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Seven things not to do when buying a property

Many prospective homeowners are oblivious to things that can derail their home purchase. Here is our  list of 7 things not to do if you are trying to purchase a property. Underestimating costs In addition to the purchase price of your property you need to take into account the cost of conveyancing fees, the price of surveys and moving costs. Don't forget when you move in you will need to pay for buildings & contents insurance and council tax as well. Not checking your credit score Your credit score is your financial CV and lenders use it to assess whether you are able to maintain repayments. Check your credit score and have any errors rectified before applying for a mortgage to ensure you minimise the chance of your application being rejected. Choosing the wrong solicitor Check your solicitor is on your mortgage lender's list of approved solicitors to avoid additional costs or even having to change solicitors. Most mortgage lenders have an approved list of solicitors that they will work with.  Your solicitor will be required to complete the legal work for your lender during the conveyancing process. However, if your solicitor is not on their approved list, they will not be able to act for your mortgage lender. This can end up leading to the expense of a second solicitors' firm, who are on that list, needing to be employed to act on behalf of your lender. Not being on the electoral roll One of the easiest ways for lenders to verify your identity is to check the electoral roll. If you are not registered it may cause your application to take longer to process and your credit score may be affected as well. Not getting an agreement in principle The housing market is competitive. Sellers may choose to accept an offer from someone with an agreement in principle rather than waiting for you to contact a mortgage company. Running up lots of credit Taking on new debt may alter the state of your credit which may prevent you getting approved for your mortgage. Changing jobs Never change your job in the middle of purchasing a property. It can make your employment look unstable which makes you a weaker candidate to lenders. If you are looking to purchase a property in Lanarkshire please give us a call on 01698 441327 and we will add you to our  early bird list so you can be one of the first people to hear about our  new listings.

31 Aug 2023

Simple storage solutions to banish clutter

So you've tried selling off your unused items, have taken everything that doesn't spark joy to the charity shop and yet you are still struggling to keep your home free of clutter. One of the main causes of clutter in a home is not having enough storage space or simply not having it in the right places. If you have spent time decluttering and yet still feel like your home is a disorganised mess then it's time to consider some nifty storage solutions. Hallway As the main entryway in and out of your home it is easy for discarded coats, bags and shoes to quickly build up. Consider investing in storage solutions so that there are easily accessible places to put these things away as soon as you enter your home. If you are worried about floorspace there are lots of wall-mounted shoe storage solutions available. If you have an overflowing shoe rack consider storing out of season shoes somewhere else until they are needed again. A few well placed hooks on the wall can be perfect for keeping coats and scarves safely stored off of the floor and a shelf mounted directly above them is perfect for storing accessories such as hats, gloves and sunglasses. Understairs Is the space under your stairs underused? Shelves and hooks can be used to turn that area into the perfect space to store anything from bikes to books and cleaning products to coats. Vertical Space If floor space is limited in your home consider using the vertical space to store your belongings. Wall mounted cabinets and shelves are ideal for keeping things off of the floor which can make a huge difference to how the space feels. Alcoves and recesses are perfect for popping small shelves in without there being any encroachment on your space. Ceiling Don't be afraid to hang storage from your ceiling. Hanging mesh storage baskets are ideal for keeping your little ones cuddly toys within reach but safely contained. Ceiling mounted pan racks provide the perfect place to keep your pots and pans off of the side when cupboard space is limited in the kitchen. Bedroom Underbed storage boxes are ideal for packing away out of season clothes and bedding. Storage boxes that match your decor are ideal for utilising the normally wasted space on top of your wardrobe. Attic This is the perfect space to store belongings that you don't use all of the time. You need to be careful to ensure that it is both well insulated and well ventilated to ensure that your belongings are protected from extreme temperatures and high levels of humidity. If you are decluttering your home to get it ready to go on the market in Lanarkshire please do give us a call on 01698 441327 and we will be delighted to give you a free no-obligation valuation.

31 Aug 2023

How to choose the right estate agent for you?

