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Where are the best places to relocate to in 2021?

Live abroad! – The best places to relocate in 2021

The coronavirus pandemic has put many people’s plans of finding their dream home overseas on hold, but, as markets slowly begin to open, it’s time to start home-hunting again. And for those who were thinking of doing it in a few years, perhaps the recent situation has made you consider taking the leap now?

Many countries are now announcing their plans for travel over the summer, so we’re getting a clear picture of those places that it could be easier to start planning a move for. Chris Nye, Senior Editor of Property Guides, the experts in buying abroad, gives us his pick of the best.

Greek islands

Sifnos

Greece’s over 200 islands offer a huge variety of lifestyles, whether you’re looking for the lively buzz of Cycladic hotspots like Mykonos, the Italianate elegance of Corfu, or the peace and quiet of less-discovered islands like Sifnos and Limnos. What they have in common, however, is that year-round sunshine, easy access to the beach, fantastic food and, of course, that welcoming, friendly Greek culture.

Homes on the islands are pricier than on the mainland, but they are still, generally speaking, much lower than what you’d pay in much of the UK. On most islands, €150,000 will purchase you a comfortably sized villa with two or more bedrooms and often a fantastic view.

Greece has been fortunate in having low case numbers during the coronavirus pandemic, and the Greek government announced that there will be no quarantine for British travellers arriving in the country.

Paphos, Cyprus

Paphos

Heading further east still, the sunkissed island of Cyprus has deep connections with the British and has been a popular location for buyers for many years. Most recently, its tourism minister assured the press that British visitors will still be ‘welcomed with open arms’, and it is expected that the country will form part of the UK’s ‘travel bubble’ as it has not been as hard-hit as other nations in Southern Europe.

With English widely spoken to a high level, and the fact that they drive on the left, Cyprus is practically speaking a very easy choice for relocation. It certainly doesn’t fall short on the lifestyle front, either, with some of the warmest winters in Europe and a stunning coastline dotted with beaches, old fishing villages and modern resorts. Inland, you’ll find the dramatic Troodos Mountains, which even have a number of small ski stations. Skiing in the morning and beach in the afternoon? It’s possible in Cyprus.

Areas like Paphos and the surrounding villages offer fantastic value for money, with €300,000 getting you a modern, detached villa with its own swimming pool. With an active ex-pat community, it is the perfect combination of a friendly international community and local Cypriot

Costa Blanca, Spain

Costa Blanca

The Costa Blanca offers that winning combination of the laid-back Spanish lifestyle, with endless sunshine and miles of fabulous beaches, affordable property and easy access from the UK.

The northern end of the coast is traditionally considered the more built-up area, with buzzing resorts and plenty going on. Property prices here are a little higher than in the south, which is flatter and quieter. Much of this end of the Costa Blanca is given over to smaller towns, villages and new urbanisations, with the area around the beautiful Mar Menor particularly popular. A new airport down in Murcia makes access to both ends of the coast from the UK easy.

There are currently still travel restrictions in place from the UK, but we expect these to lift by the summer, and certainly normality should be more or less restored by 2021. In the meantime, the Costa Blanca has already entered ‘stage one’ of lockdown easing, as it has been less affected than other areas like the Costa del Sol.

County Donegal, Ireland

County Donegal

The stunning West Atlantic coast of Ireland’s County Donegal is immensely popular for holiday homeowners, both from Ireland and abroad. If you’re not a beach person and more interested in enjoying the greater outdoors – and being surrounded by magnificent scenery – then this is the place for you.

You have plenty of lively villages to choose from, such as vibrant Dunfanaghy, known for its live music and festivals, Bundoran – just 20 minutes from the famous surfing of Rossnowlagh – or Rathmullan, a charming seaside town on the Fanad Peninsula.

As for travel, Ireland and the UK are already in a common travel area, so there will be no change after Brexit, and it has already been confirmed that the two will not impose quarantine during coronavirus.

With the property markets beginning to reopen across Europe and governments drawing up plans to ease travel restrictions, now is the time to start planning your move. So will it be a beach home in Cyprus or a village cottage in Ireland? The world is your oyster, check out our top tips for emigrating abroad!

Home Improvements Can Make it Easier to Sell Your Home

Consider home improvements to get the most out of selling your home.

Making some simple home improvements can help to sell a property. Now that 2017 is truly underway, many of you might be having that out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new feeling that comes with new beginnings, even extending to your house, making you tempted to start looking for that home you’ve always dreamed of. A survey conducted by leading flooring retailer Carpetright revealed that 10.6% of people plan on buying a new home in 2017, with 4% of these purchases being the first home. Currently, only 3.9% of people in the UK have achieved their dream home, leaving many potential buyers to purchase your property and accomplish their vision.

