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.

 

Hackney has fast become one of London’s trendiest boroughs in recent years, with the likes of Shoreditch, Dalston, and London Fields becoming cultural and culinary hotspots. It’s no wonder that people are flocking to the area to rent, especially with its excellent transport links making it perfect for commuters working in the City. Here’s our top pick of rental homes we’ve currently got on our books in Hackney:

Cheering Lane, E20

Available from 1st April is this fantastic three bedroom apartment in the newly built Olympic East Village development. Finished to a very high standard, the property comprises a large open plan kitchen/ living area, three double bedrooms (one with an en-suite), a winter garden and a family bathroom. It also benefits from excellent storage and underfloor heating throughout.

Cheering Lane is within a five minute walk of Stratford International and Stratford Underground Stations, so offers a wide variety of routes into and out of London. Westfield Stratford City, one of the largest urban shopping centres in Europe, is also on its doorstep. Find out more here.

Kingsland Road, E8

Available from 14th March is this split level, two bedroom apartment is in one of Kingsland Road’s most sought after developments. Benyon Wharf offers peaceful canal side living as well as convenient access to the city. The apartment is arranged over the fourth & fifth floors and comprises an open plan fully fitted kitchen/reception room, two contemporary bathrooms, two double bedrooms, a further reception/study, and two west-facing balconies. With large windows and high ceilings the property enjoys plentiful light and space. It also boasts wooden floors & stylish modern décor.

Furniture is negotiable, and there is also the option of a secure underground parking space. Haggerston Overground is moments away and the buses of Kingsland Road offer routes all across London. Find out more here.

The Shoe Factory, E9

The Shoe Factory is a collection of newly converted warehouse lofts in a former factory on Tudor Road, E9. The one bedroom loft comprises of a large open-plan reception room/kitchen and has been finished to the highest of specifications throughout. The loft interiors have been designed and specified to a criteria of architectural innovation – combining retained warehouse detailing, such as the wall to wall Crittall windows, exposed brickwork and Burlington bathroom fittings with high end technology, such as the Manhattan-esque electrostatic glass sections in each bedroom area.

Tudor Road is a small one-way street near the popular Broadway Market and the gastro pubs, cafes and delis in the area. It is also well placed for Bethnal Green Underground Station (within 1/4 mile) and the many bus routes direct to Waterloo, London Bridge, Liverpool Street and the West End. Find out more here.

Northwold Road, E5

Available from the 5th of May on a part-furnished basis is this large three bedroom apartment in the heart of Clapton. The property consists of open plan/kitchen reception, three double bedrooms (one en-suite) and main bathroom. The nearest station is Clapton Overground, just a four minute walk away, with direct Overground services to Liverpool Street in under half an hour. Find out more here.

Richmond Road, E8

Available from 14th March on a furnished basis is this one bedroom apartment. Part of a high-specification development, the property is close to London Fields and Broadway Market. The flat consists of a bright, spacious living area, fully fitted kitchen, double bedroom and main bathroom. As well as being well proportioned with good storage throughout, the property also boasts a private balcony.

Dalston Junction is the closest station, less than a 10 minute walk away, and the buses of Kingsland Road offer a quick, direct route into the City. Find out more here.

Anton Street, E8 

This stunning mews house is right in the heart of Hackney Downs, and available immediately, furnished or unfurnished. The property boasts three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open plan kitchen/reception, and garden – all with fabulously modern interior design. It’s ideally located for transport too, with Hackney Downs station just a five minute walk away. From here, you can be at London Liverpool Street in just 11 minutes. Find out more here.

 

What is shared ownership?

Shared ownership is a type of Help to Buy scheme, that allows you to purchase a share in a property. You then pay a subsidised rent to the Housing Association on the remaining share, along with a monthly service charge.

Shared ownership properties are purchased on a leasehold basis and the lease is normally 125 years. This means you will own an equity share in the property – anything from 25% to 75%, dependent on what is being offered by the vendor, and what you’re able to afford.

