DID YOU KNOW.... The average first-time buyer is 30 years of age and has a gross household income of £42,000?
Data provided by UK Finance also shows that the average homemover is aged 39 and has a gross household income of £57,000!
According to the data, during the month of August 2018, there were 35,500 new first-time buyer mortgages completed which is a 2% rise against the same month last year!
38,000 new homemover mortgages were completed in the same month, some 2.3% fewer than those a year earlier showing that it really is the first time buyers driving the market, but if homemovers’ are going down where have you all gone to?
Jackie Bennett, Director of Mortgages at UK Finance, said: “Overall house purchase completions remain stable, driven largely by the number of first-time buyers which reached its highest monthly level since June 2017.Buy to Let remortgaging saw relatively strong growth in August, due in part to the number of two year fixed deals coming to an end. This suggests that while new purchases in the buy-to-let market continue to be impacted by recent tax and regulatory changes, many existing landlords remain committed to the market.
However, the homeowner remortgaging market has softened slightly, reflecting the many borrowers who had already locked into attractive deals in the months preceding the Bank of England’s base rate rise.”
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says: "First-time buyers really are proving to be the lifeblood of the housing market, responsible for keeping the number of overall house purchase completions at a stable level. Lenders continue to offer competitively-priced high loan-to-value products to attract them and with property prices softening in some areas, there are good opportunities for those trying to get on the ladder for the first time.
Buy-to-let remortgaging remains strong as a core of experienced landlords remain committed to the sector, despite recent tax and regulatory changes. Lenders remain keen to lend and product innovation continues. The Chancellor should leave the sector well alone in the Budget and give it time to recover from the onslaught it has been on the receiving end of in recent times."
Overall, we can see that it is first-time buyers that are boosting the whole sector – the stamp duty freeze and help to buy obviously having an impact.
We await with interest to see what the Government have planned when help to buy comes to an end.
Hopefully a review of Stamp Duty altogether… and an incentive for First Time Buyers to purchase previously owned properties perhaps?
Let us know your thoughts.
Team Hazelwoods x
Five things that can ruin a property transaction
Buying or selling a house is one of the most stressful things you will do in life, with many house hunters arguing that it’s worse than planning a wedding, finding a new job or even being made redundant.
The fatal floor in the way we sell houses throughout England is obvious… Once someone decides to buy a property, there’s nothing stopping them from pulling out further down the line. Scary stuff!
If this happens, everyone in the chain is affected, and the sale could fall through. Although there is nothing to stop this happening, it is worth asking your estate agent for their views on the mindset of the seller, to help you understand the likelihood of them seeing the purchase through but sometimes even with the best will in the world if a buyer pulls out at the bottom of the chain there is nothing that can be done.
How to avoid this:
In reality no matter how much you check, check and check again on the chain, life happens and things change. Your buyer may lose their job or just simply change their mind. However, to try and avoid anything that is in your control, be an accommodating seller. If your buyer wants to come over again to measure up, bring over family and friends or simply just pop over and meet you try and make sure you can do this and keep there excitement going. As a buyer, don’t be too pushy and remember that this could be a big move for them, a divorce, a death or the sale of a much loved family home. Moving is not easy!
Solicitors are integral to any property transaction, and it’s important you instruct someone you can trust – but if any of the solicitors in the chain are slow, the whole sale can be drawn-out.
How to avoid this:
Listen to your estate agent, they will be recommending a solicitor for a reason. Someone who works well with them, if they are informed then you will feel more informed too.
Ensure you’re being as efficient as possible yourself and aren’t sitting on documents for too long. Although you can’t control how quickly or slowly things are moving up and down the chain, you should make sure things are continuously moving at your end.
This is when a seller finds a buyer willing to pay more money after your offer has been accepted. It can happen at any time before the contracts have been exchanged and leave buyers without a home to purchase. Although this is mostly price-driven, it can sometimes be triggered by other frustrations caused by delays or issues.
How to avoid this:
To try and avoid being gazumped, ensure you have a mortgage in principle agreed before you make your offer, a solicitor ready to go, and all the relevant documentation in place so that you are demonstrating your commitment to the transaction.
Make sure you are also clear with the estate agent dealing with the transaction that all viewings have been stopped and that the property has been taken off the market!
4.Delays in the chain
Unless you’re a first-time buyer, it’s unlikely your property is chain-free, and with so many parties involved, it’s important you’re doing what you can to keep the transaction moving.
How to avoid delays:
Simple things like missing a call from your solicitor, or not sending back paperwork in a timely manner can hold up the chain and frustrate your buyer and seller. Accept that normal life may need to take a back seat until you have exchanged contracts, and make sure you’re fully contactable – even if you’re on holiday!
Emotions run high when you’re buying or selling a home, and those involved in transactions often find themselves squabbling over small issues. It is important to instruct a good survey and take the findings of that seriously; for example, if there’s a damp problem in the roof, it’ll cost you money to fix in the future, so you may want to negotiate money off your offer. However, there are some issues which don’t require such negotiations such as white goods, fixtures and fittings. In the grand scheme of things, you may not want them to leave their washing machine behind, but you can take it to the dump yourself, and engaging in a dispute could cost you the property.
How to avoid unnecessary tension and disputes:
No matter how tempting it is, do NOT swap telephone numbers! What can start off a nice rosy relationship can quickly turn sour when the pressure naturally increases throughout the transaction.
