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Are You Ready to Downsize? 5 Signs It’s Time to Make the Move
Are you wondering if it’s time to downsize?
The term downsizing simply means selling your home to buy a smaller one. But while the definition is easy to understand, the decision certainly isn’t easy to make. Choosing to sell your home is a big decision. And downsizing can feel like an even bigger one.
People sell their homes in exchange for a smaller one for many different reasons. But it’s usually because the space isn’t right for them anymore.
If you’re unsure whether you’re ready to downsize, here are five signs it might be time to make the move.
- It’s Hard to Maintain
The bigger the house, the harder it is to maintain – and that’s a fact. From general repair work to regular hoovering, there’s a lot that needs to be done to keep a house in check.
If you’re struggling to keep up with the maintenance of your home, because of changes in your mobility or just because your priorities are different, downsizing can make these things much more manageable.
- You Have Too Much Empty Space
Do you have more empty bedrooms than you know what to do with? Many families need a lot of space in the early days. But, as the kids get older and move out into places of their own, it can leave parents with lots of empty bedrooms.
Some people enjoy the extra storage space or use the bedrooms to create a home gym or office. But if you don’t have any use for your empty space, that may be because there’s too much of it.
- Health and Mobility Reasons
When daily life becomes a strain because of your home, it’s not a good sign. Many people prepare for older age by moving into a home that’s smaller with no stairs. Others choose to make adaptations to their homes to stay living in them for longer.
Just because your health and mobility have changed, it’s not an automatic sign that it’s time to downsize. But if you’re struggling to get by, even with adaptations, making the move could make life easier.
- Your Bills Are Unsustainable
Finances are a big reason why many people choose to downsize. When you retire, reduce your working hours or you just have one less person around to help pay the bills, your outgoings can easily start outweighing your incomings.
If this happens, downsizing could be the solution you need. By moving to a smaller property, you could create a sustainable living situation with more manageable bills.
- Your Home Makes You Emotional
Our homes should be places that make us feel happy and comfortable. But if you feel lonely, sad, or even scared when living in your house, it may not be the best place for you to live.
Moving home can feel like a fresh start for many reasons. While downsizing may not always be the solution, moving somewhere smaller or that’s in a different community could feel safer and more like home.
Are You Thinking About Downsizing?
Downsizing is a big decision that you shouldn’t feel pressured into making. The most important thing to do is to make sure it’s the right choice for you.
If you’re thinking about downsizing from your home, our friendly team at Warren Powell-Richards are happy to help talk through your options.
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How Desirable is a House With a South Facing Garden?
Does your home have a south facing garden?
Buyers are attracted to a south facing garden for many reasons. While the value they add to your home may be negligible in the grand scheme of things, having a south facing garden is a top selling point that can create interest.
If you have a south facing garden, here is our view at Warren Powell-Richards about how desirable a house with a south facing exterior is to buyers.
What is a South-Facing Garden?
The clue is in the name, but a south facing garden faces south! Normally, this means the back of your house faces towards the south pole. Many estate agents will market a home as south facing even if it points south-west or south-east, depending on the exact position of your home.
You can usually tell if your house is south facing if you have the sunlight in your back garden all day long or if a compass points south when you are in the garden. But, to know for sure, invite an estate agent round for a free valuation. They’ll be able to tell you whether it’s classed as south facing and, if it is, how much value it could add to your property.
Is a South Facing Garden More Desirable For Buyers?
A house with a south facing garden has many benefits and it’s certainly an attractive and desirable feature for many buyers in the area.
While a south facing garden doesn’t necessarily add value to your home, it’s a great selling point that can make your home more attractive and sell quicker, particularly since homes with a south facing garden provide benefits like:
More sunlight in the garden all day Perfect for sunbathing and kids playing outside
Opportunities for plants and vegetables With more warmth and sunlight all year round, you have more opportunities to grow vegetables and maintain exotic garden plants
Warmer garden and back-end of home Naturally, the garden is warmer with a south facing garden, and the back part of your home will stay warmer, too
Better for drying clothes on the washing line More sunlight means quicker air-drying times, which is perfect if your home doesn’t have space for a tumble dryer
Patios stay cleaner and require less jet washing Ideal for any buyers looking for a low maintenance home
Get an Expert Valuation
Are you selling your home in the area? Our friendly team here at Warren Powell-Richards are your local property experts and we’d love to hear from you.
If you want to know how much your house with a south facing garden is worth to buyers in the area, get in touch today to request a valuation.
