Apply online, agree a price, set a date Make me an offer

What New Kitchen Features Add Value to Your Home?

What features add the most value when fitting a new kitchen?

The kitchen is the heart of the home for many people. It’s the place where people come together to share their stories over a meal. According to the National Associaton of Estate Agents, a new kitchen should always be a priority for renovations.

According to data published by Moneywise,  a new kitchen adds the most value to a property when renovated. But if you have money to spend, which features and changes should be at the top of your wishlist?

A versatile living space

There was a time when kitchens were used almost exclusively for cooking and eating. Now, however, they’re used as a real living space — somewhere people can work, socialise or relax.

When designing your new kitchen, the cost is an important consideration but try and create spaces for everyday living. And try to add warmth wherever possible. Kitchens features cold, clinical surfaces because they’re practical. But nothing but tiles and granite worktops can leave the space feeling inhospitable.

Attend to repairs and maintenance in your new kitchen

Kitchen features that add value to a home

The quality and condition of your new kitchen could have a direct effect on your home’s market value. Buyers may forgive the odd defect or faulty appliance. But when there’s a series of issues, people see a lot of work without much payback.

Identify improvements and repairs before you list your house for sale including broken doors, faulty switches, bad paint jobs and any other trivial issues. Strive for quality and a great finish, and aim for a cohesive, consistent appearance.

Subtle changes are often the most effective

Don’t think you have to spend thousands of pounds renovating or installing a newly fitted kitchen to increase interest in your home. By making a series of subtle changes to your kitchen’s aesthetic, it’s possible to add value in a very cost-effective way.

For example, you can change the look and feel of your kitchen merely by changing cabinet doors. Keep the rest of the cabinets in place to save money. Choose a soft colour for the walls, and replace those tired worktops with something stylish. These changes alone don’t require significant renovations, but together they can transform your kitchen without breaking the bank. Visit a few showrooms and look at a few fitted kitchen designs to get even more ideas!

Think about what buyers want when planning a new kitchen

What do buyers want from a kitchen?

Imagine yourself in the shoes of your potential buyers. If your home is expected to attract first-time buyers, your new kitchen should be ready to use. Make sure all appliances are working correctly. Keep the decor neutral. And choose lighting that creates a warm ambience. Also, make sure your kitchen offers lots of storage and room to grow.

If you’re targeting affluent buyers who already own their own home, you might need to spend a little more. Invest in premium appliances, flooring and kitchen furniture. Stage your kitchen to showcase its strengths.

How much is a new kitchen?

The average cost of a new kitchen is £8,000, excluding VAT and appliances. Therefore careful consideration needs to be given if your objective is to add extra value to your home.

Make your kitchen functional

Your priority should always be functionality. While making a kitchen warm and inviting is excellent, the room’s primary function is cooking. Create a logical flow that aids better and faster cooking. Does the layout allow you to cook without continually turning back on yourself or bumping into things?

Where is the natural space for food preparation? Does this space have storage cupboards nearby? Is there space for clean dishes by the sink? Is there space for hot food to cool near the oven? These are all issues that will affect a buyer’s decision. Get them right, and you might add a little value to your home.

There’s little point to adding value to your property if you’re spending more on renovations than you stand to gain. Some smart decor choices, a little planning and a few subtle changes here and there can increase the value of your home significantly.

6 Simple Tips for Relocating Overseas

Relocating overseas? If you’re thinking about making a new life for yourself abroad, there’s a lot to consider. Relocating overseas requires a big adjustment to local customs and traditions. But first, you must get your affairs in order at home. Start by making a relocating overseas ‘checklist’. We condensed our checklist down to six simple points. Cover this as part of your preparations, and the big move should go smoothly.

1. Research local house prices

Assuming you’re going to be buying a property in the new country, you should go into the process with your eyes wide open. Research several neighbourhoods in the country, and find out which of them are expensive and which offer value for money.

The factors that determine house prices in the UK might not be the same as those that affect prices abroad. Start by researching the national housing market, and then move on to local areas. By changing your requirements slightly, you might be able to pick up a bargain with great potential for future house price growth.

2. Sort out your visa before relocating overseas

Tips for relocating overseas - visa

Don’t do anything until you know you can legally move to your chosen country. Each nation has its own rules on who can live and work there, so you might want to get some official legal advice from someone who lives there. Alternatively, contact the country’s embassy for more information.

If you aren’t eligible for a visa, you may still be able to purchase property in the country. However, your time there might be severely restricted.

