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FREE Property Tax Seminar 6th September 2018

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Published: 04/09/2018   Last Updated: 04/09/2018 11:43:22   Tags: Property Tax Seminar 2018

Free Seminar 6th Sept. 2018
The latest Property Tax News & Developments.
A highly regarded firm used by many of our clients.
Limited spaces register via w.taper@willmotts.com
Willmott House 12 Blacks Road, W6 9EU 2 minutes walk from Hammersmith Underground station

Hammersmith Property News August 2018

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Published: 03/09/2018   Last Updated: 03/09/2018 11:20:54   Tags: Hammersmith Property News August 2018

Why it's a good idea to make your move in Hammersmith before 2019

The benefits of owning a home in Hammersmith are huge. While it’s true that across the country homeowners are benefitting from steady and reliable capital growth, here the rewards are even greater. The core reason is that the area we live in is popular and just keeps getting more so.

Let’s take a look at the numbers. Over the course of the last market cycle, prices here have risen, on average by 8.1 per cent per year. That means since 2010, the average homeowner has made £56,400 per year just by owning a house. There are of course differences between house types; more expensive homes tend to increase more in value, as a proportion, than smaller types, which is a great reason to stretch your budget as far as you can within reason.

Market conditions have been fairly good over the last few years, in stark contrast to other parts of the country. Yet it’s an undeniable fact that we’re between two market cycles and sales volumes have been low. If this next cycle takes the same course as the last, which kicked off after the credit crunch, 2019 looks set to be a year of strong house price growth.

That’s why now is the time to grab the bull by the horns if you’re thinking of making a move in Hammersmith. Well-priced homes in the area will always be snapped up quickly, but if you want to make the most out of 2019, you’ll need to get a move on. As ever, the best way to make sure you win is to work with a local market expert who understands the market inside out.


Overall sales levels in the last few quarters

There's so much going on in our local market it's sometimes hard to keep up. However, one of the measures we as property professionals are fixated on is how many sales are taking place. This chart shows the total number of sales over the last few quarters.


Prices over time vs region and national

A lot has happened in the property market recently, particularly when it comes to prices. However, what's happening locally doesn't always reflect what's going on regionally or in the country as a whole. This chart shows prices side-by-side and reveals telling patterns.

Hours worked each week

Nobody ever lay on their death bed wishing they'd spent more time in the office. However, most of us have our nose to the grindstone to make ends meet and our area is no different. This chart shows how long the working week is for people here.

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Hammersmith Summer Property News 2018

Published: 03/09/2018   Last Updated: 03/09/2018 12:32:39   Tags: Hammersmith Summer Property News 2018

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

2018 July Hammersmith Property Estate Agents News

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Published: 27/07/2018   Last Updated: 27/07/2018 12:23:42   Tags: 2018 July Hammersmith Property Estate Agents News

In our property market, timing is everything; here's why.

We can't remember a time when there's been more excitement about the Hammersmith property market. We're having more and more conversations with the buyers and sellers we advise who realise that they've 'timed their runs' perfectly. As we've seen many times before; as the market turns a corner, momentum starts building very fast.

It can't be denied that the market has been fairly cool of late. Indeed across the whole London region, there were 28.1 per cent fewer sales in the first three months of 2018 than in the same period of 2017. In Hammersmith, sales were 25 per cent down, so we've outperformed the regional market, but that comes as no surprise given the change comes from a high base.

Landlords will have to approach this market cycle in a very different manner to the last one. The government has created a much less hospitable tax environment, particularly the removal of mortgage interest tax relief. However, for any landlord willing to run their portfolio, however big, like a business they will find the competition from other less serious landlords has thinned dramatically.

It remains to be seen what twists and turns the next cycle has in store for us, and indeed who will be the biggest winners. One thing is undoubtedly true though - those who work with a local expert who really understands the inner workings of the local market will always come out on top.

Looking to the present, more and more evidence is showing that the recovery is well underway. The reason people are acting quicker is to capture as much house price inflation as possible. At its pre-credit crunch peak in 2007, homes grew in value by 21 per cent per year equivalent to £86,000 per year, so the rewards of making a smart move speak for themselves.

There's quite a lot of hysteria in the press about the state of the housing market. Yet it's important to remember that it takes a long time for market 'events' to appear in the statistics and get picked up by the press. Take it from us, the next cycle is well underway, and people who move soon stand to gain the most.

Index of quarterly sales levels by type
In this chart, we’ve compared sales levels for flats and houses in the last few years. Instead of looking at absolute numbers, we’ve indexed the rates. This means that flats and houses start at 100 at the start of the period and you can see how they’ve changed since, on an equal basis.

Annual index of prices by type of home
Property prices of different house types can be like chalk and cheese. Smaller properties have a higher turnover and lower price than larger properties. So for this chart we've stripped out the actual figures and look at an index of how each type has performed over time.

Number of people per home
The number of people living in homes in the local area tells us a lot about the character of our market. Areas with smaller households tend to be dominated by either the very young or very old. Homes with more people tend to be dominated by families and this is the case for most housing markets around the country.

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Making the most of your Hammersmith property Viewing

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Published: 23/07/2018   Last Updated: 23/07/2018 14:00:03   Tags: Making The Most Of Your Hammersmith Property Viewing

In Hammersmith viewing a property is exciting as you judge if it could be a suitable home. It is easy to get caught in a whirlwind as you walk from room to room, without taking it all in properly. It might tick some of your boxes, but does that make it the perfect West London home for you? Willmotts estate agents in W6 share their tips to get the most out of a property viewing.
 
Assess the building condition 
Even if there are enough bedrooms and the layout works for you, there are other signs to consider first. Is the building safe and are there warning signs? 
When considering the building, it's a good idea to find out how old the Hammersmith building is, whether there has been any maintenance done recently and whether there are any associated charges that you need to be aware of. You should also look out for any potential costs such as old boilers, leaky roofs, and possible damp. Don't let these things put you off but be sure to bear them in mind during your negotiations.

Watch out for diagonal cracks. They suggest some movement or structural issue. Whilst that doesn’t necessarily mean you should dismiss the property, it is worth having it checked out early on. Horizontal or straight vertical cracks are not as much of an issue but it’s always wise to have the Hammersmith property properly surveyed.

Don’t forget to check for damp, too. Always make sure that the property has adequate ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom. Potential damp issues can arise if it is not well ventilated.
If for any reason while on a viewing you are unable to view inside a room or a space of interest, make sure you ask as to why it is off limits for your viewing. If you see areas of concern, ask about any investigations which might have taken place already so you can be confident in proceeding. For instance, if you spot an area which appears to be damp, ask if they have had work carried out with guarantees available or if a report with the cost of repair is available to be seen in advance of any offers being made.

Remember to look at the exterior condition of the property as well. Particularly in an older property, try and have a good walk around the outside looking at the brickwork for any cracking and if possible, the roof for any slipped tiles.

Structural integrity is always a key consideration, but it could be worth getting a professional survey before coming to any conclusions of your own.
Structural movement can cause problems but can also be difficult to spot. There is a big difference between settlement (long standing movement) and progressive movement, however good agents can always offer sensible advice on this; Willmotts would refer to one of our RICS surveyors.

Don’t necessarily be put off by minor issues on a survey. Problems are rarely insurmountable and sometimes the reality is never as bad as first feared.
 
Spend time looking at the local area
It’s tempting to drive to the West London property, look around, and leave again, but our agents suggest that you should spend more time in the area. 
Always like to take a wander around the local Hammersmith area before viewing a property; sometimes it's worth doing this before booking the viewing. Look out for things like supermarkets, parks and green areas, and local schools (even if you don't have children), as all these things can affect the property price.

On a viewing, potential buyers should take the time to look around outside the property. This provides the opportunity to get a ‘feel’ for the neighbourhood. Are neighbouring properties well-kept or uncared for? This will help them decide whether this is an area in which they feel they can live.
 
Multiple visits
As well as looking at the area, it is worth visiting multiple times. 
You may also wish to consider driving past the Hammersmith property you are interested in before booking a viewing if you live within a reasonable distance. This will help to quickly eliminate any unsuitable properties from your search. To find out more about an area, it is worth visiting at different times throughout the week; you may get a different impression on a Saturday evening compared with a Wednesday afternoon.

Make sure you view the W6 property more than once and ideally at different times of the day. As well as viewing the property itself, make sure you have a good walk around the general area to get an understanding of traffic and parking. Try and take someone with you; it’s always great to have someone to bounce ideas off and ask for a second opinion.
 
Make a wish list to check off
Are you willing to compromise? Taking a checklist to a viewing can help to decide if the Hammersmith property is for you. 
When you start your search for your perfect home, you usually have a Wishlist. Invariably something has to give as budget and wishes collide and a compromise has to be made.

Having a clear idea of what your needs are will making finding a property a lot easier. It is important for each buyer to have a clear understanding of their requirements so that they can look at how well the property satisfies these requirements. A checklist can be a useful tool to help with this and will also help with comparing the merits of different properties after multiple viewings when the memory can blur.

As well as a wish list, include a checklist of questions to ask the estate agent who is showing the West London property. When viewing a property, it's a good idea to prepare yourself with a list of questions for the agent and owner. Make sure to write your questions down as it's very easy to get caught up in the viewing and forget them. I would say there are three main categories to consider when viewing; the building itself, the services to the building, and the local area and amenities.
 
The first question a viewer should be asking is; how will I commute to work, are there good road links, and is public transport frequent?

•             Will my furniture fit?
•             Do I need new window dressings?
•             Can I live with the colour scheme?
•             Is the garden big enough, or small enough?
•             What are the running costs?
•             Are the electrics up to date including the fuse board?
•             Has the central heating system been serviced regularly and are there certificates to show this?
•             Do all the doors and windows operate correctly and have appropriate locking mechanisms?
•             If the property has solar panels, has the roof been leased?
 
Spend a lot of time looking around the property
It’s a good idea to take a slower pace and even have a sit-down. One thing that very few people seem to do when viewing a property (whether for sale or rent), but everybody should try to do, is to take a moment to sit down.

How else are you going to find out what the place would really be like to live in? Few people spend their entire lives at home walking around the Hammersmith London W6 property, but we do tend to spend a lot of time sitting down: watching TV, reading a book, eating or just plain relaxing. Rather than admiring the view out of the window from a standing position, what can you see when you're seated? Is the window sill so high that all you can see is sky? Would you be happy with that?
Once you're sitting quietly, what can you hear? Traffic, trains, the neighbours, or birds tweeting and a babbling brook?

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Hammersmith Property News June 2018

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Published: 27/06/2018   Last Updated: 27/06/2018 11:46:09   Tags: Hammersmith Estate Agents Property News London W6

Which are the most expensive roads to live on in Hammersmith
We are all aware that some neighbourhoods command a premium over others, yet it's often the desirability of specific roads that makes all the difference. Whether it's because they have built their own favourable reputation over time or simply their proximity to amenities, transport or schools, some roads cost significantly more to live on than others.

This theme is replicated across the whole of the UK, from the Bishop's Avenue in north London, to Deansgate in Manchester and Little Aston in Birmingham. But everywhere must have a most expensive street even outside the big cities. So with that in mind, we looked for the most expensive roads in Hammersmith, and how much of a premium they command.

The most expensive street in our area is Abbotsbury Road with properties costing £6,110,000, 468.7 per cent more than the local average. This is followed by Hammersmith Road, where property prices average £5,947,000, 453.5 per cent more than the average. Both these areas have a winning formula of high quality housing stock and excellent location.

If you own a property on either of these roads you are in a strong selling position. But it's not just properties in these streets that are in demand; the average house price in Hammersmith has increased by 49 per cent over the last five years. It's clear there is a healthy demand for properties, no matter whereabouts in the area they are located.

Buy-to-let landlords in Hammersmith will be pleased to know that there are pockets of value all over our area. The dynamics which underpin the market mean there is no shortage of investment opportunities, whatever your budget. The rising demand for rental property has never been higher from tenants and we're here to make sure you succeed.

Hammersmith has a strong and healthy property market with buoyant demand levels. This means that now is a good time to own a property here, no matter where it's situated. If you would like to know more about the Hammersmith property market, give us a call, tweet, email or pop into our office for a friendly chat.

Sales levels in recent months by type
The property market fluctuates on a seasonal basis, and this is particularly the case for sales rates. This chart shows how the market has changed over the course of the last few months. The most recent periods are estimates based on the previous year’s pattern.

Fluctuations in prices over recent years
It won't come as any massive shock that houses are generally worth more than flats in our area. However, when it comes to the movements over time, these two broad types of property do not always behave similarly. Here we see how flats and houses have varied in price.

Commuting distances
Measuring commuting distance might seem a little obscure but it actually offers a particularly good insight into the character of any local housing market. For example, commuter towns tend to really come alive at the weekends but are quieter in the week. Areas where most people work locally will have a stronger community feel day-to-day.

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Statistics show more good news ahead for Hammersmith

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Published: 18/06/2018   Last Updated: 18/06/2018 13:30:02   Tags: 2018 June Property News Estate Agents Hammersmith London W6

The British press is being so hysterical about the UK property market at the moment, you'd be forgiven for thinking we were back in 2008 again, staring down the barrel of another credit crunch. This couldn't be further from the truth. Week after week, more statistics come out revealing how bouyant the market is at the moment. Here are just three of the reasons why homeowners in Hammersmith should be grinning.

The first and main reason to be happy is illustrated very clearly in the chart above. Long term house price growth in the area has been strong, with the average annual rate of growth since 2000 sitting at an admirable 13.6 per cent. The broad base of the market and the solid fundamentals underpinning it mean we expect this to continue in the medium and long term.

The next reason to be happy is the abundance of liquidity in the market. In laymen’s terms, this means that lots of people are buying and selling and the market isn’t in danger of stagnation. As of the fourth quarter of 2017, the data shows that sales now sit at their long-run equilibrium level, that is to say below the 2007 peak but above the trough of the credit crunch.

Rental returns: Despite former Chancellor George Osborne's best attempts to slow down the buy-to-let market, the demand for rental property looks like it will increase. There will be plenty of chances for canny landlords thinking about purchasing a buy-to-let property or expanding their portfolio. The current local median monthly rent is £2,870, which means you could enjoy yields of 3 per cent.

With demand for homes increasing, vendors are in a healthy position where they can realistically hope to achieve the asking price, or higher, for their property. When you compare lack of availability to high demand, it seems even more plausible that you will be happy with the final sale price.

The third reason to be happy is the amount of sanity in the market which has come about due to more grown-up mortgage regulation. The meteoric rise in prices in the area pre-2008 led to price ‘froth’ building up in the market which ultimately caused the 2008 crash. While price growth since 2008 has been less rapid, it is far more sustainable and will save us from another crash. Why don’t you pop into our office for the full low-down?

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Hammersmith Local Property Market Insights June 2018

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Published: 31/05/2018   Last Updated: 31/05/2018 10:10:59   Tags: Hammersmith Local Property Market Insights June 2018

We’re delighted to present our latest infographic which illustrates what’s going on in the Hammersmith market. Sales volumes across the country remain fairly flat as is typical of this stage of the market cycle. Some now think August will see an interest rate rise, and if that happens then we expect to see a rush to secure fixed-rate mortgages. However, the fundamentals of the market remain solid and we expect that volumes and rates of house price growth will continue to recover.

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

London regional analysis Spring 2018

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Published: 30/05/2018   Last Updated: 30/05/2018 10:14:27   Tags: London Regional Analysis Spring 2018

According to The CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals:

“The London property market is as solid as a rock. High quality housing stock, good levels of new supply, a broad and secure employment base and a diverse demand profile are the pillars on
which it rests. For that reason, I am very confident that levels of capital inflation will continue to rise in the long run, and transaction levels will go from strength to strength.”
Iain McKenzie, Chief Executive

The latest data from the Land Registry House Price Index shows us the anatomy of the region’s constituent housing markets. In the table below we set out the performance of each district. There is no single measure which provides a complete picture of buoyancy within a market, but for the sake of simplicity, we show the top 20 markets by the total value of all property transactions in the last year. This is calculated by multiplying the average value of homes by the number of sales. This gives a crude indication of how large the market is from an agent’s perspective but doesn’t account for the level of competition or speciality markets.

On this basis, the district with the most extensive market is Wandsworth which saw £3.5bn worth of transactions in 2017. This was followed by Westminster with £3.3bn worth. The district with the highest overall average house price was Kensington and Chelsea where prices sit at £1,203,000, which is 393.1% above the national average. The market with the highest number of transactions was Croydon with 5,636 sales occurring during the period.

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

National market events and policy Spring 2018

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Published: 29/05/2018   Last Updated: 29/05/2018 15:13:00   Tags: National Market Events And Policy Spring 2018

The mortgage market

The mortgage market seems to have a pretty bright future at the moment. Even with interest rates starting to rise, they remain close to historic lows, and that has boosted competition in the market. Add to that the resilience in the jobs market and broader economy and that represents a strong foundation for future growth. A big surprise for some has been the number of first-time buyer numbers in 2017, helped in no small way by help-to-buy, but also the good credit availability, and competitive mortgage rates. Stamp duty relief for first-time buyers announced in November 2017 will further support growth throughout 2018.

The bread-and-butter of the mortgage market, home mover and remortgage activity has been stronger than expected and has exceeded many gloomy expectations.

Buy to let activity has been weak, with activity back in 2012 territory and looking unlikely to recover in 2018 or 2019. This is no surprise given the less-than-comfortable tax environment which was ushered in by the last Chancellor in the form of mortgage tax relief withdrawal and higher stamp duty.

Overall, property transactions have recovered somewhat over the course of 2017 helped by first-time buyer numbers, but this only represents a recovery to short-term levels rather than growth. Looking ahead, we expect overall activity to be flat over the next two years, as the cycle transitions.


House building

When George Osborne announced in his 2013 budget that Help-to-buy would be “the biggest government intervention in the housing market since the Right to Buy scheme” of the 1980’s, many commentators dismissed it as typical government superlative. However, five years of data show us that it has profoundly affected the housing market, particularly the new build sector at which it is aimed.

It aimed to undermine the obstacle to homeownership represented by deposits. Between spring 2013 and summer 2017 it has helped over 130,000 families buy a home, 80% of which were first-time buyers. The principal house builders were arguably even more significant winners, with the sectors’ share prices outperforming the FTSE by 30%. Still, the primary outcome of the scheme has been to boost house building rates.
As something of a side-note, it’s worth mentioning that housebuilding is one of a tiny number of areas within the housing industry which is likely to be immediately and directly affected by Brexit, with its reliance on appropriately skilled nondomestic labour.

We expect that the scheme will be continued in one form or other because it has been proven to boost home-ownership, supports jobs growth (in construction) and is one of the few government policies over the last few decades which has had a positive effect on house building.


The rental market

The big story with rent levels is one of lethargy; however, there are two forces in play which could see that turnaround. Firstly, the national rental markets have been digesting a considerable glut of property which came on to the rental market shortly after spring 2016. Investors bought forward decisions to purchase homes before April 2016 to avoid paying an extra 3 per cent in stamp duty. In fact, in March 2016 there were about twice the number of sales than the same month the previous year equivalent to 70,000 homes, the majority of which would have found their way into the rented sector. A sudden increase in supply of almost 2 per cent has had the predictable effect of putting downward pressure on prices.

However, it is this process which gives us reason to believe the impact might reverse. The less comfortable tax environment may well put off some would-be landlords and limit the future supply of homes in the rental market. This would play well for the ‘build-to-rent’ sector which has the potential to play an invaluable role, but the funding of it requires strong rental inflation. The second reason is wage growth. The lack of it has held back rents because it forms a ceiling beyond which landlords just can’t price their units. A rosier economic picture is starting to emerge, not least on the news that wage growth is starting to get going. Two reasons, therefore, why rental growth has suffered but looks set to flourish.

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Patterns in regional market activity Spring 2018

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Published: 25/05/2018   Last Updated: 29/05/2018 15:12:39   Tags: Patterns In Regional Market Activity 2018 Spring May

Capital growth

The latest data from the Land Registry for December 2017 reveal how resale prices have changed across the regions of England and Wales in the last 12 months. By way of context, the whole UK average year-on-year price change has been 5.2 per cent.

The best performing region has been the South West which has seen price growth of 7.5 per cent in the last year, and the overall average price is now £254,100, 12 per cent above the national average. The weakest performing region was London with price growth of just 2.5 per cent.

This pattern reveals a move away from the north/south, or east/west divide in price performance we’ve seen in the past. That is because the national housing market is relatively balanced and each region has a slightly different supply/demand balance which has the effect of putting more or less upward pressure on house prices.


Market liquidity

When it comes to assessing the overall health of the property market, sales volumes are arguably more telling than prices per se. There is a delay between property transactions taking place and arriving in the Land
Registry data, so to make sure we have a reliable sample, we have compared regional sales levels in the first three quarters of 2017 vs the same period in the year before.

The most significant positive change in transactions was for Wales, where sales volumes were 7.3 per cent higher than the previous year. This was followed by the North East where transactions were 4.9 per cent higher.

London came bottom of the list with 8.0 per cent fewer sales, while nationally there was a fall of 1.5 per cent.
As the map shows, there is something of a north-west vs south-east dividing line to sales volumes. When the housing market starts to cool, it usually begins cooling in central London and then the effect ripples out to the rest of the country.

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

London regional housing market update Spring 2018

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Published: 24/05/2018   Last Updated: 24/05/2018 08:47:28   Tags: London Regional Housing Market Update

As one cycle closes and another begins, a ‘new normal’ has emerged for the UK residential property market, and with it a host of opportunities for property professionals, buyers and sellers alike.

There has been something quite reassuring about the behaviour of the property market over the last 12 months. Despite the best efforts of the national press to kindle the flame of panic, reality and common sense seem to have won the day. As the chart below makes clear, the housing market is no longer as exciting as it was a decade ago, but nor is it as volatile.

The property market, like most markets, is cyclical in nature. The reason for these cycles is a hotly debated topic amongst economists, but from a housing market point-of-view, it is mostly explained by ‘sentiment’. When people feel like prices have gone up for long enough, some will try to reap the rewards of ‘calling the top’ and selling when prices reach their peak.

As this negative sentiment permeates through the market, buyers hold-off buying until they think prices have hit bottom, and then they will try to profit from ‘calling the bottom’. At the time of writing, Spring 2018, we
find ourselves at the threshold between two cycles. The departing cycle began after the credit crunch in 2009. On the chart, this cycle extends from the big blue ‘dip’ in the middle all the way to the right. The next cycle will eventually appear to the right of that.

Crystal-ball gazing is always a mistake, but there are specific rules of thumb which might tell us what to expect from the next cycle. These cycles tend to last somewhere between seven and ten years over which time year-on-year price growth rises, peaks and falls. The degree to which they increase and severity with which they fall depends on a host of factors, but the one which has the most influence is lending.

In 2009, the housing market fell flat on its face because mortgage finance dried up. There was nothing wrong with the supply of property in the UK, as was the case in Spain where they had to deal with the impact of a house building glut, which at its worst in 2010 had created 1.7 million unsold and empty properties.

In the UK, the reverse has traditionally been true whereby a lack of supply has maintained upwards pressure on prices. Likewise, nothing particularly dramatic happened to demand - the profile of which hasn’t changed significantly in the last 30 years. All that changed was that the demand was rendered impotent as the global credit crunch caused the banks’ margins to evaporate. A period of restricted lending was required to restore those margins before the taps could be turned back on again.