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When is Probate Required?
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, Warren Powell-Richards are your local property experts and we’re here to help.
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3 Things To Know About Landlord Insurance.
Are you thinking about investing in landlord insurance? While it may not be a legal requirement, you’re leaving yourself open to a huge amount of risk without it.
Here are the most important things you should know about landlord insurance, including what it is and what type of insurance you should get.
What Is Landlord Insurance?
Landlord insurance provides you with protection against the risks associated with renting to tenants. Usually, landlord insurance includes protection against things like damages to the building or contents. But there are other optional policies you can take out, like cover for boiler breakages or missed rent payments.
What Type of Landlord Insurance Should You Get?
There are many different types of landlord insurance available. Each one will cover you for different circumstances. The main types of cover available include:
Building – Covers the repair of structural damage, plus fixtures and fittings, in the event of a fire, storm, flood or other accident.
Contents – Covers damage or theft of furnishings, including things like curtains, carpets, and white goods. This doesn’t include items the tenant owns, as they should have their own tenant’s insurance.
Liability – Covers the costs if you or your tenant is injured on your property.
Rent guarantee – Recovers any missed rent payments by the tenant and any legal fees should you take a tenant to court.
Home emergency – Protects in the event of an emergency, like a boiler, plumbing, security, or pest issue.
Key care – Covers the cost of providing new locks or keys to tenants.
If you’re not sure which type of cover you need, speak to your letting agent for advice or check with your lender.
3 Things To Know About Landlord Insurance
- It’s Different To Home Insurance
Landlord insurance is very different to regular home insurance. If you have home insurance on a property, but you’re renting the space to a tenant, your policy will automatically be void. If you’re not living in the property, basic home insurance won’t provide you with the cover you need as a landlord.
- Some Lenders Mandate It
It’s not a legal requirement to have landlord insurance. But most mortgage lenders will make it mandatory before entering into an agreement with you. If you don’t comply, you could be breaking the terms of your mortgage.
- It’s Tax-Deductible
Just like most landlord expenses, you can usually claim back on the costs of your landlord insurance. Make sure you keep records of payment and notify your accountant (if you have one) about the costs.
- Bulk Discounts Apply
If you rent more than one property, you could get a discount on your landlord insurance. Many providers will offer you a discount if you choose to arrange your insurance for all buildings on a bulk policy.
Rent With Confidence
At Warren Powell-Richards, we can help you rent with the confidence and security you need.
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Are Your Tenants Going On Holiday? Here Are 4 Ways to Protect Your Property
Getting a text from your tenant saying, ‘I’m going on holiday!’, can fill many landlords with a sense of dread.
Almost half of all UK burglaries happen when a property is empty. If your tenant is going on holiday, whatever time of year it is, and particularly on a long trip, here are four ways to protect your property while it’s empty.
- Check the Locks
Of course, your tenants will know they need to lock the front door before they go on holiday. But since a worrying number of break-ins happen via an unlocked door, it’s a good idea to remind your tenants before they leave or even check yourself that the doors are locked.
Since it’s also common for a burglar to break in via an unlocked window, make sure your tenants have the keys for everything, including all windows, side gates and sheds. Ask them to lock everything that needs locking before they go on holiday and to let you know if a lock isn’t in a good condition.
- Review Your Insurance
Having landlord insurance is a great way to protect yourself against many different rent-related issues, including break-ins. But some insurers won’t cover you if the property is empty for a long period (which is usually considered more than 14 days). Plus, some companies require you to notify them whenever your tenants go on holiday.
Make sure you check your policy before your tenants go on their trip and consider upgrading if you’re not insured for the duration they’re away.
- Increase Security
A property with good security is well known for being more attractive to tenants. If you’re worried about break-ins, consider ramping up your security measures.
Outdoor security lights, visual burglar alarms and smart home cameras are all great deterrents that can help protect your property while your tenant is on holiday. They can sometimes even decrease your insurance premiums, which is a bonus!
- Provide a Checklist
One of the best things you can do to help your tenants prepare for their trip is to provide them with a pre-holiday checklist. Include everything you need them to do before they leave, like locking all windows and notifying you of any faulty locks.
More often than not, your tenants will find a checklist of must-do’s helpful. Plus, it can give you the peace of mind that everything’s been done.
Are You a Landlord That Needs More Renting Advice?
Protecting yourself as a landlord is always important, especially when your tenants go on holiday and the property is left empty.