Category Archives: Real Estate

Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing an Estate Agent

Key to a new homeLooking for an estate agent when you want to buy or sell a property can be stressful. But if you want to save time, you could ask recommendations from friends and family, as some of them might be able to point you in the right direction. Once you make a final list of your chosen estate agents in Penge, make sure to ask them the questions that we have listed below to see if they are the right fit for the job or not.

How much do I have to pay?

An estate agent usually charges between 1 and 2.5 percent of the price and VAT. Many agencies exclude VAT rates depending on the type of contract you sign with the estate agent.
The total fees also depend on the estimated value of your property so estate agents would accept less than one percent for houses with a higher value, such as those priced £500,000 and above.

 What is their marketing process?

 Estate agents should list your house in the most popular property portals, as well as local newspapers. Doing so will ensure that your property will attract the right market.
If you are buying property, check their online offers. Look for properties that are near your area or are similar to yours so you could gauge the price.

Should you consider an online estate agent?

Online estate agents do not charge as much as conventional agents, but they have various packages which they offer their clients. Most often, they ask a flat fee of £300 but offer payment upon completion of the sale. An agreement like this would usually cost you more.
Ask about their special approaches when it comes to selling or buying a home. Most agents have some tricks up their sleeve, and knowing them can help you determine if they can help you find the property of your dreams.

Land Development: Why You Need to Do Things Differently in 2018

Property Management displayed on a tabletLand and property management or development is not an easy task, particularly when you have no expertise in the field. You may have blundered before, but not anymore.

Cato Bolam Consultants notes that planning consultants could be your reliable ally.

Who are they?

Planning consultants are certified personnel who offer advice and perform a wide range of activities, including statutory planning, land subdivision, resource management, land development and engineering.

How can they help in your land development project?

Sometimes, you may not be sure of what to do with your land. You may have a project in mind, but are you sure that it is the best? The experts are visionary and tend to see the property in its developed form. Therefore, their primary role is to explain the complete process of land development to the landowner or the developer. They also guide the developers on how the development plans can be implemented.

Execution of Legal Formalities

The consultants are experienced, so they know the legal matters associated with property development. They can save you the hustle of submitting or resubmitting the planning applications since they do it on your behalf.

Help in the Market Value

Depending on what they find suitable for the project, the consultants do some research on the market value of the project. Moreover, they conduct feasibility studies for the development.

Why Timely Involvement is Important

You need to involve the planners in the initial stage of the land development process. Early involvement prevents any extra costs due to faults in the planning and development process.

What Else?

The planner or consultant is central to every correspondence with the council. For instance, they can respond to the council’s requests and objections if any. They guide the developers on how to make drafts and rectification to meet the council’s requirements.

There is no easy way to develop your land than hiring expert planners or consultants. This will help you get the most of your property and enjoy all the benefits.

Enjoy a Stress and Pain-Free Homeownership When Buying Your First House

Couple outside homeOwning the roof over your family’s head is a great source of pride for many American homeowners. In fact, the average American lists their home as their single most valuable asset, for good reason. A decent home can set you back a couple of hundred of thousands of dollars.

Given the kingly asking prices, you may have to take out a mortgage to finance this dream. With the average monthly payment mortgage running northwards of $1,000 the last thing you need is additional bills in your mail.

Unfortunately, many first-time homeowners make crucial mistakes that bury them in debt.

Don’t buy a home in a rush

At the back of your mind, you have a picture of what comprises a dream home. This can help you breeze through the decision-making process, but it can also be your undoing. It may cause you to overlook crucial steps if you chance upon your perfect home on the market.

In such a case, you may overlook vital issues such as inspection, leading to considerable headaches later. For instance, the foundation, walls, floors, and the roof might be in great shape, but the heating system might be on its deathbed.

Once you sign the paperwork on such a house, the onus of replacing the unit lies on you.

