HMO Investments: Are they worth it?

Houses in multiple occupations (HMOs) are a popular investment choice for landlords.

HMOs can offer a steady income from month to month. Properties don’t often stand vacant because individual tenants and households have their own contracts, and they are unlikely to all move out together. They also reduce the risk of rental arrears because it is unlikely that all tenants would ordinarily fall behind on payments at the same time.

Whether a landlord is letting to students or multiple people, HMOs also tend to offer a higher yield when compared to other property types. Recent analysis from a UK lender has shown that HMO investment properties offer average yields of approximately 7.5%, compared with an average yield of 5.4%.

There are two key things to consider before investing in an HMO. Firstly, if purchasing with a mortgage, you are likely to require a specialist lender. Secondly, not every location is suited to an HMO investment – it is important to establish local demand as well as local competition.

Most importantly, are the regulations surrounding HMOs occupied either by five or more people or by two or more households. Investors require a mandatory licence, the cost of which varies between councils and usually ranges from £500 to £1,000 per property.

If you are thinking of investing in a HMO, get in touch and talk to our team of experts.

*Octanecapital

What is happening in the UK property market? 

After two years of high market activity, you’d be forgiven for thinking the tide is ready to turn. But despite burgeoning constraints on household finances, the buying frenzy continues, with properties still selling at almost record speeds nationwide.

But what’s driving this situation? The leading cause appears to be a general lack of supply. From delays brought about by the pandemic to a shortage of new homes across the UK, the supply-demand ratio is proving difficult to balance.

Low interest rates and rising inflation also mean that buyers hope to reduce their potential mortgage debt. This combination of factors has contributed to UK house prices increasing by 9.8% between March 2021 and 2022 – adding £24,000 to the average value.

The market is still strong as we move into the summer months – and will most likely remain so for the foreseeable future.

Do you know how much your home is worth right now? If you’re thinking of selling, book a valuation with us today

*Home.co.uk.

**UK House Price Index

Summer Interior Design Idea's

After the spring clean comes the summer spruce-up. Longer days and warmer evenings offer the perfect opportunity to tackle those home décor projects – especially if you have some time off work. Read on to be inspired by this year’s interior design trends.

Go green

Summer is the outdoor season, so why not celebrate nature inside? House plants clean the air and have a positive effect on our mental and physical health – and even the fake ones look attractive.

While a statement plant like tropical monstera stands out against a white wall and perfectly complements natural fibres, you can pick up stylish rope-tied hanging pots and tumbling plants – real or fake – to spruce-up areas where floor space is at a premium.

Be bold

For an instant transformation, infuse neutral rooms with a splash of colour – perhaps to an accent wall. Primary colours are in style right now, so think deep blues, yellow and red. Colourful artwork and photography can also add interest if you want to avoid painting.

Patterns are popular too. Keep an eye out for summery prints for your cushions, curtains, rugs and sheets. Just don’t overdo the kitsch – simple is often best.

Get glamorous

Rose gold, brass and copper tones can bring a little sunshine into your home. Offset your current décor by introducing metallic accents to light fittings and shades, kitchen accessories or candleholders.

Strapped for cash? Try upcycling shabby furniture with gold leaf, or spray your picture frames or coffee tables for some extra glitz.

Stay cool

Sometimes, we may need to retreat from the warmer weather. Blue hues can soothe the mind, while furniture and décor that nods to a chic, bohemian or vintage vibe can have the same effect. Equally, natural materials and throws, blankets, and hand-woven rugs can soften the impact of the bright light outside.

If you are looking to sell your home this summer, why not start by booking your free no-obligation valuation.

As summer approaches, now is the perfect time to start refreshing your garden, ready to enjoy the sun. This is especially important if you're thinking of selling as many buyers value outdoor space. With property viewings on the increase, now is the ideal time.

Grow your own

Whether you have a designated vegetable patch or a simple potted herb garden, growing your own produce is becoming increasingly popular due to its relation to natural and sustainable living.

If you have a large outdoor space, you can build stackable raised beds using reclaimed materials to grow a mixture of vegetables, or if space is limited, you could fix boxes or pots to a wall to plant herbs, salad leaves and tomatoes.

Outdoor living room

Gardens are increasingly being used as an extension of the indoors with sofas, cushions, rugs and fairy lights creating an outdoor living area.

Rattan is a popular texture for outdoor furniture to create a holiday feel and is weather-resistant and durable too. L-shaped sofas around a table are perfect for socialising and adding a patio cover helps to make the most of the area all year round.

Garden jungle

Nature's association with relaxation and mindfulness has fuelled the trend for creating mini garden jungles. You can create your own oasis by purchasing large leafy plants and tall grasses and adding a comfortable seat or hammock to relax and unwind.

Patchwork patio

Solid patios are becoming a thing of the past and patchwork patios mixing stone slabs with gravel or woodchip are becoming more popular. Not only do they look more interesting, they incorporate sustainable materials, especially if you choose recycled paving stones.

Divide up your space

Whether your garden is big or small, splitting up the space into zones helps create areas for a mix of activities.

Add a table for alfresco dining, a comfortable sofa area for relaxed evening drinks, and an integrated fire pit for cosy nighttime entertaining.

Accessorize with overhead lights, complementary furnishings and a mixture of potted plants.

Serve drinks in style

Make your guests feel comfortable with a drinks stand for them to serve themselves.

Fill a glass drinks dispenser with lemonade, ice and freshly sliced lemons for a non-alcoholic option and use a steel trough filled with ice to keep bottled drinks cool.

If you're feeling adventurous you could even make your own summer cocktails.

Alfresco dining

A large outdoor table is essential for hosting guests alfresco to make sure there is plenty of space for big sharing plates.

If you regularly host large groups, you may want to choose benches over individual seats as these can seat more people.

Decorate your table with flowers and rustic tableware to give your event a sophisticated feel.

Pizza party

If you want to step away from the classic BBQ, pizza ovens make a great alternative. They are a great edition to any summer party, and they are available to both hire and purchase.

If you don't have space for a pizza oven, you could buy pizza bases and toppings for your guests to make their own.

 

Is your garden not quite big enough? Get in touch with us today to book a valuation and get advice on finding your ideal home.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty about ARLA Propertymark, first, we should fill in some blanks about the property industry and the lack of compulsory regulation.

You might be surprised to learn that regulation in the property world is entirely voluntary. There is no compulsory industry-recognised standard that all letting and sales agents adhere to. In almost every other industry, laws impose strict controls to protect consumers. 

Can you imagine the financial services industry operating without checks and balances? Or farming, or manufacturing? The public comes to expect the highest standards because of regulation. 

This is not the case with the property industry. Anyone can set up a sales or lettings agent and handle large sums of their customer’s money, with little or no recourse should something go wrong. Untrained, unchecked, untrustworthy agents can still operate within the system. 

Imagine a world where you could lose thousands of pounds with precious little room for action? That’s why ARLA Propertymark agents are rightly proud of their professional status. 

What Is ARLA Propertymark?

ARLA Propertymark is the leading membership body for property professionals. It pulls all the separate associations under one umbrella. With almost 50 years of dedicated service upholding the highest standards, these schemes have been at the forefront of consumer protection. 

 

So, who are they? 

 

Who Are ARLA Propertymark?

