If you’re looking to sell your home, now or in the distant future, you’re probably trying to think of the best ways to add value and get the best possible price. It can be tricky to know where to start and if you don’t have a big budget it might be difficult to know what you can do to make your home stand out. Luckily, our experts have some handy hints – from quick fixes to bigger projects. Currell’s Senior Valuer David Gwinnutt and Valuer Harry Charalambous share some insider tips…

1 – Tidy, tidy, tidy!

“Clean, tidy, declutter!” say David and Harry. A messy or even slightly too cluttered room is very distracting and can prevent a potential buyer from seeing the best qualities of a property. Get rid of as much excess clutter as you can. This can also help rooms to look bigger and brighter.

2 – Brighten things up with scatter cushions and throws

There are some small inexpensive ways you can make your home stand out. A few cheap colourful cushions and throws can actually make a big difference. David explains: “Buy some inexpensive colourful cushions or throws. The colours will be eye catching which is especially useful when buyers are looking at small images online, such as on a website on their mobile phone.”

And that’s not the only quick and easy thing you can do to improve a potential buyer’s experience…

3 – Think fragrant

David and Harry stress that the way a home smells can have a real impact on a buyer’s thoughts… “Does it smell of cat or dog or tenant’s socks… if so a deep clean is needed and get some scented candles or reed diffusers.” But on this last point, they say it is worth spending a bit more than you might normally; “The smell can create a sense of aspiration and quality – so don’t get the cheap ones.”

4 – Appearances matter

There are some important things you can do to get buyers through the door in the first place. “Exterior presentation is important, tatty doors, windows and front gardens are a turn off. Give the garden a good haircut, make sure it’s looking neat and tidy with overhanging bushes and trees cut back.”

5 – Don’t just focus on one room

It can be tempting to think a brand new kitchen or bathroom will add value to a property, but focusing exclusively on just one room isn’t that helpful. Our valuers explain: “New kitchens and bathrooms can improve value but only if done tastefully. It’s always a risk to refurbish rooms because buyers might want to change them again. Overhauling a kitchen or bathroom only works if the other rooms in the house are of the same quality and calibre.”

Find out more about valuations and selling your property with Currell HERE

Phase two of The M Collection at Langley Park in Maidstone, Kent, is now all sold. Reflecting back on the sale of this development has been positive, with some really good stats emerging.

Located on the outskirts of Maidstone, this former farmland site was acquired by Taylor Wimpey to provide 600 new homes, a school, local centre and nature reserve to Maidstone Borough.

Work on site commenced in February 2017 and concluded in June 2018 with the final sales completion taking place in July 2018.

Phase Two of the development comprised 20 properties in total; thirteen houses, six apartments and one coach house were available for purchase through shared ownership. All properties came with a minimum of one allocated parking space, and all houses benefitted from a private rear garden.

Currell were instrumental in selecting the specification for the shared ownership homes to ensure that it was on-trend and in-line with local buyer’s expectations.

Priority for the shared ownership homes was given to those currently living or working within the borough of Maidstone.

Key statistics

  • Target initial first tranche sales required: 35%
  • Actual initial first tranche sales achieved by Currell: 43%
  • All 20 units exchanged 3.15 weeks before property handover
  • Final unit of 20 completed 4.23 weeks after handover
  • Average age: 35

All buyers demonstrated a local connection to Maidstone, with some either living or working in the borough, or in many cases both.

“We are very pleased with our success at Langley Park,” says Crissi Russo, Head of Sales and Marketing Shared Ownership, “the amount of interest we received shows there is a huge demand for shared ownership properties in the Maidstone area. The third phase of Langley Park will be launched towards the end of the year, and we look forward to another highly successful scheme.”

Warehouse conversions have become one of the hottest trends in property, especially in east London. What originally started out as a cheap and spacious place for artists to live in New York City has now become a high value, quality investment, with many warehouses being sold for millions. Here are some of our top warehouse conversions…

The Tapestry Building, EC2M

Ideally located just a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street station is The Tapestry Building. Built in the 18th century by the East India Company, the building has now been converted into 14 stylish homes. This beautiful two bedroom apartment is on the third floor, with a bright and spacious dual aspect living and dining room, and a fabulously modern kitchen.

Find out more here.

Kingsland Road, E8

Quebec Wharf, a former Victorian spice warehouse, has been beautifully converted to provide spacious, chic apartments. This one bedroom property stays true to its roots, with original features such as exposed brick walls and steel pillars.

Find out more here.

