Home Improvement: Exploiting opportunities for energy efficiency

To identify opportunities that are likely to arise for energy efficiency upgrades, start by making a list of future home improvements you plan to carry out over a number of years. then try to match these to major energy efficiency projects, such as insulation, solar installation, window and boiler replacement. Below are some planned projects and recommended opportunities for energy efficiency improvements.

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Planned project and energy efficiency opportunity 

  • Internal decoration, Re-plastering walls, Refitting kitchens, Refitting bathrooms and cloakrooms etc.

Internal wall insulation.

  • Rendering external walls.

External wall insulation

  • Re-roofing.

Photovoltaics (PV) Solar panel roof installation, Roof or loft insulation. If external wall cladding is planned, prepare the way by extending the roof at eaves level.

  • Replacement windows.

Specify high-performance windows and combine wall insulation works.

  • Replacing old hot water cylinder.

Specify a twin-coil (or triple-coil) cylinder ready for the later installation of solar water heating.

  • Replacing worn-out boiler.

Specify ‘A’-rated high-efficiency replacement boiler.

  • Replacing floorboards

Floor insulation and underfloor heating (can be paired with renewable technology).

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Why insulate your home?

If only you could see clouds of £20 notes floating out of your walls, windows, doors and roofs, you would waste no time in plugging the gaps through which they’re escaping.  As energy bills have rocketed in recent years coupled with climate change awareness which has been attributed to extreme flood, amazon fire and heat wave, there are compelling reasons why investing time and money insulating your home is worthwhile for everyone.

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For one thing, properties are increasingly rated and valued on the basis of their energy performance. There’s also the comforting though that with your carbon footprint reduced to the size of a pea, you’re doing your bit to beat climate change.

The benefits of insulating

  • A warmer home in the colder seasons.
  • Reduced fuel bills (over 60% of domestic energy consumed is for space heating).
  • Reduced condensation, damp and mould.
  • Greater comfort with fewer draughts.
  • A cooler home in hotter summer months.
  • Improved EPC rating to qualify for grants and add value.
  • A more eco-friendly building
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Thinking of buying a property?

Need help with property investment in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

The A to Z of Mortgage in UK

Things you must know before getting a mortgage in the UK. Explained in alphabetical order are some key words and phrases you should be aware of before taking out a mortgage loan to buy a property in the UK.

Mortgage

  • Agreement in principle –  A certificate or document that some lenders give you, showing the amount they will probably be willing to lend you. This isn’t a guarantee, but can be helpful when dealing with estate agents.
  • APR (Annual Percentage Rate) –  This shows the overall cost of a loan, taking into account the term, interest rate and other costs.
  • Bank or Base rate –  The rate at which the Bank of England lends to other financial institution.
  • Buy to let mortgage –  A loan you take out to buy a property that you intend to rent to tenants.
  • Capital – The amount you borrow to help buy your home.
  • Capped mortgage –  A mortgage with a maximum limit on the interest rate you’ll pay during the deal period.
  • Cashback mortgage –  A mortgage that comes with a cash sum which often is a percentage of the amount you’re borrowing.
  • Collared mortgage –  A mortgage with a minimum interest rate you’ll pay during the deal period.
  • Conveyance –  The transfer of rights and legal ownership of property which is carried out by a conveyance solicitor.
  • Credit Score –  A credit score is a tool used by lenders to help determine whether you qualify for a particular credit card, loan, mortgage or service.. Using the information on your credit report and any additional information you supplied as part of your application, lenders use a mathematical model to calculate a numerical score that represents your credit history.
  • Deposit –  The amount of money you put into buying a home which is not included in the mortgage money you’re borrowing.
  • Discounted mortgage –  This has a lower variable rate of interest for a set period, after this the rate increases.
  • Early repayment charge –  A charge you may have to pay if you pay back a mortgage early which includes if you move to another lender.
  • Energy Performance Certificate –  The government legally requires sellers and renters of all homes in England, Wales and Scotland to provide this. It gives a rating of how efficiently the property uses energy.
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  • Fixed rate –  An interest rate that is fixed, in order words it doesn’t move up or down for a set time.
  • FCA Register – This is a Financial Services Register  which is a public record that shows details of firms, individuals and other bodies that are, or have been, regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and/or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can check online to see whether a firm is on the FCA Register @ register.fca.org.uk
  • Freehold –  A property in fee simple absolute in possession with no limits on ownership
  • Home Reports (Scotland) –  The Scottish government requires sellers of most properties in Scotland to provide this pack. It must contain a single survey, an energy report and a completed property questionnaire for the property for sale.
  • Income multiples –  The number by which a lender multiplies your earnings to find out how much you can borrow.
  • Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVR) –  A formal agreement between a debtor and their creditors to make reduced payments towards their total debt over an agreed period, typically five years, after which the debt is deemed to be settled.
  • Interest – The charge that lenders make when you borrow their money.
  • Interest-only mortgage –  A mortgage in which you pay only the interest charges of the loan each month. You are not reducing the loan amount (the capital), and you must repay this in some other way.
  • Interest rate –  The figure that determines how much interest you pay. Usually linked to the Bank of England’s rates and move up or down.
  • ‘Key Facts’ Documents –  Standard documents that all regulated lenders and advisers must give you. They explain their services and detail the mortgage you’re interested in.
  • Leasehold –  A property for a term of years absolute (ownership) which has a limited duration that must be fixed and certain.
  • Loan-to-value (LTV) – The amount of money you want to borrow compared (as a percentage) to the value of the property.
  • Mortgage –  A loan secured on your property.

