Posted on

7 Tips for Making the Most of Your Living Space

Living space

When it comes to your home space, there will no doubt be times when you wish there was a bit more of it. If things are feeling a bit cramped, then you may be tempted to take a page out of Marie Kondo’s book and start throwing things out. However, there are ways to use your living space that allow you to keep your personal things while still making the most of the space you have.

Here are a few things to try in your home.

Choose the Right Furniture – And Use Multifunctional Pieces

Furniture that’s too large for a space will soon dominate it and make the room feel smaller by comparison. Switching to slightly smaller sizes, for example, from a king to a double bed, may only give you a few extra inches, but the room will immediately feel bigger. Swap large bookshelves for fitted shelves and consider using clothes rails instead of wardrobes for a contemporary look. Stools can also work well in the living room, instead of oversized armchairs. Another thing to look out for is multifunctional furniture that can be used for more than one purpose. For instance, sofas that fold into beds, or coffee tables that can be raised and used for dining. This will mean you have less furniture in each room.

Think Vertically

If you want a room to look bigger, you need to draw the eye upwards and avoid using furniture that takes up too much floor space. Choose long, thin bookcases or build shelves close to the ceiling to make your room feel bigger and brighter. Get rid of bulky TV units and mount your television on the wall; as long as the wires are well hidden, it’ll look so much better. Also, avoid any pieces of furniture that are short and horizontal, like cabinets. Another bold move is to use vertical stripes to instantly make it look like you have those covetable high ceilings. Just a subtle stripe in neutrally coloured wallpaper can make a big difference.

Plan Your Layout Carefully

Draw a rough sketch of your room’s shape and then plan where you’ll put the furniture to maximise space. It can be easier to plan on paper than it is to spend hours moving things around. If you’re buying new furniture, look for pieces that complement the space nicely and work with the flow.

Keep It Light

If a room is already small, the worst thing you can do is block out the natural light with a set of dark curtains.  Stick to blinds, which will leave your windowsill free for a few photos for a contemporary look. If you absolutely must have curtains and hate living without them, then choose a neutral colour and have them properly fitted, so they don’t trail on the ground.

Keep It Neutral, but with Statement Pieces

It’s important not to make your room too beige when you’re trying to make the space look bigger. If it looks too cold and sterile, then it’s simply not going to be an enjoyable space. Instead, you should opt for neutral tones, with lots of textures for a luxe feel, then add a couple of statement pieces that focus the eye. For example, a bright accent chair or unique lamp are things that people will see right away, so they won’t be thinking about the size of the room.

Use Lighting Properly

Different types of lighting can be used to draw attention to focal points in a room. Overall, your space needs to be well-lit; otherwise, it’s going to feel claustrophobic. You can then use pieces such as pendant lights over a living area or dining table to mark the different sections of a room. In a small space, stick to wall-mounted lighting where possible, avoiding oversized floor or table lamps.

Add Some Unique Touches

Without a few personal objects on display, your living space will look too much like a show home, and it won’t feel cosy. In small spaces, a few objects on a shelf can brighten up the room and draw attention from its size. Whether it’s family photos or unusual items you picked up while travelling, don’t be afraid to make the space your own.

Whatever the size of your home, you’ll want to make the most out of your living space. A few changes to the design or layout can make a big difference, creating the feel of more space and giving you a place that feels homely.

For expert buying and selling property advice, contact our team of professionals at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 or call into our office.

Posted on

2021 Interior Trends: Furniture, Colours and Styles for Your Home in Chelmsford

interior trends

Are you planning on giving your Chelmsford home a makeover in 2021? Maybe it’s time to ditch that tired old rug and sofa you’ve been hanging on to for years and drag your home into a brand new year?

For inspiration, here are some of the top interior trends coming for 2021 that we absolutely love!

Vintage

Homeowners are increasingly looking for ways in which to make their homes stand out, instead of the usual mass produced, flat-pack furniture that’s functional but not unique. Think antique sideboards and cabinets in dark shades of brown.