What followed was a project known in the trade as MMR or mortgage market review. Imposed by the government, this sought to enforce more sensible and qualified lending to make sure that house price froth didn’t build into a bubble (and a crash). This massively important project will underlie everything about the property market over the next cycle. It’s the new normal. The removal of one of the primary potential sources of a bubble, will make the housing market much more predictable and allow us all to advise our clients with the benefit of more forward-visibility.

For more information please get in touch with our award winning Hammersmith London W6 Estate Agents, 020 8222 9958 sales@willmotts.com


How to upgrade your home for less

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Published: 09/05/2018   Last Updated: 29/05/2018 15:12:19   Tags: How To Upgrade Your Hammersmith Home For Less

The home you purchase isn’t always your dream property. However, you can turn your property into the home of your dreams with a few quick fixes. Some property additions can even add value to your home. Look at our best tips to upgrade your home for less.

Paint your kitchen cabinets
If you’re looking for an easy way to update the look of your home, paint your cabinets. Freshly painted cabinets give your home the update it needs without the cost of a full kitchen renovation. Choose light colours to brighten up your space, but don’t be afraid of colour: light blue or pale green both look fantastic in a kitchen.

Update your fixtures
New cabinet door handles or knobs on the sink can make a surprising difference in any room in your house. Choose modern door handles to update your kitchen, and you can even consider painting your sink knobs to give them a much-needed facelift.

Add mirrors
Mirrors can make any space seem larger and are an easy way to ‘open up’ a room without knocking down a wall. Hang a large mirror on an open wall, or consider a gallery wall of smaller mirrors for a room that’s tricky to decorate.

Invest in landscaping
Kerb appeal is king, so be sure that the outside of your home is attractive. The entrance to your home should be neat and tidy, and consider adding some landscaping to the front of your property. A tree or two works well in a more rural environment, and never underestimate the power of a few potted plants in an urban home.

Add visible storage
Adding storage is a great way to add value to your property, and visible storage is an extremely easy way to make use of the more awkward spaces in your home. Look for spaces like nooks in corridors, eaves, spaces under stairs, space above sinks, and wall space for mounted cupboards. Adding visible storage in these places is a great way to highlight your personality as well as cut the clutter.

Add wooden floors
Wall-to-wall carpet is no longer a popular choice, as homeowners now prefer wooden floors that they can choose to put a rug on. Many types of wooden flooring are available on a budget, so consider vinyl flooring in a wooden pattern or get reclaimed wooden floors for less.

Freshen up your front door
First impressions count, and there’s nothing less appealing than a front door with peeling paint. You can stay classic and choose a front door in a neutral glossy shade, or pick a brighter colour with some personality.

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

How to take the stress out of moving home

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Published: 08/05/2018   Last Updated: 29/05/2018 15:11:58   Tags: How To Take The Stress Out Of Moving Home Hammersmith London W6

So, you’ve completed on your new Hammersmith home and can’t wait to move. You’ve even started thinking about how to decorate. There’s one thing you might have forgotten, though you’ve got to move out of your home first. Between packing your things and preparing for your first night in a new London W6 home, moving to a new house can seem overwhelming. However, moving from one property to another doesn’t have to be stressful. Read our tips to remove the stress from your moving experience.

1. Stay organised
As with any daunting task, staying organised is key. Pack by room and decide when and how you will organise your things. Once you’ve assigned items to labelled boxes, consider the moving van. How will the boxes go inside? Will you need to take multiple trips? Once you’ve worked these things out, you’ll have a plan for your moving day which should give you peace of mind.

2. Pack early
There’s nothing worse than having a moving van booked and realising that you’ll need to pack all night to be ready. Start packing as soon as you can. Choose non-essential items first (decorations, etc.), and pack your essentials like furniture and cutlery the week of the move.

3. Take your time
When you’re moving to a new house, be sure to allot more time than you actually need. Feeling rushed will make your stress levels skyrocket, so being slow and methodical is the best way to combat moving worry. Extra time allows you to be more careful when you’re packing and unpacking, and it also takes into account the inevitable moving day setbacks.

4. Be flexible
There are sure to be bumps in the road when you’re moving to a new house, so remind yourself to stay flexible. Having a plan is a great way to stay organised, but don’t be afraid to deviate from it when circumstances require.

5. Have a backup plan
When you’re planning your move, take a small amount of time to think about the things that could go wrong and write them down. Once you’ve got your list, think of ways that you could overcome these problems. A backup plan will help take stress out of your move, because you’ve already thought of potential solutions.

6. Enlist help
Moving to a new house is a huge task, and it becomes even bigger when you have to do it all yourself. Ask for help from your friends and family (most of them will be willing to lend a hand for a few slices of pizza) to take the pressure off. You’ll be finished much faster, and the more people that are involved, the easier moving to your new home will be.

7. Say goodbye
You’ve lived in your old property for some time, so give yourself a moment to think about all the good memories you associate with the space. If you’re in the mood to entertain (and you haven’t packed all the plates and glasses), have a party and invite your friends to say goodbye to your old home in style.

8. Take care of yourself
Purchasing a new property and moving into it can be extremely draining, so be careful to take care of yourself throughout the process. A healthy diet and plenty of exercise can help take the edge off your moving stress. Taking care of yourself also means that you deserve a treat every now and then, so consider a takeaway on your first night in the new home to reward yourself for all your hard work!

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Willmotts Spring 2018 Hammersmith Property Market Update

Published: 13/04/2018   Last Updated: 13/04/2018 16:44:44   Tags: Estate Agents Hammersmith Property London W6

A look at the Hammersmith London W6, property market. How the prime and subprime markets are being affected, across the various types, falts, terraced, semi and detached. This is compared to the overall UK property market.

THE BEST BRITISH VILLAGES YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF

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Published: 12/04/2018   Last Updated: 12/04/2018 16:54:18   Tags: THE BEST BRITISH VILLAGES YOU've NEVER HEARD OF

Big or small, the villages in England are always a treat. From St. Ives to Castle Coombe, we’ve all seen their many wonders. But what if you’re looking for an experience that’s off the beaten path? We’ve found some of the most charming villages in the UK that you’d never heard of.

1. Cerne Abbas, Dorset
Cerne Abbas is a Dorset treasure that’s certainly worth a visit. Located along the River Cerne, the village grew up around an abbey and is known for its lovely architecture and the ‘rude giant’ that features in its fields.

2. Hellidon, Northamptonshire
A quaint village in Northamptonshire, Hellidon is perfect for those searching for a quiet retreat. Try one of the many country walks, or if you fancy something a bit sportier, the pool and spa just outside the village is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

3. Saltaire, West Yorkshire
Saltaire is a town next to the River Aire that developed around a Salt Mill in the nineteenth century. The mill has now been converted into an art space and a shopping arcade. Walking through the town can make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

4. Framlingham, Suffolk
This market town is full of history and mystery. First known for its connections to the Howard family of Tudor fame, Framlingham is the birthplace of many other notable Brits such as Ed Sheeran. The ‘Castle on the Hill’ referenced in Sheeran’s hit single is a must-see.

5. Presteigne, Wales
Presteigne is a town right on the border between England and Wales. It’s surrounded by stunning untouched countryside, which makes it perfect for a rural retreat, but that’s not all Presteigne has to offer. There’s a vibrant high street and cultural centre, and the annual Presteigne Music Festival is an internationally known event that’s not to be missed.

6. St Mawes, Cornwall
A fishing village situated on the end of the Roseland peninsula, St Mawes is one of the most picturesque villages you’ve never heard of. It’s almost completely surrounded by the sea, which means that the views are spectacular. The community is known for its close ties and welcoming nature, making it a real Cornish gem.

7. Aysgarth, Yorkshire
Aysgarth is located in part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It’s home to Aysgarth Falls, one of Britain’s loveliest waterfalls, which featured in the film Robin Hood.

8. Higher Bockhampton, Dorset
Higher Bockhampton is tucked deep into the Dorset countryside, surrounded by rolling hills and high hedges. This village is the setting of Thomas Hardy’s first five books and is where Hardy was born. You can even visit Hardy’s cottage, which is now a National Trust property.

9. Hutton-le-Hole, North Yorkshire
It doesn’t get more English than this North Yorkshire village. There’s a lovely quiet stream, plenty of pubs, and moorland sheep graze throughout the village. It’s the perfect ice cream picnic spot during the summer months.

10. Lustleigh, Devon
Lustleigh might be the most picturesque village in England. It’s one of Devon’s most well-maintained villages. Thatched cottages surround a 13th century church, bookended by the Primrose Tea Rooms and a village shop. Have a pint at the pub while you watch a cricket match on the local pitch.

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Statistics show more good news ahead for Hammersmith

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Published: 04/04/2018   Last Updated: 04/04/2018 10:38:42   Tags: Statistics Show More Good News Ahead For Hammersmith In April 2018

The British press is being so hysterical about the UK property market at the moment, you'd be forgiven for thinking we were back in 2008 again, staring down the barrel of another credit crunch. This couldn't be further from the truth. Week after week, more statistics come out revealing how bouyant the market is at the moment.

Here are just three of the reasons why homeowners in Hammersmith should be grinning.

The first and main reason to be happy is illustrated very clearly in the chart above. Long term house price growth in the area has been strong, with the average annual rate of growth since 2000 sitting at an admirable 13.6 per cent. The broad base of the market and the solid fundamentals underpinning it mean we expect this to continue in the medium and long term.

The next reason to be happy is the abundance of liquidity in the market. In laymen’s terms, this means that lots of people are buying and selling and the market isn’t in danger of stagnation. As of the fourth quarter of 2017, the data shows that sales now sit at their long-run equilibrium level, that is to say below the 2007 peak but above the trough of the credit crunch.
Rental returns: Despite former Chancellor George Osborne's best attempts to slow down the buy-to-let market, the demand for rental property looks like it will increase. There will be plenty of chances for canny landlords thinking about purchasing a buy-to-let property or expanding their portfolio. The current local median monthly rent is £2,870, which means you could enjoy yields of 3 per cent.
With demand for homes increasing, vendors are in a healthy position where they can realistically hope to achieve the asking price, or higher, for their property. When you compare lack of availability to high demand, it seems even more plausible that you will be happy with the final sale price.

The third reason to be happy is the amount of sanity in the market which has come about due to more grown-up mortgage regulation. The meteoric rise in prices in the area pre-2008 led to price ‘froth’ building up in the market which ultimately caused the 2008 crash. While price growth since 2008 has been less rapid, it is far more sustainable and will save us from another crash. Why don’t you pop into our office for the full low-down?

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Why should you choose a high-street estate agent?

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Published: 27/03/2018   Last Updated: 27/03/2018 13:09:46   Tags: Why Should You Choose A High-Street Hammersmith London W6 Estate Agent

Choosing the right agent is key to selling your Hammersmith property. We have seen an increase in online estate agents in recent years and there has been discussion as to whether sellers should sell their West London home with an online agent or stick with an established high-street W6 estate agent. Here we share our views on high-street and online agents.


Why homeowners should choose a high-street agent:

⦁ No sale, no fee. There is a genuine desire to achieve the best possible price from buyers in the best position.
⦁  No hidden costs.
⦁ Local agents often chase those in a chain to progress the sale faster. They also know local solicitors, who are specialists in their area. But the most important point is experience in the local area, both working and living close to the properties they are selling.


Expertise is the key:

The traditional agent has a wealth of experience within the geographical area and this can be put to good use for the client. Your agent only typically gets paid if the sale or letting goes through, so the incentive to complete the deal is significant. Your agent is also able to deal with any potential buyer and has the expertise to get the best possible price in a suitable time frame. The agent can also deal with solicitors and other mortgage lenders to facilitate the sale.

The high-street estate agent offers a full service. The internet only estate agent does not normally offer the full range of essential services required by sellers and landlords without charging additional fees for those services. For example, conducting accompanied viewings.

This full service includes substantial online marketing for each property via property portals and other internet based marketing channels. Additionally, it may also include significant promotion in newspapers and magazines, which consequently attract purchasers from different sources. Plus, they will have local property knowledge and will only get paid if the house sells at an acceptable figure.

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

THE GUILD'S REACTION TO THE SPRING STATEMENT 2018

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Published: 23/03/2018   Last Updated: 23/03/2018 09:45:28   Tags: THE GUILD's REACTION TO THE SPRING STATEMENT 2018

Housing was briefly mentioned as Phillip Hammond was drawing to close the Spring Statement on 13th March 2018. CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, Iain McKenzie, shares his thoughts on what the government has said, and not said, about the housing market.
“I am pleased that housing has at least been mentioned in the Spring Statement 2018. Despite this, many of the key issues surrounding the housing crisis have been overlooked or understated.”

What was mentioned?
The Spring Statement announced an additional £1.7 billion to deliver 26,000 affordable homes in London, including for social rent. This will bring the total number to 116,000 new homes in London by the end of 2021/22. Additionally, collaboration with local housing associations will lead to the 250,000 homes to be built in the West Midlands.

The Guild’s reaction
“Investment in housing infrastructure and collaboration with local housing authorities is undeniably a positive thing. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, nevertheless needs to put more emphasis on the housing crisis. The creation of a few hundred thousand homes in London and the West Midlands will not solve the issue for the 5,000,000 people who privately rent in the UK and are still unable to get onto the housing ladder. The changes to Stamp Duty have helped 60,000 first-time buyers, but this is not enough.
“Guild Members have expressed their concerns to me about Stamp Duty rates stagnating the second homes market/private landlord market, lowering the amount of private rental stock and creating increased competition for tenants.
“To lessen the risk of tenants paying higher rents, the government should review the policies that support corporate landlords at the expense of good conscientious private landlords.  I am happy to discuss this in person with any government or home office official,” continued Iain.

when is it best to sell your home

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Published: 19/03/2018   Last Updated: 19/03/2018 12:05:02   Tags: How To Know When Is The Best Time To Put Your Hammersmith W6 Home On The Market

Are you thinking about putting your property on the market, but aren’t sure when or how? It can be difficult to know exactly when you should sell your home. However, there are times and seasons when selling your home is almost certainly the right thing for you. Whether your reasons are personal or market-driven, we’ve identified some of the best times to think seriously about selling your property.

1. Your family needs more space
Your family may not be expanding, but if the people in your house are growing restless, it’s time to consider a change. As young children grow into young adults, many parents move into properties where each child can have their own room. Adding private spaces and larger rooms can also accommodate your family’s needs, so bear that in mind when you’re looking at properties. Knowing that your family needs more space is a key factor in determining if you should put your home on the market.

2. Look to the seasons
The autumn and spring are known for being good times to sell your property, and for good reason. Potential buyers aren’t busy with holidays and Christmas parties during these seasons. The spring coincides with an increase in sunlight and a blooming garden, both of which do wonders for the appearance of your property. In the autumn, the fading light and multicoloured leaves add a romantic touch that’s unparalleled. If you’re selling, try to time putting your home on the market with the beginning of the season.

3. Your family is expanding
Whether you’re expecting a child or welcoming a parent, there are plenty of family expansions that will require more room for everyone. If you know that your property won’t be able to accommodate everyone, it’s time to put your home on the market.

4. You’re not excited to go home at the end of the day
Is your home a place where you can rest and relax? Do you feel safe in your neighbourhood? These are all signs that it’s time to start looking for a new home. Your home should be a place where you feel comfortable and relaxed, and anything less should have you looking elsewhere.

5. The local property market is flourishing
Have you been toying with the idea of moving for a few years, but never knew when the time was right? Putting your home on the market when it is flourishing will increase your chances of a speedy sale. But how do you know when the market is flourishing? Speak to your local agent and look around your neighbourhood. Are there plenty of sold boards around? This is a good indication of the state of the property market in your area.

6. You’re considering buying a new property
If you’re thinking of moving house, put your own home on the market first. That way, you’ll be free to make an offer when your dream home comes along. Worried that a buyer won’t want to purchase your house because you haven’t secured another home? Most buyers are very understanding, and will appreciate your honestly if you’re up-front with them about not having found another home.


For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

avoid over home-staging your Hammersmith property

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Published: 13/03/2018   Last Updated: 13/03/2018 15:51:40   Tags: Avoid Over Home-Staging Your Property

Have you ever seen a property that just seemed to be trying a bit too hard? Over home-staging, or trying too hard when decorating a property in order to sell it, is a surprisingly easy thing to do. Our agents share their stories of homes they’ve see that have been over home-staged, and what you can do to prevent this problem.



1. Be genuine

Trying too hard can be a major turn-off for potential buyers. We don’t come across many over-staged homes in our area, and we don’t advise our clients to do so either. Around here, home-baked bread, the smell of fresh coffee or bowls of fruit could appear a little corny.

2. Don’t do too much

An over-staged property is always easy to spot. There’s too much artwork on the walls, too many cushions and throws on the sofa, and the most major mistake: a dining table set for a banquet. Less is always more when it comes to staging a home.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of flowers

While overdoing it on the floral front can spell disaster home-staging-wise, a bunch of flowers helps to keep things homely. A subtle yet attractive vase of flowers in a few of the rooms is always a nice touch.

4. Remember that you’re selling a lifestyle

Part of what you’re offering to a potential buyer is a lifestyle. One of the major problems with over home-staging a property is that, it makes it incredibly difficult for a potential buyer to see past the sellers’ belongings. Buyers aren’t just buying a home, they’re buying a lifestyle. Seeing a room set up like a banquet hall could be very off-putting for a potential buyer that doesn’t use a formal dining room. It can make it very hard to see the space in any other way.

5. Over home-staging can make buyers suspicious

Why are over home-staged properties so off-putting, and why can’t potential buyers look past them? When anyone tries too hard to ‘sell’ something, it can be off-putting. Most of us don’t like feeling that we’re being pushed in a certain direction, and may start questioning the motive of the seller. Are they trying to draw the potential purchasers’ attention away from an unflattering view or a building defect? That said, if they like the property, they will more than likely still be interested in it.

6. Avoid clutter

Box up anything you don’t need before the move. I always tell the vendors that if they don’t need it, pack it up ready for the move, because less clutter means more space and more space equals more money! It’s a simple equation.

7. Make sure rooms are well-lit

Customers won’t want to buy a house if they can’t see what it looks like. Emphasize a property’s best asserts by fully pulling back curtains and making sure rooms are generally well-lit, either with natural light or artificial light. If the house is lit by artificial light, make sure that the lights are already on before a prospective buyer arrives.

8. A few extras go a long way

Hang window treatments to showcase high ceilings and hide low ones, and use fresh towels in the bathrooms and nice white linens on the beds. All of these things can be taken with the seller after they’ve sold their home, and they offer a blank canvas for a potential buyer. Don’t hesitate to hire an interior designer if you’re really stumped. They can help steer you in the right direction, decorating-wise.

9. Think understated

Highlight the lightness and cleanliness of your home before you do anything else. Houses that are clean, tidy and welcoming, with tasteful and understated décor and furnishings will always sell for a premium. There’s no need to make it any more complicated.

10. Depersonalise

Interior design is a matter of taste, and your particular taste may not appeal to everyone. Take your personal taste out of any home that you’re staging, and think of choosing neutral tones that will open up spaces.

 

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Improve Your Hammersmith Garden

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Published: 09/03/2018   Last Updated: 09/03/2018 11:27:47   Tags: TOP 10 WAYS TO ADD VALUE TO YOUR GARDEN In London W6 Hammersmith



Before selling their Hammersmith home, most people try to spruce up their property by decluttering and doing a thorough clean. But many people forget the area that gives a first impression is the garden. We in West London W6, all like to get outside and enjoy a sunny summer afternoon, so make sure your garden looks appealing for a potential buyer. Here are some easy tips to follow to make your garden add value to your W6 property.
 
1. Spruce up the space

Just like inside your home, some decluttering and garden maintenance can add value to your property. Always start with tidying and key maintenance. Depending on their situation, buyers could see the garden as entertaining space, a hobby, the place where their children will play, space for their pets, a source of food or a combination of any or all of these, so it is crucial that sellers place as much importance on the presentation of the garden as they would on the presentation of the house. Good gardens can add value to a home and poorly kept gardens can detract from it.
A manicured lawn always enhances the appearance of a garden and makes it look bigger.

2. Add some seasonal colour 

Once your garden is tidy, it is time to make it into a key selling point that potential buyers will love. When showing your home, you want the buyers to visualise living there, so have pot plants filled with flowers to give it some colour and the lawn mowed to make it look tidy. First impressions count, and in the spring and summer months, you want to show your garden off to its full potential. This will definitely add perceived value and gives you a better chance to maximise the selling price.

3. Focus on what is seen first

Struggling for time or budget? Start where your potential buyer will start and focus on this area. Never forget kerb appeal, and, more relevant in the online age, photo appeal. The first impression really does count, so always start with the front garden.
 
4. Add a key selling point

A well-maintained garden will make sure a buyer is not put off your property, but something more can make them want to buy your property above any others they have seen. A nice summer house is a garden goal for many people. It often feels like an extra room away from the main property and can be utilised as anything from a place to relax, an office, a man cave or a playroom for the children.
There are ways to maximise the impact of an existing summer house, too. If you have a summer house, it is worth making sure the wood has been treated so that it is weather proof and you can easily give it a face lift by adding a touch of colour. Don’t forget the impact that a child’s opinion may have on the decision makers. Buyers may love the idea of a summerhouse or man cave, and of course children will be drawn to tree houses or play areas.
The truth is that some people like hot tubs or summer houses and some don’t. Additions of this kind shouldn’t be thought of in terms of re-sale, however, well looked-after and presented in the right way, they will certainly present something unique and a lifestyle image that potential buyers can see the value in.

5. Add some shed-quarters

Sheds are not only practical, but they are coming back into fashion. They can be used from anything as a useful place to store bikes and lawnmowers to a garden retreat.
By putting up a good-sized shed, you are adding a useful storage space for gardeners and families with outdoor furniture and even toys. In some cases people work from home, and an insulated shed could provide the perfect home office.

6. A little paint goes a long way

If you’re looking to spend less to add value to your property, don’t underestimate the impact of a good coat of paint on fences, sheds and other wood in the garden. Adding value to your home through the garden doesn’t have to break the bank. If you have decking or a perimeter fence, you could freshen it up with a coat of paint. If the garden is presentable it will be more attractive to viewers and could increase the price a potential buyer is willing to pay for your home.
 
7. Think about the patio

We recommend investing in good quality patio, paving or decking. Having a professional job done will enhance the overall appearance of your outside space. Decent sized patio and decking areas add value as they are great for entertaining and alfresco dining. Adding some good lighting outside will also enable people to make the most of the garden on those long summer nights.

8. Style your garden with furniture

You wouldn’t show a room to a potential buyer without any furniture in it, so why show a garden without a table and chairs? Depending on the size of the garden and who it will appeal to, ensure that the lawns are cut or the terrace is swept and ideally have the garden furniture set up so buyers can imagine themselves sitting out enjoying an al fresco evening.

9. Secure the garden
If the people viewing the house have pets, they will want to see a garden that is fully secured to avoid an escaped dog. It is important that you invest in secure fencing, walls or gates. People like to feel secure in their gardens so that they can relax. It also makes the garden more appealing to those with young children and pets.

10. Make it private

If your home is overlooked by other homes or gardens, it’s a good idea to give the idea of privacy to the garden. If it isn’t too expensive, add hedges or trees in key spots. It will make the potential buyers be able to imagine themselves enjoying a peaceful afternoon outside in the summer.

 

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

How to Turn Your Hammersmith Home's Weaknesses into Strengths

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Published: 02/03/2018   Last Updated: 02/03/2018 15:52:42   Tags: How To Turn Your Hammersmith London W6 Home's Weaknesses Into Strengths

Do you want to sell your property?