ARLA Propertymark consists of a board made up of industry leaders from a variety of different backgrounds. They work closely with property professionals to set industry-leading standards via accreditation, recognised qualifications and training programmes. 

 

They have a strategic vision across four pillars:

 

 

What Does ARLA Propertymark Do?

They offer guidance and advice to members on all things property-related, ensure adherence to their strict code of conduct, and enforce any compliance breaches through disciplinary action. 

They hold their members to a higher standard than current laws demand, giving you peace of mind that you are dealing with property experts who value the highest standards of conduct. In short, it is a mark of professional pride that no matter what, you are always protected. 

And why?

Because the entire scheme is voluntary, it works by garnering the collective responsibility of like-minded industry professionals to deliver service above and beyond the minimum stipulations of the law. 

Beal’s Letting Agents wholeheartedly support this drive to improve standards, increase accountability, and make the lettings industry more transparent. 

By opting in, property professionals openly agree to the scrutiny that comes with bearing the badge of such a prestigious and stringent scheme. 

It means that ARLA Propertymark, through its members, strives to increase protections for consumers through its comprehensive training programmes by promoting education and awareness within the industry.

 

Why Should This Matter to You?

Your property is one of the most precious things you own. Looking for the ARLA Propertymark guarantees that you have placed your asset in the care of the most trustworthy lettings agents in the industry. It removes the elements of uncertainty and fear. 

Trust is an important thing when entering a tenancy or renting a property. The ARLA Propertymark logo reinforces that you are dealing with a professional who prides themselves on delivering the latest guidance and advice. 

 

What Can You Expect from an ARLA Propertymark Agent?

ARLA Propertymark holds its members accountable to a strict code of practice, leaving them open to scrutiny should the need arise. It empowers you, the consumer because you are covered by the highest levels of protection and security. 

 

Here’s an at-a-glance list of benefits:

 

 

What You Can Expect From Us

As an ARLA Propertymark member, Beal’s adhere to a strict code of conduct. It means that all client funds are held in separate bonded client accounts, which are audited annually by the independent Propertymark Client Money Protection Scheme.

Your money is safe, and nothing is more important than that. Only property professionals with a sense of fair play and transparent business practices would sign up voluntarily to such a high degree of accountability. 

 

What If an Agent Isn’t a Member of ARLA Propertymark?

Firstly, all accredited members use the ARLA Propertymark logo on literature and window displays to advertise their trustworthiness. So, if you don’t see the logo displayed anywhere or the agent fails to mention ARLA Propertymark, it should be a red flag. 

Secondly, ask yourself why they wouldn’t want to hold themselves to the very highest standards? Why wouldn’t they want to be audited annually to protect the money in their client accounts? What is it they have to hide?

Thirdly, ask them directly if they are accredited with the ARLA Propertymark Scheme. If they are not members, walk away because you cannot gamble with your most precious asset. They are essentially saying they are not professional enough to withstand independent scrutiny. 

Always check before instructing your agent that they are ARLA Propertymark accredited. After all, you wouldn’t book a holiday if it wasn’t ATOL or APTA protected!

 

To Recap

ARLA Propertymark is a badge of quality. Displaying the logo tells you as a customer that you are dealing with a respected and transparent letting agent who volunteers to be scrutinised at a level way above the minimum standards of law. 

You have a system of recourse, through the consumer complaints procedure, in the unlikely event that you should need it, and most importantly, your asset is in safe hands. 

For more information, please get in touch with Beal’s for a no-obligation chat. It could be the smartest move you make. 

 

Energy performance certificates have been a legal requirement in England, Wales and Northern Ireland since 2009. You must get an EPC if you want to sell or rent your home. So, we’ve all had time to get used to the idea, but what is an EPC?

We strip away some of the myths to bring you the facts about energy performance certificates, and answer the pressing questions.

What Is an Energy Performance Certificate?

We have had energy performance ratings for a long time. Every time you buy a washing machine or oven, you will see a coloured chart showing you the energy efficiency of that appliance. 

It helps you choose the most efficient model to reduce energy costs and save you money. It also encourages manufacturers to make their products more environmentally friendly as customers demand the most cost-effective technology. 

In essence, an EPC for a property is a four-page document that rates your home’s energy performance using a coloured chart ranging from green for the best to red being the worst. Each colour is allotted a letter from A to G. 

It also provides you with suggestions to help increase your home’s rating to improve efficiency, including the potential costs and savings. 

 

Do I Need an EPC?

If you are selling or renting your house, you will need an EPC within seven days of the property coming onto the market. They are a legal requirement. The good news is if you are using Beals Independent Estate Agents to market your home, we will sort this out for you. 

If you fail to produce an EPC, you could receive a £5,000 fine. 

 

Who Does the EPC?

Your EPC is carried out by a qualified and accredited Energy Performance Assessor. These assessments can be sourced independently, but the vast majority of sellers and landlords use their estate or letting agents to organise the report.

 

Can My Home Fail an EPC

If you are selling your home, you cannot fail the energy performance certificate. The report ranks your property from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G the worst performance. 

However, if you are selling your home, a low score will likely damage your chances of securing a buyer, which could negatively affect your asking price. 

If you are renting your property, things are slightly different. Prior to April 2020, the law demanded that homes should have a minimum of an E-rating in order to secure a new tenancy. Post-April 2020, this now applies to all tenancies. 

 

What If My Rental Home Has an F-Rating?

You will not be able to rent your property if it scores an F or G-rating. Before installing a tenant, the law states that you must perform improvement works recommended in the report to a maximum value of £3,500 (VAT inclusive).

This is going to change because the UK government has pledged a minimum of a C-rating for all rental properties by 2030. Given that the UK has the highest concentration of old and leaky homes in Europe, that equates to a lot of upgrades. 

 

When Am I Not Required to get an EPC?

There are instances where an EPC is not required. For example, if you rent an individual room within your home. But bear in mind that a self-contained flat within a property with its own entrance and facilities will need an EPC.

If you own a listed building, it is protected, or in a conservation area, your property is exempt from an energy rating. This is to protect the property because some energy improvements could dramatically alter the outward appearance. 

You can check the status of your home with your local authority conservation officer.

 

Will I Need to Renew My EPC?

Your EPC is valid for 10 years and it rates the home and not the person commissioning it. You can reuse the EPC multiple times within that time frame. 

 

Should I Update My EPC If I Improve My Home?

You don’t have to get your home rated after improvements that you think will improve the overall score. However, if you are thinking of selling within the 10-year period when the EPC is still valid, it might be a good idea to increase buyer confidence. 

It might also help you attain a better price. 

 

How Do I Query My EPC?

If you don’t understand something, or you disagree with the report, you can contact the energy performance assessor who did the assessment. Their details are listed on the document under the “About this document” section. 

If the problem remains unresolved, you can make contact with the accreditation scheme listed on the document. 

 

Ways to Improve Your EPC Rating

If you are worried about the EPC result, you can do some simple things to improve the rating before the assessment is carried out. 

 

Start with Lighting

Lighting is surprisingly energy-hungry, especially if you use halogen or non-low energy bulbs. Consider changing your old bulbs for light-emitting diodes (LED) or compact fluorescent lights (CFL). 

LED bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. When you multiply the number of light bulbs in your home, that’s a massive energy saving. 