Choosing an estate agent to sell your property can seem like a difficult task. There are so many available and of course, they all say that they are the best around! What should you consider when choosing which one to trust with selling your property? Local knowledge You wouldn't jump in a taxi with a driver who didn't know the local area, or at least you'd jump back out again quite quickly! You also shouldn't trust your property to an estate agent who doesn't understand the local market or who doesn't know the area well. Great estate agents know their community and already have a well-established database of potential buyers that they can use to make sure that your property is seen as quickly as possible by as many people as possible. Tech-savvy Newspapers, magazines and other forms of printed media should definitely form a part of the marketing plan for your property. However, estate agents who only use these and haven't embraced the benefits of online marketing, including social media, their own website and online property portals, will be putting you at a disadvantage when selling your property. This is because 78% of buyers begin their property search online so you need an estate agent who knows how to make sure your property is seen by them. Honesty When selling a property, you need an estate agent who will be honest with you, especially in the current market. Beware of agents who inflate their suggested asking price for your property with the expectation that they will drop it in a few weeks once you are tied into a contract with them. An honest estate agent will not hesitate to point out areas of your property that you could improve in order to increase your chances of a sale and are candid about things that should be taken into account when setting the asking price. Communication, communication, communication The estate agent that you choose will not only be the go between for you and your buyer but will also be your source of information concerning how viewings went and on the feedback from viewers. Choosing an agent who is a good and friendly communicator will make the whole process of selling your property much easier. Works for you It is your property. While a good estate agent will be able to give you advice concerning your property, a great estate agent will be able to tailor their advice based on your needs and wants because they will listen to them. Selling a property isn't a one size fits all experience, so you need an estate agent who is willing to listen and adapt to your needs. If you are thinking of selling your home in Lanarkshire then please give us a call on 01698 441327 and we will be delighted to chat to you about the reasons we believe that we fulfil all of those criteria.

31 Aug 2023

October 2022 Market Report for Lanarkshire

The leaves are falling, the clocks have gone back and children, still hyped-up on sugar from their Halloween trick or treating, are now looking forward to this weekend's fireworks displays. November brings with it darker mornings and chillier nights and so comes thoughts of Christmas and the New Year. This inevitably focuses the minds of those who have been considering moving, as they consider whether their homes are too small or indeed too large for their needs.  The looming New Year sparks thoughts of new beginnings and new homes so, despite the doom and gloom in the papers, life continues. People still move home and the property market continues to be busy. Let's have a brief look at what's been happening over the last month in the local property market around Lanarkshire. There are currently 687 properties available on the market in the area. The month prior there were 707, with 681 in August and 573 in July. The increasing numbers of available properties is perhaps indicative of the heat having left the market as properties aren't getting snapped up as fast as they were. Things are started to calm back down to normal levels and there is now more choice once again for buyers. There are also more properties coming onto the market each month. In July there were 348, in August 369, in September 376 and in October 299. This could explain the higher number of available properties as there were more to choose from. In October 271 sales were agreed, in September there were 355, in August there were 364, and in July 289 sales were agreed. As more properties come to the market, more sales are happening. Although the media has been talking about the market cooling, the local facts are that there is still a lot of activity. In July we saw 30 price reductions across the Lanarkshire property market as a whole. In August, this number jumped up to 51. There were 44 price reductions in September and 54 in October. This could imply that some sellers' or agents' expectations of what the market is prepared to pay are not in line with reality.  In October there were 90 slow movers in the Lanarkshire area. This means a property that has been on the market for 12 weeks or more. This could be due to the market returning to more normal levels but expectations still being at the peak levels. In September there were 81, in August, there were 71 slow movers and in July, there were 49 slow movers on the market.  Slow movers can often be due to the 3 Ps - presentation, promotion, or price. We are proud to be in the top 5 agents in the area with the smallest numbers of slow movers. Choosing the right agent for your property can make a very real difference to achieving your moving plans. In July, each property in the Lanarkshire area had average daily views on Rightmove per property of 189. In August, this number jumped up to 221, in September it settled back to 186 and in October it fell to 149. This is not unusual for this time of year with many families busy over half term and focused on Halloween activities and Bonfire night. The high levels of activity in the local Lanarkshire property market are likely to increase or at the very least, remain strong in the final quarter of the year. If you're looking for further information about the Lanarkshire property market, or if you're thinking of selling or buying in the area, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can call 01698 441327 or email

