Posted on

Top Tips for Selling Your Clutter Online

Let’s face it, as a nation, we like a lot of stuff. Whether we’re panic buying loo rolls or ordering fashion bargains online, sometimes all the ‘stuff’ can take up valuable space in our homes.

With Chrimbo within touching distance, there’s no better time to declutter and make space for all those gifts. Plus, by selling things on, you’re not only making money but you’re doing your bit for the environment and sending less to landfill. Win-win!

Plus, if you are thinking of selling your home then decluttering it is one of the best pieces of advice we’d share with you.

Picture perfect
Not only should you take numerous pics of your item from different angles, but you also need to make sure the lighting is good and the background is clear. Give your potential buyer the best view of your item to make sure it sells. No one wants to see your messy floor or leopard print bedsheets so go with a solid colour background.

Be realistic
“This time next year Rodders, we’ll be millionaires.” Remember that golden line from everyone’s favourite wheeler dealer? Well, no matter how much you love Del Boy, selling clutter online probably won’t make you a million quid, it should however give you some extra pennies.

Set your prices sensibly: too high and you won’t get any interest, too low and it’s more effort than it’s worth. Also, beware of postage costs. Some things are so big you’ll be paying more in postage than the actual selling price. Try and get the buyer to pay for delivery, but remember, this may also put some people off.

Tell the truth
Don’t be tempted to exaggerate the quality of what you’re selling. If something is scratched or chipped, be honest. There’s nothing more annoying than dealing with returns. If they know exactly what they’re getting, there’ll be less chance of complaints. Include a picture of the fault and offer a detailed description of any issues.

Research
Newsflash: eBay isn’t the only auction/selling site around. Yes, it’s easy to use, but it also takes a big percentage of your selling price so investigate other options. There are dedicated sites for fashion (Vinted and Depop), designer items, books and so on. In some cases, you can sell unwanted items such as CDs and DVDs to online retailers in exchange for vouchers.

Face to face
Got a Facebook account? Check out Facebook Marketplace. It’s free to use and you sell items through your profile. While most sales are agreed online they often take place face to face. Be prepared to ask for cash and always meet the buyer in a public place (safety first).

If you’re looking to sell your home after a successful declutter, give us a call at Jacks & Jones on 01903 267700 and let us help.

Posted on

Things to Do Before Buying a Run-Down Property

Got your eye on a property that needs some major TLC? Whether a rental investment or a new home, there’s lots to consider when buying a run-down property.

Finances
First things first, is the property mortgageable? Or is it so run-down that no one will lend you money? If it’s the latter, you may have to think of other financing options such as a bridging loan (a short-term loan), cash (if you have the money available), or a joint venture (if you have an investment partner).

And while we’re talking money, before exchanging any contracts, you need to budget, budget, and budget again. A property renovation is costly at the best of times but restoring a dilapidated property can feel like a black hole of endless expense. Make sure you set yourself a sensible budget and have a contingency fund in case of unexpected costs.

Survey
Getting a surveyor to inspect a potential property seems obvious, but when buying a run-down property, you’ll need more than a basic condition survey or HomeBuyer report. To be extra safe and to understand exactly what you’re buying, organise a Building Survey. This will examine the structural make-up of the property and make recommendations for repairs and potential costs. Don’t skimp on this stage of the purchase, as a surveyor can uncover issues you weren’t aware of and save you thousands of pounds.

Planning permission
If you’ve got plans to extend your doer-upper, be sure to do your research. Some properties are sold with planning permission while some benefit from permitted development. If your purchase has neither, keep in mind that planning is a time-consuming (and expensive) road to travel. This could hold up your renovation dreams, so you need to get the process started as soon as you exchange.

Top tip: Look at neighbouring properties to see what type of extensions have been given permission in the past.

Quotes and professionals
Whether you’re hiring a contractor to manage the renovation or want to project manage yourself, get the right team on board. Meet different builders, ask lots of questions, and make sure you outline exactly what you want done. Heed professional advice, they know what they’re doing. You may also need an architect’s advice and it might be worth speaking to the local planning department for extra information.

To find your dream restoration project speak to us at Jacks & Jones.

Posted on

Seven Ways to Prepare Your Rental Property for Winter

In this two-minute read, we look at how landlords in Worthing can make sure their rental investments stand up to the challenges of winter weather.