And the more unique the story is behind it, the better! Mooch around antique shops to find that perfect quirky piece.

Sustainable

As a society we’re more aware than ever of the damage that’s being done to our planet, and that’s reflected in the growing trend of buying individual items of furniture, instead of mass-produced products.

This also ties in with the vintage trend. Furniture that was built 50 years ago not only has its own story, but it will also have been built to last. A few scratches add to its character and it won’t fall apart and get discarded so easily.

Multi-Functional Space

With the huge increase in people working from home, our houses have increasingly become our offices too.

For those who aren’t lucky enough to have a dedicated space for a home office, the demand for multi-functional furniture is increasing.

Consequently, items such as storage ottomans are perfect for using as both a footrest at the end of a long day and also a place to store your laptop and any paperwork out of sight in the evening.

Minimalist

Not only have people been working from home more, they’ve also been spending more time at home in general, with many living rooms serving as an office, gym and bar at times, often on the same day!

As a result of this increased time spent indoors, the desire to declutter and make more use of the space available will be a growing trend throughout 2021.

This also relates to the trend of having multi-functional furniture and space.

Natural Materials

Furniture that’s made from natural materials is also set to be a big hit in 2021, with designers constantly coming up with new ways of combining natural materials.

This can be anything from wood and marble to ceramics and metals as designers combine textures and styles.

Earthy Colours

One of the biggest trends that’s set to drop in 2021 is the use of earthy colours such as mustards, greens, beiges, blues and browns.

With so many people having spent so much time indoors recently, colours that we associate with nature and the outdoors are going to be popular as people reconnect with the outside environment and try to bring it into their homes.

Shades of Pink

Love them or hate them, soft and neutral shades of pink are another top trend when it comes to colours in 2021.

It’s light and airy, which gives rooms a more spacious feel, and it goes with most other colours, so finding furniture to complement the colour scheme will be easy.

Ocean Waves and Distant Shores

The increased time we’ve all spent indoors has heightened many people’s longing to get away and take a break, and that’s reflected in the trend for colours that relate to soft sea blues and cloudless skies.

Blue is also a very tranquil and calming colour, so it’s perfect for anyone who’s spending more time indoors and looking to destress.

House Plants

Following on from the trend for earthy colours, indoor plants are also back in fashion.

Not only do plants add colour and life to a room, they also freshen the air and bring the outdoor environment into the home.

And with such a wide variety of plants to choose from, there’s something suitable for any room in the house.

Individuality

It’s not just vintage furniture that’s trending for 2021, any items that could be considered unique and individual are currently in fashion.

As we’ve been spending more time in our homes and less time in the office and out socialising, there’s a noticeable shift towards stamping our own imprint on our homes. Rather than go for the tried and trusted functional furniture that we might have previously chosen, there’s an increased trend towards individual furniture that reflects our own personalities.

Think animal-shaped lamps and tropical theme light shades for example, or bright and bold statement rugs.

Posted on

New Year…New Agent?

2021

We’ve noticed a trend recently. You love your home, you love Chelmsford, but you’ve also realised that you need somewhere new. Perhaps somewhere larger, somewhere with a bigger garden, somewhere closer to the countryside, or even somewhere a little smaller.

Yes, it appears you’ve got a dose of ‘ready to move’, and what better time than the New Year – a time often linked with new beginnings and fresh starts.

So, how do you find the best estate agent?

What questions should you ask?

As property experts in the Chelmsford area, we at Essex Homes And Lettings thought we’d give you our seven tips so that you can choose the best estate agent for you.

Phone a Friend

Ask for recommendations. Friends and family can point you in the right direction and equally they can steer you away from the agents to avoid! Ask them if they’ve had a great experience with a particular estate agent, and enquire about how communicative, knowledgeable and friendly the agent was. Did the agent get the job done – and achieve the asking price or above?

Tip: Social media is your friend! If you’re a member of a Facebook community group in a particular area, post your questions in that group. And while you’re there check out local estate agents’ profiles to discover more about their local area knowledge and understand how they interact with the local community.