In order for your home to appeal to the widest range of potential buyers, it’s a good idea to identify its strengths and weaknesses. Every property is different. Your home might have beautiful windows and a state-of-the-art kitchen, but be in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint. We’ve identified some common property weaknesses, and how you can turn them into strengths.

Weakness: The windows in your home are outdated and tired.

The Fix: Outdated windows can show the age of your property, and even make it look out of date when it isn’t. Hanging new curtains is an easy way to update your property. Install a simple metal rod with decorative finials and hang a neutral curtain with metal rings. Your home will look like a magazine, and what was once a weakness has become a strength.

Weakness: Your kitchen needs an update.

The Fix: Purchase new white goods for your kitchen. This will add plenty of value to your home, and keep prospective buyers from being put off because your appliances are past their prime. When you’re updating, think stainless steel. These appliances are popular and modern.

Weakness: There are lots of small, ‘awkward’ spaces in your home.

The Fix: Hang a large mirror. Mirrors can make any space seem larger, so they’re especially important in an entryway or narrow hallway. Is the space too awkward for a large mirror? A gallery wall of mirrors in different sizes will solve that problem perfectly.

Weakness: Your house looks old.

The Fix: What do you do when your house has been standing for over 200 years (and looks like it, too)? A fresh coat of paint and a top-to-bottom clean can work wonders to turn a rustic property into a character-filled dream. Highlighting the period features of your property is also a good idea. That way, the house becomes historic, not just ‘old’.

Weakness: There’s nothing in your property.

The Fix: A few accessories go a long way. While it’s great that your property doesn’t have much in it (an empty canvas makes it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves in your home), having a few accessories (think throw pillows and a light fixture or two) can make a huge difference in your home’s atmosphere. Use neutrals, and try visiting your local charity shop to make your improvements on a budget.

Weakness: Your home is the priciest home on the street.

The Fix: Whether you meant to or not, you’ve bought the most expensive home in the area and are now trying to sell. In this situation, take a look at your home. Why is it pricier than other homes in the area? Once you recognize why your home has been valued at a high price, highlight those features as unique selling propositions, or USPs. Turn price into exclusivity, and this weakness quickly becomes a property strength.

Weakness: You’re extremely close to your neighbours.

The Fix: When you’re close enough to hear the neighbours next door, it can be a problem for potential buyers. Take this time to highlight the amenities that your property has close by. If you have a great relationship with your neighbours, this is the time to mention it. A sense of community is invaluable for new buyers, and proximity to amenities like a corner shop or department store are valuable assets to your property.

 

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Top 10 most affordable for FTBs

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Published: 27/02/2018   Last Updated: 28/02/2018 12:51:54   Tags: Most Affordable Palces For First Time Buyers In The UK



Changes to stamp duty are among the main factors that allowed ‘generation rent’ to obtain mortgages and finally get a foot on the property ladder. The important question for these first-time buyers is, where are the most affordable places to buy? London including Hammersmith is probably not on your list as the capital has such high demand, looking outside of Hammersmith might be the best place to start. Here is our top 10 list across the UK.

1. Southampton, Hampshire
Those who love the south coast of England are moving further away from Brighton and into the city of Southampton. The average house price is £199,074, with a refreshing 98 per cent of properties deemed as affordable, according to Post Office Money. This beautiful and bustling seaside town is set to be one of the most popular city for first-time buyers this year.

2. High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
More than 70 per cent of the purchasers were first-time buyers using the Help-to-Buy scheme. High Wycombe maintains excellent rail links to London, shopping facilities as well as direct access to the A40 and Junction 4 of the M40, which is less than two miles away. Already rated highly by the Guild of Property Professionals, High Wycombe’s location on the edge of the Chilterns combined with its proximity to London makes it an affordable location for your first home. Prices in High Wycombe for a one-bedroom apartment from £200,000.

3. The Meadows, Nottinghamshire
The Meadows is currently proving to be a firm favourite with first-time buyers due to its close proximity to Nottingham city centre as well as the popular and affluent suburb of West Bridgford. The area’s fantastic local amenities make it is easy to see why The Meadows is one of the most up-and-coming areas in the Nottinghamshire region.

4. Tottenham Hale, Middlesex
The approval to begin construction on Crossrail 2 has made Tottenham Hale a sought-after location for many first-time buyers. For those who are still in the process of saving, off-plan new-builds are hidden gems in many pockets of London. The investment opportunity in Tottenham Hale from Crossrail, access to the Underground’s Victoria line and national rail links ensures that the area remains an attractive hotspot. Prices start around £179,000.

5. North and Central Wakefield, West Yorkshire
North and central Wakefield provide great opportunities for the first-time buyer. Typically, a two bedroom flat is priced around £75,000, or a two-bed terraced house from around £85,000. The added benefit of these areas are the extremely close commuter links with Leeds. Leeds is the second largest financial city in the UK, with a population of three million people, making it highly desirable for growing businesses. With a direct and regular rail network, the M1, and local road access, north and central Wakefield won’t blow the budget.

6. Norwich, Norfolk
The Post Office Money’s recent research has shown that Norwich is featured second on their list of the most affordable places to buy for first-time buyers in 2018. The average property price is £266,489, according to Zoopla Zed-Index. Norwich also offers beautiful surroundings with the coast and countryside nearby and town centre full of culture and entertainment.

7. Northampton, Northamptonshire
Northampton is a stunning town with direct trains to London in under 60 minutes. The average property price is £245,000, according to Zoopla data, but you need to hurry as average property sales go under offer in just 27 days. This is 20 days quicker than the rest of the UK, which averages at 47 days.

8. Doncaster, South Yorkshire
The average semi-detached home in Doncaster sold in the past 12 months was £123,080, compared to London for £638,439, according to Zoopla as of 19 February 2018. Doncaster Train Station offers direct trains in to London kings Cross in less than 90 minutes. While stamp duty changes haven’t had a huge effect in Doncaster, the HS2 link that will be passing very closely will have a positive effect on Doncaster house prices.

9. Liverpool, Lancashire
The average property price in Liverpool is £121,374, an increase of three per cent from last year, according to Post Office Money’s research. This lively, bustling city is perfect for first-time buyers. Its culture, music and entertainment make this one of the most popular cities in the UK. This city has its strengths in industries such as car manufacturing and engineering.

10. Holloway, Greater London
It is thought that over the next few years, Holloway will also see a larger than average increase, proportionally, in prices due to its investment into housing redevelopment. There is also a noticeable change in some of the commercial properties and businesses that are being attracted to the Holloway area, such as Jamie Oliver’s business headquarters. While not “cheap”, Holloway is still more affordable than many if its neighbouring areas.

 

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Advantages of upsizing or downsizing in 2018

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Published: 29/01/2018   Last Updated: 29/01/2018 12:27:50   Tags: Advantages Of Upsizing Your Home Or Property Or Downsizing In 2018

Finding your dream home in London W6, can be a challenge. You might need a larger property if your family is growing or if your children have left home you might be looking to downsize. There are advantages of both upsizing and downsizing in 2018. We asked our Guild agents for their opinions on what is happening in the market that makes it good for either upsizing or downsizing as well as advice.


There are pros and cons. Upsizing may have been a dream but think of the practicalities. Your utility bills, council tax, and maintenance bills will be higher. General upkeep will be a much larger task; from gardening to cleaning it will all take more time and resource.

 

Downsizing might be more practical, but how will the lack of space impact on you? Your utility bills might be cheaper, but will you be compromising? Maybe you hadn’t considered the need for a spare bedroom, or a utility space, what about the outside space? Or simply the fact you’ll be much closer to your neighbours. For many the realisation can sometime be quite an adjustment.


Ultimately the best time to upsize or downsize depends on personal circumstances. You have to be fully aware of market conditions, your budget, and be honest about your needs and requirements, otherwise you could stand to lose out financially and emotionally.”


In the Hammersmith and West London area over the past two to three years we have seen prices softening, but this offers the most fantastic opportunity to trade up to that dream house. When people sell there is much focus on ‘what will I get for my house?’ An important question of course, however if you are planning to trade up to a more expensive property, is that the right question? 


For instance, if you have a property ‘worth’ say £1,000,000 and prices have dropped by 10%, thus is now ‘worth £900,000 but you wish to buy a property that had a value of £1,750,000, and this too has dropped 10%, so is now available at £1,575,000. The gap between the 2 properties is £675,000. Had the prices been more stable, the gap would have been £750,000, so the saving now is £100,000.


Equally if prices are rising, again using 10%, we see the values being £1,100,000 and £1,925,000 respectively, a gap now of £825,000.

This example shows how using a ‘poor market’ can be a great opportunity. Sometimes focusing on ‘how much can I get?’ is not the right question, when it should be, what is the difference I must pay?
Strong buyer demand, affordable lending and stable house prices makes this a perfect market for both up-sizers and down-sizers, here in the South West.


Whether looking to move to a larger property or seeking to move to a smaller, easier to manage home, stable prices make it easier to plan and healthy demand from buyers who can afford to borrow help make the current market fluid. Moving up or down the market, actual and purchase prices are less important than the price differential between the two.


 Across the country, it seems that stock is an issue and whilst this may mean that new homes developers are taking a larger share of the market, competition between them is keeping prices steady. This doesn't mean that up- sizers and down-sizers are so limited in choice though - it simply means that if they can't find what they're looking for, they need to work with an experienced local agent that provides a search and acquisition service. Down-sizing or up-sizing, if you are looking to move but can't find your ideal next home, ask for details of our Search and Acquisition service.


The main reasons we find people choose to downsize is to release equity, go mortgage free, or the property they are in may be bigger than what they need.  I believe downsizing is one of the hardest moves a person can make as there is going to be comprise.  Therefore, our advice would be to think about what you are prepared to comprise on.  If you only want a specific location, you may have to comprise on the size of the property or is off road parking is necessary for you, you may have to give up that extra bedroom.


 The market offers advantages now for those looking to upsize or downsize – since November 2017, first time buyers have not needed to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on properties priced up to £300,000 which will speed up the time it takes them to save for their first home. Mortgage rates are still at a historic low making a bigger mortgage more affordable for many people.


 You might be looking to upsize to accommodate a growing family or to downsize to release capital, reduce outgoings or if your children have left home. Whatever the reason, I would advise you to book a professional valuation and speak to a mortgage advisor before selling your home.


If you’d like to upsize, plan. Perhaps you’d like to relocate to be closer to catchment areas for schools. Consider the timing of the school year when planning your move and allow for any delays in the chain.


For those looking to downsize, be realistic about the amount of space you need. Ask yourself: are you using all the space you’ve got, or have you simply expanded to fill it? You’ll also need to consider the factors which are important to you such as public transport, facilities, and the local community.


As the market cools off, opportunities can arise for those looking to up-size as larger properties come down in value more quickly than the lower end of the market, which is propped up by both first-time-buyers and BTL investors. This can create an opportunity for buyers to procure a large property at a lower price, while still achieving a good price for their own.


As the cost of living rises, down-sizing offers an opportunity to lower the running costs of your home and free up capital to spend on refurbishment of a new, smaller property. The market has been rising for many years and since 2016 has begun to cool, making this a good time to down-size, realise large assets, cash in, and invest in a lower-value property, lowering your exposure to the market. With the cost-of-living rising, lowering your mortgage out-goings is always a wise move, too.

 

For more help, advice or information with selling and or buying a home please email sales@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Skills needed to become a Hammersmith estate agent

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Published: 24/01/2018   Last Updated: 30/01/2018 14:19:01   Tags: Looking For A Career Change Skills Needed To Become An Hammersmith Estate Agent

Estate agency is one of the few careers which doesn’t require formal entry qualifications. There are a number of ways become an estate agent. Here is a range of useful attributes that will help you to begin your career as an estate agent.

Customer service
Experience in customer service and sales will be a useful asset. A lot of people will find that their time working in the hospitality industry gave them the confidence and skills required to work in this field. The transferrable skills from time spent working in pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels should not be under-estimated.

Knowledge of the property market
Good knowledge of the local property market will be a useful asset. Think about starting as an administrator in a sales or lettings agency to get an idea of the business, build customer relations and to discover if this is the right career for you.

 

Understanding the properties
It really helps if you like and understand the nuances of different types of property. Understanding and enthusiasm shine through when consulting with vendors and buyers alike, which is essential when looking to engage in a positive relationship.

Heart of a salesperson
If you became an estate agent you need to want to sell to people. There is nothing more satisfying than the art of selling and providing a product that is ‘future proof’.

 

A tough nut to crack
If you are easily offended, then this probably isn’t the career for you. Buying and selling houses is a highly passionate process which can often result is angry and emotional clients. Estate agents need to do a degree of hand-holding and be patient with their clients because this will be one of the most important decisions of their lives.

Motivated and driven
There is clear progression in estate agency, providing you with clear goals and chances to move up the ladder.


Negotiating
Useful skills to help you succeed as an estate agent are negotiation, selling, organisation, administration skills, customer service and maths.

Organisation – day-to-day of being an estate agent
As an estate agent you will spend your time visiting clients (known as vendors) and landlords to do valuations. You will also have to arrange appointments and viewings for properties to buyers and renters, as well as negotiate between your buyers and sellers.

Driving licence
It is often required, but not necessary, to have a driving licence as your postal code area could be vast.

Are you looking for a career in estate agency? Contact Willmotts; Hammersmith's award winning Letting Agent and Estate Agent, today to see if they have positions available.

 

Call 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

Advantages of selling property at auction

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Published: 17/01/2018   Last Updated: 25/01/2018 15:47:44   Tags: Advantages Of Selling Property At Willmotts Auction Hammersmith

Think of a property auction and you may think of developers snapping up a bargain on a TV show like Homes Under the Hammer. But savvy sellers are learning that there is much more to selling at auction, and it’s not all cut-price properties. In fact, the smallest flats to large mansions are all selling through the modern method of auction.
This is how it works and why you should consider selling through the modern method of auction.

1. Auctions can run for 14-28 days, so there is more chance for the future owner to think about the price they want to pay and bid accordingly. In the traditional method of auction, lots sell in an auction room, but with the modern method, everything happens safely and securely online.

2. Completion happens within 56 days, which can be a lot faster than selling your home on the open market. If you want to move quickly, an auction could be the perfect method for you.

3. Willmotts in central Hammersmith can help you sell through the modern method of auction, so you have the safety of knowing that you are dealing with a local property professional, working in partnership with experts IAM SOLD.

4. Both cash buyers and mortgage buyers can bid for your home, vastly widening the number of people who can bid. All the buyer will need up-front is cash for their reservation fee.

5. Fewer sales fall through due to the non-refundable reservation fee. This will lessen the threat of an expensive fall through and means that you can be much more confident in your sale. There is also no chance of re-negotiation or gazumping once contracts are signed.

6. You can save money on estate agent fees. With an auction, the buyer pays the reservation fees. These cover the costs of the auction and leaves the seller without a hefty bill to pay. However, you may still need to pay a small fee to market your home for auction, so be aware of this before you decide on who to sell with.

7. Competitive bidding can drive up the sale price. You can set your own reserve price, which is a great safety net if the interest isn’t there. However, bidders can often drive up the price when there are two or more parties interested in the same property. You could leave with a price higher than you ever expected.

For more help, advice or information on auctions please email auction@willmotts.com or call 020 8222 9958

Alternatively visit our auction page:

 

https://willmotts.iamsold.co.uk/

What to do when your home is on the market

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Published: 04/01/2018   Last Updated: 04/01/2018 16:13:10   Tags: What To Do When Your Home Is On The Market

Putting your home on the market can be an exciting time. But once the floorplans have been drawn up, the photos taken, and the property listed online, what else do you need to do? Being proactive at this stage can lead to a faster sale.

1. Set clear viewing times. Talk to your agent so they have easy access to the property for viewings, and agree certain times that are not convenient in advance.

2. Be ready for questions. Draw up a list of frequently asked questions to make sure your agent can get back to a potential buyer as quickly as possible.

3. Tidy at all times. Making your home look its best at all times can be difficult, but it will be worth it when a sudden viewing crops up.

4. Be prepared to buy. If you plan to buy and sell at the same time, start looking at properties and seek mortgage advice early on. This shows buyers that you are serious about moving.

5. Decide what offer you would accept. This will save you time when offers come in. Set a figure that you would accept, and you can happily confirm when the right offer is made.

 

For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

New Stamp duty changes for first-time buyers in 2017

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Published: 12/12/2017   Last Updated: 12/12/2017 11:58:14   Tags: New Stamp Duty Changes For First-Time Buyers In 2017

Stamp Duty is changing for first-time buyers. This will effect those of you looking to buy property in West London, Hammersmith and the rest of the country.
In the Budget 2017, Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced that Stamp Duty would be exempt for people buying their first property if it costs under £300,000. For first homes under £500,000, you won’t have to pay Stamp Duty on any the first £300,000, which will reduce the amount you need to save.

How much could you save?
• On a £300,000 home, first-time buyers won’t have to pay any Stamp Duty, instead of a £5,000 charge. 
• For a £500,000 property, Stamp Duty will now be £10,000 instead of £15,000.
• If your first home costs over £500,000, you will not get a discount.

 

When does it start?
These changes are in place now, and came into place on the day of the Budget announcement on the 22nd November 2017. The changes will continue permanently.

Why has it been changes?
This is designed to make it easier for more people to get onto the housing ladder. It will mean that first-time buyers will have to save slightly less before they buy a home.
It is hoped that it will make the property market move faster at all levels. As there should be more first-time buyers, it will encourage people to take a second step on the ladder, putting more homes on the market. This should help people moving both up and down the housing ladder.

What requirements do you have to meet as a first-time buyer?
If you’re buying with a partner, relative or friend, all the people buying need to be first-timer buyers to register for the discount. This means you will have never owned a freehold of leasehold interest in a dwelling before, and you must be purchasing the property to be your only or main residence.
This includes property all over the world, so if you have a flat in France, you won’t be able to be a first-time buyer in the UK.

What does this mean if your parents are going to jointly buy with you?
If your parent has previously bought a house is going to jointly buy a property with you, the sale will not be eligible for a discount. However, you could apply for a “joint borrower sole proprietor” mortgage with a parent. Read this article to find out more.

Does it apply to both leasehold and freehold?
The new changes apply to people buying both freehold and leasehold properties, as long as the lease premium is under £40,000 and tax isn’t due on rent.

What about shared ownership homes?
The system works the same for first-time buyers who are buying shared ownership in a property.

If you buy a property that has a value of £300,000 and you buy 50% of the home, you will pay £150,000. Under the new Stamp Duty changes, you will not have to pay any Stamp Duty because the value that you are paying for the property is under the £300,000 threshold for first-time buyers.

It all means that it should make it easier for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder and make the housing market move faster at all levels.

As a local Hammersmith Estate Agent Willmotts are best placed to help you with any questions relating to property as a first time buyer.
For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

Why do house sales fall through?

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Published: 17/11/2017   Last Updated: 17/11/2017 12:12:07   Tags: Hammersmith Estate Agents Advice For Sales Selling Your Home

Moving to a new Hammersmith house can be a stressful time, particularly if a sale falls through. Don’t worry if this happens as you can often salvage the situation.

Surveys
If something unexpected comes up in a survey, it may be a big enough problem to make the sale fall through.
In our experience, most house sales fall through due to survey reports. Unexpected work noticed a survey may cause some purchasers to walk away from a sale. We would recommend that sellers sort out any paperwork for work carried out and organise certificates to provide to your surveyor and purchaser.
If there is work that must be carried out, it can be more beneficial to rectify it before going on the market, because if your sale falls through, you will still should pay solicitor fees and may still end up paying for the work. Purchasers should fully read their survey report and ask their surveyor to explain anything they don’t understand. If surveyors have not seen any paperwork or evidence of work, they should assume it hasn’t been done and it can therefore seem like a larger problem than it is.
Some of the more common reasons for losing a sale can be avoided if you ask the seller if they are aware of any major works having been done on the property. Or, if alterations have been made, do they have any documentation which signs it off, either from Hammersmith & Fulham Council or Building Regulations.

Chain
A chain can fall apart for many reasons, and sometimes people can get bored of waiting and find a house elsewhere in West London.
When you agree a sale, you expect it to go through to completion. However, this is a time when you are not in control of events. You must rely on your buyer, and maybe even their buyer, and so on until the chain is complete. Any one of these people can and do change their minds occasionally. It is often nothing to do with your property.
The results of a single break can be huge, too. A sale falling through at the bottom of a chain of sales can potentially jeopardise all of the others, so one break can mean three, four or more sales falling through.
How can you try to stop a chain from falling through?
Our biggest advice to purchasers and vendors is that you may have to compromise during your sale. Also, picking the right local Hammersmith estate agent can literally keep your sale together; our 4 man &lady team have worked in West London, collectively for over 50 years! This is invaluable experience and local knowledge and on many occasions, sales would have not gone through without them.

During a negotiation
Negotiations can be a tricky time, and you can find yourself dealing with surprising demands. It is worth being flexible, and remember that small details should not be a make-or-break on your deal.
Fixtures and fittings can also cause some fraught negotiations with sellers wanting to take fitted wardrobes etc out of the property, keeping calm is often the key.
We have seen a number of sales almost fall through due to silly reasons such as having to leave a tired old shed, leaving curtains, not wanting to contribute towards an indemnity policy, or not being able to agree on a completion date.
This is where the quality estate agent mediates between both parties and get them to look at the bigger picture of completing the sales transaction.

People changing their mind and pulling out
Situations change all the time. Someone could lose their job, a family member could become ill, or people can simply have second thoughts.
The seller can change their minds after first accepting the offer and decide to stay put, which is sometimes called ‘gazanging’. The seller may not be able to find another property to move to, or the buyer’s finances are not in place or their mortgage advance is rejected.
The buyer can be ‘gazumped,’ which is when the seller receives a higher offer from another buyer. The opposite, ‘gazundering’, is when the buyer reduces their offer at the last minute, before contracts are signed.
As much as a buyer may want to move ahead, they may not be able to. Despite buyers having AIP finance, there is a changing mortgage market and tougher underwriting depending on the loan to value once an actual application is completed. This can lead to upset unless the buyer has regularly reviewed the arrangements they have made.

What should you do next?
If a sale falls through, get the property back onto the market without delay and commence a new marketing campaign. In the event of the cause having been a result of the survey, the seller should deal with any faults.

How can you prevent a sale from falling through?
Don’t forget to check your mortgage status before putting in an offer to ensure that you will be accepted to buy the home.
You should always remember to be patient, especially when waiting for sales to go through. The negotiation stage can be the most frustrating as you want the sale to move ahead quickly, but it is worth taking a step back and letting the negotiations take their course.
The most important thing is to choose an agent who can constantly chase your sale through, no matter if it is in a chain of not. As highly-regarded independent RICS regulated estate agent and The Hammersmith Members of The Guild of Property Professionals, will be experts in sale chasing and can ensure that everything possible is done to stop a sale from falling through.

For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

How do you know if your Hammersmith house is haunted?

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Published: 30/10/2017   Last Updated: 30/10/2017 13:29:21   Tags: How Do I Knopw If My House Is Haunted

Halloween is known for its eerie tales, creepy ghouls and mysterious occurrences. We have put together a collection of spooky stories, inexplicable sightings and things to look out for. Here is a tongue and cheek look at how you know if your house is haunted.

1. What’s the history?
School Lane, Turville – This quaint three bedroom property is based in a small village in Buckinghamshire and comes with an intriguing history. The tale of ‘The Sleeping Girl of Turville’ plagues this adorable village with a mystery that is yet to be solved. In 1871, Ellen Sadler fell asleep and did not wake for nine years. The case attracted the attention of the international newspapers, medical professionals and the public. Ellen became a tourist attraction for years, but not without sceptics questioning the anomaly.

