Investment Property in Folkestone

Property Turner has recently been instructed to purchase a number of investment properties for an overseas client in Folkestone.

The market in Folkestone for prime apartments in the right part of town seems to buck the trend of markets elsewhere in the county.  At every viewing, there were several other parties viewing at the same time – when did that last happen?  One of the local agents reported putting 41 properties on the market in September and agreeing sales on 21 of those within the same month.

Why?

Well, the basic economic fundamentals are there.

Firstly, transport links.  Folkestone has two stations in the town centre where you can board the high-speed train that will take you into London in just 50 minutes.  So, with a 10-minute walk from home and no parking costs, you really can be in London within an hour from your front door.

Secondly, affordability.  Properties are affordable.  A decent one bed flat still costs about £120,000 – £150,000 and two beds £170,000 – £220,000 and even lovely three bedroomed flats are well under £300,000.

There is also significant new investment planned for near the harbour and the vibe is just getting better.  The key to buying in Folkestone is to choose the area very carefully.

Helen Turner

Property Turner

www.propertyturner.co.uk

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Two More Successful Purchases for Clients Off Market – April 2016

STOP PRESS: Clients of Property Turner have just exchanged on another property within the Cranbrook School Catchment Area (CSCA) which means that Property Turner have now bought two houses since Christmas 2015 that didn’t go anywhere near the internet. Sales brochures weren’t even produced and our clients were the only viewers.

Excellent local contacts are crucial in this market where there is a lack of good housing stock and market knowledge is key to ensure fair prices are struck.

http://www.propertyturner.co.uk

Top 10 House Hunting Tips

Get your finances in order

Ideally have a mortgage pre-agreed before you start looking.  Be realistic about what you can afford, remember to factor in stamp duty, legal fees, agent’s fees and removal costs. You will be in a much better position if you can say you are all ready to go financially.

Under offer

If you have something to sell, have your house under offer before you start making offers on any house.  You will only be taken seriously if you can proceed and it puts you in a much better negotiating position.

Know the area you want to move to well

It’s an expensive business and you don’t want to be moving again in a couple of years because you got it wrong.  Be realistic about acceptable commuting times and the importance of proximity to a station.  Know where the cut through roads are that are to be avoided.  Research any proposed development plans in the area.  Think about what facilities are important to how you live your life. Think about how isolated or otherwise you want to be.

For those with school aged children, find your school first

There are many excellent state and private schools in Kent.  If you want to go the state route, find out what are the key dates in terms of applications.  When do you need to be in situ?  If going the private route, find out where other families live, you don’t want to be driving your child for hours at a weekend to go to a football club all your child’s mates go to which is 40 minutes from where you live, or picking up from play dates half an hour away.  Also the prep schools often have different pick up times for different ages, so again be realistic about distance away from school.

Think about what type of house you want

Consider ongoing maintenance costs and how much time you want to spend gardening and DIYing.  Factor these costs into your budget.  Do you want characterful or more contemporary? Do you plan on having pets?  Is a boot room and separate utility room important?  Consider how your house could grow with your family.

Consider whether you would be prepared to do any work to a house and if so how much

A simple bathroom refurbishment can only take a couple of weeks whereas other works, say kitchen extensions or re-configuring houses to make the flow work, can end up being expensive and take much longer than you think.  If you are happy to undertake quite a major project, you may have to move into rented accommodation and this needs to be factored into any costs.  You may want to get a good local architect involved before you purchase.  Be realistic about costs.

Know your market thoroughly

Know what price other houses have achieved.  Don’t only look at what prices houses are on the market at, this can often be misleading.  If a house has been on the market a long time find out why.  Know which villages attract premiums and why.  Know which are the most desirable roads and which are the roads to be avoided

Be prepared to come and look at a house at the drop of a hat

Good properties go very quickly.

Keep an open mind

If it’s all too much…..

Employ a good search agent with property expertise and excellent local market knowledge. They should be able to get you in houses before anyone else and could save you considerable sums with their market knowledge, negotiating skills and local contacts.

www.propertyturner.co.uk

Moving From London to Kent

The move out from London can seem very daunting but don’t worry, you are following a very well trodden path!  When you have moved and found loads of friends who have all done the same thing with similar experiences, you will breathe a sigh of relief and realise it was the right answer.