31 Aug 2023

Six property maintenance jobs you should do now

Your property is one of the biggest financial commitments that you will ever make so it makes sense to make sure that you are doing everything you can to look after it. However many of us are guilty of putting off doing those annoying little jobs that aren't urgent enough to demand our immediate attention but still need doing. With that in mind I have made a list of six things that you should make time to attend to before these little jobs become big jobs. Windows In the face of soaring gas prices we are all trying to keep our gas usage down this year. As a result condensation and the mould it goes hand in hand with are more of a problem this year than ever before. Make sure that you wipe condensation off of your windows frequently in order to avoid giving mould the chance to grow. As window cleaners, sensibly, don't tend to work in icy weather make sure that you give your ground floor windows a quick wipe too to make sure that you are maximising the amount of natural light that can get into your property and to ensure that you are not looking out through dirty windows. Carpets Wiping paws and cleaning up the mess that muddy paws can leave straight after walks is the best way to stop it from becoming ingrained in your carpets. Don't forget to remove your own shoes at the door too. Having your carpets regularly cleaned is the best way to ensure that they stay in tip top condition. Paint Windowsills, front doors, stairs and bannisters are often subject to a lot of wear and tear. Giving them a quick lick of paint is a relatively quick and easy way to revitalise tired areas in your home and increase your property's kerb appeal. Gutters Windy weather can blow leaves, moss and autumn leaves into your gutters. They can cause blockages that can cause both damage and flooding so it is a good idea to ensure that you inspect these regularly and clear any blockages as necessary. Boiler Even if you are still managing to hold off turning the central heating on there will come a time when you need to switch it on this Winter. Make sure you don't get a nasty surprise by having your boiler serviced annually by a certified professional. Then you can relax, safe in the knowledge that you will have hot water and heating on tap whenever you want them. Garden Now is the time to put away your garden furniture so that it can be safely stored until Spring. Sweep your paths so that they are clear of slippy Autumn leaves, pull up any dead plants and tidy your shed. If you are considering putting your property on the market in Lanarkshire and would like some more advice on how to keep your property looking its best please give us a call on 01698 441327 and we will be happy to advise you.

31 Aug 2023

Carbon Monoxide - The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and flavourless gas. You cannot see it, smell it or taste it. Therefore, carbon monoxide alarms are essential in order to ensure that you are alerted to its presence in the air as early as possible. A recent study revealed that 36% of households in the UK do not have a carbon monoxide detector.  While 52% of those without one are aware of what they are, they do not think that they need one.  Carbon monoxide poisoning can make people seriously ill and can be fatal. It is important that everyone is aware of the warning signs and symptoms of a carbon monoxide leak.  Carbon monoxide is formed during the burning of fossil fuels when combustion reactions are not completed and so the fuel fails to burn correctly. This can happen due to a lack of oxygen.  Carbon monoxide gas is not poisonous. It prevents the uptake of oxygen in your body by attaching itself to your red blood cells. If you are exposed for long enough it can be fatal as it interferes with the delivery of oxygen in your entire body, which leads to you falling into a coma before death.   Symptoms are often mistaken for the flu. They include  headaches  chest pain  diarrhoea  vomiting  confusion  dizziness  blurred vision   chest pains. Not everyone will experience all of these. It is possible for people who are asleep or drunk to pass away from carbon monoxide poisoning without experiencing any symptoms.  Infants, the elderly, people with heart conditions and anyone with breathing problems are more at risk. According to the NHS sixty people die from carbon monoxide exposure every year.  Warning signs of a carbon monoxide leak are  Faulty pilot lights on gas appliances that burn orange or yellow (they should be blue) Pilot lights that appear floppy or regularly go out.   Yellow-brown or sooty stains around an appliance Excessive condensation in a room where there is a fossil fuel burning appliance.  Seeing or smelling smoke (while carbon monoxide is odourless and colourless smoke may sometimes accompany a leak and is certainly always worth being investigated) Excessive soot. In order to ensure that your family and your property are safe you should make sure that you do the following: Install carbon monoxide detectors in every room that contains a fossil fuel burning appliance.   Have all gas appliances regularly serviced by a qualified gas safe engineer. (Gas Safe Register - The Official List of Gas Safe Registered Businesses) The Gas Safe Register has replaced CORGI registration. Don't cut corners, only use a Gas Safe registered engineer. Make sure that chimneys are regularly swept and flues are regularly cleaned and checked for blockages as good ventilation is essential.  Avoid using tradespeople who cut corners when having working fireplaces swept or serviced or when having boilers and flues installed or serviced.  Check carbon monoxide alarms regularly and repair or replace them as soon as you discover that they are faulty.  we know that the safety and happiness of your family is your most important priority so if you are considering selling your property in Lanarkshire and would like a free no obligation valuation please do give us a call on 01698 441327.