Read Reviews

Check out estate agents reviews online. Facebook reviews, Google reviews and reviews on Feefo can all give you an insight into other customers experiences. Have a read through to get a good idea as to whether or not an agent is worth shortlisting.

Tip: Always have an open mind when reading reviews, because while most will be genuine, some negative ones (and some positive ones) may not be.

Check the Agents Website

If you have a couple of shortlisted estate agents, check out their websites. Compare and contrast the services they offer and the fees they charge. Research where they market their properties and check out their social media feeds.

Tip: If you’re comparing and contrasting, you need to ensure you know what you want your chosen estate agent to do for you. Write a wish list of your requirements.

Check Fees and T&Cs

When it comes to estate agents, each will offer a slightly different service, and each will have a different way of operating. You have high street offices, internet-based offices, and hybrid agencies that blend traditional with the internet. Each has its advantages and disadvantages depending on your individual requirements, but always check the small print and look at the overall service.

Tip: Do some research and decide whether you want a sole agency agreement, or if you would like multiple agents to market your property. It’s important to read the contractual obligations if you choose the latter.

Review your Agent’s Performance

Remember, your estate agent will be working for you, to get your house marketed and sold. But it’s actually a two-way thing and you will need to do what you can to help them do their job too. Your agent should be prepared to communicate with you if they think things should change, like a review of the price for example. And you should feel confident enough to ask about performance and see results or otherwise.

Tip: Have a clear understanding of your expectations and what you will want to review. Is it the number of people shown your property, or is it the number of hits on property websites? Is it about proactive calls made to prospective buyers, or is it to get an offer within a certain timeframe?

Same Difference

When you are narrowing down your shortlist, have a look at the properties that the agent sells.

  • Are they similar to your house?
  • Do they have any experience selling homes similar to your property?
  • Can they talk with good knowledge about the local area?
  • How accurate are their valuations?

All of these are a must because you need to know that your agent knows what they are doing and can convey that to a prospective buyer.

Tip: If you want to know how much similar properties have sold for have a look online so that you are fully informed.

Trust your Gut Instinct

There’s a lot to be said for getting a feel for whether you have picked the right agent to market your property. Something may simply click into place when you’re having a conversation, or you may know immediately that the agent is for you. Trust your instinct as it may well be right.

Tip: While we say trust your instinct, make sure you also carry out the checks and reviews as well!

For no-obligation advice on selling your Chelmsford home, please contact our expert property team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466.

Posted on

Capital gains tax could ‘be brought into line with income tax rates’

CGT

Capital gains tax (CGT) increases could be around the corner as the chancellor Rishi Sunak looks to find the money needed to cover the government’s unprecedented spending and borrowing during the pandemic.

Given that the prime minister Boris Johnson has already ruled out a return to “austerity” in public spending, this money will have to come from somewhere.

There has been speculation for some time that CGT rates would increase.

Anthony Codling, CEO, twindig, commented: “As we enter 2021 chancellor Rishi Sunak is reviewing the structure of UK taxes. The pandemic has been costly in both emotional and economic terms, UK government debt is at an all-time high and eventually, these debts will need to be repaid. Taxes are therefore likely to rise.”

CGT is currently charged at 20%, but there are growing calls that it should be increased to 28% across the board or possibly aligned to income tax rates – at up to 45%.

The government’s tax adviser recently recommended that CGT be overhauled with proposals that could see the number of people hit by the duty increase sharply.

Rishi Sunak, who commissioned the review, is considering proposals by the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), a Treasury-based body, to reform capital gains tax in the light of the economic and fiscal impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

The move has the potential to bring in an extra £14bn by reducing exemptions and doubling rates, according to the review.

Codling said: “Our working assumption is that capital gains tax rates will be brought into line with income tax rates, higher rate taxpayers will therefore pay higher rates of capital gains tax.”

Currently, a taxpayer’s primary residence is exempt from capital gains tax, but this could soon change for some homeowners.

