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Here at Duckworths Estate Agents, we have regular conversations about ‘dream homes’ and for many people, owning a period home is the ultimate property ambition. Whether you’re a fan of country cottages, rustic farmhouses, stately homes or Victorian terraces, there’s nothing quite like owning a piece of British heritage. However, a potential drawback with this kind of property purchase is that they often need a lot of renovating before they are ready for a modern lifestyle. Of course, some people may relish the challenge and the opportunity to bring a period home back to life – it’s all part of realising that dream.
Consult an architect
Before you begin, you need to ensure you get planning permission for the changes you want to make. It’s often best to consult an architect or a planning consultant as they will be able to advise you on the materials, costs, design and processes involved. While you can do this yourself, engaging a professional will save you money, time and stress in the long run.
Use the property as your guide
The most successful renovations of period properties are those which take inspiration from the property itself. If the property is Victorian, for example, can you pay tribute to the period in your furnishings or décor? When you’re replacing windows and doors, they should be as energy efficient and strong as possible, but consider choosing a more traditional style. Traditionally, windows had timber frames, but these can be costly and require a lot of maintenance, so you might want to opt for aluminium or composite frames with a timber effect finish.
Keep existing features
Try stripping away recent décor to expose what lies beneath. You may find original features which have been forgotten such as timbers, tiling, brickwork or boarded up fireplaces. You can use these original features while modernising other areas of the property to achieve a charming mix of the past and the present.
On the other hand, the process of renovation is supposed to improve your lifestyle, so don’t feel you have to keep an original element of the home if it doesn’t work for you. If you find features which you don’t want to keep, you may be able to relocate them or use them as materials in another area. Wood, for example, could be used to create furniture.
Maximise natural light
Older properties tend to have lower roofs and smaller windows, which can limit the natural light you enjoy. A great way to maximise the light in your home is to add new windows or even to add bifold doors. These doors can replace an entire wall with glass panels which fold back in a concertina fashion to remove the barrier between the inside and outside. If you are adding new windows or bifold doors, you should also consider installing period style shutters. The shutters will not only look great with the rest of the property’s period features but will also make your home more private and provide an extra layer of protection against heat loss.
Avoid Common Mistakes
If you are a new homeowner wishing to renovate your first property, there are several common mistakes you’d be wise to avoid. These range from underestimating how much the work will cost to complete and ending up wildly over budget, to expecting every aspect to run according to plan. Unfortunately, with any renovation task, there will be unexpected issues that arise, and which you need to be prepared for.
Additionally, you, as the homeowner must ensure you ask the right questions, and enough questions, when consulting with designers and contractors. As it’s your money you are spending, you need to be 100% confident and comfortable with the plans in place. If you’re not, or you don’t understand how something will work or look, don’t be afraid to ask.
Another common mistake is homeowners attack renovations with a broad view; they try to do it all at once and end up with multiple rooms in various stages of disarray. Instead, you need to assess each room and what each one needs as a separate entity, for example:
Does your current kitchen simply need new appliances or does it require a complete renovation? Think about your bedroom. It should be a haven to retreat to and is one room you should focus on solely before attempting to change any others to give you a relaxing retreat amid the renovation work. Likewise, bathrooms can look tired and worn out quickly. This is also a room which needs to be focused on solely. Think about adding a calming theme – for example, the beach or the ocean, with calming colours.
Whatever you decide, the renovation process needs a great deal of planning and a respectful, balanced approach to restoration and modernisation.
For expert property advice contact the team at Duckworths Estate Agents on 01254 234242.
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If you need to sell your home fast but don’t know where to start, then you have come to the right place! Here at Duckworths Estate Agents, we pride ourselves on our expert selling advice, from tips on how to make your home more attractive to potential buyers, to organising viewings, to the steps you need to take to ensure that prospective buyers feel safe buying your property; it’s all covered here. And our advice definitely doesn’t involve lowering your asking price! Also the best advice we can give is to invite us out to give you our expert opinion.
1. Be ready to move quickly
If you want to sell your home in Accrington fast, then chances are the people who are willing to buy your home quickly, will want to move in as soon as possible. This is not always the case, but it is better to be prepared than have to turn down a sale because you cannot move out quickly enough.
2. Carry out any vital maintenance work
It may just be a wire or two on show, or a small crack in the ceiling, but to potential buyers, it will just look like more work and more expense that they don’t want to have to deal with.
Therefore, it is vital that you go through your whole home looking for any maintenance work or repairs that need doing and that you either carry them out yourself, to a high standard, or you employ a professional to do them for you.
3. De-clutter your home
Not only can clutter make your home seem less appealing to buyers, but it will actively make your home appear smaller. Not what you want if you want to sell your home fast.
For that reason, make sure that you tidy up before any viewings; move magazines, books and other papers out of sight and put away any clothes, shoes or other belongings that are just sitting around your home gathering dust.
