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.

What is conveyancing?

Conveyancing refers to all the legal and administrative work that needs to be done when you buy a property. It begins after you’ve accepted an offer, and usually takes about six-eight weeks.

To begin, you will need to instruct a conveyancer to do this for you. You can do it yourself, but it can be very time consuming and risky if you get anything wrong. Estate agents can usually recommend a conveyancer for you to use, or you can use an online conveyancer. Once you’ve instructed a conveyancer, the process can begin.

The process

Terms of Engagement
First of all, the conveyancer will draw up a contract (normally called a “terms of engagement”) with you, outlining their fees. They will also get in touch with the seller’s solicitor for a draft contract, and to confirm their instruction. You also need to go through these forms and let the solicitor know if you have any queries.

Legal Searches
The conveyancer will then go through a number of legal searches to ensure there’s nothing else you may have missed. This includes factors such as the title register, local authority searches (e.g any planning works nearby that might affect you), and flood risks.

Mortgage
You will then need to get your mortgage set up. The first step for this is to get a mortgage valuation, which is carried out on behalf of the mortgage company so they know the property provides enough security for the loan. This is normally an additional cost, but some mortgage companies will include it in their contract for free.

Surveys
Any other necessary surveys are then carried out – these depend on your specific circumstances. You can find out what sort of surveys you should have done here.

Building Insurance
You’ll then need to get Building Insurance. Once the contracts are signed, the property is your responsibility so it’s crucial to make sure you’re covered.

Signing the contracts
Before you sign the contract, your solicitor will make sure that all enquiries have been returned and are satisfactory, that the house is up to scratch, that a completion date has been agreed (usually 1-4 weeks after exchanging), and that you’ve made arrangements for paying the deposit. You’ll need to transfer this into your solicitor’s account, and in time so that it clears before exchange.

Exchanging contracts
A date will be agreed on with the vendor as to when you exchange the contracts. The conveyancers will read the contracts out over the phone to make sure the contracts are the same, and then immediately send them out by post. This conversation will be recorded. Once you’ve exchanged, you are legally obliged to buy the property, and the seller cannot accept another invitation. If you do not, you will lose your deposit. If the seller does not sell, you are permitted to sue them.

Completion
Once the seller’s solicitor has confirmed the receipt of money, a date will be set for completion. The seller should then leave the keys at the estate agents for you to pick up – you’re then ready to move in!

To find out more about the process, get in touch with a member of our team.

 

Bagel Factory, a new development in Hackney Wick, is available to purchase through Help to Buy

London Help to Buy is a government programme that can help you buy a new home – here’s how it works.

The basics

London Help to Buy is part of the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme. You borrow up to 40% of the purchase price from the government – you’ll need a minimum deposit of 5% and a mortgage for the rest.

You can buy a new build home registered as a Help to Buy property up to the price of £600,000.

The scheme is eligible to all buyers, not just first timers; you just can’t own another property. You also can’t sublet a Help to Buy property, unless you’re a member of the Armed Forces. If you buy a second home after you’ve purchased with Help to Buy, you’ll need to repay the equity loan.

Finding a home and applying

Contact Currell New Homes for details of the Help to Buy properties we’re selling, or have a look at property portals (e.g Rightmove/Zoopla) to find new homes advertised as Help to Buy. The Help to Buy website also has a list of housebuilders offering the scheme.

To apply for Help to Buy, you need to obtain an Agreement in Principle from a mortgage lender, and find and reserve a property. You then need to complete a Property Information Form and the house builder submits this to your local Help to Buy agent; in London this is Aldwyck Housing Group.

The Help to Buy agent assesses your application and if you are eligible will issue an Authority to Proceed within four working days.

You then need to instruct a solicitor and make a full mortgage application. Once you have a mortgage offer your solicitor will liaise with all parties to progress your purchase to exchange and completion.

Do the maths

To buy a Help to Buy property, you’ll need to have a minimum deposit of 5% of the purchase price, and meet the qualifying financial criteria. For example, the maximum income multiple of a Help to Buy purchase is 4.5 x single or joint household income.

You won’t be charged any interest on the government loan for the first five years of owning your home – just an administration fee of £1 per month. From year six onwards, interest is payable at 1.75%, and this rises each year by the increase in Retail Price Index (RPI), if any, plus 1%.

You can repay the equity loan (in part or in full) at any point after the purchase, and must repay it within 25 years. The minimum voluntary repayment is 10%, and the amount is calculated based on the prevailing market value.

When you sell your Help to Buy home you must repay the Help to Buy equity loan. If your equity loan is for 20% of the purchase price, you will have to repay 20% of the sale price.