He added: “We do not expect this exemption to be taken away completely, but we would not be surprised if the amount of exempt gain was subject to either an annual cap, a lifetime cap or a combination of both. This would be similar to pension relief where the amount of tax benefit in any one year is capped as well as the taxpayers lifetime tax benefit.

“Second-home and buy-to-let property gains are already subject to capital gains tax at a higher rate [28%] than the capital gains on other assets [20%]. We forecast that these rates will be equalised and reflect the taxpayer’s income tax rates.

“This will mean a tax rate increase for higher rate taxpayers and a lower tax rate for those with earnings below the higher rate tax threshold. However, it is likely that a capital gain on a property will move a lower rate income taxpayer into the higher rate tax bands.”

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 04/01/2021

Posted on

5 Ways To Add Value To Your Chelmsford Property

Add value

For homeowners in Chelmsford looking to add value to their property, house extensions and renovations are pretty much guaranteed to do the job.

But what if you’re a homeowner without the time and/or budget to invest in a full-blown extension?

We often get landlords asking us this very question: how can I add value to my property with minimal effort and a limited budget? So, the team at Essex Homes And Lettings have put our heads together and come up with seven easy ways to do just that.

Here’s how to increase your property value in Chelmsford without breaking the bank or investing too much time:

1. Start by focusing on your kitchen

The kitchen is known as the ‘heart of the home’ for a reason. It’s the room we all tend to spend the most time in when we’re at home. This is why potential buyers value it so much. If your budget only stretches to one single property improvement, make it the kitchen. A great kitchen can add as much as 4% to the value of your home, and a dated kitchen can easily turn buyers off.

Here are some easy kitchen improvement ideas that can add value:

  • Invest in modern worktop surfaces –  check out Pinterest for some kitchen worktop inspiration
  • Get new kitchen tiles – be bold and opt for a few more striking patterned tiles to create a statement backsplash
  • Paint your cupboard doors
  • Swap the cupboard door knobs for quirky ones

Yes, they’re all small changes. But together, they can really help to spruce up a tired looking kitchen!

2. Add more storage space

Never underestimate the appeal of lots of storage space for home buyers.

This is the one thing that we notice time and time again – buyers can easily be turned off a property if they discover that there just isn’t enough storage space.

So, how do you deal with this issue if you simply haven’t got the space?

Here’s how to add extra storage to your Chelmsford home when space (and budget) is limited:

  • Make use of all that space on blank walls by building shelves. Shelves are much easier to put up than you might think!
  • Work out what you can do with any unused nooks and crannies. For instance, the dead space underneath your stairs. Could you add a cupboard there?
  • No idea where you can add extra storage and exhausted all your options? Study the layout of your property layout, and you may just discover dead space you didn’t even realise existed.
3. Make your home more energy efficient

In this eco-conscious day and age, more and more home buyers are interested in finding out how energy efficient a property is before they invest in it. This doesn’t just stem out of concern for the environment though. An energy-efficient home can also save you a considerable amount on energy bills.

Landlords, make your home more energy-efficient and you’ll instantly make your property more appealing to many renters. Here’s how:

  • Make sure all windows and doors are double glazed for effective insulation
  • Invest in a heating system with easily adjustable settings so that comfortable temperatures won’t mean racking up bills
  • Choose an eco-friendly paint brand for any decorating jobs
  • Invest in LED lights and solar panel heating

These improvements come at a cost, but they’ll benefit your wallet, and our planet, in the long term.

4. Create a more open-plan home

Working with a smaller property? Create the illusion of more space by knocking down a few walls. Do this effectively, and you could boost the value of your Chelmsford property without any extensions. Modern buyers are attracted to open-plan layouts, which can make a smaller flat or house look more spacious and make it easier for them to move around.

Don’t attempt this yourself though. We recommend consulting a local residential architect who can show you how to do this to maximise the space in your property.

5. Find out what home movers in the Chelmsford area are looking for

Not quite sure where to start? Have a chat with our team at Essex Homes And Lettings as we know your area! We have a good understanding of what home movers in your neighbourhood are interested in.