 

Replace Old Heating

Old gas boilers are one of the biggest causes of a low energy score on your EPC. It’s expensive to replace your gas boiler but it is worth doing if you have the funds and you think it is necessary. 

New condensing gas boilers are 95% efficient, with only 5% of the energy being used to power the boiler. Compare that to an old boiler, which could be as low as 60%. That means that 40% of the energy used powers the boiler. 

This is a long-term energy solution, and you are unlikely to see the benefits if you are selling your home, but it will improve your EPC result. 

 

Update Roof Insulation

Heat rises, so is it any wonder that a poorly insulated roof leaks all the heat from your home. Ensure the loft insulation is a minimum of 270mm thick to trap the heat in and reduce heating costs. 

The good news is if your insulation is 90mm or less, you can apply for funding to upgrade the insulation. 

 

Update Wall Insulation

Older homes have cavity walls, which is essentially two skins of brick with a gap between them to allow air to flow. While they are excellent at helping your home breathe, they can be drafty. Consider cavity wall insulation to solve this problem. 

One of the biggest influencers of the EPC rating is cavity walls, so a simple way to get the highest score is to insulate your walls. 

 

Update Thermostats

Old boilers are inefficient, but you can improve their performance by updating your heating controls. New thermostats and individual thermostatic radiator valves (TRV) increase the efficiency of your heating system. 

Using a smart meter also helps you improve how you use energy because it tells you how much you are using in real-time. 

 

The Last Word on Energy Performance Certificates

Try not to look at the EPC as a stick to punish you for having a poorly insulated home. Remember that when you sell, you usually need to buy, so by applying the same standard, we all benefit, including the planet. 

Energy performance certificates are designed to drag the UK’s old, leaky and inefficient housing stock into the 21st century to reduce energy bills and help to save the planet. That has to be a good thing for you and your children’s futures. 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Your Property Ready To Rent In Simple Steps

Renting out your home sounds simple enough, but in reality, there are a few things you need to consider. Whether you are an accidental landlord or looking to become a property magnate, the steps are the same. 

Preparing your property for possible tenants has benefits. It makes your property more desirable and improves the tenant’s rental experience. The best advice is to start early when it comes to planning for a future tenant, and there are simple steps you can follow.

Start Early

This is crucial because there are hoops you need to jump through before you can rent out your property. First, you should speak to your existing lender to establish that you can actually rent the property out. 

You will likely have a residential mortgage on your home, which means you are effectively changing the mortgage terms if you want to rent it out. Speak to your lender because you will need permission before you do anything. 

Most mortgage lenders will accommodate your request but be warned that by changing the nature of the mortgage, they will likely charge you an admin fee and possibly a higher rate of interest. 

They are unlikely to give you permission to rent the property out if you are still inside a fixed-rate period, but if you are outside a fixed-rate period, you are free to shop around; it might be the incentive your lender needs to grant your wishes.

If you want to shop around for the best mortgage deals, speak to a Beals mortgage expert. They have access to the entire mortgage market, ensuring that you can compare rates for the best possible mortgage. 

The second item on your list should be to consult with an ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) registered agent to get the best advice on what you need to do to get your home into a lettable condition. 

They can offer hints and tips and guide you in the right direction so you can focus your energies in the right areas. Most prospective tenants start looking at properties well before their move-in date; you should give yourself an eight-week head start on any renovation or decorating work. 

Make Your Home Irresistible

Nothing beats that first impression, and you only get one chance to make it. You are competing with other properties for your tenant, so if you want the best tenant and the best possible rental income, invest the time now to get your home looking right. 

This might mean giving the walls a fresh lick of paint or carrying out those repairs you always intended to do but left until the last minute. A well-maintained house provides the tenant with the peace of mind that they will have minimal problems during their tenancy and that you are a landlord who cares about the condition of your property. 

It also encourages them to continue to care for your home while they are in occupation. This is one of your main aims as a landlord because tenants that care as much about your home as you do are worth their weight in gold. 

Design With Tenants In Mind

Your home may be beautifully decorated, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to appeal to your average tenant. To appeal to the broadest audience, the best approach is to think in neutral colours. 

The more people you attract to your property, the more you can pick and choose the right tenant and the better the monthly rental income. 

Neutral colours give the tenant plenty of scope to personalise their space because it will be their home after all. 

It also means that when your current tenant moves out, the neutral colour scheme will appeal to subsequent applicants. It is also less likely to age, which saves you money in the long run. 

Make Essential Repairs

Keeping your asset in the best possible condition is a must for any landlord. It protects your investment; the property is occupied for longer, reducing void periods and non-payment of rent, and minimises the prospect of expensive repairs further down the line. 

After all, it is still your property, and you want your investment to grow. Leaving the property to deteriorate will only cost you more money in the long run and cause you headaches with void periods and emergency repairs.

There are ways to make your life easier. Choose darker colours for carpets and if possible, go for laminate or hardwood floors that are more hard-wearing and show less damage.

Choose widely available and affordable colours for the wall, like magnolia, creams and white. If you are replacing bathroom suites, you don’t need to buy the budget option but think cheaper rather than expensive.

 

Think About Safety Requirements

If you provide electrical items, it is often a requirement to get a PAT (portable appliance test) test to prove the appliances are safe to use. You also need an Energy Performance Certificate and a Gas Safety Certificate before you rent the property out.

Your letting agent is the best person to organise these because they do it every day and have reliable contacts in the industry who can provide a swift service and offer the best deals. 

You also need to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to protect the tenants against fire and deadly gasses. Now is also an excellent time to review your gas boiler because it might be deemed unsafe for modern standards and need replacing if it is old. 

If you buy new appliances like cookers, fridges and boilers, make up an information pack for the incoming tenants with all the instructions to use them safely. It could save you stress further down the line when the appliance breaks because they didn’t use it correctly. 

If you manage the let yourself, it also saves getting those late-night phone calls from the tenant complaining that the boiler won’t light or the oven won’t work. 

 

Keep It Clean

It is your responsibility to provide a hygienic and clean property. Ensure the bathroom is free of mould and mildew, and the carpets are clean and stain-free. You will struggle to find a tenant if the property’s condition is not up to standard, and when you do find a tenant, it will likely be for a reduced rent. 

So, before inviting people to view your property, spend the weekend before it goes on the market cleaning, scrubbing and washing down surfaces. Don’t forget to move large appliances to clean behind and wipe down inside the kitchen’s cupboards. 

You could also speak to the letting agent and ask if they have a professional cleaning service or have contacts who offer such a service. This might be the better option if you are stuck for time or don’t have the appetite for a weekend in rubber gloves. 

It all sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many houses and flats come to the market in a substandard condition. 

 

Now You Are Rental Ready

Congratulations on getting your property ready to present to the rental market. The more effort you put in to get rental ready will reap the rewards when you find a tenant. If they see you care about their needs and have moved heaven and earth to make it as perfect as possible, they will treat your property with the respect it deserves. 

And that’s the goal we all want: a reliable and trustworthy tenant who wants to stay in your property for the long term. 

Once you’ve got your home on the market and become great friends with your amazing independent estate agents, it’s time to think about the little details. Just like a first date, first impressions can make or break a sale. That is why it’s so important to properly prepare your house for viewings and really make a point of showing off the potential of each room. Just like you would dress to impress when meeting someone new - you want to help your property do the same. It might be time for a little spruce up and a spring clean just in time for some potential buyers.