To find out more, call a member of our team on 020 7226 6611.

Block C of the development

Bagel Factory is a flagship collection of unique warehouse style apartments spread across an impressive three building complex in the heart of Hackney Wick. The development is built on the site of the former Mr Bagel factory, an iconic part of Hackney Wick’s industrial past; Mr Bagel delivered to cafes, restaurants and supermarkets across the country. The interior design at Bagel Factory compliments this industrious history, perfectly fusing the old with the new.

The development also includes a concierge, a state of the art gym, exercise studio, and communal roof gardens – perfect for enjoying a drink whilst watching the sun set over the city.

CGI of the communal roof terrace

It’s also ideally located for transport links – just a minute’s walk from Hackney Wick Overground station, which will take you to the transport hub of Stratford in just 2 minutes. From here take the Jubilee and Central lines, as well as the DLR, Overground and TfL rail for easy access to the rest of London.

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.

Find out more and download a brochure here.

Currell Chartered Surveyors have been instructed on the sale of The Surrey Stadium in Whyteleafe, Surrey.

The stadium is currently home to Whyteleafe FC, who have a range of different football teams for all ages, including an U23 development squad. The club will not be affected by the sale.

The site also has potential for further development, subject to planning. Permission has already been granted for a new stand, incorporating new office space, a conference room, and medical centre. There is also potential for student accommodation subject to planning.

Simon Garfinkel, Director, said:

“This is a wonderful opportunity to purchase more than 5 acres of land within the M25 adjoining a built up area and with  good transport connections. We are expecting interest from sporting organisations as well as developers looking to land bank.”

Find out more and download a brochure here. 

The kitchen is probably one of the most used parts of any property – especially if it’s open plan and also includes a living or dining area. This is the central energy of the home, where families and friends come together, so make sure you’re entertaining in one of our fantastic kitchens…

Brewery Square, EC1V

Built on the site of a former brewery, this incredible four bedroom period property has been modernised to a high standard whilst still retaining all of its rustic charm. This is especially visible in the kitchen and dining area, with its wooden floors and exposed brickwork, giving it a light industrial feel that’s becoming increasingly popular in the City.

Find out more and arrange a viewing here.

Tyndale Terrace, N1

This four bedroom family home in Islington has undergone extensive renovation, and is now built to a high specification – especially in the kitchen, which incorporates innovative ‘Wavin’ technology to provide underfloor heating throughout.

Find out more and arrange a viewing here.

The Tapestry Building, EC2M

Built in the 18th century by the East India Company, The Tapestry Building has now been converted into 14 contemporary warehouse apartments with an unrivaled specification – including comfort cooling, intelligent lighting and entertainment systems, Gaggenau kitchen appliances and bespoke joinery throughout. The sleek and contemporary kitchen blends in seamlessly with the rest of the stunning apartment, with a central island and breakfast bar space.

Find out more and arrange a viewing here.

Mildmay Road, N1

Another property that’s perfect for families is this five bedroom home nestled between Canonbury and Dalston. The open plan kitchen/dining room caters perfectly for family living and busy mornings, with a breakfast bar as well as a separate dining/living area.

Find out more and arrange a viewing here.

Copper Lane, N16

This unique semi-detached property is set within a private eco co-housing mews development in Stoke Newington. Copper Lane was shortlisted for a RIBA Regional award in 2015 and has featured many times in national and international press, radio and TV.  The top floor provides a fabulous open space with ultra-modern fitted kitchen and ‘Richlite’ kitchen work top.

Find out more and arrange a viewing here.

Buckingham Road, N1

This attractive semi-detached Victorian property has been lovingly transformed into a fantastic modern family home with fabulous and impressive social space.The sleek kitchen is bespoke fitted with Italian ultra-modern units and a central island with stone worktops and sides. The kitchen also has integrated appliances, including a ‘Barazza’ hob and steam oven.

Find out more and arrange a viewing here.

Sandbrook Road, N16

This four bedroom house in Stoke Newington has a spacious kitchen with ample room for a large dining table and direct access to the garden, which makes for an excellent entertaining space. The skylights also give the room additional light and atmosphere.

Find out more and arrange a viewing here.

Kingsland Road, E8

A classic Victorian warehouse conversion offering versatile space, an abundance of natural light and situated on the Kingsland basin. Alongside the contemporary and stylish kitchen, there is also a wonderful industrial feel throughout with wooden floors, spectacular vaulted ceilings, exposed brickwork, and steel beams.

Find out more and arrange a viewing here.