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Moving House ?

Help and Advice for anyone buying or selling homes in the UK property market.

It is becoming more and more difficult to turn on the television, and avoid programmes about buying, selling or renovating houses in the UK. Up and down the country people are cashing in on the equity that their property has, and moving on up the property ladder.

However, as with all things, for every positive there is a negative. People who are sat pretty and have no intention of buying a larger home, can watch as the on-paper value of their investment climbs ever higher (at least in most cases). This increase in value is of negligible real-world worth as it is on paper only.

But, for anyone planning on buying a new home, or worse, buying a home as a first time buyer, the financial outlay that this now requires is pricing many people way beyond their limits.

Single people are perhaps the hardest hit right now, especially those who live in so-called 'up and coming' areas. Only a few years ago it would still be within reasonable financial reach for a single person to get their first toehold in the housing market. The situation today is that this same single person, even if pitching in with a partner, will be very hard pushed to get sufficient funds in place to meet the mortgage repayments on even a fairly standard semi or terraced house.

For anyone planning to buy a house, there are a number of things you can do to ease the process. This website will discuss some of the ways that any potential buyer can put themselves in the best possible position to buy.

But what about the trials of trying to sell a house? Anyone who has been watching the property game will know that along with this massive interest in moving home, has come another issue to contend with. That of presentation.

Speak to homeowners who bought houses a few years ago, and many will say that the colour of the bathroom suite, the wallpaper in the living room, or the tiles in the kitchen, were not really important - what really mattered was the location, the price, and the structural integrity of the building. Matters of decor and design could be dealt with in coming years, as things wore out and became ready to be replaced with new. Nowadays, potential buyers are being a whole lot more picky. Many will have watched television programmes in amazement, as perfectly good houses are considered and rejected by wannabee home-owners, not because the place was falling down, but because they have minor quibbles with decor, or perhaps are not keen on the feng shui of the layout. The core considerations such as the structure of the building are of course still of paramount importance, but these new factors are now definitely in the mix and cannot be overlooked. Are people being to fickle when viewing homes to buy?? Maybe. Maybe not.

The message that sellers must take on board however is that presentation really does count. Even if you cannot afford to re-upholster and re-carpet your house prior to sale, or paint everything magnolia as these TV programmes would lead you to believe is necessary, it pays to see your house as a viewer will, not as you do! A blank, all-magnolia, canvas does appeal to many, plus a clear open space will make it easier for viewers to picture their lives within your walls. If magnolia isn't your thing though, fear not! There are many things that you can do with your existing layout and style to help people focus on the positives in your house, without getting distracted by what may be perceived as potential negatives. Such matters too will be discussed in these pages.

My partner and I purchased our first property, a fairly standard semi-detached house situated in a reasonable suburban area, back in 1998. This was our first tentative step into the exciting new world of home-ownership. We had a plan to stay there for approximately 10 years or so, then move perhaps once and only once, to a larger place in a more rural location. Needless to say our plans changed somewhat, and in 2003 we decided to make the jump from suburban to rural living, using the equity that had amassed in our simple semi house to give us a healthy deposit to place on a new (old) house out in the country. We went through the stages of house sale, including preparation, choosing an estate agent (or in our case going dual agency, something else that will be covered here), and showing interested parties around our house. As with all housemoves, an equal amount of time was spent researching exactly where we wanted to move to, long before actually visiting estate agents to see what houses were on the market. We ended up moving to our new abode late in 2003, having cleared the sale of our old house (and receiving full asking price), changing mortgage companies twice in the process. My partner also has first hand experience of the estate agents viewpoint, having worked in an estate agency until quite recently.

This hard-won knowledge and experience will be put to use in the articles on this new website, and we hope will help anyone else taking the plunge to stack the odds in their favour wherever possible. We strongly recommend that all issues of a legal or financial nature be thoroughly investigated and discussed with the correct bodies. We are not legal eagles ourselves, and as such all content on this site is based on our own experiences, and is advice only, no more.

For the very latest and fullest advice for legal matters we recommend you employ a reputable solicitor, and for financial issues an independent financial advisor, or bank, may be a good place to start.

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