2.  There’s something in the air
Darren Challis, Director of Chambers Sales and Lettings said, “I would say ask a medium to attend the property and tap into the spirit world at that location.  I can usually tell if a property has a positive or negative vibe just by being there and getting a feeling around. Sometimes the negativity can rub off on the occupants and in some cases the property will have this affect for years.”

3. Ask the agent
Brain Carlisle from JR Hopper & Co said, “There are a number of houses in the Dales where viewers have commented about a "bad feeling" or not being comfortable in the house. In these instances move on as they will not buy. Having said that, if I have a house with history or stories of Ghoulies and ghosts then better to make it a feature, rather than hide it and hope no one finds out. The brave and adventurous will love a good highwayman or jilted bride story.”

4. Is anything flying through the air?
Simon Miller, Partner of Holroyd Miller said, “Unless you live in the notorious 30 East Drive, Pontefract, Yorkshire, which is classed as one of the most haunted homes in the UK, then weird happenings are probably no more than squeaky expanding and contracting floorboards or air in the central heating pipes. However, paranormal activity can take on many guises. Are you experiencing a fine chalk like dust falling inside your home, green foam appearing from taps and the toilet, lights turning on and off, cupboards shaking, and objects levitating? Such activity was reported at 30 East Drive and they most definitely had a poltergeist. Many people report haunted happenings, from the unexplained hair-raising feelings, to objects that simply appear to have been misplaced. But in truth how can we ever really make sense and explain the unexplainable.”

5. Time for a ghost hunt
Mike Coles of Debbie Fortune Estate Agents in Wrington has some interesting top tips for all the ghost hunters out there. Study the history of your home and the region, “Allegedly, areas with a violent past can increase the risk of a haunting. You could try setting up a video camera in your home when you're away to capture any unusual shadows on film,” said Mike. Don’t forget to rely on your senses and intuition; unusual images in the corner of your eyes, noises like footsteps and smells like sulphur can be more sinister than you think.

6. Animals… or not
Often, people report hearing unusual sounds, such as scratching and footsteps. Anything from rats to woodlice can make your mind wonder with all sorts of ideas. Sometimes, it is the most simple of explanations. If these sounds continue, call an exterminator to have a look around, especially in attacks and basements. If nothing is found, congratulations you have a haunted house.

7. When in doubt, listen to the dog
Dogs are known for their keen hearing and sense of smell. They can detect far more than humans, so are the perfect sidekick when ghostly occurrences are in your home. If you canine is barking when no one is at the front door, whimpering at thin air or staring at blank spaces, your best friend on four legs might be trying to tell you something.

8. Got a chill?
Does your home have cold spots for no apparent reason? Before jumping to any conclusions, give a call to your builder to take a look around. He may find cracks or areas which needs insulating. However, if your trusted builder cannot find a reason, then something creepier might be at large.

9. Misplacing little things?
Everyone misplaces their possessions from time to time, especially items like glasses and car keys. However, if this starts to happen a little too often then you might have a ghostly trickster playing around in your home.

10. Lights flickering
This is arguably the most noticeable sign for a haunted home. It is there in all the horror films and spooky stories. If you have checked your fuse box or even called an electrician then there is only one explanation for flickering lights…

We hope you have enjoyed our top 10 indicators to find out how you know if you house in haunted. Happy Halloween!

commuting patterns are helping the Hammersmith property market

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Published: 25/10/2017   Last Updated: 25/10/2017 15:33:40   Tags: Communting Patters, Helping Local Property Market In Hammersmith London W6

How often we commute to the office and how long it takes each day has major implications on where we all choose to live. While the ever-increasing use of technology has made it easier to work from home, most people living in Britain still take part in the ‘daily grind', with a staggering three-million commuters now spending more than two hours to get to work.

The reason? House prices, mainly, thanks to their value reducing the further away they are from a city centre. Across England and Wales, there are over 11-million people commuting from one authority to another. Of course, the length of each journey varies, but with house prices on the rise, longer journeys look like they will be around for a while yet. There are other reasons for a lengthier commute to work other than lower house prices: the favourable price-to-square foot ratio afforded by homes on the outskirts of cities is often a draw for young families who want more room, while the close-knit communities found in smaller towns can also be appealing.

But what does the commuting landscape look like in Hammersmith? The first thing we know is that most people have a commute of less than 10km (61.7 per cent of the total work force). This is the case for most of the UK and probably won’t come as a massive surprise. The second most common commute is 10km to 29km which accounts for 15 per cent of the total workforce in our area.

Those thinking of buying a property in Hammersmith will want to consider its proximity to local transport. However, with house prices sitting 15 per cent lower for every five miles you move away from a station, the temptation to find a home further afield is certainly strong. The prospect of getting more bang for your buck will make sense for less frequent commuters.

The length of our commute influences our renting habits, with property searchers inclined to reduce their commute time to work by as much as possible when looking for somewhere to live.It is a factor landlords need to consider before they purchase a buy-to-let as an investment. However, if a family is interested in a rental property, there is more chance they will favour choosing size over commute distance. That means landlords buying a one or two bedroom property will need to take more consideration into the property's location to a station compared to landlords with a buy-to-let property with three or four bedrooms.

Longer journeys won't be disappearing anytime soon, but we do expect the number of commutes in England and Wales to reduce slightly over the next five years with more virtual offices and technologies like Google Hangouts and Skype. Why don't you pop into our office so we can advise you on all things property, whether buying, selling or renting.

Prices by type in the last few years
The average unweighted sold prices of houses and flats have generally seen a steady incline over the last eight years. It'll come as no massive surprise the houses are typically more expensive than flats but, the movements over time are nonetheless telling.
Annualised breakdown of sales by type

We've used a donut chart (excuse the American spelling) to illustrate the mix of properties that have sold in the last 12 months. Given the profile of the housing stock in the area, there's nothing too surprising here, but it's interesting to see how the different types of properties are represented in the local market.
Lifecycles in our area

Lifecycle profile is a useful indicator of the complexion of residents in a locality. Some areas, like inner cities and built-up areas, have lots of young single people who live in flat shares or alone. Most of the suburban parts of the country are filled up with families. Some parts have a large elderly population, particularly around the coast.

 

For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

What To Do When A Tenant Wont Pay

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Published: 17/10/2017   Last Updated: 17/10/2017 15:40:03   Tags: What To Do When A Tenant Wont Pay In Hammersmith West London W6

You’ve found the perfect tenants, they’ve moved in without issue, and you’re expecting smooth sailing with the tenancy. But then you check your bank account and find that rent hasn’t been paid that month. What do you do? Guild of Property Professionals Members share their expert advice to help in this tricky situation.

1. Communication

All of our agents agree that communication is key to keep track of payments and to resolve an issue with tenants.

First of all, it is important to check to see if rent is due on time, rather than realising later in the month.

“Check your bank statement the day after the rent is due,” advises Louise Cawley from Newland Rennie. “Your tenant has a responsibility to pay rent the same day every month as if he/she were paying a mortgage, the rent should never be late. If the rent has not come in there may be a simple explanation, a telephone call to the tenant may sort the matter out very quickly.”

“When a tenant defaults with their rent, the first steps are to contact them. Non-payment of rent does not always mean you have a bad tenant. Sometimes their personal circumstances may change throughout the tenancy, such as losing their job or suffering from ill health and relying on sickness benefits.”

If a miscommunication has happened in the past, now is the time to fix it.

“Communication is key with tenants to enable the right course of action to be taken in the event that a tenancy is not running as planned. You need to ensure that all the correct information and guidance is provided to the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy so that the tenant is clear on what, when and how payments can be made.”

2. Clear records

Be sure to keep clear records of all communications and decisions while you are trying to get rent from the tenant. It may be needed in court, though hopefully the dispute won’t reach that stage.

“You should ensure that you keep a record of contact with the tenants, a clear statement of account and copies of letters or notices served to a tenant.”

3. Guarantor

Does your tenant have a guarantor to pay their rent if they are unable to? Now is the time to find their contact details.

“Remind the guarantor of their agreement to pay the rent should the tenant not be able to. As with the tenants, keep any conversations and emails professional.”

“If you have a guarantor for the tenancy, speak to them immediately as it is likely that they are unaware of any rent issues and may be in the position to pay the rent over directly themselves.”

4. Insurance

Landlord insurance is always a good idea to have in case of situations like rent not being paid.

“If you have any form of landlord insurance now is the time to review the terms. Should you need to make a claim, you want to make sure you have adhered to the T&Cs of the policy. Depending on your insurance, you may find they take things out of your hands.”

“I recommend that all landlords take out a ‘Rent Guarantee’ cover offering legal cover, rent arrears and offers financial help for part of the empty period of the property once possession has been obtained through the courts, whilst the property is either being re-advertised or brought back to a satisfactory standard, paying part of the monthly rent.”

"A good policy will protect against lost rent when a tenant stops paying but does not vacate a property and will also cover the legal costs involved in recovering possession of the property. This is something we would strongly recommend to any Landlord, though it is important to check and understand the full details of any policy and the cover it provides."

5. Timeline

So what should your communication plan of action be?

“When a tenant doesn’t pay, the first thing is a call, email or text to the tenant (the initial check) to ask why.”

“Keeping a record of all initial communications is key in case it is required as evidence in court. We would normally recommend a grace period of seven days from due date to allow for banking logistics. If the initial message or call doesn’t work then a formal letter requiring payment forthwith (usually in 7-14 days) is required. Keeping a copy of this letter is imperative. If rent is still not received, then attendance at the property is required. Give 24 hours’ notice that you will be attending to inspect the property to discuss arrears.”

6. Legal

If communicating clearly and giving the tenant time to pay hasn’t solved the issue, it is time to consider legal action.

“If a landlord is experiencing difficulties with a tenant, speak to the letting agent who will provide guidance on how the matter can be handled. A Legal Adviser and Landlord Bodies such as National Landlord Association can also provide useful advice and guidance for members.

“In the event that the tenant is not keeping up to date with their payments and the landlord is unhappy, it is important to serve the correct section notice at the correct time. A Section 21 notice provides the tenant with a minimum of two months’ notice, coinciding with the fixed term of the tenancy, of the Landlords intention to regain possession. A Section 8 notice can be served where a tenant is two months in arrears and provides a shorter two-week notice of the landlord’s intention to regain possession. Serving the appropriate notice promptly can stop the issue escalating.”

“If the tenant has always paid on time in the past it, depending on the situation you may decide that giving them a small period of breathing space to catch up is fine, otherwise depending on how long they’ve been in the property, you have the option of contacting your solicitor and serving notice under Section 21.”

The Guild recommends seeking the help of a qualified advisor, such as a solicitor, to get the best advice before serving a legal notice.

7. Solutions going forward

If you are able to resolve the problem and the rent is paid, it is worth looking at solutions to make sure the tenant can pay on time in future.

“If you understand the reason for a late or non-payment of rent, you are able to look at simple solutions. For example, an alteration to the rent payment date so it coincides with the timing of work incomes, or a payment plan if the tenant is struggling to make a single larger payment per month. This will prevent the situation from escalating.”

 

For any advice or help with letting a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our award winning lettings team on 020 8222 9958 or email lettings@willmotts.com

Common myths about the local property market

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Published: 12/10/2017   Last Updated: 12/10/2017 16:44:59   Tags: Common Myths About The Local Property Market

Has someone who has just sold their home ever told you about the ‘golden rules’ you should abide by to get a quick sale? Perhaps you have heard comments like, ‘catch the property season’, ‘spend money to make money’ and ‘price high and accept low’. Unfortunately, achieving the optimum sale requires you to navigate highly changeable market conditions.

The local market in Hammersmith changes a lot year-on-year. As the chart above shows, the average price of properties on the market fluctuates a lot more than you might think. But unweighted overall average prices only tell part of the story - sales rates are the thermometer we use to measure the temperature of the market.
You have to sell during the ‘property season': There is no doubt that some seasons can be slightly busier than others, but there are no definitive periods that can be classed as a bad time to sell your property. People search for homes throughout the whole year because of reasons individual to them, not because of the weather.

DIY: Adding extensions to your home can increase the overall value of the property. However, that doesn't mean you should always do this before you list it on the market. Often, home hunters will want to do their own renovations to properties and may have different tastes to yours. Don't accept the first offer: The saying goes, ‘don't look for a quick sell by accepting the first offer because a better one will come along’. The simple truth is: if you are offered a price that meets the value, you should sell. In fact, estate agents often show properties to their best clients first, so by turning down a good offer from an early buyer, you may be opening yourself up to issues down the line with other buyers who aren't as serious.

So what are active buyers looking for right now? We all enjoy some peace and quiet, no one is denying that. But the idea that property in close proximity to public transport hubs like train stations are harder to sell just isn't true. In fact, if you can hear the trains from your home, that means you are located nearby a station - and properties close to a station are always in high demand.

There are no hard-and-fast rules to how to sell your property - the tone of the market is ever changing and its important you work with a good local agent with their finger on the pulse. If you have any more questions regarding property in Hammersmith or are thinking of selling your home and buying a new one, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Monthly sales rates by house type
This chart nicely reveals how sales levels have played out over the last seven months in our area. We're looking at a relatively tight area over relatively short periods of time, so you don't get the nice smooth patterns you'd see using annualised analyses or at higher levels of geography. The patterns however, are very revealing.

Index of house prices by property type
Over the last twelve months we've seen pretty strong performance in the local market. We wanted to see how different property types have performed, so we indexed the values at the start of the period. Property data updates quite slowly, so we've estimated the last 3 months.

Method of commute
Commuting patterns are a significant barometer of the profile of people in a property market. For example in areas where most people travel to work by car, there tend to be more even property price distributions across the local market. On the other hand when people mostly travel by train or underground, there are big price hotspots around the stations.

 

For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

How often do people move property in Hammersmith?

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Published: 17/08/2017   Last Updated: 17/08/2017 10:03:02   Tags: How Often Do People Move Property In The Local Area? Hammersmith London W6

More than six-million people move home every year according to national census figures. These numbers reveal we are changing homes at a faster rate than ever before with people in the southern half of the country the most frequent movers. Conversely, those living in the North East, North West and Wales move home less frequently than anyone else in the UK.

The average lifespan of a British person is now 81.5 years; during this lifespan people will move home about six times. With 14 years, the South West leads the way for the shortest amount of time people live at one property while the longest amount of time people stay at their properties is in Wales where the average is 23 years.

The average amount of time someone lives in their property in Hammersmith is 14 years. This compares with 22 years in the region and 19 years nationally. We've calculated this by calculating turnover as a percentage of stock and estimating how long it would take for everyone to move house at least once in the area.

If people are changing their home more often, vendors will benefit from a busier market with more demand. It was once the case that only younger people would be more likely to move around, especially live-in couples, but now we are seeing a trend where people of all ages are changing their home at a more frequent rate.

The rental market moves at a much faster rate than the sales market due to 12-month contracts with a six-month break affording more flexibility. It’s also important to factor in the cheaper prices for rental properties. We are however seeing more people stay in accommodation for longer, although it’s nowhere near the length of owner-occupancy.

Whether it is because people have more money, have benefited from the rise in house prices, or prefer a change of scenery, the rate at which people are moving homes is rising. If you would like to know more about the property market in Hammersmith, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you.

A quarterly index of sales levels
This chart shows how sales levels in the local area sit now compared with two years ago. The analysis indexes types of property so they start at the same point (100) so you can easily see how they've moved in relation to each other. The chart shows the quarter-on-quarter fluctuations typical of local analysis, it also shows how the market has been affected by seasonal change.

Monthly prices by property type
The data for our area over the last five months reveals interesting fluctuations across property types. The last 3 months are coloured with stripes. This is because the data is still coming in so we've estimated what we think they will be when all the data is available.

Industry of occupation
The profile of jobs is a important yardstick for the makeup of people in a housing market. In this analysis we've used data from the Office for National Statistics on the number of people in the local area who work in each industry. The categories are a bit vague but if you look at the longest bars, you can see a pretty good profile of our area.

 

For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

Don’t jeopardise the sale of your property

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Published: 10/08/2017   Last Updated: 10/08/2017 13:52:19   Tags: Don’T Jeopardise The Sale Of Your Property, How To Sell Your Hammersmith London W6 Home

Recent research suggests that over half of mortgage holders have not moved home for over 15 years. Therefore this is not something home owners do very often. This lack of experience may suggest why some vendors unintentionally prevent the sale of their property! Willmotts can show you what best not to do and what you should do; here are 10 points on how to avoid this:


1: How committed to the sale of your home are you? If you have reservations and are putting up barriers then this will sabotage your best chances of a sale. Make sure you are fully committed to the task at hand.


2: Being unrealistic with the price will stall your chances of a sale. Especially in the current West London, Hammersmith W6 area, where sales have slowed from previous years with such high figures being asked for property. There is still growth in London but not to the extent of the previous decade. Your local agent should advise you on the best price possible.


3: Presentation is key to impressing potential buyers. Nobody wants to see dirty dishes or washing let alone filthy floors etc. Make people feel safe, comfortable and at home, not repulsed by an unhygienic home.


4: Visible damage will turn off some buyers as all they will see is unnecessary expense. Listen to your local agent, they should advise you if you need to spend money on basic repairs in view to generating the best possible sale.


5: Variety is the spice of life, not all of us like the same things and pets smell from your beloved cat or dog maybe invisible to you but can turn off a buyer as soon as they walk through the front door. Again listen to your agent to see if you should mask any pungent pongs.


6: Step back take a good objective look at your home, is it the best layout or colour to appeal to the widest audience? Your favourite colour maybe be a little too strong for the general market. Neutral colours and furnishings will generally make your home look bigger and are less likely to put off a potential buyer. Give them a blank canvas to imagine their own creation.


7: Outside space is a huge bonus and much sought after but don’t leave it as that. Don’t neglect the garden, make the most of what you have to sell. Show it off as a place to relax and enjoy with a suitable table and chairs.


8: Let the professionals do their job, that’s where they earn their money and get you the best price. You have an emotional attachment to your home and this can get in the way of best expressing the space to the vendor. Those items you are so very proud of may be of no interest to the buyer and in fact you have distracted them from what they are looking for. The estate agent will know what they want and help them find it.


9: Timing. Timing is key to selling your home, if your property is not available this does not mean the buyer will go out of their way to see it. A good agent such as Willmotts, will do their best to make sure the buyers are walking through the door and not being sold someone else’s property because yours wasn’t available.

 

10: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just because the first few viewings weren’t successful doesn’t mean the next one won’t be. Keep motivated, keep following the rules and keep your presentation up as the next person to walk in might be the one!

For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

Saving for your Hammersmith home

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Published: 08/08/2017   Last Updated: 08/08/2017 10:06:01   Tags: Saving A Deposit For Your First Time Buy Hammersmith Home

If you want a healthy deposit for the London W6, property of your dreams, at the end of the day you will need to put money aside as you build towards getting on the ladder. Please see the following pointers on how best to do this:


With West London property prices being as high as they are the amount you will need for a deposit might at first appear to be impossible. This is not the case, simply approach it month by month and give yourself a realistic set amount you put aside. In time you will see your efforts rewarded.


Begin by analysing your current monthly spend. You’ll be surprised at the waste on trivial items or where you can cut or find alternative more affordable resources. You can set all of this out on spreadsheet, there are plenty online to choose from.


Make sure you don’t get over ambitious with the amount you set aside each month. Keep it realistic and low to start with, if you end the month with a surplus, top up your monthly saving. Don’t sabotage the whole process by creating a miserable, unsustainable existence living on bread and water.


Where do you put your savings as they grow? Take your time picking the best savings account for you, not every option will give you the same interest rate. Be mindful that certain options limit your ability to access these funds and if you need emergency access you may have to wait.


To make the process less painful, setup a direct debit or standing order. This will minimise your involvement and help you avoid the painful process of transferring money away from your immediate enjoyment. If you get in the mind-set that your monthly salary is less and put the savings to the back of your mind, you will cope much more easily.


Let people you know, friends and family, in on your saving goals, their support will help you from breaking the habit. Good friends and family support will not tempt you with excessive, expensive breaks away and nightly lavish meals in fancy Hammersmith restaurants.


At the start your enthusiasm for saving a deposit, will carry you through the first few months and you’ll be proud of your growing finances. Be aware that this won’t last and you will be tempted to break the cycle. Seasonal pre-planned treats won’t ruin your plans and in fact will help keep the savings going in the long-term, good luck and happy house hunting.


For any advice or help with buying a property in Hammersmith, West London W6, please get in touch with our sales team on 020 8222 9958 or email sales@willmotts.com

How to get rid of mice and rats in your Hammersmith home

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Published: 19/07/2017   Last Updated: 19/07/2017 13:21:07   Author: Gulliver Hill    Tags: Pest Control Rats Mice Hammersmith London W6 West London

In Hammersmith West London W6, most people think rats get into buildings through open doors or other such nonsense and never consider the buried waste network (presumably as its out of sight). The vast majority (95%) of our rat work involves period properties with modern extensions.

As you are no doubt aware, the Victorians pioneered the concept of sanitisation and ensured human waste was piped well away from our drinking water (google the ‘Great Stink’ and ‘Joseph Bazalgette’ for the full low down). They were the masters and built drainage from vitrified clay or cast iron which was hugely over engineered and put in place by very skilled engineers - its still going strong 120+ years later. Strong clay & cast iron drainage persisted up until the 1970’s when plastic came to be - since then the whole drainage industry has been going backwards at a rate of knots in terms of materials and knowhow.

Most London period stock has now had modern extensions to the rear which typically build over the original manhole and involve adaptations to the original drainage layout. The modern extension builder is typically a low skilled bodger laying plastic pipework which he then has to connect to the old clay pipework - clay pipes are imperial with 1/2” thick walls whilst plastic pipes are metric with 3mm thick walls. These connections are typically very badly done, often damage the clay pipework and also often the entire modern extension drainage is a shocker in terms of layout, design and implementation.

Rats freely chew through plastic drainage and will very quickly exploit any weaknesses in it - they cannot chew through clay or cast iron drainage. Once they have chewed through the pipes, they burrow next to it and enter the fabric of a building via a lintel bridge within the foundations or via and uncapped inlet within the original drainage network - sometimes they burrow under the slab of the extension and emerge into the original dirt foundations of the period part.

Once within a building fabric, rats can cause floods by chewing Speedfit plumbing and damage the fixed electrical supply - their urine and droppings can also cause a powerful malodour.

Baiting is not the answer - it simply causes rats to die within the building fabric and cause a very powerful malodour often combined with a blow fly infestation. With a never ending supply of rats within the sewer system, new rats simply replace those killed and the problem goes on and on indefinitely. Only solution is to locate and fix the drainage defect - we have ways and means of doing this!

This scenario is already truly epidemic on its scale across London and most major cities - with ever warmer winters predicted and zero improvement in the standard of plastic drainage forecast, its also an issue that is going to run and run...

For help and advice with pest control please get in touch with;

 

www.superproof.co.uk   |   superproofme@superproof.co.uk or call free for a quote 0808 133 2330

Hammersmith’s Top 10 Rental Trends in 2017

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Published: 18/07/2017   Last Updated: 21/07/2017 13:49:50   Tags: Hammersmith’S Top 10 Rental Trends In 2017



Are you considering living in Hammersmith and renting a property? If so then you are not alone. Due to the high prices in West London property sales, more people than ever have chosen to rent homes or flats in London W6 rather than buy them. Willmotts has noticed this recent trend and the letting market has been changing constantly. Staying ahead of the trends and reacting proactively is the secret to success. Our local agents have noted these market changes over recent months.