Do seek expert advice before you commit

Involving an HVAC company when buying a home might seem a little strange, but it’s one the best decisions you can make. Considering that installing a new central heating system can easily set you back upwards of $10,000, the idea is not as wild.

In addition to providing heating repair services here in Salt Lake City, HVAC firms are amenable to providing advisory services. Retaining the services of professional is crucial when buying some old house as most central heating units have a lifespan of about 20 years.

Involving an HVAC company when buying your first home is a silver bullet that can save you a considerable amount of money and pain.

What You Ought to Know Before Selling Your House to an Investor

sold propertyIf you want to sell your house fast in St. Louis, Houston, Salt Lake City, or any major American city, a flipper is perhaps your best option. will agree.

Whether you want to turn your fixer-upper into instant dollars or avoid foreclosure, dealing with an investor is better than waiting for the most generous homebuyer to come along. By and large, flippers are willing to buy properties in “as is” condition, pay cold cash, and close within seven days.

But before you take this route, pay attention to the realities of selling to a real estate investor:

1. Sweat equity might not matter.

Investors spare sellers the ordeal of home improvement because they generally want to make the renovations themselves. This means any project you intentionally do to make your property seem more expensive might not give you any leverage at the negotiating table. The improvements you intend to make might not be consistent with the changes the flipper has in mind.

2. Sale price might be below the market value.

If you’re dealing with an investor, make peace with the strong possibility that you wouldn’t be paid based on your property’s actual market value. Flippers do business to generate profit, which is why they try to keep their expenses to a minimum. Plus, they have their own costs to worry about as well.

3. The flipper could be a con artist.

Any financial transaction comes with risks, but selling your biggest asset requires extraordinary caution. Even if you want to close the sale as soon as possible, don’t rush into things. Since investors don’t need a license to do business, exercise due diligence to ensure your prospective buyer isn’t a fraud.

Fortunately, reputable real estate investors are searchable. They might be accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and have past clients who can attest to the legitimacy of their business.

Flippers provide a unique set of benefits for house sellers who don’t have the time to wait to see the traditional real estate process through. Make sure, however, to be aware of the little things you have to give up and calculate the risks to set your expectations and avoid rip-offs.

Home Safety: How to Keep Intruders Out

Home intruderBeing safe from intruders takes a lifetime of vigilance. You may not be able to stop the most sophisticated criminals from entering your property, but that does not mean you should not try. Most burglaries and other home intrusions are the handiwork of the more common breed of opportunistic crooks.

It is easier to stop the type from causing you any problems. Here are some suggestions on how to do it.

Lock your doors and windows

Many home intrusions are preventable. All it takes is to make sure you lock your doors and windows. Most opportunistic burglars come in through the front or back door, grab what they can, and leave undetected. Simply locking those doors can make them change their mind.

Install CCTV cameras

Cameras themselves are deterrents against the most common intruders, so install them where they are hard to reach but easy to spot. If anything happens, the recorded footage may help authorities find the suspect or suspects.

Use a garage remote

You can have your garage doors in Chicago fitted with a remote controller so you do not have to get out of your vehicle to open or close the garage. Many cases of carjacking happen when the owner gets out attending to the garage door.

Especially if you are coming home at night, or when it is raining, or both, you may not be able to spot someone hiding in the bushes, waiting for the chance to take your car from you or worse.

Install lighting around your property

Lights are not a crook’s best friend. Common thieves are likely to avoid making your house a “mark” if there are no dark corners to hide in. Remove trees that block your view, or at least trim them and install lights near them.

Install motion sensors

Motion sensors are more sophisticated now; they are less likely to be activated by your dog. Install them outdoors as well as indoors. Having motion detectors on your lawn can alert you even before the intruder gets inside your house.

Lastly, when it comes to safety, always use your noggin. You can prevent many crimes with a little common sense.

4 Reasons Why Metal Fencing is Best for Your Home

Metal fenceProtection is the key benefit of metal fencing. The use of metal fences can help secure your pets and belongings while protecting your home from possible criminals. Metal fences are also a durable and environmentally-safe option to guard and redecorate your home.