3. Register for tax

If you’re be permanently domiciled in your chosen country, the chances are you’ll have to pay local income taxes.  If relocating overseas, then reach out to the appropriate governmental body before you commit to buying a property. Get an idea about how much tax you’re likely to be paying once you’ve moved.

It doesn’t matter if you’re retiring abroad, there may be taxes payable on your savings and pensions. Register with the country’s tax agency before you leave.

4. Count the cost of shipping

Tips for relocating overseas - shipping

When relocating overseas, your initial instinct might be to ship all of your possessions abroad. However, this is usually a very costly process, and it might encounter red tape along the way.

Compile a list of all costs associated with getting your stuff to your new home overseas. It might be more cost-effective to sell your possessions off before you leave. You can use the money you raise to fund new purchases once you move into your new home.

5. Count the pennies when relocating overseas

If you’re buying a house abroad, don’t take anything for granted. While an asking price might be within your budget, you need to add up all of the associated costs before you can make a decision.

Are there any local taxes on property? And if so, what is the threshold? What is the current exchange rate? And could it change before your sale completes? Draw up a list of moving costs, including removals, repairs, taxes, and conveyancing fees.

6. Follow Brexit developments

It might be several years before the future relationship between the UK and the EU is known with many UK companies relocating overseas. Changes to this arrangement could affect your residential status. And new agreements may involve increases in the cost of living abroad. If you know what’s coming, you can plan your finances accordingly.

Leave nothing to change when you’re relocating overseas. And if you need to sell your current home quickly to raise funds, contact us at Flying Homes for a quick and fair offer, and keep the stress of relocation to a minimum.

BBC House Price Calculator – Where Can I Afford to Live?

BBC house price calculator, where can you afford to live?

According to the BBC house price calculator, living in many parts of the UK is unaffordable. It identifies that at least a third of the UK is too expensive for renters and home buyers.

The Resolution Foundation concluded that a third of the UK’s rental properties are off limits to lower-income working families.

However, not everyone believes that the report’s conclusions are correct. Describing the report as “alarmist,” ex-Housing Minister Mark Prisk said that rents have fallen in real terms.

The BBC housing calculator helps work out where you can afford to live. The tool has already received a lot of interest and has been ‘promoted’ extensively on BBC television news.

BBC House price calculator

  • Question: Is it cheaper to rent or buy a house?
  • Answer: Who knows, it depends on some variables, try the housing calculator

To use the service some variables need entering into the BBC’s home calculator tool, for example:-

  1. Do you want to rent or buy a property?
  2. How many bedrooms do you need?
  3. What’s the budget level of the local housing market that you wish to consider – cheaper, mid-price or more expensive in the home market?
  4. And how much you can budget for a monthly mortgage or rental payments.

Example

Data entered into the housing calculator:

  1. Buy a property with 20% deposit
  2. I want a three bedroom property
  3. Cheaper end of the local market
  4. Budget of £600 per month

Our result:

For the entry above, only 45% of the UK is affordable.

It seems that the need for higher deposits has priced out many home buyers from owning their home (at least for now). Demand for private renting and also rents have gone up. In some parts of the country renting is more expensive than buying a house (assuming a mortgage of 80%).

BBC home prices calculator assumptions

The ‘affordability’ calculation is dependent on the default financial information entered for home prices (actual sold prices) and house valuations (estimates or ‘best guesses’ by RICS Valuers).

The house prices data programmed into the housing calculator tool to work out mortgage costings taken from Land Registry sales information (property price index data).

The house valuation data for the tool compiled from mortgage surveyors acting for lenders/banks (known as the red book).

Bigger deposits increasingly required

Payment figures/rates quoted from the BBC housing calculator are worked out from Bank of England published rates but are apparently only relevant for the first couple of years of the mortgage/loan.

95% mortgages are nigh on impossible to get, so the assumptions are that you will need to find a least a 10% deposit.

Rental levels calculated concerning monthly rents charged by Landlords, which ‘Homelet’ provides on its website.

Use the calculator by visiting the BBC internet site; there is no need to register or enter any personal information.

“Where can I afford to live BBC Calculator” uses residential property analysts Hometrack rental and pricing data to end of December 2018.

The BBC house price calculator website also provides information on UK house prices and a mortgage calculator to help research prices and plan your finances when taking out a mortgage.

Funeral costs, where are the priciest places to die in the UK?

Funeral costs: Where are the most expensive places to die in the UK?

Funeral costs? When it comes to your final send-off, the expense of a funeral can be huge. Plus the cost of funerals do vary depending on location, and this has risen by a third within the last two years. It seems down South tops the list in most expensive, but surprisingly it’s not London, according to a new study.

Watford, Hertfordshire seems the most expensive place to die, where the cost of a funeral is 37% higher than the national average.

