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.

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  • 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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Get Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) from DenEco.co.uk
  • 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 increase your Credit Score for a successful UK Mortgage

To get a mortgage in UK to buy a property, you will need to have a good credit score. UK mortgage lenders are required to carry out a credit check to access your present and past financial liabilities and details of how they are managed.

Credit score can affect mortgage eligibility, deposit requirement and rate. Other factors are also used.

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Below are major steps you can take to increase and improve your credit score;

  1. Prove where you live.
    Register on the electoral roll at your current address – you can do this even if you’re in shared accommodation or living at home with your parents.
  2. Build your credit history.
    Having little or no credit history can make it difficult for companies to assess you, and your credit score may be lower as a result. This is a common problem for young people and people who are new to the country. Luckily, there are some steps you may be able to take to build up your credit history. default
  3. Make payments reliably.
    Paying your accounts on time and in full each month is a good way to show lenders you’re a reliable borrower, and capable of handling credit responsibly. Old, well-managed accounts will usually improve your score – although be sure to read about the potential impact of unused credit cards.
  4. Keep your credit utilisation low.
    Your credit utilisation is the percentage you use of your credit limit. For example, if you have a limit of £2,000 and you’ve used £1,000 of that, your credit utilisation is 50%. Usually, a lower percentage will be seen positively by companies, and will increase your score as a result. If possible, try and keep your credit utilisation at 25%.
  5. Limit credit applications.
    Applying for credit frequently in a short space of time can make lenders think you’re overly reliant on credit and therefore a higher risk. It doesn’t matter what form of credit you apply for, or how much you’re asking to borrow – each application will record a hard search on your report which companies can see. So, try to space out any credit applications – a good rule of thumb is no more than one every three months, but remember lenders’ criteria can vary. credit-score--mortgages_52572463eb46d_w1500
  6. Consider closing unused accounts.
    Having a large amount of available credit may make lenders think you can’t handle more. So, you may want to close any dormant credit accounts. Read more about deciding what to do with unused credit cards.
  7. Avoid delinquent and defaulted accounts.
    Delinquent accounts happen when you’re late on payments, and defaulted accounts are when your relationship with the company has broken down, usually because several missed payments. Both will harm your credit score.
  8. Only borrow what you can afford.
    Getting into trouble with debt may lead to things like County Court Judgements (CCJ), an Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVA) or even bankruptcy. These things will stay on your credit report for up to six years and will put a big dent in your credit score.
  9. Keep an eye out for fraudsters.
    Keeping a close eye on your credit report and looking out for any signs of fraudulent activity could help protect your credit score. If you see a surge in the amount you owe, or any applications you didn’t make, you may be a fraud victim. Note that if you do become a victim of fraud, your lenders should fix any damage to your score quickly.

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

 

Help to Buy ISA will end on 30 Nov. 2019

Getting into the UK property market as a first time buyer can be daunting and very difficult, especially saving for deposit as average UK property prices and living expenses are expensive.

If you’re dreaming about buying your first home and your are over the age of 16, the Help to Buy ISA could be the savings account for you. It lets you save tax-free, gives you instant access to your cash, pays a competitive interest rate, and when you buy your first home you can claim a 25% government bonus on amounts saved between £1,600 and £12,000.mortgage-imagery-homes-made-from-twenty-pound-notesYou can only open a Help to Buy: ISA until 30 November 2019. After this date, the account will not be open to new savers, as the government is closing the scheme.

Even if you’re not planning on buying any time soon, or are unsure of your future plans, you can still open a Help to Buy: ISA with as little as £1 today, and continue saving into the account up until 30 November 2029. The government will boost your savings when you buy your first home up until 1 December 2030.

You can earn a competitive interest rate which will help your savings grow – up to 2.58% AER per year/2.55% or more tax-free per year variable depending on the bank or financial institution current interest rate available.. You can pay in up to £1,200 in the first calendar month, then up to £200 per calendar month afterwards.

Because it’s an ISA, interest paid on the account will be tax-free – just remember you can only pay into one cash ISA per tax year.

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

 

I am a First Time Buyer. How do I choose the best Mortgage?

As a first time buyer, the property market and process can be very complicated and stressful. To most this might be the biggest purchase or investment they will have to make in their life, so getting it right is very important to avoid unnecessary risk and costly consequences.

The aim of this article is to make you understand the basics of mortgage as a first time buyer and how to get the best mortgage that meets your need and financial circumstance.

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We will start with knowing what is a mortgage and the basic requirement for a mortgage application.

What is a Mortgage?

In basic terms, you take out a mortgage from a mortgage lender as a long term loan to make payments on a property.

The mortgage lender has the option of taking possession of the property and selling it on if the mortgage repayments aren’t made. This is so that the lender doesn’t lose money as they would be making it back from the property sale.
Any time you take out a mortgage, the loan is then split into two aspects. One of which is the interest , which is what the lender charges for lending the money. The other is the capital, which is the actual amount of money used to purchase the property.

How much can you borrow?