With winter officially only a few weeks away, the time is now ideal for landlords to take steps to ensure their properties are prepared for whatever December to February serves up.

By putting a winter property maintenance plan in place, you’re setting yourself and your tenants up for a trouble-free winter period.

Begin with boilers – The best time to service a boiler is in September, ahead of it being plunged into constant action in the months that follow. The second-best time to service a boiler is right NOW. By keeping on top of boiler and heating maintenance, you’ll save a lot of money and avoid hassle in the long run.

Remember your radiators – Bleeding your radiators is a simple, yet effective way of ensuring they are working as well as they should be.

Look at lagging – Frozen pipes that burst are the stuff of nightmares for any serious landlord. So, take the time to ensure pipes are wrapped in lagging to reduce the risks of freezing and potentially bursting.

Go to guttering – Don’t wait until the weather turns before you clean out your gutters. Blockages can build up over time and slowly cause unseen damage.

Insulate everywhere – Insulating a loft is an excellent way of keeping the warmth in and the heating bills lower. But don’t forget that even insulating against draughts can be a small way of making a big difference to how warm a property feels.

Fix that fence – The stronger seasonal winds love claiming a poorly maintained fence as one of its victims. So, act now to ensure any weak spots in your fencing are ready to stand up to whatever the winter winds throw at it.

Check it out – If your property is vacant for any sustained period over the winter months, diarise weekly or fortnightly visits to it to keep an eye on things. If you can’t do this, then it’s the kind of thing a good, local letting agent can do for you.

Your rental property is an asset, and having happy tenants is a key part of making the most of it, so take the time and spend the money on creating a safe, comfortable home for them this winter.

And don’t worry if you’re not a Handy Andy or a DIY Diana. At Jacks & Jones, we have good working relationships with maintenance people who can do all the work for you.

Posted on

Are You Going to Grow with the ‘Mo’ This November? 🧔

We like to do our bit for charity at Jacks & Jones. And we love seeing people in Worthing doing the same.

Some run marathons for charity.

Others row single-handedly across the Atlantic to support good causes.

And a growing band of men are ditching the razors, sitting back, and letting nature do its thing to grow moustaches next month. All in the name of raising money for men’s health charities.

Movember started as a group of friends challenging each other to grow a moustache back in 2004.

It’s gone on to raise millions towards work in men’s mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer research.

It’s grown into a popular movement with men across the world getting involved.

But now it’s not just for the ‘Mo Brothers’ as new challenges introduced mean women can get involved and be ‘Mo Sisters’.

Here’s how the Movember website is encouraging everyone to get involved.

Grow
More than just follicles on your face, your moustache is a ribbon. With it, you can remind people of the importance of men’s health and urge them to take action with a donation.

Move
How you run or walk is up to you. Take it fast, take it slow. Push your limits outside (or push ‘go’ on the treadmill). 60km over the month for the 60 men we lose to suicide each hour, every hour.

Host
Host in person or online. Think big. Think small. Think delicious, competitive, or creative. It’s all about bringing people together to have fun while doing good.

Mo your own way
A choose-your-own-adventure challenge, epic in scope and scale. You need imagination, determination, and fire in your belly. It’s an open-ended invitation to test your limits in the name of men’s health. And have a tonne of fun while you’re getting it done.

Whether it’s a test of physical endurance or a not-so-sweaty pledge to kick a bad habit – it’s whatever Mo Your Own Way means to you.

To find out more about how you can get involved with Movember, visit: www.uk.movember.com

We’ve created our shortlist of famous ‘mo’s below:

Burt Reynolds
Hulk Hogan
Ron Burgundy
Groucho Marx
Salvador Dali
Eddie Murphy
Sir Mo Farah (sorry, we couldn’t resist that one).

Let us know who sports your all-time favourite mo, and if you’re doing any fundraising this November.

Posted on

Mortgage Fees: Everything You Need to Know

In this three-minute read, we give you the lowdown on mortgage fees.

When it comes to finding the best mortgage deal, there’s one question savvy home buyers should ask themselves.

And it’s not: “Which deal is offering the lowest interest rate?”.

While interest rates are obviously important, mortgage hunters should ask: “Which deal represents the best value overall?”.