How can I make my offer stand out?
Buying a property is exciting but many find that putting an offer in is truly nerve racking.
- Where should I pitch my first offer?
- Other people have offered too, so how can I make my offer stand out from the crowd?
- How can I convey my commitment to a vendor when I know my offer is low?
1. Get your finances in order
There is nothing worse than a buyer who is half way round your house before admitting that they haven’t actually got a mortgage agreed in principle. Many banks have a waiting list for appointments taking around 10 days and believe it or not a vendor will not wait for you!
DO NOT MAKE AN OFFER AND WORRY ABOUT FINANCES LATER!
Most agents won’t even take a property off the market if this was the case.
Listen to the estate agents you are booking viewings with, it’s not always a big sales push to get you into their office, most of the time they are genuinely just trying to help. At Hazelwoods, we recommend two independent advisors so you have the freedom and flexibility to talk to them at your own convenience and without the pressure of being sat in the agents office, plus they may even find you a better rate than your bank saving you money long term.
What have you got to loose?
2. Make sure you are proceedable
Again, it can be frustrating when a vendor or agent will not let you view a property until you are sold but this is for your own good. The vendors will have spent time cleaning and tidying their house and have probably nipped out to give you space to look around their home. (The least you can do is be in a position to make an offer that they can act on)
Put the shoe on the other foot, someone views your property and needs to sell versus someone else who is ready to go? Who would you listen to?Don’t forget you can sometimes be cheekier with an offer if you are a first-time buyer or renting as you have no chain.
3. Be flexible
We all have very busy lives these days but only being able to view properties after 8:30pm in the evening is VERY unrealistic!
Not only will you be unlikely to find an agent or vendor to accommodate this but you will also struggle to find a house as most properties will sell to other more flexible buyers who have taken time out of their busy schedule to find their next home.
4. Be open
If you like a house then we beg you not to wonder around the property silently. The agent will be confused and pass this onto the vendor and if it is the vendor showing you around they may find this rude. Imagine that the next people to view the property take 5 minutes at the end of the viewing to explain what they like and thank the agent/vendor for their time. Trust us this will go down so much better.
P.S. A handshake goes a long way too!
5. Try and get the seller to like you
Buying a property isn’t about who the vendors like the most but when there are multiple offers on the table unfortunately this issue does raise it’s head.
Most people will not want to sell their property to the silent couple, the family who’s children ran around screaming and jumping on the furniture or even the people who brought their dog along to walk around the house too. (We have seen it all)
On the same note we also don’t recommend arriving with flowers and a home baked cake…
Be honest with your vendors, say hello and treat the house with respect. If you think there are multiple offers why not try writing a cover letter to go with your offer explaining who you are, why you love their property and how you can see your life there.
6. Show commitment
This is probably the biggest one after an offer has been accepted. Book a final viewing so you can measure up, instruct your solicitors and get those searches ordered quickly.
Most of all – HAVE FUN!
In recent surveys it was found that the majority of us move home every 7 years so enjoy it while you can!
- Hazelwoods x
Okay, property owners of Sutton Coldfield you’re ready to sell and make a tidy profit to cash in and move up the property ladder or to bulk up your finances. BUT, and its a big but… if you own a property there is a small chance it could be “unmortgageable”.So, how can you tell and what can you do about it?
The Six Red Flags…!!!
1. No Kitchen or Bathroom....
There are certain ‘creature comforts’ that we need to make a house a ‘home’. Firstly, we need somewhere to eat and make food, secondly for hygienic reasons we need to clean ourselves too. Without this it’s simple, the property will not qualify with the mortgage lenders as habitable so is
REMEMBER, this is also the case if the Kitchens/Bathrooms are in such a state of disrepair that although they are there they cannot be used.
2. Two Kitchens in one house
On the other end of the spectrum, having more than one kitchen in the property might also cause it to fall into the “unmortgageable” spectrum. No joke!
The logic behind this is very simple - if you have an extra kitchen in the property, the thought is that you could easily sub-let it out to another tenant. That’s not looked on kindly by mortgage providers.
This isn’t to say that the property is unmortgageble as many properties can be converted but if they are converted they cannot then be sold as one entirety and must be split lawfully.
3. Short Leases
Not just short leases but leases in general are complicated when it comes to mortgages but the general rule is anything under 60 years isn’t worth buying as most mortgage lenders won’t even consider it.
If you do wish to sit down on a Friday night and google this topic, you will find a few brokers claiming that mortgages can still be obtained but the LTV is usually at such a crazy scale it is just not worth it!
4. Houses made of strange materials
Now, when we look at this issue we don’t mean a gingerbread house but you would be amazed what houses can be built of? Have you heard of the guy who “grew his own house” and built it out of cannabis?
What about building your house from hay bales?
Mortgage lenders look for houses that are stable and traditional; therefore, if your piece of property has some type of unusual or extreme construction, you’re going to have a hard time finding a mortgage lender for a buyer.
Most of the time this type of unusual construction will be in the frames of the property - a concrete prefabrication house, for example, or a metal frame or even a thatched roof.
If you have any of these things in the property, it’s not likely to completely sabotage the process, but it’ll definitely slow it down.
5. Plants are not always pretty!
If you have any invasive plants on the property, such as Japanese knotweed or Himalayan basalm, these can also impact on the mortgage lending process.But, why?