1. A Well-dressed property will let faster than poorly presented ones
Tidy, clean and homely looking properties will let far quicker than rooms that look neglected and undesirable. If you freshen up a dated look and feel, despite the potential cost to achieve this, you will find your investment pays off as you are not losing out on missing months of potential rental fees and you may also be able to increase the letting price.


2. Most popular rentals are smaller properties
The most popular properties are small dwellings for single people. The less tenants the simpler tenant-agreements are, making the whole process easier for landlords and tenants. One bed and studio flats in Hammersmith are very popular. They generally let much quicker that two or three bed flats.


3. More tenants are renting properties while they search for homes to buy
In 2017 many more people are renting whilst also looking for a home to purchase. To help with this tenants are looking for 6 month breaks in their contracts. If they find a property within this time frames we are seeing requests to buy-out of their contracts. This also applies to individuals who are not happy with their choice of property or have fallen out with co-tenants and are requesting to move on after just a few months.



4. Tenants are paying more for access to prime locations
Tenants are happy to pay more for a location with easy access to tube stations, linking Hammersmith to the City and the West End. Whether it be a career change or job security, accessibility to prime locations is paramount. When tenants are unable to plan ahead regarding their employment with long term tenancies, at least their worry of rent increases, protracted negotiations, admin fees and of cost the cost of moving is all but diminished.


5. Demand for high-end flats has decreased
The popularity for luxury apartments is on the decline. Despite tenants preferring well-presented properties the appeal stops short of high-end stock.


6. Furnished properties remain more popular than unfurnished ones
There are pros and cons in the argument of furnished properties versus unfurnished ones. Furnished properties allow tenants to move in quickly, and can cost a bit more than their unfurnished counterparts. Despite unfurnished properties giving tenants free reign to make the property their own, the demand for furnished properties is greater as it allows people to move into a readymade home. For the landlord though this is not always the most popular route as tenants demand furniture to be replaced if breakages occur; this its self can cause friction between the landlord and tenant.


7. More desirable properties are entering the market
Better rental property is becoming available as sellers decide to rent out their homes rather than sell, however this is generally on a reduced timescale. Stamp duty increases are causing evictions for good tenants who want longer than 3-year tenancies. If you are viewing a desirable property and hoping for a long-term tenancy, check with the landlord to see if they are considering selling the property.


8. ‘Accidental landlords’ are extinct
Smaller Landlords appear to be looking to off load their properties. This is in contrast to the larger investors who are looking at building on their property portfolios. The number of properties coming the market for let appears to be marginal however demand is steady and increasing. The result of this will inevitably be an increase in rent prices as more people want less property.


9. Growing popularity for long-term tenancies
Long term tenancies offer landlords security of regular income without the hassle of finding new tenants and the costs that are associated with it. This is echoed by the desire for tenants to secure longer contracts and not be worried about flexibility. From professionals to students, they are equally willing to enter long-term letting agreements


10. 6 months’ worth of rent in advance to get ahead of the rest…
There are a great many tenants offering 6 months’ rent in advance, (still subject to satisfactory references) in view to ward off other suitable applicants. This is mostly made up of people selling and requiring a property to live in while they look around for another property to purchase as it gives them bargaining power for a purchase. Other cases are people relocating from abroad where they have no credit history here, or older people selling to enjoy their capital.


Are you thinking of letting or renting a property? Get in touch with our lettings team 0208 222 9958 or lettings@willmotts.com
 

What does the future hold for house prices in Hammersmith?

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Published: 10/07/2017   Last Updated: 10/07/2017 11:49:16   Tags: What Does The Future Hold For House Prices In Hammersmith

There have probably never been more factors at play in the UK property market than there are right now. The national market is pausing for breath as it reaches the end of the cycle which started with the credit crunch. 2016 saw stamp duty changes as well as the
Brexit vote, and the impact is very much still being felt. The result of the election has added to the uncertainty surrounding the economy.
 
Now that Brexit negotiations are getting properly underway, it will be interesting to see if there is any direct effect it has on the market. Since the original vote, interest rates were dropped to 0.25 per cent to support the economy. This has resulted in property prices rising nationally by 7.2 per cent - and we expect them to grow by a further 6.6 per cent over the next 12 months.

So why are we so bullish about the market in Hammersmith? Well the data shows us that in the second half of 2016, sales levels were 24.4 per cent lower than the first half, but this becomes positive when we strip out the impact of the stamp duty rise in April of that year. Based on market trends, we expect the price of the average home here to reach £1,226,600 by the end of 2018.

Projecting future price trends is never straightforward. The construction of new homes impacts on this heavily; residential developments will often increase the value of other properties in the area due to the way valuers use 'comparables'. Other important aspects they consider when determining the future value of property are upgrades to travel networks and new businesses opening in the area.

Rising property prices mean some people will decide against hopping on the property ladder, instead choosing to rent. Rents have also seen increases, but usually at slower rates than property prices. Landlords tend to focus on the yields when it comes to renting a property: the current gross yield in the local area is 3.5 per cent.

The future looks bright for the local property market; now is the time to think about getting on it if you're not already, especially while interest rates remain so low. If you would like to sell your property, pop into our office for a friendly chat with one of our local experts. We’d love to help. Alternatively, find us on social media.
 

Monthly sales rate by main house type.

This chart takes a look at how sales levels have evolved over the last seven months in the local area. It should be noted that we're looking at a relatively tight area over short periods of time, which is why there is a lot of volatility in the figures. The patterns however, are very revealing and show how seasonality affects the dynamics of the market.
 

Local property prices vs region & country
 
It is hard to gauge actual property price movements without having something to compare them against. The chart shows the price differences in our area compared to the wider region and the rest of England and Wales for the last eight years.
 

Length of residents' working day

Areas which are home to residents who work long hours tend to have something of a split personality. The people you might see on the street on weekdays are often very different to those at weekends. The crucial benchmark is 49 hours per week. If you're working that many hours or more, remember no one on their death bed ever wished they'd spent more time in the office!

 

If we can be of any help at all please call or email the team:
0208 222 9958 or sales@willmotts.com

Best Hammersmith Home Colour

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Published: 30/06/2017   Last Updated: 10/07/2017 13:37:52   Tags: Best House Colour Hammersmith London W6

When it comes to selling your Hammersmith home the first impression your property makes, could be a sale or no sale. Ahead of selling, be very careful when choosing a colour to paint your home in London W6. 

Look at the other neighbouring Hammersmith properties where you live. If the houses or blocks of flats along the street have a particular look and feel it would be advisable to stick within the local colours.  Don’t stand out for the wrong reasons, if you paint your house pink in a row of pale green houses it could put people off.

Can the colour somehow reflect the landscape? If you are lucky enough to live along the Southern border of Hammersmith by the river Thames facing the water, your property may well work in a pale blue, reflecting the location while suggesting a calm, serene lifestyle. Another factor to consider could be the season; if you are painting specifically to sell your home you can afford to choose a colour which compliments the season, think sunny tones for sunny months!

Generally, the advice is to select neutral and traditional colours in order to attract the most people.

White is always an attractive choice; a crisp white house will look clean and fresh. White will also give your home a palatial feel and will bring a lifting light to your front garden or kerb. On the flip side, it can look a little stark and clinical, so if you are set on white think about what else surrounds your home; do your garden borders soften the outlook? You could also temper a brilliant white a little with a complimentary palette for the window and door frames. This will work to accentuate the features and design of your property when done well.

Whether it’s called putty, taupe, stone or cream, there is no need to fear beige. It is a soft, neutral colour which enables house hunters to see it as a blank canvas they can apply their own style and personality to. It is friendlier than white, but offers a neutral appealing finish. Grey tones are currently very popular, although pick a colour which isn’t too dramatic.

Yellow often equals happy. Unsurprisingly, a sunny outlook gives an impression of happiness and warmth – perfect for a family. As with all colours, the shade is quite important; choose a pastel yellow as opposed to a shade closer to neon!

Green can be a little tricky – there are numerous shades to choose from. Picking a pale, apple green can give your home a cheery, yet calm disposition. A deeper, rich green can look very regal and elegant in the right setting, but remember it may not be loved by everyone!

Overall, lighter colours tend to be more attractive to people. However, if you are craving some drama, why not give your front door an injection of colour? For example, a pale facade with a deep, slate grey door could give a stately effect to your home.
Stick with something fairly neutral or at least in keeping with your neighbourhood, light and inviting to help you successfully sell your home.

 

If we can be of any help at all please call or email the team:
0208 222 9958 or sales@willmotts.com

Hammersmith first time buyers guide

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Published: 27/06/2017   Last Updated: 27/06/2017 14:19:30   Tags: Hammersmith First Time Buyers Guide To Getting On The Ladder

Do you live in London W6 and are you thinking of getting on the property ladder? Becoming a Hammersmith local residential owner is often a daunting task, but interest rates are currently low and there are government schemes that can help, too. Here are some tips to help you get there faster:

Do research on how much finance you can secure based on your current salary.

Determine how much deposit you actually need, taking into account your purchasing costs.

Research exactly what your purchasing costs might be to your lawyer, your bank, surveyor and HMRC in Stamp Duty.

Work out where you want to live or indeed be comfortable living in that location.

Work out the time frame. Buying a property often takes longer than people imagine.

If your family is helping with a deposit, then make sure you give them plenty of warning as their capital may be tied up in a savings scheme that requires more notice than just one week or a one month.

Finally, it is more important that the deposit is large enough to help secure the property in the location you like.

Check your credit rating, for example via Experian. They will also give you tips on how to improve your rating.

Make sure you are on the electoral roll, even if you don’t want to vote.

Get a credit card, spend a small amount each month and then repay it immediately, it helps you build up a credit file profile and shows lenders you can handle credit responsibly.

Know what deposit you need and what Help to Buy schemes / shared ownership schemes (www.helptobuy.gov.uk) are available in your area.

 

If we can be of any help at all please call or email the team:
0208 222 9958 or sales@willmotts.com

Why are people not viewing  your Hammersmith Property

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Published: 23/06/2017   Last Updated: 27/06/2017 14:18:13   Tags: Why No Views Hammersmith Property Home

Putting your London W6 home on the market is an exciting time. The photos are taken, the floorplans completed, and the rooms are perfectly presented, so it’s time to start the viewings. But how many should you expect? What if viewings are not as regular as you hoped?

Check the price

One of the biggest deterrents for a viewing is the price. Does your home compare to competing Hammersmith and West London homes on the market? The price needs to attract potential buyers, the housing market is now incredibly transparent. Information on marketing and sale prices of similar properties is easily available on the web, so it is important that properties are marketed at a realistic price. Nothing turns a buyer off quicker than a house that is perceived to be over-priced.


Pick a good local Hammersmith estate agent

There’s absolutely no point in appointing an agent who isn’t embedded in the community, you need an agent who knows all about the area, is connected and recommended, but also one that knows where your target audience is. Willmotts estate agents has an average employee of 11 years and therefore has a huge advantage with local knowledge, after all we’ve been around since 1856!


Put your best foot forward

Make your Hammersmith home look the best it can, make sure you tidy up, and not just inside the home, but outside too, even if you have an apartment. A lot of buyers won’t even step outside the car if the kerb appeal is not good enough. If there is paint peeling on the front door or windowsills have them repainted, fixing them is money well spent. Have a good clear out and declutter; if you have rooms full to the brim then buyers will need a good imagination to see the potential, and the same goes for the garden. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, weed the flower beds.


Invest in photography

In London W6 people now judge properties through online platforms. The better the picture, the more chance of your potential buyer investigating further. The importance of high-quality photos cannot be more emphasised they are the crucial first impression. It is important not only that the photos show the property at its best, but also that the quantity of pictures right. Too few may lead to potential buyers either assuming that there is something wrong with the property or deciding not to view as they couldn’t get a reasonable impression of the property.

 

If we can be of any help at all please call or email the team:
0208 222 9958 or sales@willmotts.com

Private Landlord Licensing Scheme

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Published: 22/06/2017   Last Updated: 21/06/2017 10:25:02   Tags: Private Landlord Licensing Scheme In Hammersmith And Fulham

Private Landlord Licensing Scheme Hammersmith & Fulham starts 5th June 2017. Making it a legal requirement for Landlords to obtain licenses on some of their private rented properties.

Selective licensing:
Requires landlords letting a property on specific roads to get a license no matter how many people rent the property.

Additional licensing:
Requires landlords across the borough who let a property, of any number of stories, occupied by at least 3 people, who do not make up a single household to get a licence.

Mandatory licensing:
This scheme covers houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) with 3 or more stories and are occupied by 5 or more people with at least two households. This is regulated under the Housing Act 2004 and has been in force since 2006

www.lbhf.gov.uk/housing/private-housing/property-licensing-landlords-and-letting-agents

Willmotts are working with our landlords who own property across Hammersmith and Fulham, to obtain these licenses on their behalf.

We are experts in Property Management across London W6 and SW6 and as Guild of Professional Estate Agents Members as well as RICS you know that we adhere to the highest of standards.
 
If we can be of any help at all please call or email the team:
0208 222 9958 or lettings@willmotts.com 

Party Wall Advice in London W6

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Published: 21/06/2017   Last Updated: 21/06/2017 11:21:25   Tags: A Property Owners Brief Guide To Party Wall Etc Act 1996 Hammersmith Londoon W6

What is a party wall?

If like many in London W6 you live in a semi-detached or terrace house you share a wall (or walls) with your neighbour; that wall is known as a party wall. And Hammersmith is full of terraced houses with party walls.

Party walls usually separate buildings belonging to different owners but could include garden walls built astride a boundary – known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two different size buildings often only the part that is used by both properties is a party wall, the rest belonging to the person or persons on whose land it stands.

The Party Wall etc Act
Since the Party Wall etc Act 1996 came into force, homeowners in England and Wales have had a procedure to follow when building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and new walls at boundaries.

The Act permits owners to carry out certain specific works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is designed to avoid or minimise disputes by making sure property owners notify their neighbours in advance of certain proposed works. The Act requires that where the adjoining owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works a surveyor or surveyors will determine the time and way in which those works are carried out.

What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to certain specific types of work and is permissive in nature. It is not just another way to object to or try to prevent your neighbour’s works nor is it intended to be applied to everyday minor jobs that do not affect the structural integrity or loading of a party wall, such as:

• Fixing plug sockets
• Screwing in wall units or shelving
• Adding or replacing electrical wiring or sockets
• Replastering your walls.

What is covered by the Act?
There are some things that you can only do to a party wall after notifying your neighbour and either with the written agreement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/surveyors. Such works include:

• Cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion
• Inserting a damp proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall
• Raising a party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any objects preventing this from happening
• Demolishing and rebuilding a party wall
• Underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall
• Weathering the junction of adjoining walls or buildings by cutting a flashing into an adjoining building
• Excavating foundations within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations
• Excavating foundations within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45º from the bottom of its foundations.

You must also notify your neighbour if you propose to build a new wall on the line of junction (boundary) between two properties.

What do I have to do?
If you intend to do any of these things, you must give written notice to your neighbours at least two months before starting any party wall works or one month for ‘line of junction’ or excavation works.

Where there is more than one owner of the neighbouring property, or more than one adjoining property, you must notify all of them, thus if a tenant or leaseholder occupies the building next door you will need to tell the landlord as well as the occupier. If you are doing
structural work to a party wall, or works affecting a ceiling or floor, you will have to give written notice to any adjoining owners and occupiers living above or below your property. If possible, talk to your neighbours in detail about the work you want to do before giving them written notice. If you can sort out any potential problems in advance, they should give you written agreement in response to your notice.

Before you start the specific works you must either have your neighbour’s written agreement to the proposed works or appoint a surveyor to prepare a Party Wall Award in respect of them. The Act relates only to certain specific types of work and is permissive in nature. It is not just another way to object to or try to prevent your neighbour’s works nor is it intended to be applied to everyday minor jobs that do not affect the structural integrity or loading of a party wall, such as:

What if there’s a dispute?
Where written agreement is not given, within 14 days of the notice, the solution the Act provides is for both parties to appoint an ‘agreed surveyor’ who will act impartially or each owner appoints a surveyor. The surveyor/s will draw up a document called an ‘Award’.

This details the work to be carried out, when and how it will be done and usually records the condition of the relevant part of adjoining property before work begins. It may also grant access to both properties so that the works can be safely carried out and the surveyor/s can inspect work in progress.
The Award will determine who pays for the work if this is in dispute. Generally, the building owner who started the work pays for all expenses of work and the reasonable costs, but these will be apportioned between the owners where appropriate.

Further help and advice
Should you require any help and advice then please contact me for a free over the phone consultation.
Robert McMillan ICIOB
Head of Building Surveying
  
Email:  r.mcmillan@willmotts.com
Tell:  0208 222 9944

Alternatively go to the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) website

http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/consumer-guides/party-walls-guide/

Questions for a buy-to-let investor in Hammersmith

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Published: 20/06/2017   Last Updated: 20/06/2017 16:19:08   Tags: Questions For A Buy-To-Let Investor In Hammersmith London W6

Speaking with a local estate agent before buying a property in Hammersmith, London W6, is vital, this is very pertinent for buy-to-let investors. Here are a few key questions that should be asked, they generally differ from the standard questions that a house hunter would think of. At Willmotts we are happy to help share our knowledge to ensure that investors have a full understanding before making an offer.

 


Is the property leasehold or freehold?

Willmotts recommend buy-to-let investors check whether the property is freehold or leasehold. As they should factor in any extra costs such as annual service charges and ground rents which could impact yield. Also, what is the size of the Sinking Fund in the building, which may be in place to cover for potential future works. Also check how long the lease is, the shorter the lease the greater the cost it is to extend it. If the lease is under 70 years most lenders will not give a buyer a mortgage.


 

Is the area in demand and has the property been let beforehand?

Investigate the rental history, has the property been rented before if so what is the demand like. Does the local area cater for students, young professionals or families? Is there a local university or hospital?  If letting to professionals you should look to be close to transport links into commercial areas. Hammersmith has great transport links, restaurants & gyms. For families W6 has great local education facilities, state and independent schools. Connectivity and services in an area is important for future lets.

 


Will the property fall under the new Hammersmith and Fulham HMO laws?

From June 5th 2017 Hammersmith & Fulham will bring in new Private Landlord licensing that could affect the rental of your property. In some cases even a studio flat will need to be licensed if it is on a particular street. House of multiple occupancy laws are designed to safeguard tenants from illegal landlord practises. It is important to make sure you abide by this new code; there are specific criteria for the types and tenant and property. Willmotts have a depth of knowledge in this area and constantly keep our clients in the loop.
 


What is most important for you?

Stress free rental options, a good yield or capital growth? A buy-to-let purchaser of a five-bedroom property in Hammersmith could obtain a gross yield between 4% and 5%, but the hassle of finding several sharers, coping with the tenants politics and fall-outs, coupled with the wear and tear may put off some buyers. If maximising yield is not the main goal and capital growth is, the simplicity of letting the property and minimising costs may be what suits you. For example we have clients in Hammersmith and West London, who are just looking for the best yield that can be currently obtained from their investment, where a return above 3% would do.


 

Is your investment long term?

Potential market growth is often overlooked. Longer term if costs are covered and the yield of the property is not as important. Having the best and a happy tenant in your asset for as long as possible is key. Sit back hassle free and enjoy the natural market growth.

 


What is the energy efficiency like?

The Law is changing from April 2018, therefore be mindful of energy performance ratings. Properties which have a poor energy efficiency rating will be required to upgrade. Tenants’ demands rise yearly and a low cost energy-efficient property is more important than ever.

 

Are you thinking of buying and letting?
Speak to our residential team
lettings@willmottts.com
020 8222 9958

Buying a House in Hammersmith what are the Top Ten Mistakes?

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Published: 19/06/2017   Last Updated: 27/06/2017 14:17:48   Tags: When Buying A House In Hammersmith What Are The Top Ten Mistakes

Buying a new home in Hammersmith is one of the most exciting things you can do. With all the distraction involved from the area to the property itself, it’s easy to get carried away by the prospect of owning a new home. However, ignoring the details can be detrimental. Willmotts estate agents in Hammersmith have seen it all, and have identified the top mistakes that people make when purchasing a new home.


1. Looking at property without setting a budget


Be careful you don’t fall in love with a property and then realise that it’s out of your price range. After you look at your finances, consider seeking professional advice, especially when it comes to mortgages. Do your research before viewing properties, organise your finances and solicitors before you find a property and get a good idea of what you can afford to avoid heartbreak later.


2. Understand their reasons for moving


Buying a property is a huge emotional and financial decision, and certainly not one to take lightly. It’s important to make sure that you’re running toward something better, rather than away from something unsuitable. A bit of self-reflection on what you think moving from one area to another will give you can save time and money – perhaps you just need a lifestyle change rather than a location change.


3. Buying too quickly


If your property purchase is the direct result of a relocation, rent first, and then figure out what you like. Then you know you’ll be buying in the best area for you, rather than simply having to make an educated guess.


4. Having too many non-negotiables


When you view a property, it’s a good idea to know what you’re willing to be flexible on and where you’re not willing to negotiate. Stick to your convictions, but keep your list small.


5. Being closed off to alternative suggestions


The perfect property for you might not be what you think you want, so being open to alternative suggestions is critical when buying a home.


6. Not using an estate agent in addition to looking online


The internet will never be able to replicate the local knowledge and expertise of your local estate agent. Build a good relationship with your estate agent, and they will tell you about properties that fit your specifications before they hit the market, search for properties that might now have hit the market just yet, and think of all kinds of out-of-the-box solutions to help you find the perfect home.


7. Waiting too long to make an offer


Waiting too long to make an offer on a house is one of the easiest ways for someone else to buy the house of your dreams. If you have a good feeling about a house and it ticks off your list of non-negotiables, then making an offer is the sensible choice.


8. Negotiating poorly


Negotiating is an important part of the property buying process, and negotiating poorly (or not at all) is one of the most common mistakes estate agents see in buyers. Negotiating will almost always result in a better price, especially if you maintain an air of ambivalence at a viewing. Never gush when you view a house, as gushing will make the seller think you’re willing to pay more for the property.


9. Appointing the wrong property professionals


Choosing the wrong solicitor or mortgage broker can be a huge mistake for buyers. When you buy a property, be sure to choose mortgage brokers that are reputable and local to your area. Local professionals will have a much better idea of how the market in your area works than non-local brokers or solicitors.


10. Not thinking ahead


While it’s tempting to prioritise what you need now over what you’ll need in the future, but choosing a home is a relatively permanent decision. Be sure you prioritise what you’ll need in the future, as well as what you’d like now. Consider a situation where you should have to return to your original home area, and make sure that you can afford to buy back in – this is particularly important if you are downsizing and using equity as pension funding or buying in a cheaper area.

Are you thinking of moving?
Speak to our residential team
sales@willmottts.com
020 8222 9958

How long is your lease?

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Published: 09/05/2017   Last Updated: 09/05/2017 12:56:30   Tags: How Long Is Your Lease

As each and every year passes the value of a leasehold flat or house diminishes and it will become the more difficult, or even impossible to sell.  By law, you have a right to buy the freehold of your house or extend the lease of a flat.  

Flat owners can purchase a further 90 years with the ground rent reduced to a peppercorn provided you have owned the flat for 2 years.  The cost increases a little year by year but when it drops below 80 years, there will be a significant and substantial increase in the price payable to the landlord. 