But there are a few key things that need to be done first, and this article should help provide a check list. PropertyTurner are very happy to chat any of this through in further detail.

Which area of Kent?

This will largely be dependant upon your own priorities and finances. We believe the commute is key and it is important to balance the train journey with house prices and school options and a decision as to whether you want to stay relatively urban – Sevenoaks town for example or more rural, say a village in the Weald of Kent near Cranbrook.

Schools play a huge part here, finding a school you love which has spaces is a top priority and then balance that with how long a commute you are prepared to do and what type of property you get for your money and it will soon become obvious which part of Kent is for you.

Schools

One of the key drivers people move out of London is the schools. People are very keen for their kids to have space to play, learn and just be kids, however they are also keen to ensure a top education. The prep school offer in Kent is first class, no matter what you are looking for with a good many options, all with a slightly different emphasis. The school registrars are a very friendly bunch, and often have had kids go through the schools themselves and understand individual concerns.  Most have previously done the move out of London themselves not that many years ago, so ringing and asking for a prospectus and an appointment to go and see the schools is an easy step.

Another key time people move is when the eldest child is coming up to secondary schooling and parents decide they do not want to out their child through the whole London day school struggle for places. Again Kent wins here with a number of excellent options in both the private and state sector, remember Kent still has grammar schools which is a great option for many.

Where to live?

Having decided an area and a school the final piece of the jigsaw is the house. The first decision is often to buy or rent. Moving is expensive, especially with stamp duty at its new levels and therefore many families want to move out, get the kids settled at school and then decide where to buy. However, be aware that decent rental properties are in high demand and if this is the route you have decided to go, then be prepared to speak to the agents daily and come down to view at the drop of a hat. Such is the demand that in the summer months good family properties to rent can go within a day. Also renting is not cheap, be prepared to pay over £2000 per month for a decent family home, with many properties fetching nearer £3000.

However, most people want to start their lives down here in their new homes and are keen to combine a sale in London with a buy in the country. It makes them feel more settled and permanent. The pitfalls are huge if you go wrong and it is important to know you have made a sound investment. Know your areas well, for example know what are the rat run roads that are impossible at school run time but might seem fine during a Saturday afternoon viewing? What is the best route to the most reliable train station? (not as obvious as it may appear at first). Is the property old and listed with character but also gaping draughts and enormous running costs or contemporary and efficient to run? Is it on mains drainage or do you have an old cesspit in the garden? Is there mains gas or are you going to be reliant on the price of oil (which, incidentally, is very reasonable at the moment). Does the flow of the house work?

Land is another consideration, a big garden sounds great but just consider the time and money involved in maintaining a large garden. Big country houses are beautiful places to live but they can be time consuming and costly to run. The villages are all slightly different, some offering great community spirit and some offering more seclusion.

With both rental and purchase properties there will be other parties in the same position. And that is why we suggest using PropertyTurner Search Agents. We know the agents and get to hear about a considerable amount of properties before they hit the internet. We also know our market and the relevant comparables and can discuss value with you from a position of knowledge. Our local knowledge also means that we can tell you which roads and which villages represent sound investments.

www.propertyturner.co.uk

Elderly People Need Help Too

PropertyTurner has recently been instructed by an elderly couple, who are looking to downsize and are finding the whole moving process overwhelming. This is the second such instruction within a year which made us realise that many elderly people need help.

They often rely on the estate agents, however it is important to realise that estate agents are acting for the vendors and are looking to get the best possible price for their clients, they are not on the side of the buyer.

Our elderly clients are not so commercially minded and love the fact that we are 100% on their side and will help to navigate through the process and secure the best house available at the possible price for them.

From our point of view the job is basically the same;  get a brief, look at all suitable properties, hear from the agents about all new instructions coming to the market, make a shortlist, accompany viewings and negotiate the price.

However our elderly clients have more time and we like to think we can give them the extra attention they need.  We are happy to oversee their sale, discuss what they need to take with them, arrange for some items to go to family members and arrange to dispose of unwanted furniture through the best possible means, be it antique dealer, auction house, local house clearance companies and also charity shops. We love chatting and having a cup of tea with them and we love making sure they are not ripped off! We can also help organise the move and arrange for cleaning at the old house and the new house. Basically we can give them whatever extra help they need.

It’s very satisfying from our point of view, holding their hands and knowing we have done a good job.

www.propertyturner.co.uk