Japanese knotweed can grow up to 10cm per day, and because of this rapid growth, it has been known to cause damage to building structures and substructures by targeting weak points, such as cracks in masonry, and attempting to grow through them which can ultimately put the entire structure of the building at risk.
6. Weak Infrastructure
If there’s a bit of the property that’s fallen into severe disrepair - a crumbling staircase, rot or water damage anywhere, a broken elevator, a flooded-out basement, a wind- or storm-damaged roof - there’s almost no chance of securing a mortgage for the property.
We have compiled a luxurious little list of what we think can help give your home that ‘million dollar’ look and feel!
- ACCESSORIZE – Mirrors create a sense of a bigger space and open out any room. Or why not add some fancy artwork around your home? Candles and side lamps create an immediate sense of warmth and luxury.
- TEXTURES AND MATERIALS – Adding materials and layers to your room can really make a difference. Rugs and throws make rooms appear more cozy and plush. Use fabrics such as faux fur, leather, silk or velvet and experiment with different materials like wood, metals and marble effect.
- MATCH WITH METALLICS – A hint of shimmer and sparkle can go a long way and metallic is so in right now! Whether it’s gold, chrome, brass, silver or copper, you can tie a room together and add luxury with expensive looking metal accessories or furniture. Get yourself some matching but varying in size metal picture frames.
- WE LOVE CUSHIONS – Cushions add layer, luxury and a homely feel. Larger cushions look more expensive, fluff them up and over stuff makes them look more expensive.
- HANG IT HIGH - Many luxurious homes have high ceilings. Hanging your light fittings and curtains higher towards the ceiling creates a sense of space and luxury.
- LIGHTEN UP – Replace your old dusty light shades and side lamps with modern chandeliers or more eye-catching statement pieces that will instantly modernise your rooms.
- FLOWERS AND PLANTS – Fresh flowers and house plants (or good quality fakes) work in every room and will instantly give the space a fresh and looked after feel.
- MINIMIZE THE CLUTTER – We would all love a show home, although the reality is we all have a lot of clutter. Try to minimize untidiness, unnecessary junk or ‘dust collectors’ as my Mom calls them.
A few small changes and modern twists can certainly create luscious luxury in your home without breaking the bank!
Love Team Hazelwoods x
As I’m sure you will all be aware, yesterday saw the Chancellor Phillip Hammond announce the 2017 Budget. This will impact us all in one way or another… Well, let us tell you a little bit more about the news that will affect the housing market and you!
Stamp duty is SCRAPPED for first-time buyers
Stamp duty has been abolished immediately for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000. – YES! This means an average saving of £1,660 for first time buyers – What great news for all you first time buyers in Sutton Coldfield and our local area!
For properties costing up to £500,000, no stamp duty will be paid on the first £300,000. As a result, this change means 95% of first-time buyers who pay stamp duty will benefit and 80% of all first-time buyers will not pay stamp duty at all. (Woohooo!)
This is a MASSIVE saving! Just imagine what you could spend that precious money on now! – A sofa, a shed, a dishwasher or a brand new bed!!!
Carrying on with the facts…
Cracking down on empty properties
The government will also bring in new laws to give local authorities the power to charge a 100% council tax premium on empty properties, which is a huge increase from the current 50% tax cap. The Chancellor recognises there are so many empty properties and so many people desperate for a place to live.
Thousands of new homes are on the way
The Government has said that "the only sustainable way of making housing more affordable in the long term is to build more homes in the right places".
It has set a target to build 300,000 homes a year on average by 2025, which will be the biggest annual increase in housing supply since 1970. The Chancellor outlined building programmes that focus on urban areas where people want to live and where the most jobs are created.
Wow! Some big changes to digest there. So, it seems that piggy bank doesn’t need to be as full as we first thought!
So why not start taking advantage of this huge stamp duty saving today – Take a look at our current properties for sale in Sutton Coldfield, all waiting for you to view at www.hazelwoodsproperty.co.uk.
Then give your trusted, local estate agents Hazelwoods a call on 0121 294 6735 to book a viewing and take the first step to getting your foot on the housing ladder (STAMP DUTY FREE!).
HAPPY HOUSE HUNTING AND STAMP DUTY SAVING!
Sources: BBC news, HouseBeautiful.co.uk, Gov.uk
Bored? Here’s our fun-packed list of ideas for the school summer holidays to get the whole family inspired by the great outdoors …
Bored? Here’s our fun-packed list of ideas for the school summer holidays to get the whole family inspired by the great outdoors …
The summer holidays are in full swing and it’s about this time in the 6-week break when children are starting to get itchy feet. To help banish the boredom we have put together a fun-packed list of creative ideas to keep you all entertained this summer.
1. Set up a creative corner – This is perfect for children who love to get creative. They will love having their own space where they can paint, colour, sketch, sew and truly let their imaginations run wild. Why not add a small desk or table and some colourful picture frames on the wall for them to display their masterpieces?
2. Get Beach Ready – Get all the family ready for when the sunshine comes out to play and ask the children to pack together a large canvas bag full of their favourite toys, beach mats, bucket and spade ready for an impromptu trip to the seaside (Or keep it local with a trip to Sutton Park, Kingsbury Water Park or Heart Country Park and Beach!)
