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In the blink of an eye, the trees are dappled in burnished reds and golds. That first waft of coal fire smoke garnishes the dusky sky. Dust off your autumn boots and dig out your gloves…September is here.

Summer brought with it the UK’s busiest month of house sales in a decade. Everyone agrees, the housing market is booming.

So, alongside crisp misty mornings and crackling log fires, what delights does autumn hold for sellers?

Over the last few weeks, we’ve taken calls from family buyers looking for larger homes. These guys like to buy in autumn, spring and early summer. If these times ring a bell (the school bell) that’s because they are term times!

We find that buyers with children tend not to house hunt during the school holidays. After all, when the sun is shining, ice creams at the seaside and outdoor escapades with the family beckon, leaving little time for viewing homes.

It’s also worth remembering how stressful viewing a home can be, with children who just want to be outside.

Instead, parents tend to wait until the children return to school, so they can view homes in peace. But there is more to it than convenience alone; psychology of space can come into play too.

As the days stretch out and it’s light until late in the evening, kids often spend much more time outdoors. Whilst their children are busy playing in the garden until the last glimmers of sunset fade, it’s easy for parents to feel their home is bigger than it is.

As a result, ‘upsizers’ tend not to feel as squeezed for space in the warmer months. After all, with the children outdoors, the house seems so much bigger. With more room to stretch out, a house move may not feel as urgent.

But as the nights begin to draw in, the house begins to feel crowded, meaning parents once again are looking for a change and a larger home in which to grow.

House hunters searching in September and October tend to be keener to make an early decision. After all, everybody wants to settle in ready to start enjoying their new home in time for Christmas. In fact, ‘a quiet and settled Christmas’ can be a real driving factor. Buyers are more motivated than ever to get the deal done.

 With that in mind, let’s explore the top seven reasons why selling in September might be the best option for you:

Did you know that a third of the properties in the UK are rentals?

And a large proportion of those are managed by individuals, not agencies?

If you’ve inherited a house, or you’ve moved out of a flat but still own it, it’s more profitable to manage that property rental yourself, right?

Well, yes… and no…

Saving money by managing her property herself is exactly what Christine thought she’d do. Here’s her story:

 

 

                                                                                                                         

Every Maidstone Homeowner & Landlord to Receive up to £5,000 Grant for Roof Insulation & Double Glazing from September

What you need to know

 

The Chancellor announced on Wednesday 8th July in his mini Budget some interesting news for Maidstone homeowners and Maidstone landlords. Rishi Sunak is going to give ‘The Green Homes Grant’ of up to £5,000 to cover two-thirds of the costs of environmentally friendly upgrades to your Maidstone property, with the homeowner covering the other third. There are also enhanced grants of £10,000 for the poorest households where 100% of the cost will be met by the Government.

 

This is nothing new mind you. The coalition Government in 2013 announced The Green Deal. That deal was in theory to have been a help for the builders, energy saving and home improvement industry, as the Government hoped many would take up environmentally friendly improvements to save energy (and ultimately greenhouse gases). Yet by the time it was brought to an end two years later only 14,000 households had applied, costing the taxpayer £238m (or £17,000 per household). That doesn’t sound good value to me – yet who am I to comment?

 

Anyway let’s not be negative, as improving our homes does makes sense – after all, research shows Brits have the draughtiest homes in Europe. A recent survey suggests UK homes “leak” heat up to three times more quickly than more energy-efficient homes on the continent.

 

Data from 80,000 smart thermostats across the EU were reviewed to measure how quickly a home at 20°C inside cooled once the heating was turned off (when the outside temperature was 0°C). Within 5 hours, the average British home dropped by 3°C, the French came in second at 2.5°C yet the Germans came in at just 1°C, meaning British homes clearly need more heating (i.e. greenhouse gases) to keep them warmer.

 

The chancellor has allotted £2bn to the scheme, which pays for two thirds of the cost of the upgrade and stated that more than 650,000 homes would be upgraded.  This could save those households a total of £195m a year in heating bills (or the equivalent of £300 a year per household), cutting greenhouse gases and saving jobs in the construction industry. The grants can be applied for from September and is open to Maidstone homeowners and private sector Maidstone landlords. Applications must be made before March 2021 and the Treasury have stated about half of the fund would go to households with the lowest incomes (how low is still to be announced), with an enhanced grant of up to £10,000, saving them up to £600 per annum each on their heating bills.

 


 

Maidstone Property Market – the Last 10 Years

 

One of my Maidstone landlords contacted me last week from Langley, after he had spoken to a landlord friend of his from Coxheath. He told me they were deliberating the Maidstone property market and neither of them could make their mind up if it was time to either sell or buy property following Covid-19. His friend said he would wait to see what would happen to property prices following Covid-19, yet my landlord wanted to pick my brain in order to help him decide what to do.

 

I said the press are aware bad news sells newspapers and the doom mongers are plying their trade on uncertainty in the world economic situation. Roll the clock back to the Credit Crunch of 2008/9, and there were quite a few landlords in Maidstone who had overexposed themselves with high percentage loan to value buy to let mortgages, backing the hope they would make their money on the capital growth, yet fell foul of a drop in rents and thus got bankrupted (but who could blame them when the property market was rising at 15% to 20% a year in the early 2000’s and banks like Northern Rock were giving mortgages out to anyone with a pulse and note from their Mum).

 

Thankfully the Bank of England changed the rules on all mortgages in 2014 banning self-certification mortgages, tightening the rules around interest-only mortgages and the requirement around affordability to be checked, plus a tough stress test if interest rates rose. It’s obvious we are going to enter into a recession because of Covid-19, yet this time the Maidstone property market is better placed to weather the storm. 

 

 

Maidstone Home Buyers & Landlords Set to Save £6,638,430 in Stamp Duty Over Next

Nine Months

                                                                                                                                   

The British are infatuated with owning their own property and politicians know that. Margaret Thatcher used it as a vote winner in 1979 when she allowed council house tenants to buy their own home. Coming to the present day, Boris Johnson’s Conservative government have anxieties that the Brits have not been buying nearly enough homes lately and, as with all countries in the world, the British property market was put ‘on ice’ for several months to help contain the Coronavirus, exacerbating the problem.

 

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced on Wednesday plans to boost the property market by momentarily scrapping Stamp Duty Tax (a tax paid by homebuyers) when they buy a property that costs less than £500,000.

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