It can be hard work keeping everything spic and span for viewings, but trust us when we tell you it’s worth the effort. Any small changes you make to improve or freshen up your home could see you with a much faster sale and even a higher offer. That’s what you’re aiming for after all. You have the best chance of making that happen if the people coming to view can easily see the potential it holds and how much they can do with the space. Making it look and feel like home already will get them past the first barrier as soon as they walk in the door. 

We’ve put together a list of easy things you can do to make sure you’re fully prepared. We want to help you as best we can to sell your property, that way you can find your dream home while providing someone else with theirs! Every little helps in this process, so from the tiny considerations to the home renovations, it will all count towards the next step of your journey. (You’ll make someone else really happy too!)

 

Kerb Appeal

Independent estate agents from all over will go on and on about this. Potential buyers make an immediate judgement on a property from the minute they see it, and some will even drive by before the viewing to scope it out from the road. This is where your green fingers are going to come in handy. If you have a front garden with a lawn, make sure it is being regularly mowed because long and untidy grass can make somewhere look unkept and is not very inviting. So at the very least, just keep it maintained.

You can then start keeping the hedges trimmed and weeds at bay. This will ensure people know the owners look after every bit of the property - which bodes well for the inside! Although, it’s not only the greenery that should be kept an eye on. The external features of your house include the window frames, driveway and doors too. This means it could be time to do those touch-ups that have been waiting all winter… 

Window frames may need to be cleaned regularly to keep the dust and grime off. As well as this, giving any woodwork or guttering a new lick of paint won’t go amiss. Whatever you can do to brighten the outside up will be much more appealing when people pull up. So grab your trowel and weed-wacker and that first impression is sure to be a great one. Don’t give them a reason to walk away before they’ve even been inside.

 

Declutter

That’s right, it’s time to go through your things and get rid of (or hide away) the bits that don’t need to be on display. Living in a property for extended periods can understandably see a build-up of clutter. But tackling it now will not only leave your home looking tidier for guests, but it will also save you time in the move! Don’t box up items you’ll never use again - just get rid of them now and you’ll have some extra space in the new place.

We don’t expect everything to be hidden away in the loft or under the bed, but trying to clear worktops will make it more appealing for buyers. Having clear sides in the kitchen will show off how much counter space is available. This is usually a requirement for people looking to upsize. They want more room to work and the less you have out on the side - the more room there will be. Not only this, making sure washing up and dishes are put away (or hidden in the dishwasher) makes the space much tidier and doesn’t divert their attention.

The same goes for items we often leave laying around. Things like children’s toys can easily be put back on a shelf or in a toy box. This will mean viewers can take in the space without worrying about falling over a shoe or stepping on a lego brick. It just makes the experience of walking around the property much more enjoyable. They’ll remember the bad bits over the good ones, so give them positivity to walk away with.

 

Bathrooms

Start by making sure that surfaces and floors are wiped down to prevent dirt and grime from catching anyone’s eye. If you’re worried about stubborn mould and watermarks, you could think about getting the shower and bath re-sealed to remove any mould build-up. Even this small change can often make the entire room look brand new. It will keep everything looking sparkly and clean. 

As well as this, it is a good idea to put out clean, folded towels when you’re expecting a viewing. It is another little thing that can have a real impact on how people see the space as a whole. They’ll be looking for potential, so make it easy for them and display how lovely everything could look if they lived there. Giving them a preview of what’s on offer will give them things to think about and they’ll soon realise all the advantages of your property. 

Remember to open the windows in bathrooms to get rid of condensation and excess moisture. This is often why you’ll find stubborn marks on the tiles or mirror, so it might save you some effort when cleaning too. It’s also a good idea to tidy away any medicines or toiletries that may be on display as you don’t really want people snooping around it and it will make the entire area more open.

 

The day of a viewing

While the general upkeep of your home will keep the bulk of things spic and span, there are some areas you should double-check before people come to view. Firstly, if it’s the middle of winter it will create a really welcoming environment to put the heating on for a while before they arrive. They’ll appreciate the warmth and it might even make them stick around for longer! It also shows them that the home is not draughty or cold at certain times in the year. 

Next, it always looks nice if you run the hoover around, particularly dusty areas to keep the floors looking new. And to accompany this, making sure each room is free of the odd mug or dressing gown on the floor will keep everything looking in order. It’s the things that go unnoticed day to day that people coming to view will pick up on first! Once you’re happy everything is clean and tidy you can think about making rooms smell nice and adding small touches like refreshing the vase of flowers on the window sill.

Lastly, we know you love your pets but other people might not. So see if a neighbour or family member can look after them for a while as to not scare any potential buyers away! It can also be off-putting to have dogs and cats running around after you while you’re trying to take everything in. If an agent is showing the people around, you often don’t need to be home. So you could make the most of it and take the dog for a walk - but make sure any other family members know not to go barging in as well!

 

We are your independent estate agents

All of these things together will create the perfect set-up for anyone interested in your property. While it is important to make a good impression and show off your home - we understand that you may still be living there at the same time. So don’t make it too stressful on yourself. The place doesn’t have to look un-lived in, nor does it need to be show home standard. But anything you do to make a bit of extra effort will benefit your journey to selling and finding a new home of your own.

For almost three decades we have been at the heart of the local community, delivering our special brand of property sales, rentals and financial services. From humble beginnings and just 26 people, we have grown into Hampshire's leading independent estate agents, with offices in 10 prime locations. We have a dedicated team of 150 property experts waiting to help you achieve your dreams. Our independence makes us unique because we can provide a personal service from our many high street branches without being controlled remotely from a head office located on the other side of the country.

We offer an unparalleled experience which is why we have so many repeat customers, we know how to get it right every time. Whether you be a buyer, seller, landlord or tenant, we've got you covered. Contact us here by submitting an enquiry form or call one of our dedicated branches, the individual contact numbers for each can be found here.

The traditional way to buy a new home would be to sell the one you currently own to fund the purchase. That’s probably the way they did in your parent’s day and their parents before them, but in the modern world, there are so many options.

You may not have to sell your existing property to fund your onward move; instead, you could rent it out. 

So, what does that entail, and is it a possibility? Let’s take a look.

 

Why Choose To Rent?

 

Owning more than one property is an excellent source of income. You should get enough to cover your monthly mortgage costs, and all the while, your property is increasing in value. If that happens, it’s a win, win.

Perhaps you have spotted a property on the market, or that dream home has suddenly come up for sale? The traditional route would take so long; that it could sell by the time you were in a position to make an offer. 

Renting offers that flexibility should you need to act quickly. Plus, you have no chain below you, effectively making you as attractive as a first-time buyer. 

Another reason why you might want to rent instead of buying is you have a job opportunity that takes you out of the area for a period, which means you need a short-term solution. Renting fills that gap, enabling you to earn an income from your property while it remains in your possession until you are ready to return.

Perhaps you want to try the suck-it-and-see approach where you are moving to a new area or even abroad, and you are unsure whether you will like it. Renting allows you to sample a slice of your new life without committing completely to see if it is what you want. 

If you decide it’s a no, you have a home to return to. If you want to make the move permanent, you can continue renting or sell your property to fund the new purchase. 

 

Does It Make Financial Sense?