3. Comfy Chill Out Space – Who doesn’t love to breathe in the fresh air during the summer months. Create your own chill out space with comfy floor cushions, throws and seats ready for you and the children to fully relax and make the most of lazy summer days.
4. Decorate your summer house – Already have a summer house or garden room? For a little fun try freshening up this space with a lick of paint and get the children to help out too. A fantastic opportunity to let the children get creative with colours, stickers, signs and decoration to enjoy their summer house again!
5. Gardening! – Shovels and spades at the ready, it’s time to start digging! Gardening doesn’t have to be a chore, instead get your children involved with digging and planting fresh flowers. You could even give them their own vegetable patch for them to grow their own produce! They will love snipping off their home-grown thyme to add to a summer roast chicken salad! (Yum)
6. Build your own den! – We can all relate to the excitement of building your own secret den and spending hours having fun with friends. Using old material, sheets, cushions and throws why not encourage the children to get outdoors and make their own hideout.
7. Outdoor garden games – A great way to get the children off the sofa and outside is by introducing some traditional garden games. Sets can be picked up for next to nothing and provide hours of entertainment for younger ones. Rounders, football or a good old-fashioned game of crochet can bring lots of fun and laughter to your garden!
8. Encourage Adventure – Go and explore the outdoors this summer! The National Trust have a list and app with ‘50 things to do before your 11 ¾’ … There’s so much to do, see and learn and you can tick off your checklist using the app to keep track of your adventures (find the list at: nationaltrust.org.uk/50-things-to-do).
9. Make the Most of your Local Canal – You don’t necessarily have to spend lots of money on activities this summer. Take a walk by the water and admire the wonderful wildlife at your local canal side or woods! (You can find a list of local guides at: canalrivertrust.org.uk)
10. Movie Nights – Popcorn at the ready! Why not create your own outdoor cinema in your back garden? Ideal Home have put together a step by step guide on how to create the perfect movie night at home. (You can find an outdoor cinema guide here: http://www.idealhome.co.uk/garden/garden-ideas/how-to-make-an-outdoor-cinema-169950)
Thinking of giving one of our ideas a go? We would love to see what fun you get up to over the summer so send us some of your snaps to firstname.lastname@example.org !
Enjoy and have a fantastic summer!
To Fold or not to Fold? That is the Question...
Whether starting from scratch or renovating your home, there are many choices of doors to consider. The desire to ‘bring the outside in’ is certainly appealing to those surrounded by nature and landscape views as well as those who want to inject some natural light into small spaces to create that light and airy feel. Hazelwoods has put together some key information for you to consider when choosing doors for your home.
Known as folding sliding doors, made up of a set of glass panels. These doors have become increasingly popular over recent years and provide an impressive finish overall. A key advantage of these doors is the whole wall of glass that opens an entire wall and their ability to open left or right, inside or outside and to fold around corners providing unrestricted access. Bi-fold doors more commonly have a step however they can now be made to lie flush within the floor providing level threshold.
Average prices for Bi-fold doors start from around £1,000 without fitting.
Still a popular choice in contemporary homes these doors are usually made up of two or more large glass panels and open and close on a track line, sliding behind each other. A huge benefit of these doors is their narrow and practically invisible frames that allow for a generous amount of natural light to seep into the room. If comparing to bi-fold doors, there are no sections to fold back and so these sliding doors can save on space and appear as visibly cleaner. They can now also be designed to slide away into wall cavities when opening, providing you with ‘pocket doors’!
Average prices for sliding doors start from around £700 without fitting.
French doors, known as the more traditional doors now come in a variety of designs and materials so can sit perfectly within contemporary homes. They consist of two outward or inward opening doors and are fitted with panels of glass either side to provide additional glazed areas. Due to their slightly smaller dimensions they can bring less light into a room compared to your bi-fold or sliding doors although adding in sidelights or simply positioning them within a run of glazing will combat this issue. A huge benefit of French doors is the simplicity of opening and closing them providing you with quick access to the garden when you might not necessarily want to open a whole run of glazing.
Average prices for French doors start from around £590 without fitting.
Amongst estate agents and specifically in Sutton Coldfield there is much controversy around an ’Open House’. I have even heard some estate agents in Sutton say that they simply do not work..
I beg to differ…
At Hazelwoods we have had huge success hosting many ‘Open House’ events with houses selling for the asking price if not more. On average our vendors can expect to achieve 104% of their asking price!!
What is an ‘Open House’?
It is a form of mass marketing to create as much interest in your property as we can. The point is simple, the more buyers we can get through the door the more likely you are to get an offer.
As humans it is in our natural instinct to always want what we can’t have… the grass is always greener on the other side theory. Ideally you want 2-3 people walking around your house all at the same time, they can hear and see each other… this house must be great, why would everyone be hear otherwise.
The advantages of an ‘Open House’
• It is proven that you are more likely to get an offer from an ‘Open House’
• You are more likely to get a higher offer as people are taking the viewing seriously, the competition is obvious
• Visitors feel less pressure so will stay longer and look property as they are not alone
• Viewers will just turn up and give a property a chance that they may have originally discounted online
How to host a successful ‘Open House’
• Make sure that you agent is on board with the idea – The success of your ‘Open House’ hangs on the attitude of your agent, if they are positive you are half way there!
• Make sure that your agent will host your ‘Open House’ they are the experts!