Financial ability is assessed free of charge by an independent financial advisor (IFA). You’re required to buy up to your maximum affordability, and additional shares in the property can be purchased at any time – this is called staircasing. The price is always taken from the market value, which is determined at the time by a RICS accredited surveyor.

Once you’ve bought your property, you can sell it at any time. The housing association will normally have a 12 week period to find another person to purchase the property under the shared ownership scheme, however if they can’t find a buyer in that time period, the property can then be sold on the open market (again, the value is determined by a RICS accredited surveyor).

So how do I know if I’m eligible?

In order to qualify for shared ownership, you’ll need to…

  • Earn less than £90,000 a year if you’re looking to buy in London, and £80,000 outside of London. Every property will have a minimum income level too, determined by its value, rent and service charge costs
  • Have access to a minimum deposit of 5% of the share being purchased
  • Be employed on a permanent contract and have passed any probation or be able to provide three years audited accounts if self-employed
  • Have British, EU or EEA Citizenship or have indefinite leave to remain
  • £5,000 towards legal fees, mortgage arrangement fees and stamp duty

Each development will have an eligibility criteria of its own and this can be based on the area in which applicants currently live or work and the type of accommodation currently occupied.

What now?

Take a look at our selection of fabulous properties available to purchase through shared ownership here.

To find out more about shared ownership, head to Twitter to take part in #SOChatHour where you can join the conversation and ask questions about all things Shared Ownership, every Wednesday at 8pm.

You can also get in touch with our team on 020 7704 5618. 

 

Period homes will always be a strong contender in the property market, with Victorian houses among the most popular. Period homes are a timeless classic that never go out of fashion, so if you’re considering a move in 2018, take a look at some of our historical houses for sale:

Alwyne Road, N1

This five bedroom Victorian home is in a highly sought after area of Canonbury, with the New River to the back of the property. The house offers fabulous social space with a magnificent reception room and a large garden, landscaped by the award winning Butter Wakefield (Chelsea Flower show exhibitor, Gold Medal and People’s Choice at RHS Chatsworth). Click here for more info.

The Clock House, EC1V

The Clock House on Brewery Square is an excellent example of mid 19th century architecture. This unique four bedroom detached house, once the offices of the Cannon Brewery, is the oldest remaining building on the site, dating back to 1874. The property is stunning internally, with a perfect combination of original period features and contemporary high specification design. Click here for more info.

Cassland Road, E9 

Close to Victoria Park village (and the park itself) is this stunning five bedroom Victorian house on Cassland Road. The property has still retained a lot of its original features; such as wooden window shutters, wood floors, marble open-fireplaces and high ceilings, as well as a wealth of entertaining space – including a conservatory and a fabulous garden to the rear. Click here for more info.

Hemingford Road, N1

This charming four bedroom, Victorian Grade II listed house has been modernised to a very high standard, and now serves as a perfect family home with great entertaining space. Hemingford Road is within the highly sought after Barnsbury location within Islington. Upper Street is a short walk away, as well as Angel, Highbury & Islington and Caledonian Road stations, offering fast access to the rest of the city. Click here for more info.

De Beauvoir Square, N1

This impressive Grade II listed detached property overlooks a large and beautiful garden square. The house is presented in immaculate decorative condition and offers flexible living space, with up to five bedrooms and a wonderful double reception room on the raised ground floor, enjoying great light through the original Jacobean style windows. The two storey extension offers a slight detachment from the main house for work, music, play, or bedrooms. There is also a well tended mature South facing garden, with established fruit trees. Click here for more info.

Gerrard Road, N1

This spacious Grade II listed family home is set within a highly sought after conservation area of Islington, and provides flexible accommodation over five storeys, with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. The top floor modern addition provides a master bedroom with doors out to a private south facing roof terrace. Click here for more info.

Northchurch Road, N1

This impressive five bedroom, three bathroom end of terrace family home is complete with original period features, utility room, conservatory, and a substantial private garden with side access. Northchurch Road is in close proximity to Angel and the shops, bars, and restaurants of Essex street and central Islington. Click here for more info.