That’s because many of the ultra-low interest rate deals available right now come with fees.

For some home buyers, a zero-fee product with a slightly higher interest rate will represent better value in the long term. (It all depends on the size of your deposit and the amount you wish to borrow.)

So, before you sign on the dotted line, weigh up all your options and seek independent advice.

Here’s a handy guide to the different types of mortgage fees to help you with your research.

The Big Ones (If you’re not careful, these fees can set you back thousands)

Arrangement Fee or Product Fee
This fee covers the setting up of the mortgage and usually ranges from £399 to £1,500 – although we’ve seen it hit £1,999.

Most lenders will let you roll this fee into your mortgage, which is handy if you’re cash-strapped after covering the rest of your moving costs.

However, doing this means you pay interest on the fee, increasing the overall amount you pay in the long run.

Higher Lending Charge (HLC)
In the old days, this was called a Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee. Lenders apply HLCs to high loan to value mortgages (i.e. those where the deposit is small, in comparison to the size of the loan).

The way lenders calculate HLCs can vary, but the crux of the matter is if you’re borrowing a more significant sum, this fee can be thousands.

Smaller Fees (these can range from £50 up to several hundred quid)

Booking Fee
You pay this when you complete and submit your mortgage application. It shows the lender that you’re committed to the deal as it’s non-refundable (even if the mortgage doesn’t go ahead).

Valuation Fee
This covers the checks carried out by your lender to ensure that you’re not paying over the odds for your property.

It’s not a detailed search for structural, safety, or boundary-related issues. You need to instruct your own surveyor to do this.

CHAPS Fee
Also known by the rather quaint term ‘Telegraphic Transfer Fee’, this covers the cost of your lender sending funds to your solicitor.

Buildings Insurance Fee
Buildings insurance is a condition of all mortgages, and your lender will encourage you to go with their recommended provider. If you opt to go with a different insurer, expect to pay a small fee.

Don’t let this fee deter you from shopping around as there’s a huge variation in buildings insurance premiums.

Early Repayment Fee
If you repay the entire balance of your mortgage early, you could incur a fee.

Exit Fee
Even when you’ve paid your mortgage off, there could be a little surprise waiting in the form of a fee to close the mortgage account.

For more advice about mortgages, get in touch with us here at Jacks & Jones.

Posted on

The Pros and Cons of Investing in Property with a Friend

In this two-minute read, we ask if it’s wise investing in property with a friend.

Purchasing a buy-to-let property with a friend is an appealing prospect – on paper, at least.

But it’s important to carefully weigh up the risks and rewards before taking the plunge.

Here’s a list of the pros and cons of becoming a landlord with a friend.

The pros
• The role of landlord comes with a plethora of responsibilities. Sharing these duties with a trusted friend will lighten the load.
• Your co-investor may have a different skill set to you, meaning you can play to your strengths while they play to theirs.
• Most lenders require larger deposits for buy-to-let mortgages. Splitting your investment means you don’t have to pay as much cash up front.

The cons
• You never really know someone until you’ve gone into business with them. If the two of you disagree on how to manage the property, the friendship could suffer.
• If your tenant falls into arrears, as landlords, you’ll have to stump up the cash. However, if your investor buddy can’t pay their share for whatever reason, you’re liable for the shortfall.
• You might be on the same page as your friend right now, but people’s circumstances change. Further down the line, your friend may decide that they want to sell up when you don’t, or vice versa.

Tips
If you’re still keen to invest with a friend, here’s how to mitigate some of the risks.

Get a good lawyer
You need a legally binding agreement that states:
• How much each party is investing
• The ownership split
• Responsibilities regarding bills and maintenance
• What happens if one or both parties want to sell
• A dispute resolution mechanism should you disagree on an issue

Get a will
In some cases of co-ownership, if one party dies, the property automatically goes to the other person unless otherwise stated in a will.

Don’t feel pressured
If your friend thinks a formal agreement is unnecessary – they may see it as a sign that you don’t trust them – politely, but firmly, pull out of the deal.

Without the right paperwork in place, you risk getting caught up in a protracted and messy dispute later on.

Going ahead based on a wink and a handshake could cost you the friendship and much more if things don’t turn out according to plan.

For more advice on investing in the buy-to-let market, contact us here at Jacks & Jones.