• Pick a convenient time – At Hazelwoods we always go for a weekend, usually a Saturday
• Publicise the event – Think of it as a marketing campaign, make sure your agent does more than just stick it on Rightmove!
• Shoe Covers – We bring these with us at Hazelwoods. There is nothing worse than dirty shoes on cream carpets and they are so easy to slip on and off.
• Hide precious items and personal effects
• No refreshments – We always have a bowl of sweets to hand but drinks are no supplied. You do not want people lingering for the food and drink and what if they spill some… no, no, no! Keep it simple!
If you would like to know more about how to host a successful ‘Open House’ call me on 0121 294 6735 or email me; email@example.com
Harriet Butler – Director.
We are all waiting for the hot weather that summer brings but what are the costs of water damage to your property?
This week’s blog comes from latest research from Direct Lines Home Insurance which indicates that in the last 5 years over four million people across the UK have experienced some form of water damage to their property due to water escaping from their neighbour’s proper-ty.
So…What is the impact of water damage on your property?
As obvious as it may sound, water damage can result in a very costly bill so acting fast to pre-vent further damage is always recommended. What may appear as a small amount of water escaping can soon become a bigger problem, seeping through floorboards, behind tiles and into furnishings, causing costly damage.
Direct Line found that an “estimated 800,000” people have had the trouble of having to deal with water escaping from a neighbouring property, resulting in a bill of around “£707 million per year”!
What’s even more frustrating about a water leak is that usually at the point at which it is noticed, it can be too late as it has already started causing considerable damage in your home. The research highlighted the most common areas of damage to ones property were; “damage to plaster (29%) paint damage (26%) damp in walls (22%) damp in callings (21%) damp on floorboards (16%) and damp to soft furnishings (16%)”.
What to do in a water escaping emergency?
Identifying the source of the problem as quickly as possible Is essential in preventing water spreading any further so we would recommend by switching of the water supply to your property.
I think the water is coming from my neighbour’s property but they are not in, what do I do?
This is a problem that researchers at Direct Line discovered. They explain how “One in 16 ” called out the police to deal with the problem due to lack of access to their neighbours proper-ty. Others reported attempting to deal with the problem themselves by turning off the water supply to their neighbour’s property or asking the water board to turn off the supply. However direct line recommends that if you believe the escaping water to be coming from your neighbouring property you should “call the police as they can affect entry under the auspices of the ‘Police and Criminal Evidence Act’ on the grounds of ‘preventing serious damage to the property’”.
There are some ‘quick fixes’ which can help, these include putting a bucket underneath the leak of which 27% of people in the research reported doing, and patching up the leak them-selves (21%). However the main concern with both of these quick fixes, is exactly that - they are short term fixes and cannot provide a long term, safe solution. Calling out a plumber as soon as possible may be more effective as they can go straight to the source of the problem and resolve the problem safely.
Finally, given the high cost of water damage it is important to ensure you have sufficient insurance and to double check that your buildings and contents insurance covers in cases of emergencies.
• We also recommend to:
• Take time to understand what is and isn’t covered in your policy
• Take time to read the small print
• If your not 100% happy, review your cooling off period and consider alternative insurances that cover you adequately!
Do I need to spend money on my house before selling it?
Within estate agency this is one of the more frequently asked questions and whilst we always offer honest answers, we also give realistic advice to ensure vendors achieve the best possible price outcome for their property.
The answer to this question however comes down to two things;
1. Your plans of improvements
2. The current condition of your home before selling
FIRSTLY… if your plans to spend money on your property mean a brand new kitchen or construction for an additional bedroom etc. then you may want to hold off on these plans. Home improvements such as these would be costly and likely to turn into lengthy projects using much of your time and money. Its well known that a new owner will often look forward to putting their own stamp on the property when moving in and during viewings will already be thinking of improvements to best suit their needs! This means they may already have a new kitchen or bathroom development in mind. Keep your hard-earned money for your new home!
BUT… if it has been a few years since you last gave your home a makeover then it may be an effective use of your time to get the paint brushes out and buy a good quality tin of paint. We would recommend that you head for your kitchen, living areas, hallways and bedrooms. Spending time on such tasks will go far in giving tired walls a much needed freshening up and will ensure your home looks clean and well looked after – You only get one chance at a first impression.
DON’T FORGET… different people have different tastes, particularly when it comes to home décor. if you are planning on making any improvements before selling your property you may want to use a neutral colour scheme. Generally, neutral colours allow for natural light and can be seen as a blank canvas for a new buyer to put their own stamp on the property.
A FINAL TIP… from us at Hazelwoods is to try and think back to when you first viewed your property, what aspects did you love about it! This may be of a similar appeal to potential buyers and will allow them to imagine themselves moving in!
If you need more advice on this topic please feel free to ask us, we would be happy to help you in selling your property!
What To Do This Bank Holiday Weekend In Sutton Coldfield?
There are so many reasons to look forward to Easter - the sunshine over the past few weeks has arrived just in time for the first Bank Holiday of the year. Here at Hazelwoods we have thought of some great ideas that will help If you are left wondering how to best spend the Bank Holiday weekend. Whether it’ going for a relaxing stroll around Sutton Park or trying out a new restaurant or activity, we’ve got some exciting options for you.