Safe and Protected Home

The first benefit of having a metal fence is security. Fencing can help deter criminals and trespassers, through its tall and narrow point. Moreover, fences can be tied with electronic gates and installed with security systems like alarms or codes. Fences could prevent offenders from coming in while keeping your pets and valuables from coming out.

Beautiful Design

Many types of metal fence panels are available to complement the exterior of your house. Fences can make your house look modern, sleek, and elegant depending on the type you choose. Moreover, well-crafted fences can also increase the value of the property if you wish to sell it in the future.


Metal fences are durable and will last under harsh weather conditions. Compared to wooden fences, metal fences are free from pest infestation and stains. It also needs low maintenance costs due to its lasting gleam and timeless look.


Lastly, metal fences are highly recyclable. Steel and aluminum are commonly used, so metal fences are reusable in case you wish to dispose of or replace them. This way, you can help save the environment.

Protection is the key benefit of metal fencing. The use of metal fences can help secure your pets and belongings while protecting your home from possible criminals. Metal fences are also a durable and environmentally-safe option to guard and redecorating your home.

Granny Flats: Your Affordable New Home

Granny Flat It has been increasingly difficult to find ways to cope with the burden of expensive housing in Australia these days. That’s why people have been coming up with the most convenient ways to maximize the potential of existing real estate, without having to shell out more than necessary from their savings.

Granny flats and cabin kits

Cabin kits and granny flats have become the answer for many of Australia’s housing issues. One wouldn’t have to look beyond their own backyard when they want to invest in additional housing for added comfort or supplementary income.

Not just for grandma

Many people think that granny flats are meant only for that. However, with their customization and the availability of choices for design, they can serve their intended purpose whether as a retreat, studio, or home office.

The options

This may be the perfect alternative for young adults who want to move out but are limited financially. If you want to use these cabins as a way to enhance your income, you could rent them out to students and retirees who want to have a cheaper yet attractive accommodation.

Building one for your home

It is important to make sure that you choose reputable builders who could help build these cabins in a relatively short span of time but with the skill and expertise you expect. Contact the right builders with plans for cabin kits that would fit your needs. Always consult them on the size and materials that would best fit your plans for your extension.

Make that extension cabin as comfortable as your home. Whatever your plans for your cabin, always make sure that you’re hiring the right people who could help you build the most delightful cabin for your needs.

Where to Build Your House: Lot Buying Tips

Houses Along A BoulevardResidential lots are widely varied. There are different sets of specifications that may appeal to one but not to the others. If you are in the market for a piece of land where you can build your first home, you must take note of the following guidelines. They are very helpful making an informed decision afterward.

Your Lifestyle and the Community

One of the biggest considerations you must take note of is the kind of community in the subdivision where the residential lot is located. The surroundings must suit your very own lifestyle so you will not feel like you are less of a perfect fit. Do you want it to be near schools or at the heart of a commercial area? Do you want a serene neighborhood? Is living in a crowded street good enough for you?

The Property’s Condition

Another thing that you must look into is how the land development project is managed. The developer has so much to do at how well the property is maintained, if it’s a wetland or if several environmental concerns are properly addressed.

Infrastructure and Amenities

Infrastructure projects in the community must have been carefully completed before the neighborhood starts building. Road systems, water systems, sewer systems, and the likes must be in place and are efficient to facilitate comfortable living.

Site Limitations

You must also review the site limitations to know if it matches the kind of home that you want to build. Environmental conditions in the area, as well as the existing restrictive guidelines, will have an impact on the amount of liberty you can enjoy designing the kind of home that you want for your family.

Deciding whether a given residential lot is perfect for the dream home you want to give to your family or not takes serious considerations. Make sure that you work with a real estate professional who could lead you in the right direction.