We can also help with recommendations of local suppliers that can offer you great deals on any small renovations and extensions that can add value.

Give us a call today on 01245398466 and a member of our friendly and experienced team will be happy to speak with you further. Alternatively you can email us at sales@essexhomesandlettings.co.uk.

Posted on

Market frenzy to last until spring at least says Rightmove

Rightmove

If you fear the market will slow after Christmas, think again – Rightmove is expecting several months of frenzied transactions to come.

The portal is forecasting a robust four per cent average house price growth in 2021 across the UK as a whole, after ending 2020 some 6.6 per cent higher.

And it says the current stamp duty holiday has undoubtedly added some extra momentum, but buyer demand was already very high even prior to its announcement in July.

Rightmove reports that sales remain resilient now, 53 per cent higher than this time a year ago, despite the decreasing likelihood of completion by March 31 if a sale is agreed now. 

“Our 2021 forecast of a 4.0 per cent price rise is more conservative than the unsustainable 6.6 per cent national average seen this year” says Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data.

He continues: “There’s likely to be a lull in quarter two unless the stamp duty holiday is extended, but for many buyers its removal will not be make or break, though may lead them to reduce their offers to a degree to compensate for the higher tax, and indeed many sellers may be prepared to help to mitigate their buyer’s financial loss. 

“First-time buyers will remain largely exempt, so in most cases will be no worse off. The maximum savings of £2,450 in Wales or £2,100 in Scotland are considerably less decisive than the £15,000 available in England for a house costing £500,000 or more, which does however only apply to a small part of the market.”

Today’s latest Rightmove report says around 130,000 sales were agreed over the last month, up by no less than 44 per cent on the same period in 2019. 

A month ago Rightmove said there were 650,000 sales agreed and in the pipeline, many aiming for completion by March 31  to qualify for stamp duty savings. 

One month on – and a month closer to that deadline – the figure remains at around 650,000 because 130,000 additional sales have joined the processing logjam and replaced the 130,000 completions or fall-throughs that have taken place in the last month.

Rightmove anticipates there will be a slower second quarter once the stamp duty holiday is over, though cheap mortgage rates leave scope for further modest price growth despite the loss of the tax saving.

Indeed all regions have seen far greater average price increases than the average savings in stamp duty, indicating affordability headroom. 

“Pandemic-related uncertainties have been around for nearly a year, and Brexit uncertainties for far longer, and record activity month after month has proved that movers are willing and able to act on their new or existing housing priorities” says Rightmove.

Demand has therefore exceeded supply in 2020 with the number of properties coming to market for the year to date down by 0.6 per cent on the same period in 2019, and the number of sales agreed up by 8.3 per cent. As a consequence the number of available properties for sale is at a record low, indicating scope for some further modest price increases overall in 2021 despite those uncertainties.

Original Article from 14/12/2020

Posted on

Housing market rebound starts to run out of steam

prices fall

House prices have increased by 7.6% over the past 12 months, the fastest rate of property inflation in over four years according to Halifax, but there are growing signs that prices will fall in January and February as the post-lockdown boom ends.

The New Year will herald a turning point for the housing market, with a Christmas peak in prices followed by negative growth of -1.2% in January and -2.5% in February 2021, according to the Reallymoving house price forecast.

Collected at the start of the homebuying process, when buyers agree a deal and seek conveyancing quotes, the data provides one of the earliest snapshots of the short-term property market outlook and confirms that the post-lockdown boom will come to an end at Christmas, with prices beginning to decline heading into the New Year.

Based on analysis of purchase price data from 30,000 conveyancing quotes on the price comparison site for home movers between September and November, Reallymoving predicts that the average property price in England and Wales will peak at £352,239 in December, before falling to £343,312 by February 2021.

Rob Houghton, CEO of reallymoving, said: “Our prediction of a New Year change in fortunes for the housing market has been further strengthened by the latest data which clearly shows price growth entering a downward trend in January and accelerating in February.