With a quirky yet relaxing feel Quinto Lounge is a great place to catch up with friends or spend time with family. Quinto Lounge is definitely one of our favourites with it’s fantastic menu offering an exclusive gluten free range as well as all day brunches, a selection of tapas dishes and a variety of indulgent comfort food for all to enjoy. Quinto’s also boasts a family friendly environment with colouring pads and games for children to enjoy.
Open: 8am – 11pm Sunday to Thursday
Address: 21-, 23 Birmingham Rd, Sutton Coldfield B72 1QA
Phone: 0121 354 6486
Moor Hall Hotel
Set in beautiful parkland in Sutton Coldfield, Moor Hall Hotel and Spa offers some of the finest food and ultimate relaxation this spring. Why not join Moor Hall this Easter with your family to enjoy a delicious Sunday lunch with coffee in either of their restaurants?
The Oak Room Restaurant – A four course lunch with coffee including an Easter treat for guests is £25 per person and £16.50 for children (12 and under).
The Country Kitchen Carvery – Offers a traditional 3 course Sunday lunch plus coffee from 12pm midday to 9:30pm for £15.95 per person, and £9.50 for children (12 and under) Children also receive a Cadbury Cream Egg! Yum.
Address: Moor Hall Dr, Sutton Coldfield B75 6LN
Phone: 0121 308 3751
Chase Farm Shop
If you have visitors or family staying with you this weekend why not show off with some local produce, freshly baked bread always goes down a treat!
Chase Farm Shop offers a full English breakfast with an award winning butchers in the shop next door, offering pies, sausages, bacon and homemade preserves!
The Café is also hosting an Easter Egg Competition. To try and win yourselves a family Easter egg all you have to do is like and share the egg competition post on ‘Chase Farm Shop and Café’ Facebook page. The winner to be announced 24th April 2017. Good Luck!
Opening times: Monday – Sunday 8:30am – 5:30 pm / Easter Sunday and Monday 9am – 4pm
Address: Weeford Road, Roughley, Sutton Coldfield B75 5RL
Phone: 0121 308 1946
The Sutton Tap - UKsalsafeet
Fancy trying something new? Why not venture out and give Salsa a go this Bank Holiday. UKsalsafeet offer dance lessons every Sunday at The Sutton Tap and will teach you the art of Salsa from the very basics to the more advanced moves. Open to all ages, sizes, abilities and backgrounds, this Salsa class is definitely worth a try. Anyone can join in whether coming as single, couples, elderly or young. Make the most of dancing, chatting and laughing your way through some Salsa fun. The class starts from 7:30pm and is £6.00 per session. For more information you can get in touch using the telephone number below.
Address: The Sutton Tap, 67 South Parade Sutton Coldfield, B72 1QU
Phone: 07961 514 074
The deli in Boldmere – Easter Social
The deli lies at the heart of Boldmere community and is a great place for meeting and relaxing with friends and family. Offering superb local and quality food, The deli is hosting an ‘Easter Social’ this bank holiday weekend for all to join in and enjoy.
On Easter Monday between 1pm to 5pm the deli will be offering a BBQ with homemade burgers, including Birmingham’s finest Lashford Sausages! This is certainly one to take advantage of as there will be a bar and live music for adults with face painting and a balloon modeller providing entertainment for younger guests!
Opening times: Good Friday 9-5pm / Easter Saturday 9-5pm / Easer Sunday- Closed / Easter Monday – Open all day/ Deli Social 1pm to 5pm.
Address: 60B-60C Boldmere Rd, Sutton Coldfield B73 5TJ
Phone: 0121 355 3981
Drayton Manor Theme Park – Egg Cellent Easter
Between Saturday 8th and Sunday 23rd April, Drayton Manor Theme Park is welcoming fami-lies and friends to enjoy a host of Easter fun filled events. Activities include an Easter trail, live shows, animal feeds, Thomas Land and thrilling rides for all the family to take ad-vantage of. Check out their ‘What’s On’ guide as well as their downloadable ‘Easter Trail’ activity sheet to make the most out of your visit. Advance tickets can be purchased online to make savings on your day out!
Address: Drayton Manor Theme Park, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3TW
Phone: 0844 472 1950
Ash End House Children’s Farm
Between Monday 10th April to Wednesday 19th April, Ash End Farm will be hosting an array of Easter events at their established farm. With lots of animals to visit and with the majority of the farm undercover you won’t have to worry about the weather! The farm also has an onsite café and shop as well as the popular ‘Big Play Barn’ for children to enjoy.
For their Easter events there is everything from a ‘Mini Beasts Roadshow’ where children can get up close to some beautiful and cultivating creatures (if they are brave enough!) to a meet and greet with the Easter Bunny! For more information visit the website.
Address: Ash End House Children’s Farm, Middleton Lane, Nr.Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 2BL
Phone: 0121 329 3240
5 Steps For A Successful Spring Clean
It's official, spring has arrived! We’re starting to see a few more glimmers of sunlight in the day, Daffodils and Tulips are taking form and making their mark in our gardens, parks and outdoor spaces leaving a spring in our step. So, what better way to begin Spring than to take stock and give yourself and you’re home a fresh start. Whether that be a spring clean from top to bottom or simply organising your pantry, garden shed, cupboards or wardrobes - It’s out with the old and in with the new!!
So here at Hazelwood’s we have put together a very simple 5 step guide to a successful spring clean... (Enjoy!)