31 Aug 2023

How to become a successful property developer

Have you ever watched a programme about property development and been tempted to give it a go?  All those wonderful before and after shots make it look so easy. From our comfortable sofas, we cockily criticise their design decisions, mock their progress and vocalise how we would do it differently.  But how many of us really appreciate either the potential problems or the potentially life-changing benefits of renovating a home either to live in ourselves or to rent out? Mitigate the risk of your dream home renovation becoming a nightmare with these tips. Set a goal What is your end goal with the property? Do you want to flip it, rent it out or create your forever home?  You need to remember your goal when looking for a property. If it is to be your forever home then it should be in an area that you want to live in.  If it is to be a rental property then you need to make sure that it is in an area that is attractive to your target rental market, not something that you would want to live in. Make a budget Set yourself a budget for each room and try your best to stick to it.  Don't be swayed by expensive tiles or paint. If you are planning to rent out the property then your tenants are unlikely to care whether you use Dulux paint or Farrow and Ball paint.  If you are doing the property up for your own family then you may be happy to splurge in certain areas but make sure that you always keep an eye on your budget.  Just like in the television programmes, you are likely to go over budget so make sure that you factor that in.  Plan Frequently diverting from or changing your plan will cost you time and money so try to stick to it.  The longer the renovations go on the more money you lose in potential rent.  The longer you have to pay your mortgage or utility bills for the property, the more they eat into your profit if you are flipping it.  If it is your forever home then you will be reducing the amount of time you get to live in it.  Have a valuation When all of your hard work is finished, arrange a valuation so you can find out just how much all of your hard work has added to the value of your property and how much its rental value has also increased.  If you manage to complete all of those then congratulations, you will be able to reap the rewards of your endeavour.  If you are looking for a property to renovate please give us a call on 01698 441327 so that we can add you to our  earlybird list so you can be one of the first people to hear about our new listings.

31 Aug 2023

Tips to help keep your pet calm on Bonfire Night

One of the highlights of our  work is getting to meet all of our clients' furry friends. Our pets give us unconditional love and companionship so naturally we all want to do everything we can to protect them from being scared and distressed. Every year, Bonfire Night brings delight to adults and children alike all over the country as the loud whizzes, bangs and flashes of colour in the sky amaze and enthral. Our furry friends however are much less enamoured by the sight and sound of fireworks exploding in the sky. For those of us who have to witness our beloved pets in distress, it can be a less than enjoyable evening.  There are a few things that you can do to help your pet to cope with the anxiety that fireworks can cause them.  CATS Protection has issued the following advice: Treats A selection of their favourite long-lasting treats, given before the fireworks displays begin, can sometimes provide enough of a distraction to stop them from noticing the start of the noises. Even if they do not distract them for the whole of the display, any reduction in the time that they are distressed for is better than none. Safe Place Cats may feel reassured by having a cosy space in which they can curl up. If their bed has open sides then consider lining a cardboard box with towels and blankets for them to sleep in. Many cats feel safer when they are up high so placing this box on a shelf may increase their feeling of safety. Music Classic FM will be playing their pet classics, calming music specifically selected to try to help you and your pet stay relaxed, from 6pm to 10pm on Friday 5th November and Saturday 6th November. Turn it up, lay back and enjoy.  Battersea Dogs Home has this advice to add: Stay Calm Our pets are very sensitive to our emotions. If they think that you are anxious then they will be anxious too. Stay calm and reassure them in your most relaxed tones so that they can pick up from your body language and voice cues that there is nothing for them to worry about. No Evening Walks Make sure that you are home from your evening walk before it goes dark so that your dog isn't upset by any unexpectedly early fireworks.  Draw your Curtains Protect your pets from seeing the flashes from the fireworks by drawing your curtains. Having your curtains drawn can also help to muffle the sound from the fireworks.  Let Them Roam Confining a dog to one room when they are used to roaming your home can increase their distress.  we hope that these tips help you and your furry friends to have an enjoyable and distress-free Bonfire Night. If you are considering selling your home in Lanarkshire then please give us a call on 01698 441327 and we will be delighted to give you a free no-obligation valuation.