mortgage-imagery-homes-made-from-twenty-pound-notes

  • Mortgage Adviser or broker –  A mortgage adviser or broker helps you get a mortgage from their available range. They may recommend a mortgage or give you information to help you choose.
  • Prime lending – Lending to borrowers who meet the lender’s standard criteria and present a normal risk.
  • Remortgaging –  Changing your mortgage from a different one, without moving home.
  • Repayment mortgage –  A mortgage in which you pay off both the loan (capital) and interest at the same time.
  • Secured –  If you do not repay your loan, the lender can sell your home to get its money back.
  • Stamp duty land tax –  A government tax that home buyers must pay on properties above a set amount.
  • Standard variable rate mortgage –  The lender’s normal interest rate, ie without any discounts or deals.
  • Sub-prime lending –  Lending to borrowers who represent a higher risk than normal.
  • Survey –  A report on the condition of the property you are planning to buy.
  • Tracker mortgage –  A mortgage with an interest rate linked to a particular base rate and moves up and down with it.
  • Tenure –  Denotes the way in which title to a property is held; it is taken from the French tenir, meaning ‘to hold’.
  • Term – The length of your mortgage, normally expressed in years.
  • Valuation –  A brief inspection of the home you hope to buy, so the lender can ensure it is suitable security for the mortgage.
  • Vendor –  The seller of the property.

For property investment in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

Eco top tips for UK Homes

Making your home eco friendly is a win-win, as it will offer you comfort living, financial savings and above all save the planet from the effect of climate change. The following tips will provide you with a greener home, heavier wallet and a safer planet;

EcoFriendly logo

 

  • Insulation – The most eco effective thing to do is to insulate your home. Insulation of your home is to to prevent heat loss, therefore reducing the amount of heating required. 35% of heat is lost through the walls, 25% through the roof, 15% through the floor, 15% through draughts and 10% through the windows.  Wall insulation can save up to £135 pa on energy bills and loft insulation could save up to £175.
  • Boilers – An energy efficient boiler will make a significant savings; the Energy Saving Trust estimates this to be up to £200 pa for the equivalent of 1.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
  • Eco lighting – Energy saving light bulbs can last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs. On average they cost less and can save you up to £40 pa.
  • Secondary glazing – A secondary glazing system installed on your window is a great way to keep energy from escaping your home. A whole house fitted with secondary glazing could save you 40% of your energy bill in a year
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Other tips worth considering is installation of Biomass for heating, underfloor heating, solar energy for electricity and heating and renewable energy for electricity and heating.

For property investment in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

How to add value to your Property

There are many ways to add value to your property. Here are some tips on how to add value and get the best return on your biggest investment.

  • Kerb Appeal –  Sometimes you only get one change to make a good first impression. Keep the front of your house clean and clutter-free. This will be the first impression of your home. Keep your lawn mowed and weed-free, hedges neat and add some potted plants. Make sure your windows are clean and the front of your house is freshly painted or clean.