1. Get Equipped
Being equipped for the task ahead is essential in making a good first step into your spring clean. Check out our list of must haves to get you started:
- Rubber Cloves
- An all-purpose cleaner (Flash or Dettol)
- Rubbish bags
- A feather duster
- Glass & Window cleaner
- Carpet cleaner
- Empty boxes
- Plenty of sponges and cloths!
2. Lists at the ready!
Making a list of your key zones that require most attention is a great way of systematically working through each area rather than feeling daunted at the prospect of a whole house to declutter.
Start with a simple list and build on it.
- Kitchen - Surfaces, Cupboards, Shelving, Pantries, Windows, Floors etc.
- Bathrooms - Mirror, shower screen, chrome effects, bath & toilet.
- Living Rooms
Whether we like to admit it or not we are all guilty of hoarding items that we may not have actually ever used! To get the most out of the space in your home why not take some time to really decide what you do and don’t need. If you are looking to sell your house this spring, there is nothing more off putting to potential buyers than a cluttered house. What you may consider to be spacious suddenly can appear very small.
We recommend getting those empty boxes out and to start organising the items that you want to keep or recycle. One person’s trash is another’s treasure!
N.B Some companies will now buy recycled items such as books, DVD’s, CD’s, clothes etc. and will cover the postage costs too! So actually, your spring clean could lead to you earning yourself some extra cash, Bonus!
4. Odd Jobs!
We all have those chores that we know need doing but rarely find the time to. Making time to complete these niggly household tasks will increase the longevity of your appliances and your home leave you feeling organised!
- De scaling kettles and showers; you can pick up a home kit from any supermarket or home store
- Disinfecting washing machines with a commercial cleaner – Leaves clothes super fresh!
- Digging out your paint brushes and touching up any chipped or scuffed areas
- De-flint your tumble dryer to maintains a strong airflow
- Cleaning ovens. Although a tedious job you can again pick up some really effective home kits which provide sealed bags and cleaner to really tackle the inside of your oven!
- Wiping down any visible porch areas. Some simple soap and warm water is great for washing down plastic porch areas and conservatoires. Leaves a lovely appearance of a well-kept home.
- Finally, but most importantly,CHECK FIRE AND CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS.
5. Finishing Touches
After all the hard work, it’s time to make the final touches that will leave your home with an all-round fresh finish - We recommend:
- Lighting your Yankee Candles for all to smell and see
- Spraying some of your favourite room spritz to create a welcoming atmosphere
- Don’t forget your four legged friends – They will enjoy a fresh bed too.
- Finally, open all those windows and let the fresh spring air in, sit back and admire your hard work!
We are half way there!
Today marks half way point towards our Step Challenge for Cancer Research UK.
So far it is a lot harder than we first thought and we have had to make a real conscious effort to hit our 10,000 per day but so far so good! When I say ‘we’ I have been joined by the member to the Hazelwoods team in Sutton Coldfield, Shelbie Wells.
For the rest of the month look out for both of us stomping the pavements around Sutton Coldfield actively working to gain sponsorship whilst growing Hazelwoods into a household name for Estate Agents across Sutton Coldfield and the surrounding villages.
If you see us in our white ‘Stand Up For Cancer’ t-shirts, follow the link and sponsor us!
Stepping 10,000 steps per day for Cancer!
There is much more to Hazelwoods than just selling houses…
Selling houses is something I really enjoy, helping people take their first step onto the housing ladder, next step up or finding there forever home is fantastic when you see the joy in their faces as you hand the keys over to their new home!
BUT… there is so much more to Hazelwoods than selling homes! Charity work is very important at Hazelwoods and in March we will be stepping our way to success raising money for Cancer Research UK.
During March I am committing to stepping my way to 10,000 steps per day… this is amounts to a whopping 150 miles by the end of the month!
How will I do this:
• Conducting viewings around all of my lovely vendors properties
• Walking around prospective new homes that are looking to sell
• Pounding the street daily leaflet dropping
• Lunch time walks around Sutton Coldfield
Look out for me in the ‘Cancer Research UK’ t-shirt around Sutton Coldfield!!
I will be updating Facebook, Twitter and the Hazelwoods Blog with our progress…
If you would like to donate please follow the link below..
A Festive Recipe From Hazelwoods To You This Christmas…
Love them or loath them, try this recipe from Hazelwoods to spruce up your sprouts this festive season…
Cranberry & Walnut Brussell Sprouts:
(Serves 4 - Contains Nuts)
¼ cup olive oil
1lm fresh Brussel sprouts
½ cup of dried cranberries OR 1 jar of jammed cranberries
2 tbsp water
1/3 cup of chopped walnuts
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1. Heat a large pan with oil over a medium heat.
2. Wash, Trim and Cut Brussel Sprouts lengthways, add to the pan.
3. Cook sprouts for 4-5 minutes until browning
4. Add cranberries and water to sprouts and cook for a further 2 minutes or until sprouts are crisping.
5. Stir in Walnuts until water is evaporated.
6. Stir is Balsamic Vinegar.
How to present your home ready for a viewing:
When selling your property in today’s property market the way you present your home has never been so important. As more and more people are now making the decision to view or not from a few photos that they have seen on Rightmove, when you get the call from your Estate Agent that you have a viewing this is your time to shine. This is not the time to cut corners or think “that will do”, competition is fierce and if you’re not presenting your property right you can guarantee that someone else is and will inevitably end up with your ‘SOLD’ board up outside their house. So, what are the do’s and don’ts in order to be ‘viewing ready’?
