Monthly Archives: April 2011

Home Sale Network Welcomes Government’s FirstBuy Scheme, But will it help?

Following the Budget speech announcement (23 March) that there will be a £250 million shared equity scheme within the UK – designed to help first time buyers purchase a new-build home on selected properties – a recent survey conducted by Home Sale Network discussed the scheme’s potential affect on the property market landscape.

The year-long programme, called FirstBuy, will provide interest-free loans for the first five years to first time buyers, if they fulfil the eligibility criteria, including a household income below £60,000. The first time buyer would have to commit 5% of the property price, whilst the Government and home builder construction firms would contribute 10% each with the policy expected to reach just over 10,000 first time buyers.

From its survey, Home Sale Network, a national network of independent estate agents across England, Scotland and Wales found that over 70% of its members welcomed the introduction of a new shared equity scheme for first time buyers although given that it is in the early stages, the majority* of Network respondents indicated that the scheme had so far not made an impact on the numbers of buyers entering the market.

James Rota from Richard James Estate Agents, the member for Home Sale Network in East Northants said, “We welcome any new policy the Government introduces to boost the property market and we will watch this scheme with interest. If you’re thinking of moving then contact us today. As a Home Sale Network member, we are the Local Experts for this area and can not only help you to sell your current home but assist you in finding the right property.”

*99% of Home Sale Network respondents

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Essential Guide to Moving House

If you’re currently in the process of looking to move then you may will find this information very helpful.  Moving is always stressful, so here are a few tips courtesy of to hopefully make it that bit easier for you! Of course if you have any specific questions regarding the moving process, just give me or any of the staff at Richard James a call on 01933 651010 (Irthlingborough) or 01933 224400 (Wellingborough) and we’ll be more than happy to answer them!

1 month to go (or as soon as you know you are moving)

  • Contact at least 3 removal companies for quotes. Ask friends for recommendations or contact the British Association of Removers. You don’t need an exact move date in order to obtain a quote, but finalise your booking as soon as possible, especially in peak season.
  • Don’t forget to ask how much their insurance covers and let them know if storage will be involved (whether collecting from a storage facility or storing with them).
  • Sell, donate or dump as much as you can before you move – Friends/family, eBay, Gumtree, Freecycle, charities and the local council collection are all easy options.
  • Check your suppliers’ contracts – if you want to cancel any of your TV/internet/telephone subscriptions you may need 30 days notice or you may end up paying for services you’re not using.
  • If you plan on transferring accounts to your new home check whether the service is available there and how long it would take to install a service in your new home if needed.
  • Think about whether you need any furnishings or other items for your new house? You may need to order now to ensure it arrives on time.

3 weeks before moving house

  • Make a list of companies, subscriptions and people you need to notify – it will take a few hours to notify everyone online, on the phone or by post, so do it in stages. Utility companies can be updated on moving day when you update your meter readings.
  • Contact the Royal Mail to set up a post redirection. You can sign up online or go to the local post office. It’s reasonably inexpensive and worth it to catch anything that slips through the net.
  • Check your insurance policy and ensure it will transfer over to your new home – update required changes. Removal companies should insure your belongings while in their care but you do have the option of adding it to your own home insurance instead if you would prefer.
  • If you’re packing up yourself, start packing items that you will not need before the move – books, DVDs etc. Break the task down into achievable amounts so it’s not overwhelming. Ensure boxes are clearly labelled.

2 weeks before moving house

  • Make a list of items you will need on your first night (bedding, bathroom/kitchen essentials, homework, important documents) and valuables and set an ‘essentials’ box aside to be loaded last (whether with the movers or in your own car) and unpacked first on moving day.
  • Research Doctors and Dentists in your new area and notify your current services of your move.
  • Make arrangements for your children and pets on moving day. If they will be present make sure they are occupied and stay out of the way of the movers – for their own safety, as well as that of the movers.

1 week before moving house

  • Gather all the appliance manuals and keys that the new inhabitants will need.
  • Assign jobs to everyone present on the day – checking cupboards are empty, walking the dog, collecting keys, saying goodbye etc.

1 day before moving house

  • Finish your last bits of packing, collecting all the bits and bobs that are lying around the house.
  • Take the recycling and rubbish away.

Moving Day

  • Take gas, electricity and water meter readings in both properties.
  • Stay calm, have lots of tea breaks and keep your energy up – it will be a long day!
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