With that in mind it is clear that you should exercise your rights as soon as you are able.  We all know well enough that buyers, especially first time buyers, are likely to have stretched themselves to the limit to buy the property they dream of but it makes sense to extend the lease at the earliest opportunity, especially if the eighty year mark is getting close since pitfalls and delays are possible and it would be a shame to miss the deadline as a result.  An early request would be the safer option. 

A lease extension may actually become a necessity as most mortgage lenders will decline to lend to on short leases. 

If you are selling a flat on a short lease many buyers will be keen to avoid the two year wait for qualification and can get around this by having the seller serve notice on the landlord and then assign the benefit to the purchaser on completion.  In considering taking this step you should be sure to take professional advice at the earliest opportunity since it is essentially to get the process just right.  There are no second chances if the paperwork is defective. 

I have been dealing with the extension of flat leases around West London and further afield since 1993 when Act was passed and gave leaseholders the right to extend.  As a valuer I am well qualified to advise on the numbers and I am careful to work closely with a number of specialist solicitors who know their way around the trips and traps of this particular field of law. 

Please get in touch and let me show how we can help you make the most of your investment in property.

Simon Hanton F.R.I.C.S.,
Registered Valuer
020 8222 9915
s.hanton@willmotts.com

HMO Licensing in Hammersmith and Fulham

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Published: 08/05/2017   Last Updated: 11/05/2017 09:46:14   Tags: Frequently Asked Questions For Hmos Landlords Licences

New licensing for landlords is being introduced on the 5th June 2017 in Hammersmith and Fulham. It is along similar lines to the ones introduced in Ealing in January and other London Boroughs in 2016. Here are some useful Frequently asked questions that may be of interest to you:
 
Why has the council introduced an additional HMO licensing scheme?
The national mandatory licensing scheme only covers larger houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs). Evidence collected shows that problems exist in smaller rented properties that need to be addressed. Following consultation it was agreed that an additional licensing scheme was the best way forward.
 
Why not just tackle less responsible landlords without having additional licensing?
Discovering less responsible landlords is not easy because some tenants are worried about eviction and will not make a complaint, or do not know that they are able to make a complaint. Proactive licensing should resolve this.
 
Is the council using additional licensing fees to raise money?
No. The scheme has been designed to be cost neutral as required by the Housing Act 2004. Fees collected will only offset the cost of additional staff, resources and administration for this scheme alone.
 
If I have more than one licensable property, do I have to make an application for them all at the same time?
Yes. A landlord has to make an application for all rented properties meeting the criteria.
 
What happens if my property should be licensed but I don't apply for one?
You would be committing an offence and run the risk of prosecution with a fine of up to £20,000. A Residential Property Tribunal may order you to repay 12 month's rent to the tenants. You would be unable to recover possession of the property using a Section 21, Housing Act 1988 notice.
 
How does additional licensing scheme work?
Additional licensing works in exactly the same way as the national mandatory licensing scheme. Owners of properties that need to be licensed must proactively make an application and pay the appropriate fee. Following that application the application will be processed, the applicant sent a draft licence together with conditions that must be met.
 
What happens if I don't comply with the conditions of the property licence?
You run the risk of prosecution and a possible fine of up to £5,000 per condition breached.
 
 If you have any questions at all on Selective, Additional or Mandatory Licensing, please do not hesitate to contact us.
 
William Taper BSc (Hons)
Director

T: 020 8222 9904

w.taper@willmotts.com 

Where is the best place to watch the boat race?

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Published: 05/04/2017   Last Updated: 06/04/2017 11:37:18   Author: E. Finlay    Tags: Where Is The Best Place To Watch The Boat Race

The traditional rowing event between Oxford and Cambridge started in 1829. The river Thames course starts in Putney viewable from the bridge and Putney Embankment also from Bishops Park on the opposite bank or the Fulham side. Along the four and three quarter miles, the race passes many viewing points, pubs, residential homes & gardens, office blocks, parks and is accessible via the towpath. Finally ending just shy of Chiswick Bridge.

Putney is a great place to watch the event however your comfort is compromised by the overwhelming vast crowds due to the popularity of viewing the race as the two crews battle for an early lead. Unless you are connected to one of the boat clubs finding quick refreshments may be a challenge for the long queues.

The race heads West from Putney, the southern bank a shallow towpath sheltered by view spoiling trees is not as advantageous as the northern bank albeit equally shallow, it lacks the long tree line and is on the outside of the bend giving a much better vista. The Fulham to Hammersmith stretch passes several pubs and widens significantly a few hundred meters before Hammersmith Bridge. This is possibly the best view. No trees, a wide towpath and a large pub, aptly named The Blue Boat, coupled with a line of sight almost reaching the start to the midway point past Hammersmith Bridge.

Beyond Hammersmith Bridge the towpath narrows, passes more pubs on the north side with several small parks allowing breathing space. As the race moves along the banks of Chiswick and Barnes, the Chiswick side is blocked by Chiswick Eyot a small island. The twisting course limits the time you will get to watch as the boats appear from around the bend at Chiswick Pier. The southern side remains narrow and limited until past Barnes Bridge, from here the White Hart pub gives an excellent view during the dying, muscle burning, exhausting last few strokes to the finish.

I have watched the boat race for over 25 years and during that time I have run the course along both sides of the river giving me an intimate knowledge of every vantage point. If you want maximum exposure to the race, watching the armada growing in the distance, cascade past in the roar of the cheering crowds and disappear around the far reaching meander of the course, choose Hammersmith, the exact spot is directly outside the Blue Boat pub. Whether you are dark blue or light blue you can celebrate or commiserate over a cold drink in the hopefully glorious sunshine.

Putney
http://www.dukesheadputney.com/  

Hammersmith
http://www.theblueboat.co.uk/
http://www.oldshipw6.co.uk/  

Barnes

http://www.whitehartbarnes.co.uk/

 

For information about property in Hammersmith and West London please call us at Willmotts. Your local property experts, 020 8748 6644 info@willmotts.com

10 Tips for Refurbishing Your Property

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Published: 28/03/2017   Last Updated: 28/03/2017 16:02:22   Tags: Planning Funds Inspect Regulations Damp Risks Contractors Design Scedhule Of Works Finishing

Carrying out a minor refurbishment to your property can add value and interest. Minor refurbishments can be from a lick of paint to freshen up the walls to a brand new bathroom or kitchen fitted, here are some tips to help you along the way.


1. Planning:
You will need to check for planning permission if you want to build something new, make major changes to the property, i.e. change the use of your building or just changing your windows. To check if your project will need planning permission, contact your local council.


2. Funds:
It is very rare for a project to come in on budget so prepare yourself by having a contingency fund available. You may come against further problems when refurbing your property and if you don’t prepare with extra funds, the works can be placed on hold which can cause delays.


3. Inspect:
Inspection of the property is ideal to get inspiration of what you will be re-modelling. You will need to review the whole area to avoid surprises later in the refurbishment.


4. Design:
It is best to stick to neutral colours as bold wallpapers, colours and flooring could become dated and tasteless. Stick to light and airy as this will open the property up and not make it look dull and dingy. Utilise space to your advantage by using appropriate storage.


5. Schedule of Works:
Include all works that are needed within the refurbishment to a schedule of works that will need to be carried out by your chosen contractor. All works from damp proofing to light bulbs must be included so nothing is missed out.


6. Regulations:
You must comply with all Health and Safety regulations for your property by installing smoke detectors, CO2 detectors. If a new boiler is to be fitted a Gas Safety Certificate will need to be presented, etc.


7. Damp:
Check for damp before starting any refurbishment works. If you discover damp during the maintenance works this can cause delays and extra costing. Try to get good ventilation when carrying out maintenance works as some improvements can cause damp to occur.


8. Risks:
The area should be checked for any asbestos, faulty electrical
cables, possible gas or water leaks. The above listed risks could cause future disruption for the scheduled refurbishment works if not assessed properly.


9. Contractors:
a. Do they hold Public Liability Insurance
b. Do they meet the requirements needed for the works
c. Is the costing reasonable for the works carried out.


10. Finishing Touches:
The contractor and yourself should evaluate the schedule of works against the completed project. If there are any jobs that need to be touched up a snagging list must be presented to the contractor to complete. Finally carry out a professional clean before the property is viewed.


For help with Property Management
please call or email Gemma White on
020 8222 9906, g.white@willmotts.com

The Meaning of Commercial Terminology

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Published: 28/03/2017   Last Updated: 09/05/2017 13:28:04   Tags: Commercial Alterations Demise IRI & FRI Leases Rent Review Lease Assignment Reversionary Lease Break

Willmotts pride themselves for the excellent years of service they have offered to many Landlords and Tenants alike. We are members of the RICS and operate under the stipulated regulations. No truer is it said to invest in some time and avoid common pitfalls when dealing with commercial lettings. The job of commercial property management is easier when not having to resolve issues which can quickly become costly. The UK Commercial Real Estate Agency Standards 2011 provides members and others with best practice guidance on all aspects of commercial real estate agency and contains everything needed to do the job.

Listed here are some common terms/terminology you may come across with what they actually are;

Alterations
Alterations are works undertaken by the tenant which alter, cut, divide, relocate or modify the demise, which can include the building, partitions, mechanical and electrical services, or finishes. Business Rates Business rates, or non-domestic rates, are a tax on the occupation of commercial property and other non-domestic property. The Local Government Finance Act 1988 introduced business rates in England, Wales and Scotland. Properties are assessed in a rating list with a rateable value. Rating Lists are created and maintained by the Valuation Office Agency, with a revaluation generally occuring every five years.

Demise
Demised premises are the extent of the premises included within a lease and may include land or other facilities. For example, when an office block is let under a written lease, in the lease the   office block might be referred to as the demised premises.

IRI & FRI Leases
an IRI lease makes the tenant responsible for the internal repair and  insurance  of the demised premises whereas  an FRI is a full repairing an insuring lease of the whole building. The latter may also be subject to a service charge provision for the upkeep of the fabric of the building.
 
Rent Review
The lease shall state when the rent can reviewed. This is typically every 4 – 5th year. The landlord surveyors shall inspect the premises and compare with other similar properties. The tenants surveyors should do the same and agree the matter between the two surveyors. In case they cannot agree the new rent the lease shall provide a mechanism where a third party can be instructed to agree the matter.
 
Lease Assignment
The tenant may have an option to assign the lease to a third party if the lease allows the same. The tenants may be able to seek a premium for the assignment but that would be dependant upon many factors. Before any assignment can be undertaken the landlords consent shall be required but not reasonably withheld or delayed. The landlord can/may insist upon a guarantor for the assignment and in some cases the existing tenant may have to be party to the assignment.
 
Reversionary Lease
This is referred to the new terms that have been agreed prior to the end of the existing lease term. So in other words the extension of the existing lease terms which would include the amount of rent, duration , rent reviews. A reversionary lease is binding so one should seek legal advice.
 
Break option / clause
The lease shall contain an option for either or both parties to break the lease at a  pre agreed date or timing within the lease term. To enable this, a notice shall be required for the either party and that is defined within the lease.  Leases are usually explicit about the timing and its essential to adhere to those, Otherwise the notice may not be valid. In some instance a break penalty shall be payable. Whilst break option may provide flexibility, tenants should be very aware that landlords may exercise the break to get possession, better covenant and sometimes higher rents.
 
Heads of Terms
The basis of the agreed deal between the parties and including details of each parties lawyers and surveyors. This document shall allow the lawyers to draft the lease without further consultation between the landlord and tenant. The heads of terms should be agreed by both parties prior to instructing lawyers and start incurring costs.

For help with Commercial Property
please call or email Varol Zafer
020 8222 9946, v.zafer@willmotts.com

What is the Best Gym in Hammersmith

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Published: 08/02/2017   Last Updated: 11/05/2017 12:09:55   Tags: Best Gym Hammersmith

Hammersmith has a huge range of gyms and sports clubs; ready to test your physical limits or help you just tick over. If you know what you want or are looking for a new challenge, Hammersmith has plenty to feed your appetite. From sailing, canoeing, paddle boarding and rowing clubs to professional boxing gyms, crossfit gyms, 24hr gyms, pay as you go gyms, personal trainers and running clubs.

In Hammersmith if you are a gym newbie or just interested in ticking over, there is plenty to choose from, the big branded gyms are Virgin Active, Fitness First and Pure Gym, Better gym. If you want all the frills the former are your best bet. Virgin and Fitness First both have small 20M swimming pools.

The luxury Gyms in Hammersmith are well known brands, Virgin Active and Fitness First. Both with pools and great cardio equipment, weights machines along with free weights. They also offer classes and their in house personal trainers are on call when your motivation is low. The real difference of these gyms is their total package; offering a swimming pool alongside the general gym facilities. The atmosphere is clean contemporary, bright and welcoming. If you need motivating and can afford to pay for it then the top tier is for you.

Virgin Active | Shortlands, 181 Hammersmith Road, Hammersmith W6 8BT | 0203 582 7470
www.virginactive.co.uk/clubs/hammersmith  

Fitness First | 26-28 Hammersmith Grove, W6 7HA London | 0344 571 2870
www.fitnessfirst.co.uk/gyms/london-hammersmith  

Budget Gyms in Hammersmith; Pure Gym and Better Gym are cheaper than their rivals yet offer great value for money if all you want is a good range of cardio machines and free weights. Better gym has the added value of squash courts and a sauna. Both Hammersmith gyms also allow you to book on the day. Pure gym has plenty trainers ready to assist and help you in a one to one role, paid for obviously. They do however have many free classes for you to join in, a great way to get motivated when your training direction starts to waiver.

Hammersmith has plenty for the more focussed athletes;


There are Boxing Gyms in Hammersmith, the purest boxing gym is State of Mind Fitness. This gym has coached national class athletes and continues to do so. The gym is run by two ex-Royal Marines Commandos, their no frills approach generates enviable results using traditional tried and tested methods combined with contemporary physiological training methods and techniques. The trainers also run classes for non-boxers and have a portfolio of private clients in and around Hammersmith.

State of Mind Fitness | Arch, 82 Galena Rd, London W6 0LX | 020 3303 0623
www.stateofmindfitness.com  

Hammersmith’s Crossfit gym is situated under the railway arches off Cambridge Grove. The Crossfit community is very well established and is a no nonsense means of getting very fit and strong without being bored by a predictable routine. WODs or Workout Of the Day; is never predictable and is designed to challenge the athletes’ all round ability. There are focussed sessions for technique and strength that fit in and compliment daily workouts.

Crossfit Hammersmith | Railway Arch, 64 Cambridge Grove, London W6 0LD | 07976 134454
www.crossfithammersmith.com

 

The gyms in central Hammersmith offer exactly what you need from novice to athlete. Beyond the cardio machines and weights; you have one of London’s best places to run; along the Thames tow path. Here you will find much more to keep you active, rowing clubs, sailing, canoeing and paddle boarding. There really is no excuse not to be fit and healthy in W6.


Willmotts are experts in property and if you are thinking of living in the area we can help you, buy, rent, sell, let or develop your home. Our commercial department can also help you if re-locating your business, simply call us for any property related help or advice, 020 8748 6644

Public Transport Links in Hammersmith

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Published: 19/01/2017   Last Updated: 20/01/2017 14:47:15   Tags: Public Transport Links In Hammersmith

If you live in or are thinking of moving to Hammersmith and West London, you will be spoilt for choice of destinations you can reach from the public transport hub at Hammersmith Broadway. Hammersmith can boast not one but two tube stations at its epicentre.
 
Hammersmith Station with Circle line and Hammersmith and City lines, a hop, skip and jump away is Hammersmith Broadway with Piccadilly lines and District lines. There is a bus terminal above the tube station in the Broadway, boasting 23 bus routes spread all across London and beyond. If you prefer a more private service a Black Cab, Taxi rank is also available outside the main exit of Hammersmith Broadway.

The tube service from Hammersmith is excellent yet divided by a short walk over ground. The Circle and Hammersmith and city lines head North then East respectively breaking at Edgware Road. The lines continue with the circle line in its loop and the Hammersmith and City line heading as far East as Barking. Along the way they provide direct connections to Euston, King’s Cross and Liverpool Street. 

The tube service from the Broadway follows a more central connection across London. The Piccadilly line starts out at London Heathrow then makes its way through Hammersmith, onto Earls Court then heads North East through the West End, via Leicester Square, Kings Cross and up as far as Cockfosters. The District line starts from Richmond or Ealing Broadway shadowing the Piccadilly line to Hammersmith and heads out East via Earls Court, Sloane Square, Westminster, Monument and then out as far as Upminster.
http://content.tfl.gov.uk/standard-tube-map.pdf

The bus service from Hammersmith is vast and reaches out beyond London into Surrey and Middlesex. Providing quick local links to Chiswick, Shepherds Bush, Fulham, Putney, Kensington and Barnes. The routes go out to Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond, Kew Gardens, Isleworth, Hounslow, Brentford, Roehampton, Clapham Junction, Victoria, Waterloo, Willesden Junction, Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Ladbroke Grove, Camden, Hyde Park and Kings Cross St Pancras International Station.
http://content.tfl.gov.uk/bus-route-maps/hammersmith.pdf

Direct Journey Times from Hammersmith to key transport links within greater London.

Hammersmith to London Heathrow Airport, 35 mins,
Hammersmith to Ealing Broadway, 25 mins,
Hammersmith to Richmond, 15 mins,
Hammersmith to Earls Court, 9 mins,
Hammersmith to Victoria, 17 mins,

Hammersmith to Liverpool Street, 40 mins,

Hammersmith to Euston, 30 mins,

Hammersmith to Kings Cross St Pancras, 29 mins,

Hammersmith provides a fantastic service for transport around and across Greater London. This short guide only touches on direct links, with the rest of the transport network a complete service is available to get you almost anywhere in London. The key is Hammersmith gives you a great start on your route. For any advice relating to property services in or around Hammersmith, buying, selling letting, chartered surveyors or property management please get in touch.
info@willmotts.com or call 0208 748 6644

What is the best school in Hammersmith and Fulham

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Published: 14/12/2016   Last Updated: 19/06/2017 13:31:26   Author: E. Finlay    Tags: What Is The Best School In Hammersmith And Fulham

When choosing a home there are many factors outside the property itself, the environment and it’s services can weigh heavily on any home buyer’s or parents’ mind. If you have children and are thinking of moving to Hammersmith or the surrounding West London regions, Chiswick, Fulham, Barnes, Shepherd Bush or Kensington you will be digging deep into what they have to offer your child’s education. West London has a wide choice of schools from Primary to Secondary education, state schools to private schools and schools that are setup for specialist requirements.

In the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham you have 25 State funded primary schools, 12 Independent primary and prep schools, 12 State secondary schools, 5 Independent secondary schools, 5 State special schools and 3 Independent special schools.
Which is the best for you and your child; leagues tables are available to measure the number of high grades per school and these give an indication but do they paint the whole picture. If exam results are your only concern then look no further:

Primary Education:
 St Augustine's RC Primary School or All Saints CofE Primary School both with 97% for 2016 via .gov.uk please note not all schools are ranked via this system.

Secondary Education:
The London Oratory School, with 88% (Grade C or better in English & maths GCSEs) please note not all school are ranked via this system.

 
Further Education 16-18:
St Paul's Girls' School, Latymer Upper School or The London Oratory School
School league tables and results are available here:
www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/schools-by-type?step=la&la=205

If choosing the best school for your children does not solely involve picking the best exam results but what the school has to offer the child, in terms of facilities and experience, then the picture changes. After all not every child is academically gifted and despite the best levels of care they may not achieve the dizzy heights of the Joneses. Success isn’t always measured by A grades, Sir Richard Branson and Sir Alan Sugar both celebrated businessman neither of which have A-levels. Finding schools that fit this alternative bill is not as difficult as it may first appear. Some state schools and the independent schools have some fantastic facilities, from teaching the arts to coaching a wide range of sports.

During the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics, over one third of the athletes were privately educated. This is quite surprising when privately educated Britons make up less than 18 percent of the population. However this doesn’t mean you should only send your child to a private school if you want the best sporting opportunities for them. Hammersmith and Fulham has a huge range of sports clubs from rowing and rugby to hockey and netball, where you will find very affordable opportunities for your budding champions.

Hammersmith and Fulham also offer a great deal for the next generation of creative talents. Theatres and arts clubs are on offer to maximise your children’s artistic potential. The William Morris society, named after the British icon of textile design and more, who lived and died in Hammersmith. This arts and crafts society often runs workshops during the school holidays helping to open creative avenues and inspire young minds.

In short, there is a broad range of schools in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham with varying amounts to offer your child. However if like the majority of us, you cannot write blank cheques, Hammersmith and Fulham have much to supplement those schools that fall short. The clubs and societies spread across the region are diverse enough to capture and inspire the next generations’ attention and imagination. It is also important to note, some independent schools, such as Latymer Upper, pictured above, have an excellent means tested bursary programme to encourage bright children to apply from less affluent families.

Below is a list of schools in Alphabetical order, divided up between State and Private or Independent schools.