 

Before making the first step towards renting, it’s worth speaking to a mortgage specialist to see if you can financially achieve your goal. Speak to independent advisors like the experts at Beals Independent Lettings Agent, who can provide you with all the up-to-date knowledge and industry information. 

The big question is one of affordability. Can you actually afford to keep one house to rent out while raising the finance to make an onward purchase? It also affects several things other than affordability. You should consider capital gains tax, stamp duty, income tax and the costs of that second mortgage.

You also need to consider what happens in void periods or if the tenant fails to pay the rent. Can you afford to cover mortgage payments on the property if the tenant loses their job?

There are also the legal costs to consider should you need to take court proceedings to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent. With so much to ponder, while renting may seem like the magic pill to cure all ills, it is not without risks. 

 

Will My Mortgage Lender Give Me Permission?

 

While you may think you own your existing home, the lender has the final say on whether you can rent the property out until the mortgage is paid in full. It could affect the rate you pay because you are changing the nature of the agreement between you and the lender as initially set out. 

It might be that you took advantage of a special rate that no longer applies when you rent the property out. It might be that the lender agrees to let you rent the property out but ups the monthly costs and places specific demands on you. 

And then there is the mortgage lender on the property you want to buy to consider. As we said earlier, renting your home out is not without risks. And your new lender will consider this when offering you their most competitive rates. 

 

Can I Reduce The Risks?

 

There are schemes and service packages that letting agents offer to minimize your financial risks. Speak to Beals Independent Lettings Agents to get expert advice tailored to your individual needs. 

When you rent out your property, you will be offered several levels of service ranging from tenant find to Rent Guarantee. Tenant find is the entry-level service, which means the agent finds and references the tenant and then hands the day-to-day management and rent collection to you.

This is the cheapest option, but you should choose it with caution. If you are a seasoned landlord, who understands the legalities and procedures, this might be suitable. However, it is safe to assume you are probably new to renting if you are reading this. 

If that is the case, you might want to consider the next couple of service levels up, starting with rent collection. This package entails the lettings agent finding the tenant, referencing and collecting the rent. However, you will still need to maintain the property and undertake legal paperwork should the tenant fail to pay the rent and need evicting.

The most comprehensive service levels are the fully managed service or the Rent Guarantee Package. Rent Guarantee takes all of the risks away, guaranteeing you get your rent paid on the same day every month regardless of whether the tenant pays or not. 

 

What Are The Costs of Renting?

While you make money from your tenants, there are other costs to consider when renting out your property. These costs will determine whether you rent or decide to sell your home. Here’s what you need to consider:

 

 

Also, don’t forget that the money you make from your rental property gets added to your yearly income thresholds for tax purposes. Any additional revenue may push you from one tax bracket into the next one up. 

If your income is just below the 40% tax rate, be aware that the increase in earnings will push you into the higher bracket and increase your tax burden, which could leave you worse off. 

However, there are some expenditures that the Government allows you to offset. These include:

 

 

Selling vs Renting: The Pros and Cons

So, if you are thinking about renting instead of selling, you will need to know how the two compare. Which is the better route forward, and what are the pitfalls?

Selling Pros

 

 

Selling Cons

 

 

Renting Pros

 

 

Renting Cons

 

So, you can see that renting is a great option for increasing your property portfolio and getting you moved into your dream home sooner, but it is not without risks. 

 

At a Glance: The Steps To Renting Out Your Home

If you have read the above and think that renting is the perfect route to take, you’ll need to do some leg work before you actually start to make an income. Here is the at-a-glance guide: 

 

 

FAQs

 

Can I rent my home with my existing mortgage lender?

You can as long as your current lender agrees. But suppose they impose restrictions and try to charge unreasonable interest rates. In that case, it might be worth speaking to an independent mortgage advisor to see if there are other more competitive mortgage deals out there. 

This is advisable when you conduct your research into renting, especially if you are no longer locked into a fixed rate period. 

What is equity?

Equity is the difference between the value of your home and what you owe. Should you sell your asset (your home), what you are left with is the equity once you have paid back what you owe.

Is landlord’s insurance compulsory?

It is entirely your choice if you decide to take out landlord’s insurance, but it is highly recommended that you guard against theft, damage and tenant issues. 

 

Is renting out your house complicated?

Unless you have rented out property before, it can be a bit of a minefield in the hands of the less experienced. Luckily, there are letting agents on hand ready to advise you at every step of the way. With over 400+ rules and regulations and hefty fines, if you don’t follow the correct procedures, it’s good to know there are people who can help. 

 

It’s the dead of night, all is quiet in your world, and you are about to drift off to sleep when suddenly, you hear a scurrying sound in the attic. It can only mean one thing: household pests!

It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare because once you get a family of unwanted guests, they are hard to remove; plus, more are likely to follow once a few get in. So, what can you do to stop unwanted critters from entering your home? 

We have some top tips to prevent unwanted guests, but here are some interesting stats before we get into the detail. 

So, let’s take a look at each critter by type, ask what the tell-tale signs are, and what you can do to prevent the problem in the first place. 

Rodents

Rats and mice are among the most common animals taking up residence inside our homes. They like to live in dark cavities behind walls and beneath floors. Surprisingly, there are millions more rats than humans, yet they are difficult to spot among us, even though we have lived side by side for thousands of years. 

Rats and mice rarely enter our homes in the warmer months because heat and food are plentiful, but when the mercury starts to drop, they go in search of warmer nesting spots. 

What Are The Tell-Tale Signs?

If you spot a lot of shredded paper and cardboard, typically in dark spots like attics and cellars, it could be a sign you have an infestation. Rats and mice chew the paper for mulch bedding. Look for concentrations of droppings, paying attention to underfloor areas and behind cavities.

Check cardboard packets in your larder for signs of spilt contents as rodents often gnaw at corners and edges of dried packet foods like cereal and porridge oats. 

How To Prevent Rodents Moving In

Before reaching for the phone and dialling a pest control expert, there are some things you can do to prevent that invasion in the first place. Plus, you want to adopt a humane response rather than extermination. 

Check for Gaps

Keep an eye out for gaps and holes on the exterior of your property. A loose brick, cracks in stonework, split wooden door frames, even gaps where guttering and downpipes run are all open doors to rodents. 

And don’t be fooled into thinking that the holes have to be mouse-sized for them to fit; a mouse can squeeze into a gap just half an inch in diameter. 

If you see any suspicious-looking spots where our furry little friends can get in, fill them in. Prevention is the best cure.

Remove Bird Feeders

Rats and mice love grain, so the seed mixtures in your bird feeders are an irresistible lure for your average rodent. Once they know there is a ready food source on tap, they keep coming back until they set up home. 

It’s a bit like you moving into the flat above your favourite restaurant!

Plant Peppermint

Furry rodents hate peppermint, so planting it at the base of your home should be enough to repel any unwanted intruders. 

While we are on the subject of plants that deter rodents, spices are known to be an effective method of keeping critters out. Mice and rats hate garlic, chilli, cinnamon and cayenne pepper, so mix a spoonful in a water solution and spray it around locations where you think they might try and gain entry. 

Secure Bin Lids

First, rats have teeth that never stop growing, so the only way they can control their size is to grind them down with continuous chewing. Plastic rubbish bins are not going to protect your waste material from rats if the contents are left to spill out. Rats have a great sense of smell. 