37% cost differential can make a big difference to the final inheritance figure after the funeral cost is deducted from the deceased’s estate. In particular, any property to be disposed of and what is the most efficient way to sell your house in the current market. There are home house buyers who will pay cash, just Google ‘sell house fast’ and you’ll find a raft of potential buyers.

Where are funeral costs highest in the UK, the most expensive funeral locations?

RANK TOWN AVG FUNERAL £

1 Watford £5,814

2 London £5,749

3 Redhill £5,352

4 Guildford £5,317

5 Liverpool £5,157

6 Newport £5,149

7 Brighton £5,013

8 Halifax £4,976

9 Salisbury £4,959

10 Aberdeen £4,942

11 Durham £4,854

12 Hemel Hempstead £4,831

13 Coventry £4,752

14 Southend-On-Sea £4,701

15 Medway £4,696

16 Hereford £4,695

17 Tonbridge £4,689

18 Northampton £4,665

19 Slough £4,660

20 Bristol £4,697

Source: The Sun, August 2018.

According to the survey from Beyond (funeral price comparison site), seven cities and towns have higher than average funeral costs which total more than £5,000. After Watford, the next most expensive places in the UK are London, Redhill, Guildford, Liverpool, Newport and Brighton.

When it comes to funeral costs in Scotland, Aberdeen is the most expensive with an average price of £4,942 and 10th overall whereas Newport is the most costly in Wales, with an average cost of £5,149 and 6th overall on the list.

It found the cheapest place to die is Derby which the average cost comes in below £3,000.

Funeral costs are worked out by:

  • Funeral director’s fees
  • A basic veneer wooden coffin
  • Flowers
  • Urn
  • Minister or Celebrant
  • Hearse and one family limousine
  • Fees for burial or crematorium

(This data takes into account a ratio of 70:30 of cremations to burials), within each region.

co-founder

The price rise seems to be due to bigger funeral companies hiking up their already inflated costs by up to £500 in the last two years. However, independents who represent approximately one-third of the market, have been seen to drop their fees in the previous 12 months.

The CMA, Competition and Markets Authority have recently embarked on a review of the funeral market. The regulatory body is concerned that the consumer is not getting value for money, as the price of services varies within each region.

James Dunn, of https://beyond.life/, stated:

It looks like a football league, but this is one table you don’t want to be topping. Death is big business, with 500,000 Brits dying every year, but not to shopping around is resulting in mourners, often vulnerable, paying more than they need to.

“A lack of transparency in the funeral market is what’s fuelling price rises, particularly among big chains”.

So when costs are this high, how do some families pay for a funeral?

The first thing to check when someone dies is to see if the deceased has a pre-paid funeral plan. Surprisingly, not many do, so it’s down to the family to cover the costs.

But unfortunately, there are cases where the family do not have enough money to pay for a funeral, so these expenses are taken from the estate. Debts are paid in the correct order, which is set by law. Funeral expenses are at the top of the list for payment by estate funds.

For a family to get access to these, they have to apply for a ‘grant of representation’, which is sometimes referred to as ‘applying for probate

Once you have legal authority, you are then able to deal with assets of the deceased, which is everything they own, including inherited property. The Executor or Personal Representative can put the property on the market before the Grant of Probate is issued, but to exchange contracts and transfer Land Registry, the Grant must be in place.

Probate can take many months depending on the complexity of the estate, so it’s best to get on with processing it the earliest you can. Putting the property on the market, due to it being one of the most significant assets, is something that is best to be done quickly, especially if you want to settle bills, etc.

Once the property has sold, the monies can be used to pay creditors, then any heirs of the estate.

Where is the most expensive street in London to live?

Is the UK’s most expensive street in London?

Undoubtedly, the most expensive street in London is also the most costly in the UK. In fact, the top 10 London streets fill that accolade.

Where except London, can you find property after property all in a row, all with values in the tens of millions of pounds? And why stop at just the value of some of these properties? What about the running costs for properties in the most expensive road in London? And what if you were to rent one, what would be the rent you’d have to pay?

Check out the chart below, some of the numbers are staggering in what are some of the most expensive streets in London. Not just for the average street value, but some of the recently sold property prices of the rich areas in London, plus how much monthly running costs would be and potential rents that tenants would be expected to pay.

Which is the most expensive street in London?

Top of the list is Kensington Palace Gardens, one of the properties is number 10, a house which has a monthly rental value over £150,000, and with monthly running costs in the region of £138,000. And remember, these figures are quoted per month!