“The mask is beginning to slip on the two-tier housing market of recent months, which has seen activity from equity-rich homeowners who are less affected by the pandemic, concealing problems at the lower end of the market where First Time Buyers have benefited little from the stamp duty holiday and faced considerable challenges securing higher loan to value mortgages.

“The kind of growth we’ve seen over the last few months was never sustainable. Despite positive vaccine news, which will certainly boost confidence that the end of the pandemic is now in sight, there are significant challenges for the housing market to overcome in the short term, including the end of both the stamp duty holiday and the furlough scheme on 31st March, which is likely to result in further downward movement in prices over the first half of next year.”

Original Article from Property Industry Eye 10/12/2020

Posted on

How to Update Your Home in Chelmsford on a Budget

Budget

When you want to update your home, you might assume it’s going to cost you a lot of money. However, there are a number of ways you can give your home a makeover that won’t cost you the earth. If you’re on a tight budget, simply follow these tips.

Make your kitchen look like new

When it comes to decorating your house, the kitchen is usually the most expensive room to upgrade because there are so many fittings and appliances. However, you can give your kitchen a makeover while on a tight budget by:

  • Covering the kitchen doors in vinyl or repainting them in chalk paint
  • Covering old flooring with vinyl tiles
  • Adding a new splashback or painting tiles
  • Adding a small kitchen island
  • Replacing door and drawer handles
  • Replacing small appliances such as kettles and toasters

While you may not be able to afford a full kitchen renovation, just carrying out these jobs won’t take much time or money and can make a huge difference. 

Bring your bathroom up to date

A dated bathroom can ruin the look of a house, and whilst an entirely new one might be out of your price range, there are ways to refresh your bathroom on a budget. If you have an old suite that really needs replacing, you can often buy one cheaply in a trade store, then get a plumber to fit it in a day or two. Most people can learn to tile, and there are plenty of tutorials online, while floors can be easily covered with vinyl or similar to make them look fresh and new. If you’re painting your bathroom, always use specialist bathroom paint that can stand up to steam and humidity, otherwise it will soon start to peel. 

Open up and light the space

A home that’s full of dusty items and clutter will soon feel dated and depressing. Spend some time decluttering, and you’ll soon see a big improvement to your home. Many people complain that their homes are too small, but a bit of re-organisation and tidying up can give the feeling of space.

Once the space is opened up, make sure you have adequate lighting. Rooms look smaller if they have dim corners, and ceilings can appear lower if they aren’t lit. Add some corner lamps and your home will look lighter and more contemporary. 

Find second-hand supplies and furniture

Look on Facebook marketplace and you’ll find lots of local people selling DIY bits and pieces they no longer need, or have changed their minds over. You can easily buy paint, wallpaper and second-hand tools for just a few pounds, so there’s no need to put off certain projects.

Second-hand furniture is also easy to find online, and if you rent a van for a weekend, you can fill your home with new furniture for much less than the retail price. Many people sell sofas, dining sets and beds that have barely been used, as they get bored with them or decide to go for a different look. Some of the bigger charity shops also sell furniture, and while some of it might be a little dated, it can easily be revived with some chalk paint or varnish to make it appear more modern.

Some people don’t like the idea of second-hand furniture as they’re worried it might be dirty. It’s easy to rent an upholstery cleaner and get a sofa looking like new, or you can use antibacterial kitchen sprays on most surfaces.

Change your colour scheme without redecorating

If your room is a little dated, but you don’t have the time or money to redecorate, then simply switching some of your décor can work well. For example, try covering old flooring with a rug, or adding splashes of colour with vases, plant pots, ottomans or other accessories. While it’s not quite the same as a full makeover, it can help refresh the space for now.

Painting or wallpapering a feature wall can also change the look of a room without needing to completely redecorate. It also means that if you go off a colour, or it goes out of fashion in a few months, it’s easy to change it again.

Your home is your castle, but there’s no point in maxing out your credit card just to give it a makeover. There are plenty of ways you can get the look you want without spending a fortune, whether it’s hunting for vintage finds or using some of your DIY skills and before you know it your home will be ready to place on the market and welcome viewers. 