The best solution is to get a bin with a lockable lid and not overfill the container so the lid won’t close. The same goes for wheelie bins. 

Use Ammonia

Soak a rag in ammonia and place it inside a container. Next, find the concentration of rodent dropping and stand the container next to where you think the rats have been. Rats hate the smell and will leave. 

The only downside is that ammonia is also repugnant to humans, so don’t use this technique near any space in the home where you are living, eating and sleeping.

Lay Traps

Laying traps in the spots where you see droppings is an effective way of catching your intruders. However, there is still the question of what you do with it once you have trapped it? Mice and rats live in close family units, so it’s nailed on that should you release it, it will come back. 

Poison

If you go down the extermination route, and many people do, you can lay specially impregnated corn seeds laced with a deadly poison that is irresistible to rats. However, prepared for the rat to take the poison back to their nest and infect the rest of the family unit. 

If this happens, they die somewhere deep within your home, untraced, which means first comes the decaying smell as they decompose, and second, the flies who lay their larvae in the carcasses of the rats. 

You might even get maggots inside your home. So while you think poison is the answer to all your problems, it could be the start of a triple whammy of infestations. 

Birds

Birds are relatively clean animals, but their faeces could contain contaminants that cause salmonella and histoplasmosis, a lung disorder caused by inhaling spores from bat and bird droppings. 

In extreme cases, it could lead to avian flu, but this is rare. There are 3 types of diseases transmitted by birds. 

What Are The Tell-Tale Signs?

Birds like to make nests in lofts and eaves, so look for entry holes. If you have wooden facias, unless you maintain them, the wood rots, giving flying pests the incentive and the means to peck their way through to make a nest.

Another way to tell if you have a birds nest in your home is to look at the ground for signs of feathers, straw, faecal matter and other detritus scattered about. You might also notice an increase in the number of flies around your home because birds attract them. 

How To Prevent Birds Moving In

Remove Food and Water

Everyone likes an easy life, and that includes birds and other animals. If they have a ready supply of food and water, they have no incentive to move on. Remove bird feeders and birdbaths to reduce the incentive for them to set up home in the first place.

Remove Hiding Places 

Dense foliage, tall grass and dead trees offer ample opportunities for birds to hide while they feed because they like to stay hidden. Removing tall grass and undergrowth exposes the space, making it more difficult, and they move on. 

Instil Some Fear 

You can buy sonic devices that emit sounds like bird distress to scare them away. Think of it as an electronic scarecrow. Some even mimic the bird calls of predators to keep unwanted winged guests from landing. 

Keep The house Maintained

Try and keep up with maintenance to keep the threat of unwanted visitors to a minimum. Fascias and soffits should be sanded and stained to protect them against the rain, wind and sun. 

Rotten wood should be replaced, or you could opt for a maintenance-free route and fit PVC fascias to avoid the threat of them rotting. 

Spray Some Garlic

Just like rodents, birds dislike the scent of garlic. Liberally spraying areas where birds might take up residence deter them from moving in. Crush a couple of garlic cloves and pour them into a spray bottle and fill it with water.

Give it a shake, and leave the garlic to infuse the liquid for a couple of hours. You now have a smelly deterrent to spray on your potential entry points. 

Bird Spikes

If you want to go straight to DEFCON 1, you could glue strips of anti-bird spikes. They aren’t sharp enough to impale our flying friends, but they deter them from landing. 

Fake Birds

Often, when a bird sees another bird, especially a predator species, they are less likely to take the risk and land in your garden. This works to a point, but sometimes the birds realise that you have a plastic model because it never moves, so take the time to position it in different places in the garden.

Netting

Netting is a solution but not one we like. Bird netting covers the areas where they try and gain entry, and it prevents them from landing. That’s the upside. The downside is they become entangled and can’t escape, with many dying as a result. 

This deterrent should only be used as a last resort where you have so many bird problems that nothing else works. 

Wasps, Bees and Hornets

These special little stinging critters like to stay hidden, so you often find their nests in lofts, crawl spaces, ducting, under decking and behind fascias. Some species make their nests in the ground, burrowing down into mounds of mud and between tree roots. 

Unlike wasps and hornets, bees are more universally loved because they don’t sting unless they have to. Plus, they are a dwindling species and so vital for crop and food growth across the world. So, when you discover a nest in your home, it can be challenging to balance the need to preserve bee life and protect your family. 

Typically, a sting from one of these insects results in mild pain, swelling and discomfort, which goes within a few hours and can be treated easily at home with antihistamines. Still, for some, it can be a life-threatening experience. 

When it comes to infestations of this type, we would always recommend calling in the professionals.  

What Are The Tell-Tale Signs?

Look for small holes or chewed wood or fascia boards. If you see a lot of flying insects in a particular part of your home, it could be a sign of an infestation. While you are in the garden, often you will see stinging insects flying about aimlessly, but their flight movements are different when there is a nest nearby. They come and go with more purpose, and it is easy to spot. 

How To Prevent Wasps, Bees and Hornets Moving In

Keep On Top of Maintenance

Like most critters, bees, wasps and hornets look for opportunities. They seek out ideal nest sites, and if they spot gaps and cracks in your fascias, sidings and decks, it entices them to move in. 

A rigorous yearly maintenance program not only keeps your house looking good but also prevents invasions of the stinging kind. 

Keep Food Covered 

Stinging bugs love sugary food. It’s like a drug, so if you have anything that might attract unwanted attention, cover it over and put it in a cupboard or refrigerator. 

Tree Sap

Removing trees close to your property could be another way to reduce insect infestations. Tree sap is sweet and attracts wasps, bees and hornets, so keeping them to a minimum could be the answer. 

Keep a Lid On It

When storing your food waste, try and keep the lid on your wheelie bin closed. Wasps, bees and hornets are attracted to the food inside, and they are more likely to appear if the cover is open or ajar. 

Decoy Wasps 

It is believed that wasps won’t build a new nest within 200 feet of an existing one, so deploying a few paper wasps around your garden might be enough to deter them. 

Bugs

For the sake of convenience, we are using the term “Bugs” as the generic name we for the household critters we battle every day. They may be small in size, with some even microscopic, but they are high in numbers and can cause all sorts of havoc. 

Here are the most common:

Ants

Don’t leave sweet foods and drinks in view of open windows and doors, and avoid gaps and weeds in your patios, paths and driveways. Keeping on top of maintenance is crucial if you want to win the battle. 

There are a few weapons at your disposal: coffee grinds, lemon, vinegar, and spices all top the list of an ant’s most hated things.

Fleas

You could treat a flea infestation with powder scattered on your floors and soft furnishings, but it is often too late at this stage. It should start with outdoor maintenance. Fleas like to lay their larvae in tall grass, so get out the strimmer and cut everything back. 

Sunlight and wind are deadly to flea larvae, so cutting back the shrubs and grass leaves them vulnerable.

Cockroaches

In the event of a nuclear war, the only things left roaming the earth are zombies and cockroaches, or so the urban legend goes. So, how on earth do you get rid of a critter that a nuclear warhead can’t kill?

The easiest way is to keep a clean house. Cockroaches are attracted to crumbs on the floor and food waste in easy-to-reach locations near windows and doors.