With the abundance of buyers looking to move on to greener pastures, this begs the inevitable question: just what could be done to get the most out of selling your current home? If you are looking to increase your home’s value before selling, then it’s a good idea to consider some home staging; this may involve investing in some home improvements to help bump up your asking price and attract more potential buyers. These DIY tasks can range from just applying a fresh coat of paint, laying new carpet, wallpapering a room (remember to stick to neutral colours) or bigger renovations such as fitting a new kitchen or bathroom.

A survey by Carpetright found that 6.1% of people plan to complete a major home renovation this year. If you’re seeking to sell your home for a higher value in the future, this type of work can deliver a significant return on investment. Those that have the greatest return are: building a conservatory (108% ROI), redesigning the garden (88% ROI) and adding an extension (71% ROI) to the property.

If the addition of a conservatory seems a little out of reach, there are other alternatives to consider to add value. Laying down new carpets can bring you a 50% ROI, a particularly good idea if your current one is damaged or dirty. Usually, a neutral colour is suggested (just like wall paint) to give a blank canvas to a potential buyer. Neutral colours help customers to visualise their lives within the house you are selling, increasing the possibility of a sale.

Even the little projects that we do around the home can help to add value. When asked what their first DIY project of 2017 will be, 37.7% said painting walls, 15.5% said laying a new carpet, and 9.85% said wallpapering a room, suggesting that completing any of these home improvements will prove a hit with potential buyers of your home. Additional storage space is always a hit with possible buyers, while your furniture placement and use of lighting can help them see the potential within the room.

If you decide to undertake any of these home improvements, ensure you’re well prepared for the job! Otherwise, call the professionals for help (particularly since 100,000 people per year visit A&E due to DIY injuries). With 3.3 billion botched DIY jobs happening each year, make sure you don’t become part of the statistic.

Alternatively, if you need a fast sale, then avoid the home improvements and contact us. We will purchase your property as it currently stands, saving you time and money!

Conveyancing – What exactly does a conveyancer do?

What does a conveyancer do?

The legal process for buying or selling property can often be a complicated legal process, and most people appoint a solicitor or professional conveyancer to take care of all the essential legal elements, known as conveyancing.

From the moment you have an offer accepted, until that exciting day when you get to collect the keys, conveyancing is the process through which ownership of the property legally transferred from the seller to you.

You can do the conveyancing yourself, but unless you know your stuff, it’s probably quicker and easier to pay a professional – especially if you and the seller are hoping for a smooth and speedy transaction.

How do I appoint a conveyancer?

Once you’ve had an offer accepted and chosen your mortgage lender, now’s the time to get a conveyancer to work on securing your dream home.

Your estate agent or mortgage provider may recommend one of their preferred conveyancers, or you can do your research independently. Be aware though that some mortgage providers will only work with one of their trusted conveyancers.

Buyers usually choose either a qualified solicitor who specialises in conveyancing or a professional conveyancer. It probably goes without saying, but do check out their credentials and feedback from previous clients before you sign on the dotted line.

Make sure you know what they charge, including any extra hidden costs or terms and conditions. It’s also important you feel comfortable that they can work to your timescale and keep up open lines of communication throughout the process. You don’t want to be chasing them for answers at every step of the transaction!

Once you’ve appointed a conveyancer, you’ll need to provide them with details of your mortgage, proof of your ID, and get all the legal paperwork checked and signed as quickly as possible. They will then write to the seller’s solicitor, confirming that they’ve been instructed to act on your behalf.

What does a conveyancer do?

In brief, a conveyancer processes the legal documentation, searches, and exchanges involved in buying your new home. They will examine the draft contract for your property purchase and liaise with the seller’s solicitor about any queries or concerns you may have.

Your conveyancer will also conduct property searches, which may uncover information that’s not immediately apparent about the property just from looking at it. Check for any local plans that might affect your new home, verify boundary ownership, check for flood risks, and confirm that the seller does in fact legally own the property they’re selling.

In a few cases, it might be that these searches turn up vital information that affects your willingness to buy the property – like plans for a new football stadium right on the doorstep – or alters the value of the building in some way. In this case, your conveyancer will also assist you with any renegotiations.

Finally, they will also process the documentation for your exchange of contracts, register your new ownership, and arrange the payment of stamp duty. Then, if all goes to plan, the only thing left for you to do is pick up the keys and get yourself moved in!

4 of the best ways to sell a house in the UK Today

We look at the best ways to sell a house in the UK today.

The best ways to sell a house in the UK are usually via a traditional estate agent, privately yourself, through online estate agents (cheaper) and of course, selling fast for cash to a property buyer.

Selling a property in the UK can be a complicated process, and is further complicated further if buying another simultaneously.

