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Holding out for a hero!

Posted by big_marketing on September 1, 2022

Over 250,000 people turned out for Bedford’s river festival last month, but only one of them was brave enough to jump into the water and save a little girl from drowning.
Local man John Robb is a father of three and lives in Hatch, Sandy. He saw her fall off the zorb, and she was under water for a good few seconds, but whilst the lifeguards and others went to get a rope, he realised there wasn’t time for that, and so jumped straight in and pulled her out safely.
You can read the full story here

He “celebrated” with a pint at his local pub. Top man!

Talking of pubs, they were also filled last month as we saw the England Women’s team win the Euros, another group of heroes, whose captain comes from Newport Pagnell in Milton Keynes, which is only 20 minutes from Sandy. What a treat to see it finally coming home, bought by the women.

It got me to thinking, we’re especially fond of the heroes who drink in the pubs of this fair land. And in Sandy’s catchment area there are loads to enjoy, so keep an eye out for John (or the England women’s team) and buy them a pint when you see them.

Have you got favourite local hero story? Or even your favourite pub, and why? If you write in and tell us, we’ll add your recommendation to the next blog, and maybe have a staff evening out there.

The cost of buying a typical home in England

The cost of buying a typical home in England has risen to 8.7 times the average annual disposable household income. It’s the highest it’s been since we started counting back in 1999. House prices have risen strongly since the end of the first lockdown as people have looked for homes with more space, helped by the stamp duty holiday. They kept rising since the end of the tax break, bolstered by a shortage of supply and high demand.

This leads to more competition between buyers, and a lot of extra work for the estate agents showing potential buyers around. You may have heard of “Open House” ? This is where you throw open your doors and people can come and view your home any time that day? The benefits of this means we can arrange up to 10x viewings in a day, with each potential buyer getting their own slot, and by sharing the open house details in advance we can create a real buzz around your home. We can pre-qualify the buyers and your home could be sold STC that very day. As a bonus, you also only have to tidy it up the once as well.
If you’d like to know more, get in touch with James or Leigh on 01767 691122 or click here to book a valuation.

Is it a sellers market right now?
House prices are still rising, and if you sell now, there’s every chance you’ll achieve a record price for your home. There’s over twice as many buyers as vendors, which means that you’ll probably have to choose between several suitable buyers, ensuring you get the best price for your property, with a buyer whose circumstances suit yours as well. If you’d like to know what yours might be worth, click here

The energy crisis is driving up all household bills.

Here’s some tips on how to prepare:

To keep energy manageable the government limits how much energy suppliers can charge each year. When wholesale gas prices shot up, suppliers needed to pass on some of that cost so the cap was raised in October 2021, and again in January 2022. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to shortages and supply line issues across Europe and the world. Analysts claim it might take 3 years to resolve.

Here’s some tips to help:

1) Help your tenants:

Chances are they are already looking to improve energy efficiency, but helping them find that information will always be useful; give them info on how to improve energy efficiency in a rented home. Ask them if they know how to compare and switch tariffs? It’s all good tenant -landlord communication and can only help the relationship going forward.

2) Don’t panic

Switch in haste, repent at leisure. If you think energy bill rises are steep, you should see some of the tariff exit fees – a whopping tenfold increase from this time last year in some cases. When you sign up to a tariff, you’re also signing up to stick with that tariff for a minimum amount of time. Leave early, and you’ll almost certainly face an exit fee.
There is nothing more soul-crushing than believing you’ve saved yourself some cash with a new deal, then getting stung on the way out of the old one. Do your homework, read the small print – then read it again!

4) Avoid the void

Naturally, as a landlord you’re responsible for all bills during a so-called void period, so when your property is empty, get your meter key out and give a reading as soon as the tenant moves out, and then regularly after, until just before a new tenant moves in.
Why be so pernickety, you ask? The energy supplier won’t know the property’s empty and will bill you based on what it costs when the home is occupied. Plus, timely readings mean that everyone – old tenant, you, new tenant – pays for exactly what they use.
And, of course, do what you can to keep void periods to a minimum.

5) Guarantee your rent

Unless your tenant happens to be an oil tycoon, higher energy bills mean harder-up tenants, which means a higher chance of rent arrears. With the cost-of-living soaring, more tenants will be deemed (according to affordability calculations) to need a guarantor.
In addition to a guarantor, Rent Guarantee Insurance is a wise move. It can pay your rental income while you and the tenant work together to resolve any temporary cash flow snags.

6) Invest in efficiency

Energy efficiency standards are set to increase in the next few years, so if you’ve been thinking about insulation and double glazing, take the leap. If nothing else, it’ll save you money in the periods between tenants, and will help your tenants keep on top of bills during this time of price hikes.
If you’re replacing any appliances, opt for a high energy rating, and check your existing appliances for any with a terrible rating, as it might be time to retire them before you arrange your next EPC.
One of a number of wallet-boosting, green improvements, heat pumps are increasingly popular too, so consider whether now’s the time to go for one.

7) Look after yourself

Don’t forget to do what you can at home to keep your own costs down, as well as your stress levels. Producing and sticking to a budget for your property(ies) will also help you not to overstretch yourself.

Don’t forget, there is help available for homeowners in the form of advice and various grants, so be sure to make use of anything you can, or just talk to our experts Daniel, Debbie or Lauren.
Call us on 01767 691 122 or click here

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