They carry bacteria and get in through small holes and cracks in woodwork, brickwork and other entry points. They hate catnip, peppermint, garlic and even bay leaves. 

Bed Bugs

These creatures are microscopic, and you may not even know you have them. They live in mattresses and bedding, feeding on human skin cells that naturally fall while you sleep. If you spot rusty brown marks on your sheets or mattress and you can smell a musty odour, it could be a sign of bed bugs. 

Regular cleaning with a vacuum cleaner and covering the mattress in plastic sheeting might be the best way to protect your bed.

It’s All About Maintenance

You might have noticed a familiar theme running through this article? It’s all about maintenance. Keeping on top of faults and issues relating to your home will drastically reduce the instances of insect and animal infestations because if they can’t get in, they can’t set up home. 

Also, with good maintenance, prevention is better than cure. 

 

With autumn just around the corner, it’s that time of year when a warm and cosy house is a must! We understand that if you aren’t a homeowner it can be a tricky process to make your rental property UK feel like home. It’s easier to change certain things when you’re paying the mortgage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a warm and welcoming space while renting in the UK. We’ve put together some tips that might help you realise the potential of your home.

Non-permanent additions tend to be the way forward with rental agreements. Whilst you might think the only way to make drastic changes is to repaint or knock down walls entirely, there are so many other things you can do. Make it your own now, and if you decide to go elsewhere in the future - all you need to do is pack it away. There are no worries when you’re leaving it as you found it! Even though some landlords can be more flexible than others, here are some safe options for adding a personal touch to your rental property UK.

 

Bring the outside in

 

House plants are all the rage and they’re a fantastically easy way of livening up your space. They add an immediate pop of colour to any room. Not only are they great for aesthetic purposes, but they can be used for cleaning the air around you. They remove toxins and can be really helpful for keeping your home a healthy, clear area to relax in. (Unless you don’t have a green thumb and opt for faux plants of course! They’re still just as lovely to look at.)

Another way plants can make somewhere feel like home is by carefully choosing the pots they live in. Make a statement by having bold colours and patterns or compliment the rest of your interior design by matching the colour schemes. It’s a great way to start the process of deciding what colours you like and what makes the space seem bigger or more welcoming. They can always be moved from room to room should it not look how you envisioned.

 

Light it up

 

Whilst you might not be able to change main light fixtures, it doesn’t stop you from bringing in some free-standing lamps and alternatives of your own. You can experiment with different sizes and styles here to create some depth. Think about rooms with more space that might benefit from floor lights - you could create a reading corner with a warm, overhanging floor lamp. Alternatively, desk lamps always come in useful for producing a really cosy, autumnal feeling and can also help compartmentalise larger rooms into sections.

Candles and coloured bulbs also offer a great source of mood lighting if you want something less harsh than a ceiling light all the time. Smaller rooms may benefit from this change as many landlords will invest in the cheaper option of LED bulbs. These can often be a lot more stark and maybe brighter than your average halogen bulb. If you do find this is the case, dimmer and warmer lighting options are available for you to experiment with.

 

Accessorise

 

Buying your own soft furnishings is normally a given when moving to a rental property UK. While some furniture and white goods may be included - it’s up to you to decorate as you wish. You can be as creative as you like with patterned rugs and pillows. Or if bold isn’t your style, you can even just match things to your colour scheme (if you have one). Simply adding your own flare with small details will make all the difference in a home where you can’t make large alterations. 

Something that can put people off renting is if the property is dated. In this case, you might find carpets with bold colours or loud patterns that discourage you from an otherwise beautiful home. Large rugs are a great way forward if you find yourself in a similar situation. Although you can’t replace the carpet, you could certainly cover it up. It will add an extra layer of comfort and warmth too on cold days. Find a nice sized option with a pattern, colour and texture of your choice.

 

Upcycle old furniture

 

If you are bringing furniture with you to a new property, or even buying on a budget - upcycling is a way you can make them fit your style and bring a new design to your rental property UK. Charity shops often have pre-loved items such as draws and side tables that just need some restoration. This allows you to repaint and make changes to pieces that might not have worked with your style otherwise. These are still things you can take away with you if you leave but can be really handy in unfurnished properties. 

Simple components like changing the knobs and handles on a chest of drawers or removing doors and shelves from certain pieces will give it a new look entirely. The best thing about this is that if your rooms are painted a fairly neutral colour, you can essentially do whatever you like with the furniture. People will notice the quirks and bursts of colour long before they notice the walls or carpets. 

 

Dress the windows

 

An unfurnished rental property UK might not come with curtains or blinds of any sort. This means it’s up to you to inject your own ideas and create the cosy or open atmosphere you’re looking for. Curtains actually make up a large part of a room’s style. One of the first things people tend to do when visiting a home is look out the windows at the view. This will be the case for any guests you may have too. So they’re going to notice what’s around the windows as well. Make a statement by adding some floor to ceiling curtains or use some netting behind other layers to keep it fresh in the summer and warmer in the winter.

However, if the landlord has left curtains up when you arrive, you may be able to keep them stored nicely until you move out and replace them in the meantime. (It’s always worth asking before you take something of theirs down.) Curtains with eyelets are easy to change over and can be used to add a larger pop of colour to the end of a room. It’s also worth taking into consideration the location of your property. As some places can have a lot of light pollution - blackout curtains might be a worthwhile investment - especially in bedrooms.

 

Create your own gallery

 

Art and photos are a must-have when turning somewhere into your own. One drawback of a rental property can be the inability to hang pictures. Command strips are a fantastic invention that doesn’t leave a trace. Again, it may be worthwhile checking with the landlord before using strips or anything similar, but usually, it won’t be an issue as it doesn’t leave a permanent mark. Alternatives like washi tape and blue tac could allow you to stick photographs and light decorations onto the walls without breaking your rental agreement. 

Heavy picture frames are probably a no-go when renting. Although, it leaves you to embrace your creativity and produce some pieces to hang in your at-home gallery. If you have children, bright paintings and drawings are memories that could go anywhere in the house. Or if you’re artistic yourself - light canvases and printed photographs will hang nicely with the non-permanent alternatives to hooks. There is so much potential for you to make somewhere rented feel like home. So don’t shy away from putting your stamp on it.

 

Find a rented property UK with Beals

 

Most people dream of getting onto the property ladder someday, but renting is a great alternative that gives you the freedom of your own space, without the struggles of a mortgage. It can be hard to make somewhere that isn’t ‘yours’ feel like home - but we’ve seen in this article that there are plenty of ways to make changes. It may take a bit of creativity, but over time, it is completely possible to transform your space.

For almost three decades we have been at the heart of the local community, delivering our special brand of property sales, rentals and financial services. From humble beginnings and just 26 people, we have grown into Hampshire's leading independent estate agent, with offices in 10 prime locations. We have a dedicated team of 150 property experts waiting to help you achieve your dreams. Our independence makes us unique because we can provide a personal service from our many high street branches without being controlled remotely from a head office located on the other side of the country.

We offer an unparalleled experience which is why we have so many repeat customers, we know how to get it right every time. Whether you be a buyer, seller, landlord or tenant, we've got you covered. Contact us here by submitting an enquiry form or call one of our dedicated branches, the individual contact numbers for each can be found here

How to boost your kerb appeal from estate agents in Southsea

We all know how important kerb appeal is when it comes to putting your house on the market and actually getting a sale. Not only does it boost your chances of selling, but it can greatly increase the value of your home too. By not taking care of the exterior and everything that surrounds your house, you could be losing a great deal of money from the final offer. 