31 Aug 2023

How to winterproof your property

Winter is just around the corner so now is a great time to prepare your property for whatever weather it will bring with it.  Boilers You don't want to discover that your boiler has packed in on the day you go to turn the heating on. Give yourself time to sort out any problems by having it serviced now before it has to start working hard throughout the Winter. Radiators To ensure that your property's central heating system is working as efficiently as possible make sure that you bleed your radiators.  Pipes Using lagging to protect your pipes from freezing and bursting can save you from a nasty headache on a cold Winter morning. Insulation This is one of the best ways to reduce your energy bills this Winter. Ensuring that your loft is well insulated can help you to keep the heat in your property.  Drafts Use insulating strips or re-apply caulk around your windows if you can feel a draft. Gutters Blocked gutters can cause a lot of damage to your property so make sure that you clean them out regularly, especially during the next few weeks while the leaves are falling. Fence Make sure you fix any fences before the Winter winds attack. Garden Furniture Now is an excellent time to store your garden furniture safely away for the Winter. This will protect it from the elements and therefore prolong its life. Also no-one wants to risk having their garden chairs fly across the garden in a storm. Roof Make sure that you replace any cracked or missing roof tiles to make sure that your property stays watertight even in the harshest Winter storms.  Chimney Check that your lead flashing or pointing and mortar is in good condition. Heavy rain and a poorly looked after chimney can result in water dripping into your home damaging your walls, paint and wallpaper.  Insurance The most common insurance claims during Winter are claims for water damage from burst pipes, storm and flood damage claims, and burglary claims. Take some time to ensure that your insurance policy covers damage from extreme weather to make sure that your home is covered no matter what happens.  Blackout Kit Just in case the power goes out it is always good to have a blackout kit packed. It is a good idea to make sure that it includes snacks, bottled water, candles, matches and a power bank to charge your phone.  If you look after your property then it will keep you warm and safe all Winter.  If you are considering selling your property and would like a free no-obligation valuation please give us a call on 01698 441327 and we will be delighted to assist you.

31 Aug 2023

The pros and cons of buying a buy-to-let property

Buy-to-let property is often seen as an attractive way of accumulating wealth or as an alternative option to a pension. However, while purchasing buy-to-lets is undoubtedly a good investment, they are also a long-term commitment that requires hard work and good financial planning.  If you are unsure as to whether to take the plunge and buy your first buy-to-let property then it is definitely worth considering the pros and cons of being a landlord before you invest.  PRO  - Rental Income This is the biggest incentive for people who buy a buy-to-let property. The idea of receiving regular income that not only pays off the mortgage on their buy-to-let property but also gives them a little bit extra in their pocket each month is a very attractive one.  CON - Rental Void However, if your tenant misses a rental payment then you will be responsible for covering the mortgage payment yourself until they catch up and if you should have a period when your property is not let (a rental void) then you will be left covering all of the costs during that time too. PRO - You're your own boss If you are fortunate enough to be making enough money from your rental properties to live on then you can have complete control over your income and your own time. The ability to work the hours you choose, make all the decisions and feel completely in control of their own life is what drives many landlords to build their property portfolio. CON - Responsibilities Being a landlord means you have both legal and moral responsibilities towards your tenants and no one can choose or predict when urgent maintenance issues such as a leak may occur. For many people who are trying to hold down a full-time job alongside managing their buy-to-lets, the responsibility is too much. An easier solution is to have your properties managed by a letting agent but this will of course cut into your profit.  PRO - Allowable expenses You are permitted to deduct expenses from your rental income when working out your taxable rental profit. These expenses must be 'wholly and exclusively for the purposes of renting out the property and includes maintenance costs, utility bills, agency fees and insurance payments. CON - Costs  As soon as you start to make a profit from your buy-to-let property you are legally obliged to inform HMRC. You may be required to submit a tax return so that HMRC can calculate how much income tax you should pay. Buy-to-let property purchases are subject to higher stamp duty rates. Also when you sell a buy-to-let you must pay Capital Gains Tax on the amount that the property has increased in value during the time that you have owned it. Don't forget to factor in costs such as the deposit, survey and conveyancing fees, renovation costs and the administrative costs for inventories, deposit protection, gas safety certificates and EPCs.  Being a landlord certainly requires more time, effort and planning than most people think it does but for those willing to put in the work it can be a highly profitable endeavour.  If you are considering buying a buy-to-let property then please do give us a call on 01698 441327 and we will be delighted to help you to find the perfect property.