State Primary Schools State Sixth Form Colleges

 

Addison Primary School Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College
Addison Gardens Gliddon Road
London London
W14 0DT W14 9BL
020 76035333 020 87411688

 

 

All Saints C of E Primary School Jack Tizard School
Bishops Avenue South Africa Road
London London
SW6 6ED W12 7PA
020 77362803 020 87353590

 

 

Avonmore Primary School Phoenix High School
Avonmore Road The Curve
London London
W14 8SH W12 0RQ
020 76039750 020 87491141

 

 

Bentworth Primary School Queensmill School
Bentworth Road Clancarty Road
London London
W12 7AJ SW6 3AA
020 87432527 020 73842330

 

 

Brackenbury Primary School William Morris Sixth Form
Dalling Road St Dunstan’s Road
London London
W6 0BA W6 8RB
020 87433074 020 87486969

 

 

Canberra Primary School Private Independent and Fee Paying Primary Schools
Australia Road
London Al-Muntada Islamic School
W12 7PT 7 Bridges Place
020 87432514 London
SW6 4HW
Flora Gardens Primary School 020 74718283
Dalling Road

 

 

London Bute House Preparatory School
W6 0UD Luxemburg Gardens
020 87482566 London
W6 7EA
Fulham Primary School 020 76037381
Halford Road

 

 

London Ecole Francaise Jacques Prevert
SW6 1JU 59 Brook Green
020 73850535 London
W6 7BE
Good Shepherd RC Primary School 020 76026871
35 Gayford Road

 

 

London Parsons Green Prep School
W12 9BY 1 Fulham Park Road
020 87435060 London
SW6 4LJ
Greenside Primary School 020 73719009
Westville Road

 

 

London Kensington Prep School
W12 9PT 596 Fulham Road
020 87436421 London
SW6 5PA
Holy Cross RC School 020 77319300
Basuto Road

 

 

London Latymer Upper School
SW6 4BL 237 King Street
020 77361447 London
W6 9LR
Jack Tizard School 0845 6385800
South Africa Road

 

 

London Le Herisson School
W12 7PA Rivercourt Methodist Church, King Street
020 87353590 London
W6 9JT
John Betts Primary School 020 85637664
Paddenswick Road

 

 

London L’Ecole des Petits School
W6 0UA 2 Hazlebury Road
020 87482465 London
SW6 2NB
Kenmont Primary School 020 73718350
Valliere Road

 

 

London Ravenscourt Park Preparatory School
NW10 6AL 16 Ravenscourt Avenue
020 8969449 London
W6 0SL
Langford Primary School 020 88469153
Gilstead Road

 

 

London Sinclair House School
SW6 2LG 2 Hazlebury Road London
020 77364045 SW6 2NB
020 73718350
Larmenier & Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

 

 

41a Brook Green MONTESSORI NURSERY
London Lower Nursery
W6 7BL 196 Munster Road
020 87489444 London
SW6 6AU
Lena Gardens Primary School

 

 

Lena Gardens Upper Nursery
London 159 Munster Road
W6 7PZ London
020 76034043 SW6 6DA

 

 

Miles Coverdale Primary School PREPARATORY SCHOOL
Coverdale Road 59 Fulham High Street
London London
W12 8JJ SW6 3JJ
020 87435847 020 77369182

 

 

Melcombe Primary School St James Junior School
Fulham Palace Road Earsby Street
London London
W6 9ER W14 8SH
020 87487411 020 73481777

 

 

New King’s Primary School The Fulham Preparatory School Limited
New King’s Road 200 Greyhound Road
London London
SW6 4LY W14 9SD
020 77362318 020 73862444

 

 

Normand Croft Community School Thomas’s Fulham
Bramber Road Hugon Road
London London
W14 9PA SW6 3ES
020 73856847 020 77518200

 

 

Old Oak Primary School Private, Independent and Fee Paying Secondary Schools
Mellitus Street

 

 

London Chelsea Independent College
W12 0AS 517 – 523 Fulham Road
020 87437629 London
SW6 1HD
Parayhouse School 020 76101114
New Kings School Annex, New Kings Road

 

 

London Latymer Upper School
SW6 4LY 237 King Street
020 77510914 London
W6 9LR
Pope John RC School 0845 6385800
Commonwealth Avenue

 

 

London St James Senior Girls School
W12 7QR Earsby Street
020 87439428 London
W14 8SH
Queen’s Manor School and Special Needs Unit 020 73481777
Lysia Street

 

 

London St Paul’s Girls’ School
SW6 6ND Brook Green
020 73854343 London
W6 7BS
Queensmill School 020 76032288
Clancarty Road

 

 

London The Fulham Preparatory School Limited
SW6 3AA 200 Greyhound Road
020 73842330 London
W14 9SD
Sir John Lillie Primary School 020 73862444
Lillie Road

 

 

London The Godolphin and Latymer School
SW6 7LN Iffley Road
020 73852107 London
W6 0PG
St Augustine’s RC Primary School 020 87411936
Disbrowe Road

 

 

London The Moat School
W6 8QE Bishops Avenue
020 73854333 London
SW6 6EG
St Johns Walham Green C of E Primary School 020 76109018
Filmer Road

 

 

London Young Dancers Academy
SW6 6AS 25 Bulwer Street
020 77315454 London
W12 8AR
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School 020 87433856
Masbro Road

 

 

London Private, Independent and Fee Paying Sixth Forms
W14 0LT

 

 

020 76037717 Chelsea Independent College
517 – 523 Fulham Road
St Paul’s C of E Primary School London
Worlidge Street SW6 1HD
London 020 76101114
W6 9BP

 

 

020 87484951 Latymer Upper School
237 King Street
St Peter’s Primary School London
St Peter’s Road W6 9LR
London 0845 6385800
W6 9BA

 

 

020 87487756 St James Senior Girls’ School
Earsby Street
St Stephen’s C of E Primary School London
Uxbridge Road W14 8SH
London 020 73481777
W12 8LH

 

 

020 87434483

St Paul’s Girls’ School

Brook Green
St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary School London
Estcourt Road W6 7BS
London 020 76032288
SW6 7HB

 

 

020 73858165 The Godolphin and Latymer School
Iffley Road
Sulivan Primary School London
Peterborough Road W6 0PG
London 020 87411936
SW6 3BN
020 77365869

 

 

Wendell Park Primary School
Cobbold Road
London
W12 9LB
020 87431372

 

 

Wormholt Park Primary School
Bryony Road
London
W12 0SR
020 87435073

 

 

State Secondary Schools

 

 

Burlington Danes Academy
Wood Lane
London
W12 0HR
020 87354950

 

 

Cambridge School
Cambridge Grove
London
W6 0LB
020 87487585

 

 

Fulham Cross Girls’ School and Language College
Munster Road
London
SW6 6BP
020 73810861

 

 

Henry Compton Secondary School
Kingwood Road
London
SW6 6SN
020 73813606

 

 

Hurlingham and Chelsea Secondary School
Peterborough Road
London
SW6 3ED
020 77312581

 

 

Jack Tizard School
South Africa Road
London
W12 7PA
020 87353590

 

 

Lady Margaret School
Parson’s Green
London
SW6 4UN
020 77367138

 

 

Parayhouse School
New Kings School Annex, New Kings Road
London
SW6 4LY
020 77510914

 

 

Phoenix High School
The Curve
London
W12 0RQ
020 87491141

 

 

Queensmill School
Clancarty Road
London
SW6 3AA
020 73842330

 

 

Sacred Heart High School
212 Hammersmith Road
London
W6 7DG
020 87487600

 

 

The London Oratory School
Seagrave Road
London
SW6 1RX
020 73850102

 

 

Woodlane High School
Du Cane Road
London
W12 0TN
020 87435668

The Benefits of an Observant Lessee

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Published: 07/12/2016   Last Updated: 07/12/2016 11:07:52   Author: P. Martin    Tags: The Benefits Of An Observant Lessee

All leaseholders are keen to obtain the best value for money from the service charges they pay. Repairs and Maintenance often makes up a sizeable percentage of any service charge budget. By being observant occupiers and reporting faults they spot to their managing agent, often repairs can be dealt with before they have the opportunity to get worse or cause extensive consequential damage. Some items that all occupiers should be mindful of are listed below.

Overflows.
An overflows acts as a ‘safety device’ that indicates if there is an issue with a water tank, toilet cistern, boiler etc. They show that a repair to the offending item needs to be carried out. However if left unchecked, overflows can cause massive consequential damage to any surface the overflow water makes contact with e.g. penetrating brickwork, damage to decorated timber surfaces and damage to the timber itself etc. This type of water penetration can the often lead extensive internal damage. Also if the repair is not carried out to the item the overflow is stemming from, then the affected item may suffer further ongoing damage resulting in internal leaks to the building. Overflows maybe constant or intermittent, they should be reported even if they seem to have stopped a few hours later. Any observed discharging overflow should be reported immediately to the managing agent.

Gutters and Downpipes.
These perform the essential task or removing the vast volumes of water that collects on roofs during rainfall and removing this water without causing damage to the building by running down vertical surfaces. Much in the same way as an overflow can cause damage due to water penetration blocked of defective gutters can do the same. Often defective gutters are not so easy to spot as the fault will only be evident during rain and is therefore intermittent, however if possible all occupiers should try to view the gutters and downpipes to their property especially during prolonged or heavy rain and report any issues to the managing agent.

Waste Water Pipes.
These pipes carry waste kitchen and bathroom water to the main water downpipes. Again any leak left unchecked will cause similar damage as mentioned above. By nature these leaks are generally intermittent and should be reported on discovery to the managing agent.

Blocked Drains.
The drainage system is there to remove all waste water away from the building. Any form of surface water that does not drain away indicates that there is a problem with the drainage system that requires further investigation and probable remedial action. Again if this is not dealt with resulting issues may include water backing up within flat or damp issues due to penetrating damp.

In Summary
When reporting these defects, the best way is to e-mail your property manager with a brief description as to where and what the issue is. Any photos you can take and include within your e-mail will be very beneficial.

By reporting the issues mentioned above or any other issue that you are concerned about your property manager can investigate and arrange for the correct remedial action or responsible party to be notified thus reducing the damage caused and costs involved. This equates to cheaper service charges and a building in better condition.

For any further advice on this subject or anything related, please get in touch with our Building Surveying department or Block Management department:

Paul Martin
Project Management Surveyor, BSc (Hons)
Block Management
DDI: 020 8222 9925
Email: paul.martin@willmotts.com
 

The Effects of Changes in Licensing and Stamp Duty

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Published: 07/12/2016   Last Updated: 07/12/2016 14:01:07   Author: W. Taper    Tags: The Effects Of Changes In Licensing And Stamp Duty

There is a huge amount of going on in the residential sector at the moment. I will highlight a couple of the keys topics that are causing some very heated debates around the Willmotts water cooler.

Licensing
We have seen over the last year many councils look to introduce licensing schemes. Here is West London, Ealing are introducing this in January 2017. Costs can vary from £600 to over £1000 for a license from the council to rent out your property.

A spokesperson for one council said:
"By obtaining a licence at a reasonable cost, landlords will be able to clearly demonstrate to prospective tenants that they meet required standards. So the introduction of a licensing scheme would not only bring benefits for tenants, local communities and council tax payers by reducing the cost of enforcement action necessary, it would also actually benefit landlords themselves."

We at Willmotts have been asked to apply for licenses in Ealing, West London on behalf of some of our landlords. What I can say is that it is one very large time consuming administration exercise. The cost in Ealing for the license is £1100 for some units. However, this does not include costs the landlord must pay for to comply with the license, such as floorplans, risk assessments, internal fire doors, fire blankets, electrical tests, etc.

With mandatory licensing, the changes in tax, many of our fantastic landlords are seriously thinking about leaving the residential sector altogether and moving their monies into other investments. They provide a brilliant service to thousands of tenants which may not be there in the future. The rouge landlords this is supposed to expose will not be completing or applying for these licenses they will simply continue under the radar while the council receives very large sums of money from very good landlords.

Stamp Duty
Landlords have been hit with an extra 3% in stamp duty charges thus making their BTL investments less desirable. Stamp duty also prevents a lot of first time buyers from getting on the ladder. One MP, John Stevenson suggest getting the seller to pay for the stamp duty, which is an interesting chain of thought.  One building society says that by doing this then on average buyers would not have to pay £3,791 in stamp duty

He said : “Stamp duty should be flipped and rather than have the buyer pay it, the seller should pay it. The Exchequer would raise the same amount of money,

“Somebody who is downsizing is in a better position to pay and if someone has died the estate is also in a better position to pay. There is a financial argument that this will do nothing for the price of property because buyers will just increase the price of their property – that may or may not be the case – but people will be able to cover this because mortgages cover the purchase price but not the additional costs of buying.”
At the moment it seems the Chancellor is not bowing to mounting pressure to adjust the stamp duty. This new approach from Mr Stevenson may get some traction, but I will not hold my breath.

If you would like any help with licensing, investments, buying residential property, or would simply like to have a chat about the changing residential market please give me a call.
 
William Taper
Director, BSc (Hons)
Residential Sales & Lettings
DDI: 020 8222 9904
Email: w.taper@willmotts.com  

West London Winter Wonderland

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Published: 06/12/2016   Last Updated: 06/12/2016 16:55:28   Tags: Hammersmith West London Winter Wonderland

As the nights draw closer and the air begins to nip at the ears and noses feel numb, it can only be one thing, winter. Despite these chilling signs a whole host of goodies have emerged to help combat the bitter weather. Mulled wine has popped up all over Hammersmith, Kings Street is adorned by festive lights, twinkling in the early sunset and carol singers have replaced the acoustic buskers.


Hammersmith’s market on Lyric Square has burst into a fury of festivities. Battling the low temperatures you will find freshly cooked ingredients from all around the globe, hot spices to warm mash and sausage, a perfect way to boost your morale on a cold blustery December in central Hammersmith. HammersmithLondon Business Improvement District (BID) are promising a virtual Christmas cabin, carol singers and several festive movies to be screened in the Kings mall.


The Hop Poles of Hammersmith, situated on King Street opposite Lyric Square, built in 1857, is a traditionally fitted pub with many listed features giving it a truly authentic feel. This year, Ellie’s mulled wine is paired with a Lillie’s mulled cider. The guest ales are, Winter Star, White City and Rocking Rudolf. If you are feeling hungry and you don’t fancy the usual Christmas meal, you can try the festive burger of beef, turkey, stuffing, chipolatas and cranberry sauce with cheese.


The Swan built in 1901 in the free Jacobean style designed by architect Frederick Miller, sits proudly in the heart of Hammersmith between both tube stations. They are offering a plethora of seasonal options, the drinks package includes champagne, mulled wine, white wine and other beverages, boasting the more you drink the more you save. To eat, a generous buffet, a festive and Christmas menu is on offer. On tap you will find Wild Holly or a warmer option of mulled wine or cider.


The Ram also found on Kings Street in Hammersmith has recently benefitted from a refurbishment and menu overhaul, giving it a contemporary feel with complimentary echoes of its traditional past. Their Christmas menu boast a carnivorous traditional and vegetarian option neither of which pull any punches on depth of ingredients from spiced Bramley apple, chestnuts to Jerusalem artichokes, all washed down with a pint of Winter Warmer. This year you can join the Ram of Hammersmith on December the 15th at St. Pauls Church, Hammersmith, for carols followed by mulled drinks and hearty food.


If you are feeling very traditional and want to test your singing talent, head down to St Pauls Church Hammersmith. This 17th century church is hosting several services in the build up to Christmas. During December from the 11th you will be able to join, Carols by Candlelight, Family Carols on the 18th, a traditional midnight mass on the eve of Christmas followed by a Service on the 25th. The Church is also hosting one of Hammersmith best places to get your Christmas tree. From dainty mini fir trees to grand six foot and over, are all available for your choice to take home and decorate. The smell of fresh pine needles can really make that homely festive feeling come to life.


At the Lyric theatre, a festive treat for under 6s and parents. Enjoy the show as Raymond Briggs, aka Father Christmas, prepares for Christmas Eve. Watch as he gets ready for his Christmas deliveries, fuels up the reindeer before he soars off into the wintery night. Complete with merry touches, live music and songs accompanied by jolly puppetry. The Hammersmith Eventim Apollo is hosting a series of stars this December, not so festive but very entertaining none the less, from the Chemical Brothers to Ocean Colour Scene, full listings can be found via their website.

Why choose Hammersmith to live in?

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Published: 01/12/2016   Last Updated: 05/04/2017 16:18:35   Author: E. Finlay    Tags: Why Choose Hammersmith To Live In?

There are lots of reasons why you should choose Hammersmith or West London to live in. The meandering river Thames a London artery, sweeps from West to East London, on its way to the estuary passing the Southern border of Hammersmith. Notably marked by the grade 2 listed Hammersmith bridge, conceived in 1824, this Victorian green steelwork is a not only a wonder of timeless engineering but a true landmark and is celebrated on both flanks by a plethora of watering holes. There are award winning pubs, bars and restaurants, steeped in history and cutting edge cuisine.


From The Dove, this early 18th Century gem of a pub is tucked away on the river path, boasting a feature worthy enough to be mentioned in the notorious Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest bar room in the world. Follow the pathway East under the bridge and you with come across the River Café which needs no introduction, its reputation for fine cuisine is infamous. In between there are more establishments worth a visit all offering equally stunning river views that only Hammersmith can offer. On boat race day this midway vantage point is guaranteed to be humming with crowds eager to get a glimpse of the historic event cruise by. Whether you are light or dark blue you will enjoy the atmosphere drink in hand and no doubt be met by friendly faces all enjoying the festive like day.


If you are brave enough to venture out on to the water, Hammersmith boasts several rowing clubs, canoe and sailing clubs, adorned by Olympic champions to social members. These all allow you to break away from the city life and escape into a world devoid of cars and noise. If you haven’t tried it you really should experience the tranquillity of a warm day on the river, messing about in boats. Alternatively the physical challenges offered paddling or navigating your path via boat racing friends is real a adrenaline boost.


Moving into the heart of Hammersmith you are serviced by some of the best transport connections in London. Boasting four tube lines, Circle, Hammersmith & City, District and Piccadilly line. Connecting you to Heathrow, Richmond in Surrey and the very centre of the city of London.  Buses will carry you to all of the local areas, affordably and hassle free. The two stations are surrounded by a buzzing business district which brings a variety of glamour. Sony, L’Oreal, Disney and Shazam all call Hammersmith their home. Catering this hub is taken up by many more restaurants, bars and pubs including a local yet global farmers market situated in Lyric Square. Simply grab a bacon sandwich, Caribbean snack or homemade Asian bite, make your way up onto the city garden via the Lyric theatre and watch the world go by.


The Lyric Theatre sits centrally in Hammersmith, one of two theatres in the area providing Westend quality performances at a fraction of the price. Summer brings performance art often direct from the theatres, entertaining crowds for free, yoga classes or the big screen during Wimbledon can make a lunchtime that much more enjoyable, strawberries and cream in hand. Spirits are further lifted by talented and licensed street entertainers from magicians to blues, jazz and Bob Marley tribute bands. There is always something worth pausing for in your busy life or even if you can’t stop the atmosphere will raise your mood in only the way Hammersmith can.


Hammersmith is lucky to have a large number of schools from primary to Sixth form. Nineteen primary schools, eleven Secondary schools and eight special or alternative schools. These range from State funded to private education, with two thirds State and one third private. On both sides of the river you will find two of London’s finest schools Latymer Upper and St Pauls School. Famous Poets, Political writers, athletes, boxers, actors, comedians and scholars have all called Hammersmith their home at some point. Lily Allen, Bill Bailey, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sacha Baron Cohen and Joe Calzaghe, are all from Hammersmith.


If this hasn’t given you an appetite for one of West London’s finest districts then I have let the area down. Willmotts is a proud member of the Hammersmith family and has been working in the area for over 160 years, giving us a great insight to what Hammersmith has to offer. The best houses and property to rent or buy and we know we will be able to sell better than another agent due to our depth of local knowledge. Our retention of staff which averages over eleven years per employee, gives us that edge, something we are very proud of.


If you need advice on residential or commercial buying, selling, letting, managing property or help from our surveying department, please get in touch…

Exceptional Rental Uplift Agreed

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Published: 01/11/2016   Last Updated: 01/12/2016 12:26:51   Author: C. Elbourne    Tags: Exceptional Rental Uplift Agreed

Commercial leases have generally been shortening over the last few years. This trend holds through not only for retail tenancies but for offices as well. The Lease Advisory team recently completed one such lease for a commercial lease renewal for an office in Kensington.


A tenant whose five-year lease was up for renewal in 2014 opted to agree to 2 one year leases over the next two years. Accordingly, in 2014 we agreed the shorter term to meet the tenant’s needs but negotiated for the tenant to pay the landlord’s legal fees and a rental uplift of 37% or £4,000 per annum over the old rent. At the end of that year we agreed a similar term for 2015 as the tenant remained uncertain about trading from this location in the long-term. We negotiated a further £4,000 per annum rent increase to compensate our client, the Landlord, for a shorter term and in line with market rent.


At the end of 2015 however, we negotiated for a longer lease to provide more income security for the client. A new five-year lease was agreed together with the omission of various onerous repairing liabilities for the Landlord from the original lease terms. A break option in year three was also agreed to facilitate any changes to the tenant’s corporate plans in the near term. Office rents in the locality also improved as evidenced by two recent office lettings of similar layout close-by. These supported our negotiations for a further rental uplift of £6,000 per annum.


In total we agreed a rental uplift of £14,000 per annum over the last two years for the client to compensate for the risks incurred in granting short term leases and accommodating the tenant’s short term need for flexibility.


Our commercial team provides lease advisory services which backed by an extensive database of rent comparables in West London. We are conversant in all Landlord and Tenant services including;


lease renewal,
rent reviews,
lease re-gears, subletting,
lease assignment lease surrender advice,


With an active commercial agency team and our Commercial management services we have a growing database of rental comparables to support our valuations which gives us a competitive edge when negotiating terms.


If you need help or have questions about any lease transactions, we will be happy to talk you through the process and advise on how our team can assist you.
Cherelyn Elbourne, MRICS Commercial Management Surveyor

allAgents AWARDS letting update

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Published: 13/10/2016   Last Updated: 01/12/2016 14:41:29   Author: w. Taper    Tags: Allagents AWARDS & Letting Update

What a great week it has been. For the second year running we have won the prestigious AllAgents awards for the Best Letting Agent in W6. A testament to all the hard work of the whole team here at Willmotts. We have been striving to improve all aspects of our services, from marketing properties to repairs and maintenance. This has borne out by the great reviews left by our tenants and landlords alike. Our team consists of many different qualities and personalities all aiming to push the bar as high as possible to make sure that we provide a top notch service. We are always looking to improve our processes across all aspects of our company and by investing in our staff, IT systems, training, offices, marketing, market research, Health and Safety etc we hope to continue our progress upwards.
The lettings market has proved strong again this year. In West London we are seeing a continued demand for rental properties with rental levels holding well. The key aspect we are noticing is the demand from tenants for high class rental accommodation at competitive levels.


It is imperative to prepare all aspects of your strategy for letting a property before releasing it onto the market. Price is key at the moment, asking slightly too much for a rental property can see it sitting empty for some time thus the void negates and higher rental that the landlord been holding out for. Being on the portals for a lengthy period of time make the property becomes less desirable even it could be arguably a better flat than its competition. Many applicants only search for properties added in the last three days or week, so being on the market for a while certainly can prove detrimental.


When analysing rental levels it is important to consider the search parameters on portals such as OntheMarket, Rightmove and Zoopla. For example, if you have a property you are marketing at £350pw (£1516pcm) you will automatically exclude tenants searching only for properties up to £1500 pcm. It could be worth reducing the property to bring it under the search threshold.


Along with price the presentation of the property is one of the most important aspect of lettings. A clean, bright, well presented property will have tenants clambering to rent it (at the right price of course). With many tenants now using tablet grid view to search online for properties it is imperative to have professional photos done, otherwise your property will be scanned over immediately. The key thing to remember is to line everything up so when you launch a property it is seen in its best light to attract tenants to view it.


We continue to try and be the best we can be, so being awarded the Best Letting Agent again in W6 is a great reward. We look forward to another strong year.


If you need help with your property needs please let us know.
William Taper Director
020 8222 9904

Commercial Agency Investment Ethos

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Published: 03/10/2016   Last Updated: 01/12/2016 12:26:15   Author: S. Shahid    Tags: Commercial Agency Investment Ethos

Whether you're a single asset landlord or a professional entity, local expert advice is essential and a key requirement for successful commercial investment. Our sales and lettings departments will provide you with all the up to date advice, marketing expertise and guidance you need to make it a success. We market your commercial property in the best way, advertise it locally and nationally whilst ensuring you and your potential purchasers or tenants are always kept fully updated and informed and thereby ensuring this process eliminates any unforeseen circumstances.

 
Expert Advice 

Established since 1856, Willmotts has extensive experience of selling and letting commercial premises around West London and slightly further afield. We advise a diverse range of clients on property occupation, ownership strategies, regeneration, asset management, planning and development and have an in-depth knowledge of the retail property market in West London. Our commercial team have in excess of 60 years collective experience and are always available for an informal chat.


Sales & Lettings

We provide a full sales and lettings service should the property become vacant. We offer unbiased advice, critical evaluations, marketing and manage the entire process as well as delivering a highly professional service. Our local expertise has often resulted in clients seeking our assistance in the initial letting and thereafter upon the rent review process.


Acquisitions

If you are considering purchasing an investment and whether it’s your first property or an addition to your portfolio. We will seek the best possible outcome for your needs. Our expertise of the local area and surroundings is second to none alongside a wealth of experience and industry contacts. Our acquisition service is tailored to your requirement and our competitive fees are result based. Whether you want to invest £100,000 or £10,000,000 the level of service is exactly the same.


Property Portfolio Management

We can manage your entire portfolio to enable your commercial property to deliver the best returns whilst maintaining the highest standards and ensuring your obligations as a landlord are met. We can along the way ensure that the portfolio is delivering its maximum returns on your investment and if not we can advise what actions to undertake.