1. First impressions are important!
Every day when we come home from work it is taken for granted that our home looks great but how often do you actually take a step back and just look? Before your viewings go and stand outside your house and look… What would you think as a first impression?
2. Remove ALL cars from the driveway.
As awkward as this can be it really does make a difference. Your viewers are not coming to look at what car you’ve got and need to be able to see the space on offer. It is even better if they feel that they can park their own car on the drive and see how much room they have left. You’re allowing your viewers to see if your house fits them already and there not even in the front door yet, great news.
3. Put lights on!!
This is a huge must for me, if you take nothing else away from reading this get your lights turned on for! Whenever I arrive at a house to do a viewing my vendors will know that I am always early to run around and get the lights on. It creates space and encourages people to enter a room and look around. A cosy room with candles is great if you want to cuddle on the sofa but makes a room seem private, we need it to feel open, airy and welcoming.
4. Open your blinds and curtains – let even more light in!
5. Now the nights are drawing in and the leaves are falling from the trees get them swept up and put your outside lights on too.
6. Create a neutral spaces
Put all of your magazines, children’s toys and personal belongings away. You want to create a neutral space that will allow your viewers to imagine where there things would go and again so they can see the space on offer.
7. Smells… pleasant and unpleasant keep them to a minimal.
The smell of your home is a controversial topic with some agents recommending freshly baked bread, coffee pots or scented candles. Whatever you choose to do, it is vital that no smell is over powering including the smell of pets or smoke. When viewing a property half of your viewers decision to buy or not will be down to gut instinct and “the feeling” they get… an overwhelming smell no matter how pleasant or repulsive will not assist a property sale.
Bathrooms need to be kept clinical, put shampoo bottles away and clean those shower screens until you can see your face in them. Matching towels on show are a great idea or even better no towels at all.
9. Mow the lawn
Back and front, weed the driveway and jet wash any paved areas you have.
10. Leave your estate agent to it
At Hazelwoods it is standard that all viewings are accompanied. If selling your property with another agent ask for your viewings to be accompanied too. Accompanied viewings are important as they enable your potential buyers to look around freely and be honest so leave your agent to it and go out for a coffee or a walk. When you get back they will be able to give you better and more constructive feedback immediately.
In today’s property market I hear a lot of murmurs from both vendors and buyers alike, “Why do I need an Estate Agent?” In my eyes this is such a simple question with a simple answer but then again I would say that because I am an estate agent. So, what do we really do for you...
The truth about the work of an Estate Agent:
1. Flexibility – We work during the day, through the evening and even on weekends too so that you can carry on with your busy lives. Whether this is through accompanied viewings or chasing leads. Imagine if you had to do all of this work yourself, would you have the time? In one day when your property is first released to market it is possible to receive as many as 15+ leads from the property portals in just one day. We then take the time to call, leave messages, email and text these buyers again and again until we are able to reach them and arrange the viewing or provide them with the information they have requested.
It is our job to ensure that we get hold of all of these vital and important leads for you.
2. Marketing –We take professional photographs, create a floor plan and property brochure with a compelling write up. We then advertise your property on the UK’s number one property portal as well as our own website that we spend money and time on to ensure that we are attracting more and more prospective buyers daily.
It is our job to show your property off to the best standard that we can.
3. Urgency & Demand –We create urgency and demand by pro-actively marketing your property to all of our registered buyers by email, text and post. At Hazelwoods we also host open days to ensure that your buyers can see their competition.
It is our job to sell your home for the best price in the shortest possible timescale.
4. Professionalism – Accompanied viewings are an absolute must! We distance yourself from your property, buyers like to have space when viewing a property and it ensures that the process remains neutral and that no one is under pressure. We know our buyers and will know what they are looking for, what is the important aspect of their search and how can we show your property off to meet their requirements.
It is our job to present your property as best as we can and to overcome any objections.
5. Negotiation – We keep a cool head to ensure that you get the best price. Most importantly we check the funds of your prospective buyer and ensure that they can afford your property by way of an offer check procedure with our financial advisors.
It is our job to secure the sale of your property and ensure that the sale will go through by taking all reasonable steps.
6. Smooth Conveyancing Process – Believe it or not vendors and buyers do not always like to deal with each other. If everything is going well it seems to make perfect sense to some to pick up the phone and talk to each other but if everything becomes a little complicated during conveyancing a relationship can soon turn sour.
It is our job to chase your sale as efficiently as possible we build relationships with local mortgage advisors and solicitors and have the time and the knowledge to pick up the phone and make those difficult calls to ensure things keeps moving.
So, “Why do I need an Estate Agent?”
I do agree with this question to a certain extent as not all agents are the same. In years gone by the property industry has become a little lazy and haphazard in certain elements and promises in relation to the service that we should and could deliver are not being kept. We are generating our own bad reputation and cutting our fees left, right and centre which is not benefiting anyone vendors, buyers or even us. Next time you hear yourself asking, “Why do I need an Estate Agent?” remember what we should and could be doing for you and choose an agent that will keep to this promise.
“At Hazelwoods we are not just another Estate Agent we are a better Estate Agent.”
Harriet Butler - Director