King Edward’s Road, E9

One of Hackney’s most sought-after warehouse conversions, Five King Edward’s Road was formerly a 1920s clothing factory and is now home to 89 beautiful apartments with a diverse group of residents. This two bedroom penthouse offers double height ceilings, a beautiful open mezzanine level, and floor to ceiling windows letting in incredible light.

Find out more here.

Northburgh Street, EC1V

Set within a former printworks is this sleek two bedroom apartment, in the heart of the City – just around the corner from Barbican station. Arranged over 967 sq ft, it’s flooded with natural light, high ceilings and dual aspect windows.

Find out more here.

Saint John Street, EC1V

This fantastic one bedroom loft apartment is available to rent in Clerkenwell. Originally a part of the Vogue Pattern building, and then the old Ingersoll factory, the apartment has been designed to retain as many of the original industrial features as possible. The property offers over 1,000 sq ft of space and benefits from a communal roof terrace with panoramic views over London.

Find out more here.

Pentonville Road, N1

Just a short stroll from King’s Cross is this fantastic warehouse conversion on Pentonville Road. This one bedroom apartment enjoys high ceilings and a decked mezzanine level, allowing for flexible living. The property also retains a lot of original period features, such as the large industrial windows allowing for plenty of light.

Find out more here.

Annette Road, N7

Just off the vibrant Holloway Road is this beautifully modern warehouse conversion, with a spacious open-plan kitchen and reception room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a private patio – perfect for entertaining.

Find out more here.

 

Over the past couple of weeks, London has been buzzing off England’s success in the World Cup. Now that we’ve scored our way into the semi-final, here’s a selection of some our fabulous properties that are close to a London stadium – so that, just like football, you can come home in style.

The Harper Building, N7

One for the Gooners – this stylish one bedroom apartment is set within a modern development just moments from Holloway Road station, and a 6 minute walk from the Emirates Stadium.

Dace Road, E3

This three bedroom split level apartment is just across the River Lea from the London Stadium, home to West Ham FC. The property has views over both the water and the football ground, and a fabulous open plan kitchen and reception room.

Old Smokehouse, E3

An iconic part of Hackney Wick’s huge regeneration plan, Old Smokehouse is a boutique development with a gym, concierge, and roof terraces. It’s also just a ten minute walk from the London Stadium.

Arklow Road, SE14

Less than a mile from The Den is Arklow Road, a stylish new development in the up and coming area of Deptford, with Help to Buy available.

The Surrey Stadium, Whyteleafe

And last but not least… an actual football stadium.

Our Commercial team are selling the freehold to the Surrey Stadium in Whyteleafe, Surrey. There’s also planning permission for additional office space, a conference room and a medical centre.

Currell Commercial have successfully let two units at 61 Wallis Road E9, either side of our Hackney Wick Fish Island office.

The first is Cornerstone, an exciting new restaurant from Tom Brownformer Head Chef at Nathan Outlaw’s Michelin star restaurant in Knightsbridge. Serving mainly seafood plates, the seasonal menu is inspired by Tom’s Cornish roots. The decor is in keeping with Hackney Wick’s industrial style, with personal touches – such as a 5000-year-old oak table, salvaged from a river in Croatia.

Our staff at the Hackney Wick Fish Island office can’t wait to try their lunch menu – although they are booking up fast, so make sure you get your reservation in quick here.

The second unit is now home to Wick Boards. They build the world’s highest quality electric skateboards, from hand crafted decks to custom built motors. Their new street facing shop will provide the perfect opportunity for local residents (as well as people from all over the UK) to try before they buy their boards.

This morning, Currell had the pleasure of attending Bisnow’s Future of East London event, hosted at the new Goodluck Hope development in the heart of the Docklands.

In true east London fashion, the event was held in a warehouse, with guests walking through a mini rainforest to get to the sales and marketing suite. The event was very fascinating, despite the cold weather!

Model of City Island (far end) and Goodluck Hope (closest), sister developments by Ballymore

The event consisted of a breakfast networking session, followed by two panel discussions.

The first was about east London as a true melting pot of culture, education and business – and what this means for developers. Some interesting points were raised by all panelists, who agreed that east London is one of the fastest changing and most diverse areas of London. With this in mind, investment in education and creative industries are key, with a particular focus on prioritising opportunities for local residents, especially young people.

The first discussion panel

Tim Reeve, COO of the Victoria and Albert Museum, discussed the new V&A East which is set to open in the Olympic Park in 2023. With east London being home to some of the poorest boroughs in the country, he discussed how to reconnect with their audience, especially with young people through the education syllabus. V&A East will differ hugely to the original V&A in South Kensington – with a completely different tone, presenting art in a way that is useful and accessible to young local people that want to pursue a career in the creative industries.