Development & Investment

We live and breathe the properties we advise our clients to buy. Our knowledge of the market and anything that impacts upon investor return, enables us to form a clear and proactive asset strategy. When it comes to sales, we know our markets in depth, we know what investors are looking for and allows us to provide clear, bespoke strategies to maximise both asset performance and appeal to likely buyers.


We have installed a uniquely personal culture, fostered throughout the firm’s 160 year existence and in addition have forged relationships with clients which have been nurtured over decades. You too can benefit in the same manner by initially contacting,
Shahid Sadiq Director

Choosing Block Management

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Published: 01/09/2016   Last Updated: 01/12/2016 15:50:16   Author: J. Naish    Tags: Choosing Block Management

If you have recently purchased or intending to purchase your freehold, and wish to appoint a managing agent to manage your block what should you consider?


Here is some simple guidance in order to make an informed decision.


Regulation
Is the company affiliated to any professional body that provides quality control and standards for the Company to adhere to. As an example; The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is a global organisation that regulates its members, and conducts regulatory review inspections at the offices of its members. It ensures financial stability and ensures robust controls are in place. It also requires the company to operate a formal complaints procedure, and requires the member to hold professional indemnity insurance. Clients of RICS regulated firms also receive benefit from the Clients Money Protection Scheme.


Financial Stability & Transparency
Agents will be controlling your service charge funds, and you should ensure you know where your funds are held, and that they are held on trust in a client account separate from the agents own business accounts. Additionally expenditure thresholds can be agreed whereby expenditure over a certain value requires Board/Client approval.


Research
Who are your proposed managing agent. Request details as to how long the company has been trading, how much experience do they have in Block management, how many blocks do they manage, do they have offices - check they exist, how many employees, and their company structure. Will you have a specific property manager and do they have dedicated email and phone details. This will provide you some background knowledge on the company you will be working with.


Ensure you are aware of exactly what services you will be paying for and agree the cost, this should be formally agreed in a written agreement. Agree the level of reporting you require within this agreement.


There are often ancillary services a Freehold Company may require, for example preparing Company Accounts and the Annual Return, acting as the Company Secretary and Registered Office, administering License to Alters and Sublets, Building Surveying, and Lease Extensions. Does your proposed agent provide these services, and can they assist and advise in these areas.


Choosing an agent to manage your block is important, and essentially they will be managing your property, which is often one of the most valuable assets you hold. Therefore making a good choice now, may have significant benefits in the future. The legislation and legal framework that Freehold Companies are required to follow can be complex, and having an agent available to assist with those processes is both prudent and sensible. However, undertake your due diligence and make an informed decision.


For any further advice on block management call Justin Naish Director 020 8222 9921

New Property Portal Rivalling Zoopla and Rightmove

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Published: 14/02/2015   Last Updated: 01/12/2016 12:03:01   Author: William Taper    Tags: Portal

Property portal Zoopla is seeing the number of paying advertisers using its website drop as competition from online newcomer OntheMarket eats into its market share. OnTheMarket was launched on the 1/2/15 and has gained significant momentum since then.
Zoopla - the UK's second biggest online property site behind Rightmove - said the number of estate agents advertising on its website has fallen by 11 per cent in the last year

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2950454/Zoopla-suffers-11-drop-advertiser-numbers-new-online-rival-OntheMarket-starts-bite.html

Willmotts, along with many other well know agents are founder members of this new portal, OntheMarket.com.
 
We're proud to be part of this state-of-the-art new website, which is dedicated to presenting properties beautifully, clearly and accurately. It features a clean, simple search and an elegant design with no distracting advertising and no unnecessary information - just hundreds of thousands of properties looking their best. We see it as a great innovation for our vendors and landlords and great for property-seekers too.

Along with thousands of other estate and letting agents across the UK, we have moved all our properties from other websites to OnTheMarket.com and we are launching our new-to-market properties at OnTheMarket.com exclusively first. We shall continue to advertise all our properties on (Portal X) and our own website as well as working as closely as ever with the large number of prospective buyers and tenants on our books.
Whatever your interest, if you’re in the market, visit OnTheMarket.com today and set up a property alert, so you are first to see new properties as they come on the market.

The guardian also has a nice piece on what is happening in the portal market, see below.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/marketforceslive/2015/feb/12/zoopla-falls-4-as-rival-property-portal-on-the-market-hits-business

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact me William Taper, Director, Residential Sales and Lettings, 020 8222 9904

£100 to Shelter for every new instruction

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Last Updated: 01/12/2016 14:30:34   Tags: £100 To Shelter For Every New Instruction*

*We are very aware of the lack of affordable housing in London so wanted to try and help in anyway we can. Willmotts will donate £100 for every new residential lettings and sales instruction that leads to a let or sale until the 31/1/14.  Just mention “Shelter” when instructing us. If you would like to donate please go to:

 

https://donate.shelter.org.uk

 

If you would like to discuss this further please contact Mel McMultan.

 

Many thanks Willmotts

Christmas opening hours and useful tips for the holiday period

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Last Updated: 01/12/2016 14:05:15   Author: WT    Tags: Christmas Opening Times

We will be closed for the Christmas break from Tuesday 24th December reopening on Thursday 2nd of January 2014. Please find advice and information to help you during this period.  Test smoke alarm to your flat. Keep the exit route in the communal areas clear so than an escape can be made in an emergency. Not to leave combustibles such as cardboard boxes within the communal areas and keep bin areas clear
and tidy.

Close doors at night, especially the doors to the lounge and kitchen to prevent fire spreading.

Fix dripping taps – a gentle trickle of water can freeze and completely block the pipe

Keep your boiler well serviced.

Know where in you flat: the stop valve is & how to turn off electricity and gas supplies in case of emergency.

SECURITY
We kindly request for all residents to ensure that the main door is closed
properly at all times, when entering and leaving the building. Additionally, to remain vigilant at all times to keep the highest level of security during the holiday period. We advise that you call the police if you witness any suspicious behaviour.

RECYCLE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE
Your council should offer a number of ways for local residents to recycle their real Christmas trees and Christmas cards. Please check on their website for details.
 
OUT OF HOURS CONTACT
In case of an “out of hours” emergency, please contact Willmotts switchboard 020 8748 6644. You will be given automated and recorded details of the contractor on duty. These contractors should only be called for emergencies affecting which require immediate attention. The out of hour’s contractor is for properties that Willmotts manage the communal areas or the individual flats. Calling contractors “out of hours” will result in additional costs. Thus, any lessee and/or resident abusing this facility will be charged for the retrospective call-out.

Having problems with noisy neighbours?

Last Updated: 01/12/2016 12:41:10   Author: S. Massey    Tags: Noisy Neighbours

 POLICY ON NOISE NUISANCE

It is important that all lessees and/or their tenants are able to enjoy their own homes and be free, as far as possible, from the noise and inconsiderate behaviour of others. Other things to bear in mind include:

• Let your neighbours know if you’re going to have a party and finish any parties at a reasonable hour.
• Avoid doing noisy housework like vacuuming late at night or early in the morning.
• Do not do any noisy DIY late at night or early in the morning.
• Noise travels through open windows so be particularly considerate during the summer.
• Remember that if your neighbours have young children, they go to bed earlier – and that, if you have children yourself, others can hear them too!

You may also have a provision in your lease which requires you to carpet the floors of your flat. Please do not make any alterations to flooring or floor covering without reference to your lease and to your managing agents.

What your landlord or managing agent can do to prevent noise will be limited. It is unlikely that a court will evict a long leaseholder for noise problems.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Use the following stepped approach:
1. Keep records
2. Start building a relationship with your neighbour
3. Have a quiet word about the problem
4. Have a stronger word: explain the impact on you and/or your family
5. Employ mediation services
6. Contact your local authority
7. Contact abatement societies
8. Take legal action.

KEEPING RECORDS OF NOISE
Keep a record of the nuisance as soon as it happens. This could include the date, time, type of noise etc. It is not a legal requirement, but you may need it to back up your complaint and it could be used in evidence if you go to court.

APPROACHING YOUR NEIGHBOURS
If you do approach them, wait until a suitable time. You may feel angry but do not lose your temper. It could be used against you at another time. Plan what you are going to say and keep calm.
Before you approach your neighbour it is important to assess the risk to your personal safety and property. If you feel frightened or intimidated by your neighbour and you are worried that they may respond aggressively, then approaching them to complain may not be the best option; you may wish to consider contacting the police in these circumstances.

Most problems can be solved amicably without the need for further action. You may feel anxious about approaching your neighbour but remember, they may genuinely be unaware that they are the source of a problem. When approached, often they will be embarrassed about the nuisance they have been causing and will be more considerate in future. It is important to do this as early as possible before the problem spirals out of control.

MEDIATION SERVICES
Neighbour mediation is a process in which a third party helps resolve disputes between people who live in the same locality or neighbourhood. It is a route that aims to assist both parties in identifying each other's needs, sorting out any problems, exploring solutions and negotiating an agreement. This often helps preserve or build better neighbourly relations and can sort out disputes before they escalate. Most mediation services are registered charities but some are part of other organisations such as local authorities or the local Citizens' Advice.

CONTACTING YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY
Your local authority has a statutory duty to investigate complaints. Under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) is required to take “all reasonable” steps to assess whether the noise constitutes a statutory nuisance.
If the EHO is satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, or is likely to occur or reoccur, they have to serve a noise abatement notice. However, they may suggest other ways forward:

• Mediation: Many local authorities have independent trained mediators who will offer to mediate between you and your neighbour. Sometimes this may work, but other times it may not be appropriate.

• A warning letter: Some local authorities maysend a warning letter. Again, this may work, but it can backfire. It can alert the neighbours that you have complained and therefore the noise may become more intermittent and collecting evidence may become a problem.

• An abatement order: Ultimately, if the noise persists and the local authority has deemed the noise a statutory nuisance, they have a duty to serve a notice on the offenders. If the offender fails to comply they can face court action. The local authority also has the power to confiscate any equipment causing the noise.

TAKING YOUR OWN LEGAL ACTION
If for whatever reason the local authority does not take action, of you do not wish to involve them, you can complain about a noise problem direct to a magistrates' court. The magistrates' court will need to be persuaded that the noise problem amounts to a statutory nuisance. This is why it's important to keep a written record of the dates, times and duration of the noise as well as a description of its nature and the distress it causes you.
Before you complain to a magistrates' court you should seek some advice from Citizens' Advice, a solicitor, or the clerk at the local courts. There is no legal aid for such cases.

LATE NIGHT MUSIC AND PARTIES
Some local authorities now have emergency response teams to deal with urgent noise problems. They can issue warnings, seize equipment and issue fixed penalty notices of £100 (Noise Act 1996).

BARKING DOGS
Incessant dog barking may be classed as a statutory nuisance and can be reported to the local authority.

BURGLAR AND CAR ALARMS
Local authorities have the power to gain entry to premises to stop noise. This power can be used to stop misfiring alarms. The Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 gives local authorities power to disconnect burglar and car alarms.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR LANDLORD OR MANAGING AGENT?
It's not as straight forward as you may think for your landlord or agent to take action against noisy neighbours.
Most leases will contain covenants which say leaseholders shall not cause nuisance and annoyance to neighbours. There may be more specific restrictions such as no loud music between 11pm and 7.30am or that floors should be carpeted.
These clauses are all well and good but in practice, difficult to enforce. The meaning of the covenant should be clear before considering enforcement. Any benefit of doubt over the meaning will always be given to the leaseholder.
The lease may not contain a clause that requires the landlord to enforce the covenants; if it does not, there is no obligation on them to take any action. Even if the lease does contain a clause requiring the landlord to enforce the covenants (known as a mutual enforceability covenant) there is usually a catch; the catch being that the leaseholder complaining about the noise will have to pay the landlord's costs for enforcing the covenant.
So how does the landlord enforce a covenant against noise or one that requires carpets and not laminated floors? A reminder letter to the offending leaseholder may work. If it does not, then the legal remedies open to landlords are an injunction or forfeiture.
Injunctions are costly but can be applied for with or without forfeiture. The aggrieved leaseholder can also apply for an injunction and may well be more successful of they do.
Forfeiture is not an easy route for landlords and can be extremely costly. It's also not going to produce quick results. However, the threat of forfeiture itself may well produce a response from the offending leaseholder. It may also be the most effective way of preventing the use of laminated floors spreading through a block.

Taken in part from ARMA Lessee Advisory Notes (LAN) 06/07

If you would like to discuss these or any other service charge matters please contact our Block Management Department.

Is it a leak or condensation?

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Last Updated: 01/12/2016 13:56:42   Author: Graeme Fisher    Tags: Condensation

I have a leak in my property, sorry Sir it’s actually condensation! We often find there is confusion surrounding condensation and residents often misdiagnose the problem to be a leak from the building.

 

Condensation is a result of warm air from the building coming into contact with cold parts of the building for example with an external wall. A major cause of black mould growth within buildings is condensation. We provide below some useful tips on the reasons for condensation and practical measures that you can follow in order to prevent it from occurring.

Causes of moisture
Everyday living activities generate moisture within your property, on average a 5 person household puts about 10kg of water into the air per day without taking into account heating. For example:
• breathing (asleep) 0.3 kg
• breathing (awake) 0.85 kg
• cooking 3 kg
• personal washing 1.0 kg
• washing and drying clothes 5.5 kg

Without adequate ventilation within your home warm air becomes trapped and reaches its dew point on cold surfaces to form condensation. If black spot mould occurs this can be cleaned with a bleached based product however this does not deal with the underlying cause and the mould will simply re-occur at a latter date.

Practical steps to control condensation
In summary there are 3 primary measures that can be taken to prevent condensation

1. Increase ventilation: to remove moist air from the building and not allow it to come into contact with cold surfaces
2. Increase insulation: to prevent a cold surface reaching below Dew Point
3. Maintain consistent heating: to prevent the structure becoming cold.

Helpful tips
• Leave some background heat on through the day in cold weather; most dwellings take quite a long time to warm up and it may cost you more if you try to heat it up quickly in the evening.
• After a bath or shower, try to ventilate the room to the outside, not to the rest of the property - just opening a window or the extractor fan and closing the door will help.
• Ideally, dry clothes out of doors; where this is not possible, dry them in a cool area of the house or flat. Whilst this will take longer, less moisture can be held in colder air and with good ventilation, the risk of condensation is lower.
• When people come in with wet coats, hang them outside the living area to dry.
• Try to increase the change of air in the premises - increase ventilation; trickle vents can be added to double gazed units.
• Add forced ventilation/extraction to areas which produce a lot of moisture (kitchens and bathroom). Extractor fans are available with an air-moisture switch so that they operate automatically while the moisture in the air is above a set amount. Other units called heat exchangers (more expensive/complicated) are available which remove the moist air and reuse the thermal energy within it which would otherwise be wasted.
• Consider using a dehumidifier. Domestic types are now available and can remove a surprising amount of water from the air.
• Don't overfill cupboards and wardrobes. Always make sure that some air can circulate freely by fitting ventilators in doors and leaving a space at the back of the shelves.
• Do not use paraffin or LPG heaters. They are probably not allowed in flats.

If condensation still persists there are other things to try:
• Simple secondary glazing consisting of little more than a sheet of glass (or plastic) screwed to the window frame with a seal in between can be fitted. This is relatively cheap. Fixed secondary glazing must not be installed on all opening windows in a room as some ventilation is essential. DIY kits are available which allow the secondary glazing to be temporary removed or opened to allow the original window to be opened for ventilation.
• Alternatively new double-glazing windows can be considered. Although much more expensive than simple secondary glazing, there are additional benefits; existing wooden or metal windows will need continuous maintenance and repair - with new double glazed windows, you get new window frames which will probably be low maintenance or maintenance free.
• Some decorative materials always have cold surfaces, (i.e. ceramic tiles, mirrors etc.) and are well known for the formation of condensation. There is not much you can do where this occurs other than keeping the room (and so the tiles) evenly heated throughout the day or improve ventilation.
• Some wall surfaces can also be a problem. Where the wall is papered the situation may be made worse if there are many layers of paper. This can just act like blotting paper. All the layers should be stripped and the wall re-papered.
• Things can also be improved by lining the wall with thin expanded polystyrene (normally available from a wallpaper stockist) before you hang new wallpaper.
• Painted walls can also have a cold surface. If you do not want to paper it, consider lining it with wooden paneling or another material such as cork tiles.
• Ceilings under the roof will suffer from condensation if the original construction of the block does not provide any roof insulation. If there is no or little roof insulation, additional insulation should be installed such as a false ceiling. For some groups of people, there are financial grants in the UK for such work - check with the Local Authority or advice centre for details. Additional insulation will not only reduce condensation, but also reduce energy loss and so save money.
• Where ceilings have a high gloss finish, consider covering them with expanded polystyrene, cork or fibre tiles; alternatively wooden paneling can be installed.
• Solid floors (like concrete) are often cold because of their large thermal mass - they take a long time to warm up. Even vinyl floor tiles tend to be cold. However there are warm flooring alternatives available such as cork or cushion tiles.

If you would like to discuss any of these matters please contact me, Graeme Fisher - Associate Director - Service Charge Department


Sources


Taken in part from ARMA lessee advisory notes LAN 17
Image: http://www.weatherproof-windows.co.uk/condensation_-_the_facts.php


 

Soho House comes to Tooting

Last Updated: 13/11/2015 10:33:48   Tags: Commercial

Willmotts have been instructed to manage the new Chicken Shop restaurant at Tooting High Street, SW17, on behalf of the freeholder.

This outlet, a Fifties – style diner is the second in a new chain established by Nick Jones, the founder of the glitzy Soho House clubs, hotels and restaurants empire stretching from Hollywood to Berlin. If you would like more details on this or any aspect of Commercial Management please contact Darrell Warren.

Subletting

Last Updated: 13/11/2015 10:33:54   Author: Mel McMultan    Tags:

There has been a huge increase in tenants subletting the properties they are renting through out London recently. Having spoken with other agents and clients London seems to being hit by professional fraudsters. These groups or individuals take on properties on assured short hold tenancys’’ and then sublet the properties out to unsuspecting ‘tenants’ who believe them to be the landlord. Usually the properties are overcrowded, the utility bills are not paid and no insurance is in place to cover the building or those residing in it. Now this is not a new phenomenon, but the level of sophistication that these unscrupulous persons are employing with their own websites showing where the properties are and pictures that have been down loaded from legitimate agents’ websites is staggering. Unfortunately one landlord that contacted us for advice after the event said that when he reported his story to the police they were not very interested in tracking down the scammers. So please be aware of the potential risk and use an agent like us at Willmotts that are wise to the issue and undertake stringent checks on the backgrounds of potential tenants.         

Thinking of a buy to let in 2015? Some vital points to consider

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Last Updated: 01/12/2016 13:23:19   Author: William Taper    Tags: Thinking Of A Buy To Let In 2015? Some Vital Points To Consider

If you are thinking about buy-to-let investment in 2015 there are many things you will need to consider. I will highlight some that will help make sure your investment is more profitable long term and reduce the risk of voids. Please feel free to contact me, William Taper, if you would like more information or even for just a chat about the market

Some areas attract tenants more readily than others
Research your area and know your area the demographics. Many streets are not as great as they may first appear. Get some local knowledge, an agent you can trust can help you when you are looking at investing. Zoopla, Rightmove are proving good research tools for many, however, local knowledge from agents is very hard to beat.

Type of property
What type of property are you intending to buy? 1/2 beds flats for professionals, or 4 bed houses for sharers? 1 beds are always in high demand and in many respects they are easier to let and easier to maintain. More likely to find in 2 + beds that the the occupancy can mushroom into many people living there. This really is one reason why regular inspections are vital. Above a commercial property? If it is close to a tube and in a great location, would you look at it? If not why not? Good yields. We are expects in this and can advise you.

Proximity to transport
5-10 minutes from a tube. Some applicants are very particular on this. One applicant we had said 4 mins walk was too far away from the tube. Some applicants (particularly non-native Londoners) in West London she away from the use of the mainline train such as Barnes and Chiswick, as it is not a tube. Being close to a tube station seems to be a safety blanket for many tenants. The Overground is becoming more popular with tenants. We have seen a massive jump in Kensal Rise and Honor Oak lettings. Sell the lifestyle and the commute. Universities, transport links and so on can make a big difference.

Education facilities
Timing onto market is vital. If you are going for the student market make sure the property is ready to market in and around June. We have many Imperial Students looking in Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush, Fulham etc for large houses to rent. Houses get snapped up in July through to September. If you are looking to rent to a family, proximity to schools is also important. Be aware of what your target is and what they want.

Timing to market (break clauses)
As above, be aware when the busier times are and when you will have a lot of applicants looking particulary if you are targeting the student market. People move all year round, but there are busier and quieter times so when looking at putting in break clauses try to avoid the property becoming vacant from Nov to January.  If your property is managed they can advise you on this.

How is the building and communal areas going to affect your cost and desirability of your buy-to-let investment
Be aware of the cost of your service charges and the reserve fund contributions. Many landlords fail to take into account the service charge when looking at yields. If you are buying in a block, be careful to understand the service charge accounts and how much there is in the reserve fund. For example is there is a lot of plant (lifts, communal boilers, air con units etc) that costs a lot to maintain, is an old building that has not been maintained properly and will need a lot of money spent on it in years to come. Will the communal areas attract or deter tenants? It is a good idea also to check the place out at night. Are their gangs with dogs, people smoking in the communal hallways? Is their lots of rubbish in alleyways etc. All of this will affect the desirability and ultimately the yield of your flat.

 

If you would like to discuss buy-to-lets or any other residential issue please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind regards

 

William Taper 

Associate Director

Sales and Lettings

 

 

 

 

University of West London sells out of Ealing

Last Updated: 13/11/2015 10:34:01   Tags:

Willmotts acted on behalf of TVU in the sale of the freehold building at Grove House 1 The Grove Ealing W5. The building was formally used by the University as the Music and Arts Studies.  University has relocated the students to the main Campus in St. Mary’s Road which is a short walk away from the Grove House, during this exercise Grove House became surplus to their requirement, proceeds of the sale will be used to improve other facilities within the University.
 
There was fierce competition from builders/developers to acquire the property. The ultimate buyer is a tried and tested developer who has worked with University of West London in the past and has been successful in their planning application for Student accommodation. Development has commenced immediately upon purchase of the building.

The property was sold in excess of the client expectations and remarkably will retain connections with a Educational background.

For a more detailed appraisal please contact Varol Zafer or Shahid Sadiq

West London Free School Fete

Last Updated: 13/11/2015 10:40:58   Author: Mel McMultan    Tags:

The Christmas spirit came early this year to Brackenbury Village at the West London Free School Christmas Fete. Willmotts were more than happy when asked if we would like to sponsor the event. We jumped at the chance to help out one of our new neighbours and it was great fun to boot!
The Fete was on 7th December and all staff, PTA and parents really pulled out the stops to make the day such a success. There were yummy burgers and sausages, tasty homemade waffles, copious amounts of beautiful handmade cakes and a wonderfully warming mulled wine. A super Christmas bouncy castle, face painting, reindeer and slay and of course Santa made an appearance despite his hectic schedule. Many local companies donated to the raffle.
The Willmotts team got in to the swing of it with great gusto and Motty the bear the Willmotts mascot was on hand to give out sweets and generally have a good time with the kids. We had a special ‘guess the property price’ game for all to take part in which went down a huge success and indeed some very young participants showed a keen grasp of the property market!  
All in all the day was a huge success, everyone had a great time and most importantly the school raised needed funds and it was a privilege for Willmotts to be involved with.                    

 

If you would like to know more about the fete please contact Solomon Moodie

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