You want to make the best first impression on your potential buyers - give them a reason to say "wow!" and be excited to look inside. It doesn't have to cost a fortune to upgrade your exterior and there are plenty of ways to boost your kerb appeal that can be done DIY-style. But if you did want to take it that bit further, you have all the trades to choose from that could give your house a new lease of life.

Here are some tips on how to boost your kerb appeal from estate agents in Southsea.

Fix broken gutters & fencing

This sort of job often gets put to the bottom of the list when you're living somewhere you've been for a while. They can be a pain to sort out but can make a great difference to any potential buys who are viewing your home.

Firstly, it can be a safety issue. Buyers with pets or children are going to want to ensure the property is secure and safe when they have people or pets running around outside. Any broken gates could be a deal-breaker for family units especially. Also, leaky guttering or cracked pipes running outside the house will make it look unkept. Water can drip down onto the grass or pavements below, causing water damage like cracking or rotting. To stop the  knock-on effect of a broken gutter, make sure they're cleaned and repaired if needs be.

Broken fencing can also be a privacy issue. If they know it's been broken in the past, it's clear that it could happen again. Whether it was simply due to wear and tear, or other circumstances, it can decrease the value of the property as well as affecting the privacy you once had. Any missing fence panels or cracks and holes open up the garden and other outside spaces to nosey neighbours and passers-by. This can be off-putting for potential buyers. A lick of paint and repair work or new fencing altogether are both great options to avoid decreasing your house's value from broken gutters and fences.

Freshen up your front door

Being estate agents in Southsea, we know how appealing it can be to live in a coastal town. For a lot of people, you've got beaches and sea views right on your doorstep. This can be a great selling point. But whether you live on the coast or in the city centre, have you taken into consideration what your actual doorstep looks like? 

First impressions can make or break your property sale. As they walk up to the front door, you want guests and viewers alike to feel welcomed. An easy way to do this is to give your front door a lick of paint. Weathering and general use can leave it looking sad and dull, so without breaking the bank you can invest in a welcoming colour of paint and brighten up the front of the house. Don't forget to clean the windows if there are any on there, and get rid of those pesky cobwebs and watermarks around the frame too!

If you're looking for a more dramatic result, you could invest in a brand new door. It's a way of modernising an older property and is going to make a striking impression when people turn up. Also, if you're tight on space out the front this could be a new time to involve some potted plants or new decor right at the front door. It creates a seamless transition from outside to inside and leads you into the pristine interior!

Keep your windows spick and span

This is a low-cost way of boosting the kerb appeal of any property. These days, most window frames we see are white which get dirty very easily. They can quickly become dull and make the whole house look dingier than it should. If you don't want to spend money on this, a simple cloth and warm, soapy water would suffice. Wiping the frames and window sills down will immediately seem brighter and more inviting. However, if the dirt or rust is more stubborn - you can always repaint and freshen them up even more.

The windows are leading people to look inside, so if they're not inviting your potential buyers might not even want to look inside at where you've spent so long making a home. Don't forget the glass itself though. Especially if you're used to sticky fingers and/or wet noses around the house - you don't want the windows looking smeared and dirty. Make them sparkle and you'll notice the difference right away looking from the inside out as well as your viewers will from the outside in!

Pristine pathways

Kerb appeal is all about making your house's exterior attractive for potential buyers. This doesn't just mean everything that's attached to the house. As estate agents in Southsea, we often see people who have revamped the brickwork and cleaned the gutters but have neglected the front garden or pathways leading up to the house. Having an unappealing entrance can take away all the hard work done on the property's exterior and interior.

To start with, a good weeding session and power wash will make all the difference. We're all guilty of neglecting the weeds and from time to time but you'll probably find your driveway is a whole different colour underneath! Also, have a think about replacing any cracked or missing paving as it will make the entrance far more accessible for people with pushchairs, wheelchairs or mobility issues. Not only will the repairs be beneficial for kerb appeal, but for safety too.

Give your garden a makeover

We understand that not everyone has garden spaces. But if you do - it's important to maintain it in order to aid the value of the property. 

A neglected garden can transform a tidy, modern home into an unkempt, uninviting building. If the outside of your house is well looked after, it will reassure people that the inside is just as lovely! Now if you want to hire a landscape gardener it will usually make the biggest impression. However, it's not necessary to boost kerb appeal if you're working with a budget. There are ways you can improve your garden little by little to make a big impact.

We're going to mention those pesky weeds again. By tackling them at the start of the season, you can get there before the roots grow too much and they become stubborn tenants. Also, trimming overgrown plants and shrubs will open up the space, make it look bigger and much tidier. If you do this regularly it will also keep the plants looking healthier and won't be such a big job each time! 

It's surprising how much difference a freshly cut lawn can make too. Keeping the length down makes it look flatter and healthier. Invest in some grass seed if you're noticing dead patches - it will finish off the garden nicely. You don't have to have a green thumb to maintain your garden well. Just make sure any plants you do have are trimmed and watered so they stay healthy and keep it as tidy as possible! 

Exterior transformations

Depending on how old your property is, it is going to determine how much work may need to be done to make the most impact here. There are lots of tricks to transform the exterior for all different house types, budgets and capabilities. Firstly, touching up any brickwork with some masonry paint will freshen it up and get rid of the weathering effects that are unavoidable. You don't have to stick to the house's original colour either. We'd suggest steering clear of any outlandish colours, but something new could help modernise the building. 

Although they aren't common, if you have external shutters on your windows, they make for great character and even if you don't use them they are nice decorative elements. So these can always have a fresh coat of paint too to match the new and improved exterior. 

If you're looking to spend more to really change up the property, you could consider a complete recladding of the outside. This will set you back a few thousand pounds so it's definitely an investment but will almost certainly see a big impact on the value of the house afterwards! This decision also means you can work the design around the interior if you wish and make the whole property flow. 

Sell your house with kerb appeal

It goes without saying that the interior of a property is where most people prioritise when buying or selling. This is where you'll spend most of your time and it's the parts you'll be looking at most often. However, if the house isn't comprehensive as a whole, you could lose your potential buyers as well as value. 

Whether you're on a DIY budget or looking to completely revamp, there are plenty of ways you can maintain and upgrade your home to appeal more to buyers. Having the exterior looking smart will encourage people to carry on inside and reassure buyers that you've looked after it. They'll know they have something well-loved and cared for.

Beals: Your independent estate agents in Southsea

For almost three decades we have been at the heart of the local community, delivering our special brand of property sales, rentals and financial services. From humble beginnings and just 26 people, we have grown into Hampshire's leading independent estate agent, with offices in 10 prime locations. We have a dedicated team of 150 property experts waiting to help you achieve your dreams. Our independence makes us unique because we can provide a personal service from our many high street branches without being controlled remotely from a head office located on the other side of the country.

We offer an unparalleled experience which is why we have so many repeat customers, we know how to get it right every time. Whether you be a buyer, seller, landlord or tenant, we've got you covered. Contact us here by submitting an enquiry form or call one of our dedicated branches, the individual contact numbers for each can be found here.

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