The actual amount you’re eligible to borrow will be determined by the cost of the property you wish to purchase and by how much money you make.

As a first time buyer, you can borrow up to 95% of the property value. It is advisable to have more percentage deposit if affordable to get the best rates available. Also there are considerable amount of fees to pay during and before completion.

There are even some lenders that will go to 100% – however more often than not, you will be made to pay over the odds for this and will most likely be made to purchase mortgage indemnity insurance in addition.mortgage-imagery-homes-made-from-twenty-pound-notesThere are some that will, in rare cases, lend over the 100% mark, although there will be circumstantial rules that must apply.

There is a general rule of thumb that you can borrow around three and a half times the amount you earn annually. The actual figures differ between different mortgage lenders.

A little secret: If you have a good credit history and a regular income then you are quite likely to be offered the finance relatively easily.

How to get the best UK Mortgage as a first time buyer?

Well it depends on your need and financial situation. As a first time buyer, you are likely to have some particular requirements.

You will probably have a very small deposit or possibly no deposit at all.

You may be having to push your budget to the limit just to afford a mortgage, but are determined to get a foot on the property ladder.

One thing that applies to almost all types of UK mortgage is whether you should choose a  fixed rate mortgage or one with a variable interest rate.

The best choice depends on your own circumstances and to an extent on interest rate levels at the time, but things to consider are:

  • Can you afford to have your payments go up each month? This could happen with a variable rate mortgage.
  • Are rates generally low at the moment? It could be a good time to get tied into a fixed rate mortgage.
  • Do you want the security of a fixed monthly payment for several years? Fixed rate periods from 1 – 10 years are available.
  • Are you having difficulty borrowing enough money? An interest only mortgage can mean lower monthly repayments ie you can borrow more against your salary. But there are drawbacks.

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

 

 

Buying a property in the UK as a foreigner

As a foreigner you can buy property in the UK, even if you do not live in the UK.

That said, buying property in the UK as a foreigner is easier if you are a cash buyer – i.e. do not need to apply for a mortgage or additional borrowing as it may be difficult to apply for such a mortgage.

Therefore, if you are looking to buy a property, it is important that you have a full understanding of the UK property market and have access to funds. I am able to provide my professional service to help you from start to finish.

It is also important to remember that, while the pound exchange rate is currently unstable due to Brexit, property prices in the UK are still comparatively high, depending on the area.

However, if you can afford to buy a property outright, yields from rental income can be high, while property prices tend to rise.

It is not yet known quite how Brexit (the UK’s exit from the EU) will affect overseas buyers of UK property, or house prices in general, and we are also aware that the UK Government has plans to introduce an additional tax for foreigners buying property in the UK.
Presently to buy a property in the UK, you have to consider the following;
Your budget price range – How much you can afford to pay.
Property location – Where are you looking to buy as prices can be significantly high in London area compare to other parts of UK
Proof of Identify and Financial Income – This is very important for the property transaction to be successful and will include the following; Name(s) and address(es) of buyer(s), Nationality and residential status, Occupation and nature of employment (Employed or self employed), Employer’s name and address, Length of time in current employment, Income details (usually three years).
Property transaction taxes – This is called Stamp duty land tax (England and Northern Ireland).  For 2018/2019 rates for buy to let and second property which is most likely to be in the case of a foreign buyer £40k – £125K is 3% rate, £125K – £250K is 5% rate, £250k – £925K is 8% rate, etc.
Property purchase completion – A Solicitor or licensed conveyancer is required to process and complete all legal requirement for the house purchase. A conveyancing fee and disbursement is paid by the buyer. Solicitor may ask the buyer to deposit a sum of money at the start of the process to cover for the disbursement (Stamp duty land tax, property registration fees, searches etc) as they arise.
Property Insurance and Council Tax – Annual property insurance and council tax are required by law.
For more information and for my service in actualising your UK property purchase, do not hesitate to contact me.
By
Dennis Bebo TA DenEco Consultancy

How to be Debt Free

Majority of us have debts which range in various degree, size and complexity. The most important thing about debt is how it is managed and the effect it has on our general wellbeing. This short article is about the most effective and affordable way to manage your debt and thereby being debt free in no time.

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REVIEW YOUR DEBT

The starting point is to have a comprehensive review of your total debt in a simple format that provide an overview of all your creditors and the amounts you owe. The total amount of debt and interest paid on each of the debts is very important to place priority to the sequence and affordable amount to payable. The best option is to have a debt payment plan bases on affordability and priority with categories such as non-negotiable, large amount, high interest, negotiable, small amount, low interest etc.

 

REVIEW YOUR INCOME AND EXPENDITURE

It is very important to review your income and expenditure with the aim of increasing your disposable income. There are several ways of doing that which will be a topic on its own. Our focus here is to maximise income and minimise expenditures as much as possible to have the much needed disposable income to manage debt effectively.

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TALK TO YOUR CREDITOR

Always let your creditor know as soon as possible if you are struggling or aware of a situation that will affect you making payment. Using your payment plan call all your creditors to negotiate an affordable amount and frequency of payment you can maintain. Most creditors will work with you to set an affordable minimum payment plan as long as possible.

