The Chancellor has announced that stamp duty is to be abolished for all first time buyers on properties bought up to £300,000, effective from today. In addition, first time buyers purchasing properties up to £500,000 will pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000.
In his Budget, Philip Hammond announced that 80% of first time buyers would pay no stamp duty at all. With 358,000 first time buyers in the last year, this means that at least 24% of all sales in the UK’s housing market are set to be charged 0% tax. Once other exempt sales under £125,000 are taken into account, this figure will be even higher.
Two thirds of properties bought so far this year across the country have been under the new threshold but there are large regional variations. In Wales and the North East, over 90% of sales in the last year have been over £300,000 while just 17% of sales in London were for less than £300,000.
While good news for first-time buyers, this will further squeeze investors in the sub-£500,000 market who are already suffering from increased taxes. What's more, it does not, give any encouragement to owners higher up the chain to downsize.
After months of hard work, our new website finally went live over the weekend and is looking fantastic! Why not have a good look around and see what amazing new features and information are included.
Our new banner has arrived today ready for tonight, and it looks great!! We are proudly sponsoring the Pink Wig event which is part of Falmouth Week and raises funds for vital research projects, the best care for breast cancer patients in Cornwall and a safer future for the next generation.
Caring for your home in the colder months is really vital. If you are planning on selling your home this winter, the last thing you need is frozen or burst pipes you have to fix and décor to replace.
Here are our top 5 tips to help your home through the winter:
1. Gleaming guttering
As pretty as those falling leaves are, they will collect in your guttering. Designed to prevent damp and leaks, the water should be able to flow through the pipes, well away from your walls. When it comes to selling, shoddy looking guttering can significantly diminish your kerb appeal, but the occasional clean out can make them look as good as new and keep them in good working order.
2. Loft insulation
Without insulation, you can lose a significant amount of heat. Not only does decent insulation keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but will also add value to your property; prospective buyers will be looking out for homes which are more energy efficient.
3. Frozen Pipes
If the water in your pipes freezes up, you could end up with a soggy mess. To save yourself some costly repair work here are a few simple tips:
Don’t trap heat in areas of your home; keeping doors open and allowing the air to circulate will help to prevent isolated cold spots, which is good news for your pipes.
Set your heating to come on low during the day, this will help to keep frost at bay. If you go on holiday, keep the heading scheduled and retain some warmth in your home during your absence.
Wrapping your pipes with lagging is a good precaution, especially in the coldest areas of your home such as the garage or a chilly utility room. It is fairly cheap and easily purchased online, you just need to wrap it around the pipes.
Do you know where your stopcock is? Although not a prevention tactic, you need to know where to switch your water off in case of emergencies.
Like this post? Read more about preparing your home here.
4. When was the last time your boiler was serviced?
Now is the ideal time to get your boiler serviced. There are several reasons to get this looked at: it will reduce your fuel bills by making your boiler run at its most efficient, it will save you money on future repairs, and your annual service will ensure that you meet any insurance requirements.
5. Safe and secure
As the daylight fades and we get cosy in our warmly lit living rooms, it becomes easier to see the contents of our homes if we are home or not. Do you have a sensor light? Do you draw your curtains in the evening? Do you leave keys, handbags or tablets on display?
From now on, get yourself into the habit of leaving a few lights on when you go out and remember to keep valuables out of sight – there is no need to make your home vulnerable.
Having good relationships with friends and neighbours is invaluable; they can pop in and check your home while you’re away. They will naturally keep an eye out for your property and notice when things are amiss – so this could be a good time to invite them round for coffee.
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