence. So no sole agency contract required.

This is also useful if you want to test the market to see if you can achieve a quick sale within two or three weeks.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or take a look at our website farrandfarr.co.uk

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Pigs, Cheese and Ghosts!

Think you know Gloucester? I bet there is a t least one thing here that you did not know:

1. Roman Retirement Home. Gloucester was founded as a market town by the Romans but by 97AD it was an established colonia. This was an area where retired soldiers could settle and farm. Gloucester’s Roman name was Colonia Nervia Glevensium or Glevum for short.

2. Seeds Sown for Domesday Book. It was while staying at Gloucester at Xmas 1085 that William the Conqueror hit upon his plan to have a survey done detailing his new kingdom. The resultant Domesday Book was completed in August 1086 and provided records for 13,418 settlements in England.

3. Cheese Rolling Festival. Every year at the Spring Bank Holiday weekend thousands of people descend on Cooper’s Hill to take part in or watch the cheese rolling festival. Competitors chase a wheel of Double Gloucester cheese as it is sent rolling down the incline at up to 70mph.

4. Beatrix Potter’s Local Legend. Her story, The Tailor of Gloucester, is based on the tale of Gloucester tailor John Pritchard who worked in the city in the late 1800s. Commissioned to make a waistcoat for the mayor, Pritchard found that the work had been done by his assistants overnight. He subsequently claimed fairies had made it.

5. The Biggest Stained Glass Window in Britain. It can be found in Gloucester Cathedral and measures 22 metres by 12 metres, the size of a tennis court. When it was installed in the 1350s it was the largest in the world at that time.

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Clowns that are Definitely Not Scary!

Clowns have been having a hard time in the press recently but they are not all bad.  In fact I am pleased to say that some of them are busy bringing fun and laughter into the lives of children who might not normally experience the joy of a real live circus!

Farr & Farr are proud to be one of the sponsors for the charity Circus Starr.  Describing themselves as “a circus with a purpose”, their aim is to introduce thousands of underprivileged children and children with disabilities in the community to the magic of circus.

Circus Starr is a traditional touring circus founded in 1987 and featuring world-class professional performers from around the world.  They set up their magnificent Big Top and provide free seats for disadvantaged or vulnerable children while raising valuable funds for local charities.  In Cheltenham this was Acorns Children’s Hospice.

It is a pleasure to report such a good news story and I wish them every success in the future.

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Farr and Farr Sponsor Netball Star!

I am pleased to confirm that we sponsored Kellie Hull, a member of the England U21 Nets team, which competed in the World Championships in Wellington, New Zealand last month.

Nets is the indoor version of netball and is growing in popularity in England as well as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.  The U21s competed in both the 6 and 7 a-side versions of the game and reached the semi-finals of both competitions.  Their opponents were Australia and they were unlucky to lose both matches by narrow margins.   

We were especially pleased to be able to help Kellie travel to the finals as she has had some severe setbacks in her life.  Aged just 13 months she developed septic arthritis in her left ankle and within the last twelve months has suffered from meningitis and septicaemia in her right ankle.  To have overcome these problems and go on to represent her country must be extremely rewarding.

Kellie studied at Hartpury College and is currently studying Sports Development and Coaching at the University of Gloucester.

Well done Kellie!

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All the Fun of the Fayre!

I was very pleased to receive this letter from the Parents and Teachers Association of Elmbridge Primary.

We were one of the many who were happy to make a donation for their recent fundraising Summer Fayre.  I firmly believe that we are part of the local community and we are happy to support local causes whenever we can.

Elmbridge’s Summer Fayre included excellent entertainment from the school’s Gym Club and country dancers, Ji Shin Do Dojo, Inspire Dance Studios and Kixtreme Martial Arts club.  Attractions featured a bouncy slide, tombola and Grand Raffle. 

Also back by popular demand were the Dragons Den stalls run by Year 6 pupils.

Together with a BBQ, cake stall and ice cream, a great time was had by all and a grand total of £1,896 profit made to go towards school projects such as the Shake and Bake Room, a new PA system and music programmes.

I am glad to see parents, teachers and children giving up their time and combining their efforts to provide a fantastic community event.    

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home  in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore their website farrandfarr.co.uk

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Martin 'Speedy' Roberts Memorial Game

Farr & Farr are proud to be supporting the Martin 'Speedy' Roberts Memorial Rugby Game on 6th August 2016. The game is taking place at Chosen Hill Former Pupils RFC, Churchdown, Gloucester, GL3 2PJ, 3pm Kick Off.

It's FREE to get in but all proceeds raised will be donated to Rugby For Heroes Charity. 

Fun for all the family with entertainment including; Bouncy Castle, Fire Engine, Raffle & Auction, Live Music, Face Painting and more.

See you there!

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Keep Calm and Carry On!

There has been a lot of uncertainty in the country since the recent referendum result.  Scaremongers have suggested that the housing market faces an inevitable downturn.

Whilst the current climate may well lead to some wobbles in the short term, there is no firm evidence to indicate that prices will fall dramatically.  The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, has himself described such talk as an “exaggeration”.