31 Aug 2023

The top five reasons why people decide to sell their homes

It is a big decision to decide to sell your home. It means moving your family from a home that they likely love to a new and unfamiliar one. Even if you only move locally you will still be moving away from your neighbours, familiar places and friends. Behind this life-changing decision, there is usually a compelling reason and even then studies have shown that it still takes on average two years from first thinking about selling to actually deciding to go ahead and put your property on the market. ðRelocating People need to relocate for a variety of reasons. They may have been offered a better job in a different part of the country; they may need to move to a catchment area for a better/more suitable school for their children; they may need to move closer to elderly parents or they may need to move to reduce the length of their commute to work.   ð¸Upsizing As families grow they may simply outgrow the size of their home. They may have more children or if their children share a room they may decide that they need to have their own space as they get older.  ð§Downsizing The opposite occurs as children start to leave home. Paying to heat and maintain a home larger than they need may spur empty nesters to move to a property that is a better size for their needs.  ð³Lifestyle The most common lifestyle change is a move from the city to the countryside. It is most commonly associated with couples starting families and moving from a busy city to an area where their children can have a bigger garden to run around in and where the money from the sale of their compact city property can purchase them a much larger property. However, it is not only young families that make this move. Older couples at the end of their careers may choose to move away from the busyness of city life in order to have a more peaceful retirement and others may even choose to do the reverse, moving to the city once their children are grown and flown.  ð¸Equity Release This can be done by selling and then buying a cheaper home. This is a big motivation for selling for downsizers who get the benefit of a more manageable home and a lump sum of cash to spend enjoying life. It can also be a motivator for people who love to renovate properties and then move on to the next project investing the equity they have released into their next property.  If you are considering moving please do give us a call on 01698 441327 and we will be happy to help you to decide on the best option for your family.

31 Aug 2023

How to choose the perfect buy to let property

Purchasing a buy to let property can be an excellent and rewarding investment. If you choose the correct property then a good long-term income from your investment is nearly guaranteed. However, as with all investments, there are always risks. To try to mitigate these, here are a few things that you should bear in mind when looking for your perfect buy-to-let property.  Know your target market Who is your target market? If your target market is students or young professionals you need to bear in mind their budget when they are looking for a property to rent and ensure that you do not purchase a property that will be too expensive for them to afford. Remember at all times when viewing potential properties that you are not looking to fall in love with a property for yourself. Buying a rental property should be a decision which is ruled over by your head, not your heart. Having said that, it can often help if you try to view a property through a potential tenant's eyes as opposed to through a potential landlord's eyes as that will allow you to see the things that might put a tenant off of your property.  Location, location, location Look at local amenities and transport links and choose an area that will be attractive to your target market. For example students will need to be close to their lecture halls and local amenities. Being within walking distance of local restaurants and bars would make your property even more attractive to them. Families on the other hand will be interested in the catchment areas of the local schools and how peaceful the area is. It can be wise to invest in areas that you know well as your knowledge can help you to select a tenant who will enjoy living there. Remember happy tenants equal long-term renters which means less rental voids! Go big? Smaller properties often have less rental voids than larger properties as it can be harder to find tenants for larger, high rent properties. That is not to say that you should not invest in a larger property but you must be especially aware that if you do you should take care to ensure that it is both attractive to your target market in terms of the make and type of property and in a good location for them. Do your homework Property prices rise and fall. Large profits can be made from rental income when interest rates are low but rising interest rates can be a cause for concern for landlords. Make sure that you are aware of current trends in the market and keep on top of them even after you purchase your buy to let property in order to ensure that you are aware of and therefore can prepare for any upcoming issues. If you are considering purchasing a buy to let property in Lanarkshire and have any questions or would like to join our  early bird list then please give us a call and we will be delighted to assist you.

31 Aug 2023


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