4. Be flexible with viewings
You may not want to show buyers around in the evening after a long day at work, but people may wish to view your property in the evenings and at the weekends.
You should also ensure that, if showing people around yourself, you are upbeat and friendly, regardless of how tired or worn out you are. Remember you are selling a product, your home, so you need to be as charismatic as possible.
5. Focus on kerb appeal
Obviously, you can’t change the outward appearance of your property too much, nor can you control what you neighbour’s properties look like. However, you can make the exterior of your home and your front garden or drive look as appealing as possible.
6. Make your home smell inviting
No, you don’t need to go as far as baking bread or homemade biscuits, but you can make your home smell better in other ways.
Firstly, if you smoke in your home, then stop immediately. Fling open the windows for a short time every day and let the fresh air in. This is also useful if you have pets as non-dog owners will always be able to detect a distinctive doggie smell!
7. Maintain your garden
Whether you have a large or small garden, it needs to look neat and tidy, as well as functional. Make sure you cut the grass, move any toys or other debris out of sight and try and have some sort of seating area so that potential buyers can visualise how they would use the garden.
8. Keep the colour scheme neutral
If you want to sell your home, then potential buyers need to be able to see themselves living there. They need to be able to visualise their furniture in your home. Therefore, it is important that you keep the colour scheme as neutral as possible.
Yes, it is just a coat of paint on the walls, but you will be surprised at the number of people who will be unable to see past this and will rule out your home because they don’t like your choice of colour scheme.
9. Show off your bedrooms
You need to ensure that each room is shown as what it is supposed to be, so if you are currently using your third bedroom as an office or a home gym, then you should consider changing it back into a bedroom.
10. Focus on the kitchen
If you have a limited budget but want to make a difference, then your focus should be on the kitchen as this is one of the most important rooms.
There is no need to install a completely new kitchen, but if yours is looking a little tired then you may want to replace the cupboard doors, the worktops or any cracked or broken tiles.
For no-obligation advice on buying or selling a home in Accrington please contact our expert property team at Duckworths Estate Agents on 01254 234242 or call in and see us. We look forward to seeing you.
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If you’ve inherited a property that you want to sell, you’ll usually need to undergo probate before you can progress. The process can be complex, but working with the right estate agent and solicitor can make the sale as smooth and painless as possible.
In this article, we’ll explain what probate is, when it’s required and how to sell a property when probate is required.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal and financial process that deals with any assets (including money, properties or possessions) of a person who has passed away. The process involves proving that the will is valid and confirming the executors of the will have the authority to administer the estate of the person who has died – which includes whether you can sell the property.
What is Grant of Probate?
If you are selling a property you have inherited due to someone passing away, you will need to apply for grant of probate before you can proceed with the sale. This is a legal document that confirms the executors of the will can start the sale of the property and deal with any other assets of the deceased person.
When is Probate Required?
In England and Wales, probate is usually needed when:
- A person has died and owned property
- A bank or other financial institution asks for grant of probate
How to Sell a House When Probate is Required
1. Arrange a Valuation
Knowing the value of the property is important when selling a home during probate. The property value will help determine the overall value of the deceased person’s estate. It’s also used to calculate how much inheritance tax must be paid.
When selling a house during probate, make sure you choose a reputable estate agent with good reviews to evaluate the property.
2. Speak to a Solicitor
A solicitor will need to apply for a grant of probate before you can sell the property. This process involves identifying all the deceased person’s assets, confirming who will inherit the assets in the will, arranging payments of inheritance tax, and granting probate ready for you to sell the property.
Many solicitors can also help progress the sale to a buyer after granting probate. If you can’t find a good solicitor, ask an estate agent for a recommendation.
3. Work With an Estate Agent
Once probate has been granted and you have the go-ahead from the solicitor, you can work with an estate agent to sell the property. When choosing an estate agent, consider how much involvement you need and what qualities you’d prefer.
Expert communication and good availability may be particularly important qualities to consider when choosing an estate agent to progress a probate sale. This is especially the case if multiple people are inheriting the property and/or you cannot be available often to help with viewings.
Are You Selling a House With Probate?
Selling a house with probate can be an emotional period. Choosing the right estate agent to help progress the sale is important to make the situation as painless as possible.
If you’re selling a house with probate. Duckworths Estate Agents are your local property experts and we’re here to help.
Hyndburn: 01254 234242
Preston: 01772 419995
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4 Immediate Things You Need to Do
So, you’ve found the home of your dreams and your offer has just been accepted. Congratulations! Your journey to owning your new home has officially begun.
If you’re wondering what happens next, here are four immediate things you need to do after your offer has been accepted to get things moving.
1. Provide Confirmation
Once your offer has been accepted, your estate agent will likely give you a congratulatory call. But this won’t just be a courtesy. They’ll also request confirmation of a few things so they can finalise the offer.
