31Jan


Interest rate rise: Is now the time to review your mortgage?


We have all enjoyed a period where mortgage rates have been at an all-time low but is the price of mortgage borrowing beginning to rise across the market?


The Bank of England recently doubled its base rate from 0.25% to 0.5%.  Those being hit hardest are those who have borrowed a large percentage of their home’s value.  For example, the average two-year fixed-rate for a borrower with a 5% deposit has increased from 4.16% last month to 4.26% today.  As an indication of increasing rates, just six months ago the rate for the same mortgage was 4.14%, says Moneyfacts, a personal finance website.


There is no doubt that there is a growing sense among those with a mortgage that interest rates will continue to rise which will help drive growing numbers to look for the best mortgage deals.  While some of the best and cheapest options have disappeared from the market already, there are other, new mortgage best buys available but these do not last long.


It is important to seek independent financial advice about mortgages from those who understand the market and have access to the latest and best offerings.  It's also important that if you have a fixed rate mortgage, that you aren’t lulled into a false sense of security by believing that the interest rate rise does not affect you.


While 57% of homeowners currently are on fixed rate deals, their monthly repayments will be the same, regardless of the rate rise.
However, most of these borrowers will be on relatively short two-year fixed deals so when they end, the next deal will probably be more expensive.  While lenders are chasing new business, there hasn't been a huge leap in mortgage rates yet but most borrowers could be in for a surprise by failing to remortgage and then finding themselves on their lender’s standard variable rate.


For more property advice, contact our team today.


23Jan



Landlords Buildings and Contents insurance from Hazelton Mountford Ltd


As a Landlord it is impossible to predict what tomorrow will bring. Having the right insurance in place can protect you and your assets. We work closely in partnership with Letting Agents and other property professionals to enable their landlords to benefit from enhanced policy cover and competitive premiums from some the UK’s leading insurers.


Over a quarter of landlords are reported to have the wrong insurance in place or no insurance at all, this is an alarming statistic.


The reality of the situation is often realised when the landlord calls his or her’s insurance company to make a claim and to be told the claim won’t be paid as the insurance company were not notified of the change in a material fact. Landlords insurance is much easier to get than a few years ago but unless you choose a specialist insurance policy it can often be expensive with insufficient cover in place.


A Landlords policy with Hazelton Mountford Covers you for:-

Landlord’s liability - Covers you against the cost of claims arising from injury or damage suffered by a tenant and visitors at the property.

Malicious Damage by Tenants – This is often an exclusion or will come at an extra cost in landlords insurance, make sure your landlord reads the small print! Malicious Damage can cover your landlord if the property is damaged by tenants who are lawfully allowed to be in the property. We offer this at no extra cost within our policies.

Un-occupancy Period – Properties do have void periods, of course less common these days but still important that the right void period cover is in place. Some policies will restrict your landlords cover even after 7 days of un-occupancy which could lead to costly inspections by the managing agent which will ultimately be a cost to you.

Loss of Rent – If the property is uninhabitable then you want to make sure the landlord has the right cover in place, the rent will be an income source for you and could be needed to pay for the buy to let mortgage. Some insurance policies have inadequate loss of rent cover and indemnity periods, policies are available that offer 25% of the building sum insured or unlimited cover until the property is re-let!

Claims Management – Our Clients have access to a dedicated account handler working on your behalf, assisting you through the claims process and ensuring a quick and efficient outcome.


For further information about how we can protect you as a Landlord, please contact us on 01905 721269 or email letproperty@hazeltonmountford.co.uk




18Jan

For most people the driving reason behind building a low energy home is about saving energy and therefore money. Undoubtedly the whole abstract idea of saving the planet comes into it but the reality is that it comes down to low bills.


It is a wonderful by-product that low energy spaces properly built are far nicer places to live. Still, calm, healthier and quiet they are almost unnervingly comfortable. Once you’ve experienced low energy housing you will never want to live in a draughty and cold old school home again.


Smart Design – One of the best things to come out of the whole sector is thermal modelling. This is the ability to use computer programmes to test the energy, thermal and water performance of a design as it evolves. This allows designers to optimise a buildings shape, orientation, windows and insulation to passively use the sun to do as much heating and lighting as possible.


Beware of Overheating – All these large south-facing windows and lots of insulation are wonderful but many new builds are suffering for over heating. With our climate set to warm considerable over the next 50 years this is only going to get worse. One of the main reasons for thermal modelling is to test for possible overheating and design it out at an early stage.


Don't Lose The Joy – It is easy with all the additional complexity of all these issues to lose sight of the fact that your house should be joyful and inspiring. Sometimes low energy architecture can become a little too worthy and rational. You need a bit of magic and spark in a project, don’t let low energy concerns kill that.


Whether new build or refurbished, low energy homes are not easy to achieve but once you do, you’ll never go back. Low energy homes are the luxury of tomorrow.


For more advice from our team of property experts contact us today!



17Jan


uSwitch is an online and telephone comparison and switching service that helps you to compare prices on a range of products and services.  It can help you save money on gas and electricity, heating cover, home phone, communications, insurance and personal finance products. The aim is to help you take advantage of the best prices and services on offer from suppliers.