 

REGULAR REVIEW OF PAYMENT PLAN

Once you have been able to set affordable payment plan with all your creditors, it is even more important to maintain and review your payment plan regularly to aim at making affordable adjustment where necessary to clear off your debt as soon as possible. Also don’t forget to seek financial help and advice either free or paid.

Please commend and let me know if you need further advice on the above,  Property investment, Energy and more

Written by

Dennis Bebo MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

Staying safe around gas appliances

Gas appliances are very important in heating, cooking and lighting but needs to be used in a safe manner to prevent unsafe and dangerous occurrence. The common used gas appliance in the UK are boilers, cookers and gas fires.

EPC BB10 1PT electric meter.JPGFour Steps you can take to protect your home or building from gas related hazards

  1. Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm

carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas. It is difficult to detect because it has no colour, taste or smell. It is a byproduct of incomplete burning of fuels like gas, coal, wood and charcoal indoor due to lack of oxygen required for complete combustion.

Breathing in carbon monoxide can kill you. Even in less serious cases, it can lead to long-term health problems. Some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are: Feeling short of breath, Mild nausea, confusion, feeling extremely tired, mild headaches, abdominal pains, sore throat and a dry cough.

An audible carbon monoxide alarm works like a smoke alarm: you can fit one to your ceiling and it will go off if it detects carbon monoxide. This can be a life safer – they normally cost between £20 and £45

2. Have your gas appliances – Boiler, fire, heater and cooker checked regularly by a Gas safe registered engineer

If you think a gas appliance might not be working properly, stop using it straightaway and get it checked by a qualified gas safe engineer

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3. Don’t block ventilation

To stay safe always ensure adequate ventilation is maintained and do not block ventilation specially when using gas appliances. In the event of gas leak or carbon monoxide poisoning open doors and windows to let air circulate.

Also learn to spot the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and leak

4. What to do if you think you’ve got a gas leak

  • Put out any naked flames including cigarettes
  • Don’t switch any electrical appliances on or off including light switches
  • Open doors and windows to let air circulate
  • Turn off any gas appliance you think might be causing the leak
  • Keep people away from the area
  • Turn off your gas meter if it is safe to do so

If you smell gas or you need to report a gas explosion or fire in the UK – call the National Gas Emergency Services helpline straightaway free on 080011999.

For free advice on Property purchase, energy savings and more visit www.deneco.co.uk

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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

Save money not waste it on energy

Saving money is the most effective way of economic growth, recovery and sustainability for households and businesses. There are various ways of saving money which includes putting money away on a bank saving account, reducing your spending and managing your budget. But saving on energy is endless and provides the most effective means to maximize your savings.

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UK households spend on average of £106 a month on home energy according to DECC with energy making  up to 8.1% of household overall spending. It is also worth knowing that a recent report in 2015 found that UK energy consumption has fallen over the past 5 years by 14% but the average household spent more than ever before on energy bills.

Experts attributed the contrast between falling energy consumption and the rising cost of bills to energy supplier’s profit margins. so as a country, the UK is becoming more aware of the amount of energy that its using and making efforts to source it in a more cost effective and environmental friendly ways. But the average cost of a household energy bill continues to rise along with supplier profits.

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The solution is to stop wasting money on energy bills that only increase the profit margins of energy suppliers and switch supplier on a regular basis to the cheapest provider as it makes no difference to the energy supplied. Although there are various ways of saving money on energy but switching  supplier is the simplest, easiest and no brainer.

Switch & Save Now Home and Business energy with www.deneco.co.uk

HOME ENERGY EFFICIENCY ADVICE MADE SIMPLE

It’s easy to get worried about how your home energy usage is impacting on your finance, lifestyle, health, safety and the environment. You might have tried to do something about it one way or the other but it seems like your effort is not good enough or nothing appears to change. energy photoThe truth is that you are not alone, there are millions of people struggling to get it right including myself when it comes to home energy efficiency in practical terms. There are lots of advice and some might require investment, change of lifestyle, change of supplier, time, technology, skills, etc. The key is to know the best ways that works for you and keep improving on it to make it work on a regular and sustainable manner.

Three simple ways of home energy efficiency that always works.

  • Reduce your usage:  By reducing your heating, cooking, lighting requirement through home insulation, better thermostatic controls, technology where applicable, eco and energy efficient products. Your energy usage consist mostly of heating and lighting so focus on reducing your heating and lighting usage with the best practicable and affordable method.
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  • Switch energy supplier regularly: Though this might not have direct impact on your home energy efficiency but it does give you the  best opportunity to save money and encourages efficient use of energy through subconscious reminder of the financial benefit of doing so.
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  • Seek help and Advice: There are lots of free help and advice available online and offline from energy experts, government and private organisations and energy suppliers. The key is to  make sure you are getting the best help and advice that suits your need and situation.  Always look at various options before choosing the one you think is best for you.
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