The different ways to sell a house

We look at the various methods below:

1. Selling a property via an Estate Agent

The traditional process of the sale of your home in the UK involves appointing an estate agent on the high street. However, with the growth of the major property portals such as Rightmove & Zoopla, purchasers look online to source a home to buy. Therefore it’s no longer necessary to pay an expensive high street agent. Cheaper online-only agents are available allowing people to sell their home without the expense of hiring an agent.

2. How do you sell your house privately?

Do you want to know how do I sell my house privately, is it a good idea? Selling a home yourself is a gamble, but could be an excellent way to sell. However, going it alone then the process requires knowledge of how the housing market works, knowledge of the local market, negotiating skills, a network of contacts and lots of time. If you possess these attributes then take this course of action and go it alone, this is usually the best way to sell a house yourself – otherwise, you run the risk of achieving a disappointing sale price.

3. Sell your home using online estate agents

How to sell your house via an online agent. If you want the expertise of a property professional without the fuss, there are online estate agents that manage the sale of a home remotely. While these services lack the personal touch, they are useful for getting the word out about your house to a large target audience very quickly. If you decide to take the estate agent route, you should research the track record and suitability of the agents considered, and you will also have to decide whether to stick with a single agent or use several. Check online, google ‘how to sell your house – online estate agents’ and you’ll get plenty of results.

4. Sell your home quickly via property buyers

It is also possible to bypass the UK property market altogether by selling your home to a property buyer –  house buying specialists. You will get an offer based on current market conditions, and you can leave the sale of your home in the hands of others. This way of home selling cuts out the need for marketing, advertising, property viewings and price negotiations so that you can save both time and money. Then there is also the opportunity value of you able to purchase another home with the certainty of a guaranteed sale in the bag enabling you to compete with other cash buyers when bidding on another property. Selling to a cash buyer is the fastest way to sell a house.

4 ways to sell a house - Infographic

If you’re in any doubt about the best ways to sell your house, then it’s probably best to at least consult with a professional and read reviews before making a decision.

Is extending a room the best way to increase the value of your home?

Extend a room or add more space to increase your property’s value!

Extend a room in your home; this is one sure way of adding value, maybe an extra bedroom or two? Increasing space in homes can undoubtedly affect your home’s value. Young families and couples, in particular, will want space for their family to grow over the years, and property that can deliver this room for expansion will often be highly desirable. However, it is essential to ensure that the cost of adding extra space to homes reflects in higher sold house prices.

The number of bedrooms in a home critically affects house prices in the UK, unlike some other European countries

In many other European countries, the number of bedrooms in a property is far less relevant than it is in the UK. Indeed, homes in France advertise with the total number of rooms available – there is no distinction between reception rooms and bedrooms. In the UK, the situation is very different, and the difference between house prices of homes with three and four bedrooms is significant. Some houses with less floor space than neighbouring properties sell for more – just because of more bedrooms. Undoubtedly, if increasing bedroom numbers isn’t an option, then try to extend a room, as this should add value.

Does the number of bedrooms appreciably increase my property value and make it easier to sell my house? Land Registry house prices were – on average – around £165,000 in December 2013, yet according to zoopla.co.uk, there is a considerable price differential between homes with three bedrooms and those with four. Whereas the average house sold price in the UK for three-bedroom homes is around £135,000, the average price for a four-bedroom property is over £220,000.  Real UK house buyers are more concerned about individuals having private sleeping space rather than the total area of the property, so adding rooms – extend a place, and dividing larger bedrooms into two will often increase house values significantly. Here are 12 more tips to increase the value of your home displayed in a handy infographic.

Building extensions will usually positively affect your home’s value

Is building a house-extension a cost-effective improvement to help sell your home? Making an extension is a very costly way to add extra bedrooms or space to property, so don’t do it without first assessing the cost-effectiveness of such a move. The work involved is incredibly dirty and disruptive, and it will reduce the area of external gardens and land. It is essential to compare the cost of such a project with the likely effect it will have on your property’s value especially if you make improvements to sell your home. It is also essential to check that your project complies with current planning regulations. If you need to sell your house fast, then just extending a room will add value.

Loft conversions are usually a more cost-effective way of adding space

According to a survey conducted by Halifax back in 2006, the transformation of a loft delivers the best value for money when extending a home. Loft conversions to a fully functional room can cost from as little as little as £8,000. However, according to zoopla.co.uk, the extra space created by a loft conversion has the potential to add up to £20,876 to the value of an average home in Britain, so the work delivers both convenience and cost-effectiveness. While some homeowners will decide to extend a room, some will go to the trouble and expense of excavating the earth under their home to create a basement, this type of extension – and the associated structural issues it presents – means the total cost of such a project can be as much as £80,000.