All the benefits of uSwitch.com's helpful, comprehensive and convenient service are available for business customers too with uSwitchforBusiness.com, which helps companies compare prices and switch on a range of business services including gas, electricity and insurance.


How does uSwitch make money?

uSwitch has commercial agreements in place with some suppliers across all of their services. They charge suppliers a fee when they switch customers to them, which means they can provide consumers with a free service. Their commercial relationships help to make the switching process as simple as possible for customers and in some cases allows them to negotiate exclusive deals that are not available directly from the supplier.

uSwitch tries to include as many suppliers and products on the market in their comparisons as possible. However there are circumstances where a supplier or a product cannot be included in the search - for example, they may not be able to show a supplier's products because they do not have an agreement with them or because they do not wish to be included in the comparison.

Energy and heating cover

The data used to calculate your results for these services is provided directly by suppliers. uSwitch monitor all suppliers continually and update their site regularly to ensure the results are comprehensive and accurate.  uSwitch is also accredited by Ofgem under its Confidence Code, which requires comparison sites to provide their services in an easy, reliable and reassuring way.


Credit cards, loans, and current accounts

The data used to calculate your results for personal finance services is provided directly by suppliers or their agents. uSwitch immediately updates any product and rate changes to ensure the results are accurate. They strive to cover the whole market but only compare products from suppliers they have a relationship with.


Mortgages, home phone, broadband, digital TV, mobile broadband, mobile phones

For these products, data is received from third party providers, which continually monitor the market and update uSwitch daily with any changes or new deals to ensure the results are comprehensive and accurate.


Car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, life insurance

Data is sourced for car insurance directly from the wide range of insurance providers that uSwitch work with. All other insurance product data is provided by third parties, who monitor the market continually to ensure that you receive up-to-date quotes.


Why do people use uSwitch?

People use uSwitch because they help you find the best product or tariff for your needs. They don't mind who you switch to, they just care that you switch to the right deal for you. Switching suppliers saves customers hundreds of pounds on their bills and is easy to do. For example, between 1 March 2016 and 31 May 2016, at least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with uSwitch saved £491 or more.


For more information on how to use uSwitch, contact our expert team at Ellis Winters & Co today!


17Jan


The BBC talk show host, Graham Norton, has put his 6-bedroom beach house on the market for £2.3million.


Originally from Ireland, Graham Norton made his move to London to attend the Central School of Speech and Drama and has since gone on to become a BBC chat show giant and one of the highest paid presenters on TV.  The award winning beach house is now up for sale; it’s rumoured Graham purchased a luxury apartment in the soon-to-be-completed ONE Blackfriars building.  The property is situated on the beachfront in Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex and is clad in African iroko wood. This open plan home also boasts a large landscaped garden, outdoor pool and has its own private beach.


The property has six bedrooms, including the master bedroom complete with glass bi-folding doors that lead out onto a balcony offering amazing sea views.


But wait, it gets better! The master bedroom also has a luxury en-suite with a double sink basin and roll-top bath, meaning you’ll never lose sight of the beach.


However, this isn’t the only balcony in the home –  in fact there are several wrapped around the property to ensure you have the best beach views no matter where you are in the house.














15Jan


 


Putting your home on the market this Spring?


1. De-clutter and de-personalise

Don't wait until move day to have a big clear-out, do it before the viewings start.  Hide away as much as you can, clear away coats and shoes from the hallway, the washing basket from the bedroom and personal effects such as ornaments and photographs.


2. Spruce up the decor 

When your home is as empty as it can be, give it a fresh coat of paint. If the kitchen is old, you don't necessarily need a new one, replacing cupboard doors can make a huge difference. Make sure all the lights are working, present bedrooms nicely and add some plants for a homely feel.



3. Deep-clean

A deep-clean of your home by a professional cleaning company, which tackles things like ovens, shower doors and underneath sofas, makes a huge difference – and it could be cheaper than you think. 


 

4. Don't forget the garden

First impression count, tidy the front garden and make sure the gate opens without difficulty. A poll from Zoopla showed that more than a quarter of potential buyers would be put off by an overgrown garden, so mow the lawn and position a table and chairs in a spot where buyers could imagine having a morning coffee.


 

5. Sacrifice your parking space

Move your car up the street and leave your parking space free for prospective buyers to use, they will remember how easy it was.


 

6. Hire the right estate agent

When it comes to getting the right sale price for your property, it’s a not always the best idea to go with the agent that suggests the highest value, this is an old trick to win instructions.  Find out how and where your agent intends to market your property, make sure they are knowledgeable, locally active and you have a good rapport with them.


 

7. Get on top of your paperwork

Instruct a solicitor to kick off the conveyancing process early. Ask them to break down and fully explain all costs associated with selling and, if you can, get a fixed upfront fee for their services. 


 

8. Be smart on viewings 

When it comes to viewings on your home, it’s always best to get an agent to do it – they know their job. And, as the owner, you should ideally vacate, the buyer is then more likely to give honest feedback.


 For more information on the best way to sell your home call us on 01354 701000 or 01354 694900