Property photo

  • Visibility – Where possible spend money on what can be seen. Visibility adds value. Make the most noticeable improvement on furniture and fittings. Paint all rooms in neutral colours, such as cream or white. Matching your blinds or curtains to the colour of the room will also give the feel of extra space.
  • Light up – Light creates the illusion of extra space and will make your home more attractive. Consider increasing the amount of natural light by adding skylights around your home where possible particularly in hallways, landings and kitchens. Raising ceiling and changing colour schemes will also help.
  • Flooring – Flooring has the biggest impact on the house as a whole. Today carpets are no longer desirable in certain areas of the house. Current trends and suitability should dictate what flooring to use where; generally hard flooring (tiles and wood) downstairs and in bathrooms, and carpets in bedrooms for added comfort.
  • Kitchen dinner – The trend towards using the kitchen as a family and entertaining space, instead of somewhere to simply cook dinner, means your kitchen can add greatly to the overall value of your property. Kitchen is usually one of the main selling points in a property and it is also one of the most expensive to completely redecorate. It is not advisable to rip out your kitchen and start from scratch if it is not affordable for you to do so. Changing fixtures and fittings, replacing cabinet doors and adding a worktop will greatly enhance the look of your kitchen.

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  • Bathroom – Bathrooms can really benefit from little improvement and decoration which can add value to your property. Trends has moved towards neural colours, large tiles and mosaic tiles for bathroom walls and floors. Keep your bathroom clean, re-grout tiles and add nice towels, new mirrors, chrome fixtures, a heated towel rail and matching accessories. If possible and affordable add sought after extra touches like a power shower, a Jacuzzi bath and double sinks to give you a great return on your investment.
  • Eco Living – Eco living in now the trend. Making your home energy efficient will not only add value to your property, but will also increase the overall comfort and reduce the cost of energy bills. Installing double glazed windows, energy efficient heating and cooling systems, wall and loft insulation, energy efficient lighting and solar powered systems are great ways to increase the value of your property. Due to new Building Regulations the required standard of energy efficiency in property is now very high and will only get higher as technology develops.
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  • Open Plan Living – Open plan living has become popular with kitchens, living rooms and dinning areas being used as one large family and entertaining space. Knocking down walls to create a better flow can be an inexpensive option when trying to add value to your property. If the walls are not load-bearing it is a quick process and less expensive. If they are, it will be more complex, expensive and you will need planning permission.
  • Garden – if you have a garden or courtyard, make use of it. It can be an excellent selling point and a well-groomed garden or courtyard will definitely add value to your property. No matter the time of the year, buyers and guest will be imagining areas for entertaining, barbecues and space for children to play.
  • Extension – Extension can add value to your property especially if you are extending the kitchen area or adding extra bedroom. Beware; it will mean a smaller garden, so ensure the interior and exterior of the house are proportionate. Seek professional advice and use processional trades men. You may need planning permission, it is advisable to contact your local planning authority before going ahead.

For property investment in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

How to Save Energy at Home to Save Money & the Planet

Climate change is upon us and we must all start doing something now before it is too late. They say charity begins at home and if we must succeed in reverting the effect of climate change, we must all begin from our various home.

Greta

A quick glance through the list below will show you how easy it is to make real energy savings by following a 12 simple do’s and don’ts that will make significant impact to the fight against climate change and also make you big savings from energy bills. Even little things such as not leaving your TV on stand-by or checking furniture isn’t placed too near radiators or heaters will make a big difference to how much energy you use and how much money you save. It’s Win-Win for all.

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  1. Do think about turning your thermostat down by just 1°c as this can cut up to 10% off your energy bill
  2. Don’t leave central heating switched on if you don’t need it. Background heating is only needed if the temperature is freezing or if you are are going away for a few days and should be regulated by a programmer and room thermostat
  3. Do close your curtains at dusk to keep heat from being lost through the windows. Also make sure curtains are placed behind radiators, to keep the heat in the room
  4. Do open doors in sunny rooms and let warm air into other parts of the room
  5. Do turn off lights when you leave a room. Beware of leaving dark areas which might be dangerous for children and the elderly
  6. Don’t use more lights than you really need to during daylight hours. Ensure your curtains or blinds are adjusted to let in as much light as possible
  7. Do fit an energy saving light bulb if you use a light for an average of three hours a day or more. It uses around a quarter of the electricity and lasts eight times longer than an ordinary light bulb
  8. Don’t forget if you fit lower wattage bulbs in main lights, directional lights can be used for reading and sewing. Make sure you have adequate lighting in areas such as hallways
  9. Do make sure you defrost your fridge regularly as this will help keep it running efficiently, and reduce running costs
  10. Do always put the plug in a basin or sink. Leaving hot water taps running without the plug in is both wasteful and expensive
  11. Don’t have your water to a scalding temperature. For most people, setting the thermostat to a level of 50°c to 55°C is quite adequate.
  12. Do make sure you buy eco friendly and energy efficient products. Always remember to Reuse, Reduce and Recycle as much as you can

buying-green

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For property investment in the UK from start to finish, Please Contact me

Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk