I love it, and I hate it at this time of year. I hate it that the Summer is well and truly over, but I do love the Autumn, and those cold crisp nights with the fire on and a glass of something warm or even sparkling whilst contemplating life outside from the comfort of my armchair.
Most people want to move in the Spring or the Summer, but it hasn’t been that easy this year with everything else going on has it? And social distancing (remember that?)
So if it hasn’t quite worked out for you in 2021, you might want to think about doing some winter maintenance to prepare and protect your home, saving unnecessary costs.
Have you done your Winter Maintenance checklist yet?
We had the wettest winter in living memory last year, And combined with the surge in the pandemic, and further lockdowns it was pretty miserable.
But it can get worse if you don’t prepare your house for the seasons. So here’s 10 tips to help you have a peaceful Christmas
1) Clean the guttering. During the Autumn, they fill up easily with dead leaves and moss from the roof. If you clear them now, you’ll avoid further damage from breakage and flooding.
2) Check the heating is working properly. You don’t want to have to call out the heating engineers on the coldest day of the year.
3) Bleed the radiators. Google it, and allow your home to warm up quicker and less noisily.
4) Get the chimney swept. This is an easy one to forget, until you need that fire lit. Get an annual fireplace inspection. There’s probably a local sweep, but they get very busy around now, so book early.
5) Prevent your pipes from freezing, keep your heating on low, even when you’re out.
6) Bring the outdoors inside. Move all your mowers, BBQ grill, outdoor furniture, into the garage or shed for the winter months. And don’t forget to switch off any sprinkler systems.
7) Prune back the garden, and sharpen your tools for next Spring. Clean up the rotting plants and regenerate your mulch.
8) Weatherproof your doors and windows. Check for gaps and drafts, they can be easily fixed if caught early.
9) Reverse your fans. According to Stephen Fanuka of million dollar contractor, the secret to saving money in the winter is to turn your fans clockwise, since it will stop the warm air rising. Most ceiling fans have a switch you can flip, or it may be inside if it’s not obvious.
10) Check for cracks in your water tank. Make sure your hot water tank is crack-free, if it’s over 10-15 years old, you might even need to replace it.
Working over Christmas? So are we. Here’s our opening hours if you want to get in touch…
Thursday 23/12/21 Closed at 12 midday
Friday 24/12/21 Closed Christmas Eve
Saturday 25/12/21 Closed Christmas Day
Monday 27/12/21 Closed
Tuesday 28/12/21 Closed
Wednesday 29/12/21 Open 10am – 2pm
Thursday 30/12/21 Open 10am – 2pm
Friday 31/12/21 Closed New Year’s Eve
Saturday 01/01/2022 Closed New Year’s Day
Monday 03/01/2022 Closed
Tuesday 04/01/2022 Open as normal 9am – 5pm.
What are the stamp duty rates from 1st October?
A lot of people are asking me about the stamp duty rules now. So here’s an update.
If you’re buying a main home from 1st October 2021, you won’t pay any stamp duty on the portion of the property priced at or below £125,000. So, if you spend up to £250,000, you’ll get the first £125,000 tax free, but will pay two per cent tax on the portion above that.
Anything you spend between £250,001 and £925,000 will incur 5% tax, rising to 10% for properties priced between £925,001 to £1.5 million. If you spend above £1.5 million, you will pay 12 per cent in stamp duty tax, as below:
|Stamp Duty Land Tax rates from 1st October 2021||SDLT rate|
|Up to £125,000||Zero|
|The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000)||2%|
|The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)||5%|
|The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)||10%|
|The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)||12%|
I’m about to buy a home for £300,000. How much stamp duty will I pay?
If you were to spend £300,000 on a property, your stamp duty bill will be calculated like this from 1st October 2021:
|0% on the first £125,000||£0|
|2% on the next £125,000||£2,500|
|5% on the final £50,000||£2,500|
|Stamp duty payable||£5,000|
Tax rates are higher for those buying a second home.
You can find out more by using our Stamp duty calculator