That’s why the top 10 most expensive properties in London are also the top 10 in the UK – London always comes number one when compared to the biggest towns in the UK.

It’s not all good news for these affluent homeowners

But if you think it’s all good news for the residents of these streets, it’s not. There is a downward trend in property prices across all these areas of London’ and while the percentage shifts may look small, in real terms they represent some pretty hefty losses.

For example, 10 Kensington Palace Gardens, which recently sold for £57,423,000, has dropped in price by over £7,000,000 million in the last 12 months.

Next, take 5 Grosvenor Crescent, which recently sold for £34,426,000, dropped in value by £600,000 in the last three months alone! But it would still attract a monthly rental income of £118,100 with monthly bills of close to £83,000 on top.

Check approximate values for any property in London using our property calculator.

Top 10 highest value streets in London charted

RankStreetAverage value3 month rise/fall12 month rise/fallRecently SoldAddressMap linkSold price3 month rise/fall12 month rise/fallMonthly rentMonthly billsPhoto
1Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8£34,649,799-1.49%-5.58%Details10 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QPMap£57,423,000-£1,050,550-£7,033,600£150,800£138,215View
2Grosvenor Crescent, London SW1X£20,801,607-0.86%0.11%Details5 Grosvenor Crescent, London SW1X 7EEMap£34,426,000-£598,750£1,202,100£118,100£82,952View
3Courtenay Avenue, London N6£20,220,708-3.83%-1.43%DetailsBeaulieu, Courtenay Avenue, London N6 4LPMap£30,936,000-£383,750-£183,700£91,400£74,440View
4The Boltons, London SW10£14,981,549-0.55%-0.74%Details2 The Boltons, London SW10 9TBMap£14,886,000-£124,500-£1,616,400£47,650£36,159View
5Ilchester Place, London W14£14,971,955-1.14%-4.45%Details2 Ilchester Place, London W14 8AAMap£14,992,000-£120,550-£1,077,500£44,600£36,396View
6Compton Avenue, London N6£13,018,623-1.43%-3.83%DetailsCompton House, Compton Avenue, London N6 4LBMap£11,360,000-£140,950-£691,750£33,550£27,473View
7Albemarle Street, London W1S£12,094,416-1.00%-3.60%DetailsFlat 1, 26a Albemarle Street, London W1S 4HYMap£14,557,000-£52,950-£859,050£49,350£35,152View
8Cottesmore Gardens, London W8£11,607,347-1.49%-5.58%Details4 Cottesmore Gardens, London W8 5PRMap£22,349,000-£356,900-£2,535,300£60,200£53,945View
9Manresa Road, London SW3£11,564,934-0.55%-0.27%Details1 Manresa Road, London SW3 6LRMap£14,544,000-£13,300-£99,600£51,350£35,337View
10Frognal Way, London NW3£11,399,974-1.96%-0.90%Details20 Frognal Way, London NW3 6XEMap£5,438,000-£134,500-£57,650£17,430-£13,149View

How about the most expensive house in the UK, is that also in London?

One Hyde Park London SW1X 7LJ
One Hyde Park London SW1X 7LJ

The most expensive home in one of the posh areas of London has just changed hands for £160 million. And it’s not even a house, it’s an apartment. The stamp duty alone was £20 million!

The penthouse apartment in question is situated in one of London’s most exclusive developments and has become Britain’s most expensive home.

Located at One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, the most expensive house in London is spread over the top two floors and boasts wine cellars, underground parking via a glass and steel car lift and balconies with views over Hyde Park. Harrods is metres from the front door of the building, and the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel next door offers room service for the building’s residents.

The interiors are extravagant, with padded silk corridors, European-oak floors, chandeliers and bulletproof windows. SAS-trained security guards, in bowler hats, patrol the property. One Hyde Park was built by London property developers, the Candy brothers back in 2007. They bought the land for the complex of 86 apartment for £150 million in 2004.

Main Image By Kbthompson at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, Link

Where are the 8 best places for Brits to live abroad?

8 of the best places for Brits to live abroad

According to the BBC, approximately one in ten of us Brits live outside the UK. In 2016, just under 4000,000 people left the UK compared with under 300,000 in 2015 (University of Oxford Migration Observatory data).

Those seeking a new start overseas list the following criteria most important when selling their property, packing their cases and moving abroad:

  • Better quality of life.
  • Career progression.
  • Family Ties.
  • Economic stability.
  • Lifestyle change.
  • Politics as reasons for moving.

We have a list of the top eight places to head to, read on for some inspiration.

Canada

Canada tops the table when it comes to quality of life. According to the U.S. News & World Report 2018 Best Countries, this North American destination is the No1 choice for a higher quality of life by taking into consideration – affordability, job opportunities, economic stability, income equality, suitability for families, political security, safety, education and health.