Another interesting point was raised about tourism, and the influx of people coming to stay in the east as opposed to central London. Elli Jafari, Managing Director of The Curtain hotel in Shoreditch, said that she’s seen tremendous amounts of interest from all sectors of tourism – not just young people coming to London for leisure. Professionals travelling for business who are used to staying at five star hotels in the City are now now willing to venture to the outer edges, and say they loved staying in Shoreditch.

Walking through the City Island development

The second panel talk focused on work spaces in east London. Although east London offices have traditionally been synonymous with trendy startups, creatives, and tech companies, this is beginning to change. Georgina Philippou, COO of the Financial Conduct Authority, discussed her company’s move to their brand new office space in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. East London seems to be the most favourable place to build new places to work, as there’s much more land to build on, instead of trying to cram workers into pre-existing spaces.

The topic of wellness among working people was also discussed. Jacob Loftus, Founder & CEO at General Projects, talked about the emphasis developers are now placing on wellbeing for staff. Beyond the standard measures such as healthy food and fitness facilities, the focus is now shifting to accommodate mental health as well as physical. Outdoor spaces, relaxation/meditation areas, and a general attention to natural environments and comforts are coming to the forefront, as people are encouraged to take breaks from their screens and focus their minds elsewhere.

All in all, the event was a great insight into the different industries that are shaping east London’s revival, and we look forward to what’s to come in the future.

Consider government schemes

The Help to Buy ISA, Help to Buy London, Equity Loan, and Shared Ownership are all government backed schemes aimed at helping people get on the property ladder.

Shared ownership is less well known, but is a great way of buying a home if you can’t afford the mortgage on 100% of a home. With shared ownership, you can purchase a percentage of the property (between 25% and 75%) and pay rent on the remaining share. You can buy larger shares later on if you can afford it.

You can browse our shared ownership properties here.

Use a local estate agent

Estate agents that are based in the local area will of course know a lot about it – and its many benefits. They will know the transport links, the best schools, and what the property market is like in the area. This will be extremely beneficial when buying your property; after all, you’re not just buying a home, but the area it’s in too.

Be realistic about your budget

Before you even look for a property, it’s important to set a budget. You’ll need to make sure you can afford your monthly repayments to have your mortgage approved, and the checks have become stricter. Lenders will not only check if you can afford the repayments in your current financial situation, but will also ‘stress test’ to see if you will still be able to afford it if inflation rates go up, or if your circumstances change (e.g having a baby).

Budget for the other costs

As well as the mortgage, you’ll also need to factor in:

  • Survey costs
  • Solicitor’s fees
  • Removal costs
  • Buildings insurance
  • Furniture and decoration
  • Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees
  • Stamp Duty

Get on the electoral roll

As a precaution against fraud, lenders will check that you’re on the electoral roll when deciding whether or not to lend to you. So if you haven’t already, get registered.

Read the small print

When you make an application for a mortgage, be sure to read the small print and make sure everything sounds correct. If you spot an issue after the application has been sent, this could harm your credit rating. Every application you make leaves a record, and lots of applications in a short time period may be a red flag for fraud, resulting in bad credit.

Compare the market

As well as shopping around for your mortgage, make sure you compare property prices in the local area. Have a look at what similar properties were sold for, and how much their prices have changed over the years. This will give you an idea of how much you can sell it for in the future, as well as how much you should be paying now.

This Sunday marks the 2018 Hackney Half marathon – a local event we love to watch (and for some members of staff, take part in). We’ve also got a number of properties on our books that fall along the route – here are our top picks:

Bagel Factory

Kicking off the race in Hackney Wick is Bagel Factory, a unique new development in the heart of a rapidly changing area. The development offers high specification warehouse style apartments in touching distance to Hackney Wick Station, and with the added benefits of an onsite concierge, gym and multiple roof gardens.

Victoria Park Road

The next stretch is down Victoria Park Road, and past this incredible four bedroom home just a short stroll from Victoria Park village. The property has been refurbished to an exceptionally high standard by the current owners, and has a garden and outdoor studio.

Abode

Making a turn down Mare Street, runners will catch another fabulous new homes development, Abode. All apartments have outside space for chilling out and those on the upper level have sizeable terraces and fabulous views across London.