You’ll usually need to provide confirmation of things like:
- You have the funds available to make the purchase
- Your mortgage in principle
- You have a solicitor – or you’re working to get one now
2. Instruct Your Solicitor
There’s no better time to get the ball rolling than after your offer has been accepted. For a quicker sale, you’ll want to instruct your solicitor as soon as possible. If you haven’t already found a solicitor, ask your estate agent for a recommendation.
At this stage, your solicitor will start completing the checks and searches on the property. Depending on the solicitor, they may also ask you to pay up-front for some of their services.
3. Complete Your Mortgage Application
Since the mortgage in principle was a principal agreement, you’ll need to complete a full application for the money now that your offer has been accepted. You’ll need to apply for the exact amount you need to borrow for the property in question.
If you have a mortgage advisor, they’ll guide you through this process and let you know what information you need to supply.
4. Arrange a Survey
While surveys aren’t compulsory when you buy a new home, they’re a good idea. During a survey, a professional surveyor will inspect the property and cast an eagle eye over the place. Surveys can help you understand any current or future issues you may have with the property.
To arrange the survey, you’ll need to speak with your estate agent about booking time with the sellers.
Still Looking For Your Next Home?
If you’re still looking for your new home Duckworths Estate Agents could have what you’re looking for! Check out our listings or let us know what type of property you’re interested in so we can help keep an eye out for you.
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What’s Happening In The UK Property Market
Interest rates have increased again for the second time in quick succession, and a quiet Wiltshire town has leapt up the property hotspot list! In good news for tenants, the government has announced new reforms to protect renters. Read on for all this and more.
What can sellers entering the market in March 2022 expect?
With all COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, and spring just around the corner – which is traditionally a hot time of year for the property market – here are some of our predictions for what to expect this month…
House prices at the highest since 2007
According to the latest Halifax House Price Index, house prices in the UK grew by 0.5% in February. The fastest annual pace since 2007.
Movers and Shakers
Corsham named as a top property hotspot
The picturesque country market town of Corsham in Wiltshire has been named as the UK’s newest property hotspot.
The town might not be instantly familiar by name, but TV fans will recognise it, as it’s appeared in numerous period dramas, from Poldark to Lark Rise to Candleford and Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
And with demand for more open spaces and work from home offices remaining strong, the town on the edge of the Cotswolds is seeing a big increase in buyer activity.
Figures released by major property portal Rightmove show an increase in buyer demand of 124% compared with 12 months ago. Average prices have inevitably increased too, with a jump of 6% year on year.
The majority of buyers are Londoners seeking more bang for their buck, and with average prices in the town of a little under £330,000, it’s no surprise that it’s attracting many out-of-towners.
First-Time Buyer News
Affordability issues reach record highs
One of the UK’s biggest lenders, Nationwide, has announced some startling figures which affect first-time buyers’ affordability.
While it’s widely known that house price growth has outgrown wage growth, the building society has laid bare just how much price increases have outpaced wages since the pandemic began.
Their figures reveal that a 10% deposit on a first home is now equivalent to 56% of total gross annual earnings, which is a new record high.
Section 21 to be abolished
In a move that will protect renters, the Government has announced plans to abolish Section 21, which allows landlords to evict tenants without any reason.
The plans are part of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, which is aiming to help poorer communities become more prosperous.
Other changes that are planned include ensuring that privately rented properties meet minimum standards, and the introduction of a landlords register, with an aim to crack down on rogue landlords.
Latest news for Landlords
Almost 1/3 of tenants admit to keeping hidden pets!
A recent survey has found that 27% of tenants have admitted to hiding pets from oblivious landlords for more than three years.
The most commonly hidden pets are birds and rabbits, while somewhat surprisingly, horses are in third place! We’re not sure entirely how you hide a horse – suggestions on a postcard, please!
The number one way to avoid landlords discovering pets during an inspection was to take them out for a walk, which was followed closely by asking friends to look after them, and then asking a neighbour to keep hold of them during inspections.
The study also revealed that the most pet-friendly landlords are in Norwich, with the least friendly being in Edinburgh.
Interest rate increase for the second time in three months
The Bank of England has announced an increase in its base interest rate from 0.25% to 0.5% – the second increase in just three months.
The increase will mean a rise in monthly mortgage repayments for around two million homeowners with variable-rate mortgages and will add around £24 per month to a £200,000 mortgage.
The rise comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s announcement that energy bills will increase by 54% this year, as millions of households face a squeeze on the cost of living.
A home with a rather unusual feature in the front garden made headlines on social media recently.
The 2-bedroom bungalow in leafy Nursling, Hampshire, has a spacious back garden with views across lush green fields, but it’s the enormous telephone pylon in the front garden that really caused it to go viral.
You can check it out here, but hurry – the property’ already sold, subject to contract.
Duckworths Estate Agents are your local, regional and national property experts. Call us on any of the below numbers to reach a member of our friendly and professional team