Potential purchasers may be wary of taking on a mortgage commitment while there are threats to some jobs, but it is pretty likely that prices will continue to rise, albeit at a slower pace.

This may, in fact, be a good thing for buyers.  The simple housing equation is that there are more people wanting to buy than there are properties available and that is unlikely to change any time soon.

On a day-to-day basis little has changed since 23rd June.  Let’s all keep our heads and carry on.

After all, that really is the British way.    

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore our website farrandfarr.co.uk

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Government to Ban Gazumping?

The Government is investigating introducing a ban on gazumping, a practice which causes an estimated 200,000 house sales to fall through every year.

Gazumping happens when someone selling a property verbally accepts an offer from a purchaser but subsequently accepts a higher offer from a third party. A property sale in England is not legally binding until contracts for the sale and purchase have been exchanged. Before this happens a prospective purchaser will need to have local authority searches carried out, had a survey of the property, organised a mortgage if required and will also have incurred legal fees.

The entire process can take as long as 10 to 12 weeks. If the seller receives a higher offer within that period he is legally able to accept it, which can result in the first purchaser being substantially out of pocket.

The Telegraph has reported that representatives of the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) met recently with members of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) to discuss the possibilities of banning gazumping. The BIS suggested bringing the legal process in line with that of Scotland where house sales are made legally binding much earlier in the process.
Further discussions are planned.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore our website farrandfarr.co.uk

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Kirstie Allsopp’s Top 5 Property Selling Myths!

How important is a south-facing garden? It is a long-held belief that it is a great advantage when selling a home but in a survey by insurance company Direct Line it was found to add, on average, just £800 to the value of a property.

The Guardian recently asked Kirstie Allsopp, the television presenter best known for her property shows such as Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location, what she felt were the top five myths about adding value to a property.

1. Quiet location. Kirstie feels that this is overrated and some noise can actually be a positive sign. “When train lines come into residential areas it usually means you’re closer to a station”, she said, making public transport more convenient.

2. Designer kitchens. Too much store is given to installing expensive kitchens in Kirstie’s opinion. “It’s better to invest on the finish. An expensive kitchen badly finished can actually damage the price of a property”.

3. Big gardens. We Brits are not the passionate gardeners that we used to be, apparently. “So many people say they want a big garden but when they see one, they say ‘not that big’. People want manageable outside space”.

4. More bedrooms. According to Kirstie, “people moan about the size of their bedrooms … so bedroom size always sells, but don’t assume bedroom numbers will sell too”.

5. DIY renovations. Unfinished DIY projects are a definite disaster in Kirstie’s opinion. “Don’t think ‘If I put in new taps and a new bath, all they have to do is tile it.’ Anything that is unfinished is a real turn-off”.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore our website farrandfarr.co.uk

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Time of the Signs!

Gloucester Council have said recently that they are considering fining Estate Agents that leave Sold or Let By boards on properties for too long. So what is the legal standpoint regarding these boards and how long is ‘too long’?

The relevant piece of legislation is The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations and it makes four main stipulations:

• What type of sign can be displayed – agents can erect a sign indicating that the property or land on which it stands is for sale or to let. There can only be one such sign, even if more than one agent is appointed. The agents may make a joint board, effectively two advertisements.

• What size can they be – this depends on the type of property being advertised. Residential properties may have boards no larger than 0.5 sq m or 0.6 if there are two joined together. For agricultural, commercial or industrial premises, the boards should not exceed 2 sq m or 2.3 if they are joined boards.

• Where can boards be displayed – the board must be displayed on the actual property it relates to. In addition, it cannot be more than 4.6 metres above ground level and should not project more than 1 metre.

• How long can boards be left up – once a property has been successfully sold or let, any board must be removed within 14 days.

You’ll have seen that Farr & Farr have many boards throughout the city and the county of Gloucester. We pride ourselves on having boards that are smart, well maintained and always removed within the statutory time frame.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore our website farrandfarr.co.uk

First Time Buyers – Take Advantage of a Help To Buy ISA!

There is some good news, at last, for first time buyers.  The government has introduced a brand new savings scheme to help buyers put together a deposit to buy their first home.

The savings plan is known as a Help to Buy ISA and under it the government will boost savings by 25% to help first time buyers get on the property ladder.  That means for every £4 saved, the government will contribute a further £1.

The scheme, available since 1st December, allows the government to add up to £50 a month on savings of £200, up to a maximum of £3,000 on total savings of £12,000.  So if a couple can save £24,000 between them towards a deposit, the government will contribute a further £6,000, giving them a total deposit of £30,000.

Under the existing Help to Buy scheme homebuyers may buy a new property with a deposit of just 5%.  If a couple are hoping to buy a brand new home worth £250,000, for example, they will require a 5% deposit of £12,500.  By using the new ISA scheme, the couple need only contribute £9,500 with the government providing the additional £3,000.

Amongst the High Street lenders supporting the scheme are Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, NatWest, Santander and Virgin Money.  For full details of the scheme visit www.helptobuy.gov.uk

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore our website farrandfarr.co.uk