North Mill Apartments

As the runners curve up Haggerston Road, they’ll go past North Mill Apartments, and this two bedroom apartment for sale. Located on the second floor of the development, this apartment also offers outdoor terrace space and Juliette balconies in both bedrooms.

Century Quarter House

As the runners continue past Stonebridge Gardens, they’ll be just round the corner from Century Quarter House, a new development of five 2 and 3 bedroom apartments coming soon to Hackney. Just a three minute walk from Haggerston Overground station, it will also be finished to a high specification, with flawless interiors and generous terraces to the top two apartments. Register your interest now. 

Middleton Road

Taking a right down Middleton Road is this end of terrace three bedroom house, near the green open space of London Fields. The property also has an enclosed rear garden with side access.

Richmond Road

On the corner of Queensbridge Road and Richmond Road is this beautifully light two bedroom apartment in the modern Queensbridge Quarter development. An open plan reception/kitchen with built in appliances makes for a great entertaining space, as well as providing access to the large balcony.

Downs Park Road

As the runners make their way around the edge of Hackney Downs, they’ll come across this share of freehold, split level period conversion on Downs Park Road. Arranged over the top two levels, this lovely, light maisonette also has a balcony and a mature rear garden, offering a peaceful retreat from the city.

 

With the rise of online estate agents like Purple Bricks and Yopa selling homes with 0 commission, it can be tempting for people to head online to sell. However, there are certain benefits of using traditional, bricks and mortar estate agents that shouldn’t be overlooked:

1. You’ll still have to pay a fee

Online agents usually require upfront fees – even if they are unsuccessful in selling your property, meaning you could end up wasting money.

In today’s market it is easy to be tempted to instruct an online agent with a low fixed fee. However, what we have found is that a lot of clients come to us after having tried the cheaper option. In many cases the problem is not with the property or the price but with the online agent’s motivation laying more heavily on selling vendors add-ons rather than proactively selling their property.

-Ashley Coppin, Client Manager at Currell

2. A more personal experience

Working with a face to face estate agents allows you to build a relationship and a trust with the person selling your home. Most online agents work in call centres, meaning you won’t necessarily speak to the same person each time. With a high street agent, you can pop into your local branch and speak to a familiar face.

3. Local knowledge

Estate agents that are based in your local area will of course know a lot about it – and its many benefits. They will know the transport links, the best schools, and what the property market is like in the area. This will be extremely beneficial when selling your property; after all,you’re not just selling a home, but the area it’s in too.

4. Expertise in the market

A business that has been established for longer will know more about the property market, and will be more qualified at giving accurate valuations on your property. They can also offer tips and tricks that they have picked up  in their experience.

5. Contacts

Bricks and mortar estate agents will also have a list of contacts that they can refer you to for further services relating to your property – e.g conveyancing solicitors. This will save you time in going out and comparing services yourself.

6. Everything’s organised

High street estate agents take the stress out of the process by sorting everything out for you – from initial marketing to negotiating on price. If you don’t feel comfortable negotiating and feel you may not be able to secure the best price you can get, your agent will be well versed in this, and can take care of it.

7. Don’t miss out

Because traditional estate agents advertise both online and in person, you can make sure you attract any potential buyer. Although most people now start their property search online, many still stop on the street or pop in branch to check out properties in the area. With a high street agent, you’ll be marketing to both online and offline purchasers – meaning you won’t miss out.

8. Viewings are covered

Online estate agents seldom offer to conduct viewings on properties, which can be problematic if you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself. If you don’t have experience with this, it can make the viewer uncomfortable – especially if they notice faults with the property and feel they can’t comment. Bricks and mortar estate agents will be well practised in conducting viewings, and will be able to show your property off in the best light.

9. You’re protected

All high street estate agents are members of a redress scheme, and will usually be a member of the Property Ombudsman – so if their service is poor, you can make an official complaint.

 

Last weekend saw the successful launch of Bagel Factory and Old Smokehouse at the dedicated marketing suite in Hackney Wick.

There was a really strong turnout with 120 people in attendance, and lots of interest in this exciting new development.

Hackney Wick and Fish Island are set to undergo extensive regeneration, building a creative hub that has been dubbed “the new Shoreditch” – and a perfect investment opportunity. The V&A, London College of Fashion and Sadler’s Wells Theatre are all opening in the Olympic Park, as well as a major development which will include new homes, schools and The International Quarter business centre.

All this change will generate over 50,000 jobs for the area and see The London Legacy Development Corporation establish one of the largest new urban spaces in Europe for over 150 years.

You can find out more about the developments and check out a virtual tour here.