Covid -19 - Update from Simon Brien Residential

Dear Valued Simon Brien Residential Clients and Customers,

We are open for business however in respect of the latest Government guidelines and regulations, it is our first priority that we must keep our staff and clients safe. Accordingly, our office doors will be closed and if you wish to visit our office in person, you will need to make an appointment, by phone or email in advance. Find out more

Simon Brien Residential

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Ask The Agent - Meet our Associate Partner Tiffany Brien

Posted on Sunday 19th September 2021

As part of our 'Ask The Expert' series, our Associate Partner Tiffany Brien answered your need to know questions on all things property.

  1. In the current market do you have any tips to avoid getting into bidding wars that escalate?

Unfortunately, in the current market, it can be hard to avoid a bidding war when there are other people who are also interested in the property too.

What you can do is find out who you are up against and what position those people are in, so you know where you stand.

The most important thing is to know your limits, what your ceiling price is, what you would be willing to pay for that property and to not go beyond that. If it does go over, it is not the house for you and you will find another one.

2. Any advice on finding your forever home?

We would advise anyone, before they go on the house hunt, to make a list. Write down your must haves for your property e.g., location, bedrooms, garden, budget, price range. Bear in mind that you may need to compromise on one or two of those things. It is not that often that you will find the perfect property, you may find a property that has eight out of ten things on your wish list. When you start looking, find out what you are willing to compromise.

3. Do you always need a deposit for Co-Ownership?

Co-Ownership is a great way to get on the property ladder as you do not need a deposit. As a purchaser, you put as much as you can towards the property but in theory the lender will regard Co-Ownership as the deposit. You pay the mortgage on your half and then pay rent on the other half. When you can, you can increase your share in the house bit by bit until you own it outright.

4. What advice do you have for preparing a house for pictures when selling?

The most important thing we always recommend us to declutter! Taking away kid’s toys, removing things from the windowsills and the mantle pieces. One big thing in the kitchen, that is so simple but makes a huge difference is removing your kettle, toaster and having the work surfaces completely clear and open. Busy rug in the living room, hallway, or small space? Lift it - it can make the spaces seem smaller.

Outside? Have the grass cut and flowers on the doorstep. It means viewers are greeted by a nice warm welcome.

Small changes make a BIG difference.

5. Trying to buy a second home on the North Coast… Why are the prices currently so high?

Simple reason is that since covid we obviously have not been able to go abroad. So, we have seen a rise in people investing in property along the coast. Staycations are the new thing and holiday homes are high in demand.

6. How can you increase the value of your property?

Enhance the curb appeal of your property with some of these tips:

Tidy up tour driveway with new stones or tarmac

Spruce up your kitchen with new kitchen doors, door handles on the cupboards

Tidy the garden – trim borders, clear pathways and cut back any overgrown trees or bushes

Update the bathroom suite by adding nice tiling or new flooring

Spray white PVC windows with a trendier dark grey

Update internal doors or paint the woodwork to brighten the space

Open up space! Combining two rooms into a larger more sociable space although remember the practicality in this as some people do still want the ‘front room philosophy’

7. Legally what do I need to do as a landlord after buying my first buy to let property?

First thing that you need to do is get your landlord registration certificate which you can get from landlordregistration.nidirect.gov.uk. The certificate is valid for three years and costs £70.

Regarding the property, make sure you have an up-to-date EPC, gas certificate, and have all the electrical appliances PAT tested.

We also recommend using the tenancy deposit scheme which protects both the landlord and the tenant if there are any disputes after the lease ends.

8. What is the main advice you would highlight for a first-time buyer?

The main piece of advice we would give to any person trying to get on the property ladder is to speak to a mortgage advisor. We would recommend Crawford Mulholland, who are exceptional mortgage advisors. A quick chat and you can find your affordability and what fees are involved throughout the process. When viewing a house in this current market, most estate agents will ask if you have your mortgage in principle/decision in principle. Having this in place, before viewing a property, is important and will put you in a stronger position if progressing.

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