For no-obligation advice on buying or selling a home in Chelmsford please contact our expert property team at Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 or call in and see us. We look forward to seeing you.

Posted on

9 Tips to Boost Your Chances of a Winter Property Sale in Chelmsford

Winter sales

The cold winds are blowing, and frost is on the ground. The dark nights are upon us, the heating is on, and woolly hats are at the ready.

Love it or hate it, winter is here, and our thoughts start to turn to the festivities and then the weeks beyond. It’s fair to say that winter can be a quieter time for house sales, but winter can also be an excellent time for you to sell your property.

Some people will take the opportunity of the dark evenings indoors to look around online at what’s for sale in their chosen area. And if they’re looking now, what a great time to sell your home.

To make the most of those winter buyers, here, we at Essex Homes And Lettings look at nine tips to boost your chances of selling your home in Chelmsford this winter.

1. Be Visible Online

It stands to reason, now more than ever before, online is where it’s at, and particularly so when it’s winter. People are indoors, passing time on their laptops, mobile devices and tablets so you must make sure your property is marketed in all the right places.

Top Tip: Don’t be afraid to use your online presence, for example, on social media to share the sales particulars of your home via your estate agent. We welcome this, and you never know, someone you know, or someone they know, could be interested in your property.

2. Add Classy Festive Decorations

It’s the festive season, and that makes it a great time to get your house looking wonderfully bright and loved. You want people to imagine themselves living in your home, picturing themselves with the Christmas tree up, the dining table set and decorations twinkling.

Top Tip: Don’t go overboard, dial it down a touch. People might like what you’ve done, but they want to be able to see the house beyond your glitzy decorations, so keep it classy!

3. Set a Cosy Atmosphere

Warming up a sale can be as simple as making your home feel cosy and inviting. As winter kicks in, make sure your home is heated to a comfortable temperature. There’s nothing more off-putting than stepping out of the cold and straight into an icy house, shivering as you view.

Top Tip: Turn your heating on in good time. It might also turn into a talking point – good insulation and efficient heating systems mean the house is less costly to run – a great plus point for viewers.

4. Sell the Dream

It’s not just about the house; it’s about location too. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable about the local area. Whether that’s recommending nearby walks in parkland or countryside or a little saunter into town for a hot chocolate and a spot of window shopping, it’s crucial to sell the superb location of your property.

Top Tip: Be prepared. Make sure you know what’s on your doorstep so that you complement your estate agent’s local knowledge. You are living in the area, so you can confirm the excellent bus service, beautiful woodland walks and favourite restaurants. 

5. Set the Stage

Winter can be about panto, but don’t let your house become a laughing stock! Stage your rooms so that they look inviting. Bring in some fir cones for little ornamental displays or use holly sparingly to decorate a room. If you have an open fire or log burning stove, light it and turn side lamps on for even more atmosphere.

Top Tip: Take a look at country and lifestyle magazines to get a flavour of how you can stage your home for winter.

6. Prepare Professional Services in Advance

Get all your paperwork and professional services such as conveyancers lined up in good time so that once you receive an offer, you’re ready to roll. ‘We’d like to be in for Christmas’ and ‘We’d love a new home in time for the new year.’ are common requests, so having everything lined up and being prepared to move quickly can work to your advantage.

Top Tip: Draw up a list of everything you need to do to get your house winter sale ready. Then go through it methodically so that when the time comes, you and your home are ready.

7. Create an Ambient Home

Light up your house. A dark house is unappealing, whether it’s for an evening viewing or a visit during a cloudy, rainy day. You don’t have to have all the lights on all the time, a side lamp glowing when you go into a room will present it just right. Add in a seasonal candle (safely – don’t leave it lit and unattended or anywhere it can topple over), and you’ll create a warm and welcoming space.

Top Tip: Make sure there are no light bulbs that need replacing and check they are soft tone rather than a harsh white.

8. Clean your Windows

Wash your windows, inside and out. Windows take a beating and quickly become dirty during bad weather. You want to offer a welcome view, so ensure they are sparkling when your viewers arrive.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to give your windowsills and doorsteps a good clean too, inside and out!