Extend a room or add more bedrooms, is this a definite plus to sell my house more quickly? There is no escaping the fact that adding more bedrooms and living space to your home is almost sure to add to its value. According to the Nationwide Building Society, an extra bedroom can add up to 11 per cent to the cost of the standard, three-bedroom property in the UK. If you are thinking about extending your home, you should first do a little research on land registry house prices and Zoopla sold prices to ascertain whether your project will deliver a return in the long term.

Securing Mortgage Finance for Buying a House

Buying a House? Find Out How Best to Secure Mortgage Finance

The vast majority of people buying a house will be forced to rely on a loan secured on the property they are purchasing – a mortgage. According to Rightmove, the best deals are available to those who have a deposit of at least 15 percent of the total sale price, and the availability of mortgages that require deposits of less than that has been severely curtailed since the economic crash of 2008. However, with knowledge of the finance market, some expert financial advice from finance experts and estate agents and some careful research, you can secure a mortgage that is competitive and suitable for your financial situation. See how securing mortgage finance fits into the overall process of buying a house in our handy guide.

The Different Types of Mortgage For Buying a House

The economic turmoil of recent years has made choosing the right type of mortgage a very difficult task. In some cases, seemingly eligible mortgage applicants have been refused a home loan altogether – forcing them to find property to rent instead.

With interest rates at record lows, people on variable rates have enjoyed several years of incredibly low monthly mortgage repayments. However, those rates aren’t going to last forever, so choosing the best deal for buying a house, for both your current and future financial circumstances requires a thorough understanding of what is available.

  • Tracker mortgages are directly linked to the base rate set by the Bank of England. They rise and fall in line with base rate changes – usually at a differential of a few percentage points above the current rate

  • Standard variable rate (SVR) mortgages are also directly linked to the base rate, but their terms can differ depending on the lender

  • Discount rate mortgages are linked to SVRs, so they are far more changeable than tracker mortgages

  • Fixed rate mortgages provide certainty for buyers, as they fix the interest rate payable for a predetermined period, which can be up to 10 years. While this could be advantageous when interest rates are rising, being on a fixed rate mortgage when rates are at historic lows (as they are now) means you could end up paying a higher rate than that set by the bank of England.

According to thisismoney.co.uk, the majority of first-time buyers prefer the certainty and safety of fixed rate mortgages. However, depending on the outlook for the economy, they suggest that tracker mortgages could provide the best value – given the right circumstances.

Choosing the Mortgage That Suits Your Circumstances

There are thousands of mortgage options in the UK at any given time, and choosing one that is best for your circumstances can be a minefield. A good way to assess the current market – and what the future holds – involves enlisting the expert help of a mortgage broker. You will get advice on what products best suit your financial circumstances and the wider state of the economy.

The Money Advice Service can help you to extrapolate the mountains of information that accompany the house buying process, but choosing the best finance option is usually based on three major factors.

  1. Make sure you have several like-for-like quotes to compare, and assess them in terms of flexibility, charges and how monthly payments might fluctuate.

  2. Check the term of each product. While the average term is 25 years, there are often options for far longer or shorter loan terms. Which term you decide on will depend on the monthly repayments you can afford and exactly when you want to take full ownership of your new home.

  3. Most high street mortgages will offer discounts or special offers for the first few years of a loan, so you should be aware of when any offers expire and exactly what takes their place.

How Much Can You Borrow?

Before you start out on your mission to find property for sale, you should have a clear idea of what you can afford. In order to ascertain how much a lender is likely to loan you, you should first determine how big your deposit is. If you have a large deposit, you will likely receive a substantial mortgage offer. And if you have at least 25 percent of the asking price in cash, you will be able to take advantage of the best mortgage rates on the market.

The way mortgage providers make decisions on how much people can borrow has changed substantially in recent years. In general terms, decisions are made on an applicant’s ability to keep up with the repayments, rather than the old system of lending three or four times an annual salary. Thisismoney.co.uk has a simple affordability calculator which will give you a very crude idea of how much you can expect to borrow, as does the bbc loan calculator.

Getting approved for a mortgage

Before you start to trawl the houses for sale in your area, it will put you in a very strong negotiating position if you have already secured a mortgage promise. In some cases, making offers in such a position can have a favourable impact on house prices – at least for you as the buyer.

As well as submitting proof of your employment and income, you will be required to submit to a credit check. To what extent it is used, will depend on the lender in question.  If you have fulfilled all the criteria for a ‘mortgage in principle’, you will be provided with a ‘key facts illustration’ that demonstrates your buying power to people who are selling houses.

Armed with a mortgage promise, you can start to search for the home of your dreams. However, if you are selling at the same time as buying a house, you might be dependent on that before you can buy. If you want to know ‘who’ll buy your home for the most money and in a time-frame that you need’ then try Flying Homes’ unique home buying service. We buy any house at the best price and in a fraction of the time it takes to sell on the open market – leaving you to get on with the important business of starting anew. Call us now on 0800 669 6784 for a free instant online quote.

 

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