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Speedy search - times praised

01/03/2016

There is good news for prospective house buyers in Shropshire, according to estate agent, Tim Main, head of sales at Balfours.

Tim Main says Shropshire Council is to be congratulated on the turnaround time of residential searches, which are currently running at four to five working days. He explains: “This is good news for all house buyers, but most especially for those purchasing a second home or buy to let.

“After April 1 house buyers will be expected to pay an additional three per cent stamp duty on second homes. For a property selling at £250,000 this will equate to an extra £7,500.”

He says property buyers with their finances sorted and ready to go should still be able to agree purchases until the middle of the month and still complete before the deadline. “My advice is to keep the pressure on all aspects of the conveyance to ensure the three per cent additional stamp duty is avoided,” adds Tim.

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Let market on the move

22/02/2016

Tax changes and new regulations in the letting market are shaping its future and could curtail some buy-to-let, according to one of the county’s leading agents.

Charlotte George MARLA, senior negotiator for Balfours Property Professionals, says the introduction of an extra three per cent stamp duty rate band on second homes, from April, is unlikely, alone, to have a negative impact on buy-to-let landlords.

However, she explains: “Add to this the Chancellor’s second cut when, in 2017, reductions in mortgage interest relief go live, it may well make some prospective buy-to-let landlords think twice.”

At the same time there has also been an increase in legislation landlords must adhere to including changes to deposit regulations, introduction of smoke and Carbon Monoxide legislation and changes to notices. In addition a specific set of documents must be given to tenants at the start of the tenancy to avoid any implications further down the line” says Charlotte.

The latest legislation to come in earlier this month is the “Right to Rent” scheme which means that all prospective adult occupiers for properties in England must have the right paper work to reside in England. “This is another responsibility for the landlord and to which he is accountable.”

Charlotte continues: “Some people say that the tax changes will dry up the appetite of buy-to-let landlords. I don’t think that will be the case, but with the continuing barrage of legislation and paperwork I would encourage prospective landlords to talk to a reputable agent who is ARLA and or RICS accredited.”

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Viewings double for January

22/02/2016

January has proved a bumper month for one of the county’s leading estate agents.

Balfours Property Professionals has seen over 200% increase in viewings compared with January 2015. “We are delighted with the significant increase in viewings,” says Tim Main, head of sales at Balfours, attributing key factors to the agent’s move to new premises in Shrewsbury town’s Square.

“The Square, puts us in a key location in the town centre. Also compared to last year we have increased the staff team, which was a driving factor for the move to larger premises; both the increase in staff and larger premises reflect our calculated optimism for Shropshire’s housing market,” adds Mr Main.

Balfours’ dedicated town sales manager, Alistair Hilton adds: “Last year properties in the SY1, 2 and 3 areas rose in value by three to five per cent, those in the SY3 were up by 5.29%, according to web-based independent source, Zoopla. We are seeing buyers who finding the right home are prepared to make sure they don’t lose it. During December and January we have had several properties which have achieved above guide price.”

Alistair continues: “Shrewsbury is a gem as a county town; qualities including independent shops, a wide choice of private and public sector schools, culture, architecture and countryside on the doorstep make for quality of life, for such a broad range of aspirations.

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Act now for second home purchase to avoid extra stamp duty

09/02/2016

The window of opportunity to avoid the three per cent additional stamp duty (SDLT) on a second home is closing in.

Tim Main, head of sales at Balfours Property Professionals says:  “I would urge anyone sitting on the fence deliberating over a second home, be it a buy to let, a place in the country or by the sea, this is the final window of opportunity.”

April 1 sees the introduction of the new, second home 3% SDLT rate.  “Right now it is still achievable and purchases can still be made, but with conveyancing taking longer agreeing a deal in March is unlikely to meet the completion deadline of March 31.”

Tim continues: “For example, if you are buying a second home with a purchase price of £300,000, the extra 3% Stamp Duty would equate to £9,000 (3% of the entire price). This is in addition to the £5,000 regular Stamp Duty bill on a home of this value, making the total Stamp Duty payable an eye-watering £14,000.

He says that there remains much uncertainty regarding the detail of the second home SDLT: “For instance a couple who are cohabiting, but have no legal tie appear to be able to own one property each.” However the government will treat married couples and civil partners living together as one unit. This means any homes owned by either partner will be included when the stamp duty bill comes due on the purchase of a second or subsequent property.

“Hence our advice is that if you are likely to be judged as a second home owner and you want to avoid the additional 3% stamp duty, it is best to act now. Full clarity is still awaited and will be announced in the March budget,” Tim adds.

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South Shropshire Shoot available to let

05/02/2016

A driven shoot on a private Estate in beautiful South Shropshire countryside and with sporting topography, is available to let.

Sibdon Castle Estate Shoot, which extends to some 800 acres and incorporates 80 acres of mixed woodland, is available to let on a five year term, commencing with the 2016/17 season.

Natalie Liddiment, of letting agents, Balfours Property Professionals, says: “The Sibdon Castle Shoot is a rare opportunity to take in hand a shoot which has great sporting opportunity, yet is highly accessible situated just two miles west of the A49 at Craven Arms.”

She adds:  “The shoot has a great reputation for presenting sporting birds. Facilities will include a lunchroom in the old stables at Sibdon Castle.”

For more information and viewing call Natalie on 01588 673314 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Let go of your home and reveal a house to sell

28/01/2016

How and when to market your home is one of the biggest decision most of us make and traditionally the spring market is a good time to launch.

Agent, Scott Kemsley, who covers Balfours South Shropshire and Herefordshire region, urges vendors to first prepare; make the conversion from a home to a house being marketed. “Put yourself in the shoes of the buyers – how would they like the property to look? It sounds basic but by reversing the vendor mind-set and taking on the thought process of the buyer can be extremely helpful.”

“Next step is to be honest about those thoughts!” adds Scott. He says basic targets should include decluttering, ensuring that each room has maximum light, with the curtains drawn, blinds lifted and light bulbs working. Light is a great asset of space.

“Personal paraphernalia detracts from what would otherwise be a really nice house, cottage or flat. When selling the ultimate target is that it will no longer be your home; to achieve that goal someone else has to visualise it as their home.  The potential vendor wants a feeling of spaciousness and to see space, space where they can put their belongings, yes and even their clutter!”

From the moment a potential buyer arrives they will be forming impressions, says Scott.  So if the lawns are mowed and the garden looks loved, it is going to create a more positive feel. Outside garden clutter is another bane for agents and should be minimised.  From plant pots, to BBQs and children’s’ bikes ideally they should all be out of site.

Animal free zone

Scott hesitates: “There’s one more thing, pets: While Shropshire is a rural county and lots of us have dogs, cats and other pets, we do have to be mindful that for some people they can be a negative influence. It is a good idea to limit creatures to one room of the house where they can be managed during a viewing. It might also be a good idea to pop a scented freshener in the room that animals normally frequent.”

What about re-decorating or those dream alterations and makeovers? So long as décor is clean, don’t bother, the buyer will want to put his own ideas and make the house into their home – isn’t that what you wanted to do when you moved in? If you would like to discuss marketing your home with Scott, then call him on 01743 353511.

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