9. Keep on Top of Maintenance

You never know when a viewing may take place, so it’s to your advantage to be prepared to accept viewings with little notice and catch those motivated buyers. Make sure you complete all those fiddly maintenance jobs you’ve been putting off so that your home is in tip-top condition and ready to be presented at a moments notice.

Top Tip: Give family members small jobs to do. This way, you’ll get all the jobs done, and your house will be ready for the next viewing.

We are brimming with inspirational ideas for how to make your home winter sale ready! Call Essex Homes And Lettings on 01245398466 and we’ll talk through what you need to do.

Posted on

What are the Benefits of Owning a Property in Chelmsford?

Owning a property
Homing in on the future as a property owner

Are you renting in Chelmsford at the moment? Perhaps you are a tenant in a lovely property but you have aspirations of buying your own place?

Renting is great, and can be the right solution for some people for any number of reasons, but it’s also true to say that for many people it is simply a stepping stone towards home ownership.

There are many factors as to why people rent or buy in Chelmsford, and no two situations are really the same. Everyone has their own unique circumstances and you should know this before you start comparing yourselves with other people who either rent or buy.

But at the end of the day, it’s often all about money, and the financials of being able to afford a property in Chelmsford. Because of this, and we know it sounds obvious, it is so important to make sure you get it right from the start.

To be fair, as we know, there are pros and cons for both renting in Chelmsford or owning a property.

Writing a list of pros and cons will really focus your mind and help you to come to a decision. And don’t forget, it is absolutely OK to say that you’ve always wanted to own a house rather than rent.

It can be an exciting time but you must know the responsibilities and the financial implications and don’t just let your heart rule your head.

The Benefits of Owning a Property

1. As a homeowner, you have more control over what you do with the property – decorating or adding a conservatory for example. There may be restrictions depending on where you live, or if the house is listed, but you can do a lot to a property to make it a home.

If you rent, you may be restricted on whether you can have pets or even children in the house. So buying a house can help you grow your family – whether it’s with a baby or a furbaby!

2. You are investing your time and your money into a building that you own, rather than paying someone else, although chances are you will have a mortgage to pay.

3. When you come to sell your house in years to come, you should be able to make some profit, all being well, and that money will come to you. Of course, market conditions will affect this so it’s worth bearing that in mind.

So, a massive benefit is the financial security owning a property in Chelmsford can bring. They say that bricks and mortar are a sound investment and it is largely true so it’s definitely worth a look.

4. When you’re paying a mortgage, you’re always stepping towards owning your house outright, and that’s a key driver for many people, perhaps like you, who want to get on the property ladder right now. Interest rates and mortgage packages can be very competitive so it might even be that you won’t pay as much as you would in rent.

You’ll need to work out how much you can afford, how much a mortgage is, and how much you’ll need for additional costs when buying a property.

5. It can be such a wonderful opportunity and a real sense of satisfaction when you are living in a property where you are the homeowner. 

6. The benefits will continue into your later years too as there are schemes that allow you to release equity from your home to help fund your retirement.

Therefore, not only can owning a house benefit you today, it will help you when you are older too.

There does seem to be a British tradition about owning your own home and after all, “An Englishman’s House is his castle”, but buying property is a personal decision.

According to Government statistics, “the proportion of 25-34 year olds in owner occupation has increased and there are now almost equal proportions of 25-34 year olds living in the private rented and owner occupied sectors”.

This, we think, means that owning your own home is once again becoming more and more popular with younger people, reversing, or at least slowing the trend towards renting.

There are so many benefits to owning your own place, but we know it can also be a daunting journey to begin.

Do your research, your homework, and talk to experts. 

In fact, come and talk to us here at Essex Homes And Lettings as we have years of experience in helping people like you to become homeowners.

If you need some advice, don’t hesitate to call us on 01245398466 or email us at sales@essexhomesandlettings.co.uk and we will be delighted to help you in your search for a property in Chelmsford.