Compiled by the University of Pennsylvania and BAV Consulting, the report researched 80 nations, scoring them each on 65 separate attributes, ranging from gender equality to levels of state corruption. Canada also ranks highly for being business-friendly, entrepreneurial, modern, family-centric, retirees, green living and equality. According to Forbes, Canada is renowned for friendliness, and has been less affected by the 2008 financial crisis than its neighbour, offers more opportunities for employment and business growth. For those who love the outdoors, Canada is an excellent option for relocating.

Scandinavia

Often applauded for their contented approach to life, Scandinavian countries boast low unemployment and crime rates, but high rates of satisfaction and happiness.

Denmark was No 2 in the Best Countries list, with Norway and Sweden coming up close behind. However, these countries are also in the top 10 most expensive places to live (Numbeo’s Cost of Living Index 2018), taking into account almost 50 factors including cost of transport, accommodation and eating.

Spain

according to Numbeo, One of the cheaper spots in western Europe to live, (by far the more affordable being the majority of eastern Europe), Spain has been a long-time favourite of British expats; according to a report by the UN over 300,000 Brits live here. With great weather, a relatively low cost of living and a more gentle way of life, hoards of Brits are popping across the channel to take advantage of the Spanish heat.

In particular, it’s popular for older Brits seeking a sunnier retirement. Spain boasts breathtaking architecture, beautiful beaches, historic cities and diverse culture, as well as being accessible from most airports in the UK. Many Spanish do speak English, but if you’re planning on relocating there on a permanent basis it might be a good suggestion to pick up a Spanish phrase book, si?

Switzerland

Famous for mountains, chocolate and cheese, Switzerland actually wins the award for the overall best country. The Balance nominated it as the 2nd best country in the world to work in, not surprising with an average annual income of circa £41,000, plus a good work-life balance and low unemployment.

Switzerland is well renowned for its unspoilt beautiful scenery, leisure activities like skiing and quaint culture, all making it a trendy winter destination. Switzerland also ranks among the top 10 best countries in the world for education, women’s rights, green living and equality. It is also listed highly as a destination to raise children, so if you are planning on moving as a family, it’s perfect.

But while Switzerland boasts an impressive lifestyle, it all comes at a cost, with it being labelled Europe’s most expensive country to live in (and 2nd most costly worldwide). However, if you have money to spare, Switzerland could be the perfect country for you.

Costa Rica

According to the Happy Planet Index, Costa Rica is the happiest country in the world, apparently, nothing to do with its beautiful wildlife, idyllic beaches and stunning scenery like the gorgeous Rio Celeste waterfall. Costa Rica is both an adventurer’s dream and a peaceful paradise.

The average life expectancy in is over 79 years, which is higher than the USA and the South American nation’s literacy rate is also high at 97.8 per cent.

Ireland

Another trendy destination for UK migrants, Ireland has become home to over 280,000 UK expats. Its proximity to the British Isles makes it perfect for those wanting to move there but may want to stay reasonably close to friends and family.

Ireland boasts beautiful countryside, often featured in the favourite TV series Game of Thrones. Ireland is a country, full of charm, music, beauty and tradition, beloved by visitors the world over.

Germany

The 2nd most populated destination in Europe, Germany has become more popular as a destination for UK expats; it has the 4th largest number of Brits, just behind Spain, Ireland and France. It also ranked 3rd for the best country.

Germany is a great place to move for individuals with a smaller budget and has proved popular with millennial Brits. On average rent in Berlin accounts for a quarter of the average German salary, compare that with rent in Copenhagen, which accounts for nearly a 3rd of monthly earnings. Germany is a popular destination for businesses and creatives and is renowned for being a welcoming and hospitable.

New Zealand

Another increasingly popular spot for Brits moving overseas is Australia’s closest neighbour. Mercer’s Quality of Living Ranking 2018, reports the capital city Auckland as the 3rd best city in the world to reside.

It is a friendly country, with 80 per cent of expats living there report it an easy place to settle in. People love the friendly culture and amazing scenery that meets them on arrival. And good news, New Zealand is relatively easy to move to; many of its industries need skilled workers to fill many roles.

In 2016, the town of Kaitangata hit the headlines by launching a recruitment drive to attract new residents – with an unusual issue of having too many affordable homes and too many jobs, but not enough takers to fill them.

If you prefer to stay in the UK, then check out our top ten cheap but charming towns in the UK!

Want to ask a question?

Call 0800 68 99 420

Text SALE to 60777