4 Things You Need to Know About a VA Home Loan

Getting a Mortgage for a houseAs of 2014, data shows that the U.S. armed forces had around 21.8 million veterans. Despite the numbers, many U.S. veterans are still renting properties, instead of owning them. This is where VA Home Loans come in. This type of home loan give veterans and even active military members the chances to become homeowners. Here are some things you need to know about this kind of mortgage.

What does VA Home Loans mean?

The “VA” in VA Home Loan stands for Veterans Affairs. This type of loan, which is available to active and veteran military members, are sometimes called Veterans Affairs mortgages.

What are the advantages of VA Home Loans?

VA Home Loans can be used not only to buy a property but also to make major repairs and upgrades. What’s good about this home loan is that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees it. It also doesn’t require applicants to pay a down payment. Applicants also don’t need to reach a required minimum credit score to avail it. And because it doesn’t require a down payment, it’s easier to get it compared to standard home loans. While VA Home Loan costs are usually lower, qualified applicants still need to pay a single upfront fee for the funding. VA Home Loans also don’t carry prepayment penalties or fees for early exits.

Who are eligible for VA Home Loans?

Any active or veteran military member can apply for a VA Home Loan. Reservists and members of the National Guard are also eligible. Surviving spouses of military personnel can also apply for a VA Home Loan if the former member died on active duty or through service-related disability.

For active members who wish to apply for a VA Home Loan, they need to be at least in service for six months. National Guard members need to wait six years before they can avail of this home loan type, the same goes for reservists. However, in cases when they are called into active service during the 6-year waiting time, they can qualify immediately after 181 days in service.

Where can I apply for VA Home Loans?

While VA Home Loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, this federal agency is not the direct lender. A VA Loan in Ogden, for instance, is made available through private lending companies.

Get a VA Home Loan Today!

VA Home Loans are great options qualified applicants should take advantage of. However, this type of home loan is mainly designed to buy or renovate properties that are ready for moving in, such as condominiums, single homes, multi-unit properties and modular houses. They are not designed for purchasing farms or any commercial properties.

Fences Secure and Beautify Your Home in More Ways Than You Know

Metal Fence
Fences play an important role in your home. It allows you to enjoy the security that it provides and adds to the overall beauty of your abode. It’s certainly a worthy addition to any home.

When you cast your glance at a home that sits at the corner, there are basically two things that will capture your attention. If the house is huge with a front lawn, then your eyes will zero in on the roofing and the entire façade of a home. If it does not, then your eyes may be captivated by the fences that seem to beckon you to have a look. Home Style Central even mentioned that before guests could see what’s inside your home, the first thing they will notice is the fence on your front yard. Indeed, the fence of your home can do wonders in ensuring that your abode looks beautiful and at the same time, secured.

Beauty That Stands Out

Think of your home’s fence as a translucent curtain, which allows people to have a better view of what’s inside the home. At the same time, such curtain acts as a barrier between you and the home’s interiors. A fence acts almost the same way. It allows you to have a glimpse of the home but shields it from any intrusion. With this in mind, the fence definitely adds beauty to the home, in the same way that curtains do to the home interiors.

Material That Lasts

Fences come in many shapes, types, and sizes. One versatile type that could make any home stand out is a metal fence. Just make sure that when you choose metal fencing panels, there is a lifetime warranty on workmanship. Another thing is to make sure that there is a guarantee that the paint will not blister or fade. Once you find these characteristics, then you have indeed found the fence that will be perfectly great for your home.

Lifetime Investment

Since a fence is an addition that has somehow a permanent nature, you can consider it as a lifetime investment. This means that it would be serving you and your family for a long time. It will continuously provide your family with the security it needs, which according to Houzz, these fences deter burglars. Apart from that, a fence would also be adding value to your home. In the event that you decide to move someplace else, you can sell your home and add the value of the fence.

A fence would always help in providing you and your family an added sense of security. In addition, it never fails to add to the aesthetic beauty of your home. With a good metal fence surrounding your property, you would be able to enjoy being secured within the premises of your home and enjoy the beauty it brings.