Three Steps to Take for Landlords Who Are New To Lettings

landlord checklist

If you have recently come to inherit a property, maybe in circumstances such as moving house but keeping your existing property as a secondary income.

Maybe you’ve met a new partner and moved in, leaving you in the position of having to be a prospective landlord.

At first glance this may seem a great opportunity, you now own real estate, which can bring in a second income and increase in value over the years.

But first impressions can be deceiving, the reality of being a landlord, especially when it’s thrust upon you can be anything but plain sailing. Being a landlord enters you into a world of property legislation and tax liabilities.

There are many laws that govern the lettings industry, and if you’re a new landlord who has been put in the position outside of circumstances, then you could be unwittingly breaking the law without knowing it.

So you need to be educated on the laws you have to adhere to if you are going to be a landlord. And ignorance is no excuse when it comes to the law.

The property has to be to a certain standard to let out, and this may entail having to spend out money to bring it up to good standard to attract the best rental income.

Apart from the décor, the correct health and safety regulations have to be adhered to, or you could be putting your tenants lives at risk.

A flurry of extra income is always welcome, however if you don’t know the best tax efficient ways to handle property income, then you could find yourself with a large tax bill in the future.

There are also the hidden costs of running a buy to let property; you need to budget accordingly for any unforeseen circumstances, such as a boiler repair, leaking gutters or to fix a leaking roof.

leaky roof

These kinds of property issues can be costly and will dent your wallet if you do not have a slush fund in place to cover repairs.

But its not all doom and gloom, finding yourself in the position of having an extra property to rent out is a great position to be in.

And there are steps you can take to ensure your tenure as a landlord gets off to a great start.

1. Get sound financial advice from a property tax specialist

Before you take steps to rent out a property, make sure you get the right tax advice. There are new tax laws in place for buy to let landlords, and you need to be aware.

A good property tax specialist will be able to advise you on the best tax efficient strategies to minimise your tax returns.

Property tax

They can help you to maximise the profit from the property, both in terms of rental income, and increased property value over time.

If you are to inherit the property from a relative, then they can advise you on the probate procedures if needed.

2. Do you have the correct mortgage in place

For a buy to let property it’s very important to have the correct mortgage in place. If this is a property you previously lived in, then you have to inform your mortgage provider when circumstances have changed.

Your provider can move you onto a buy to let mortgage, if the property is not your primary residence, then you can’t have a residential mortgage.

An independent buy to let mortgage broker can search to find you the best deal across a range of lenders, ensuring you have the best interest rate will help boost the profits from the rental income.

If the property comes with no mortgage at all, it’s still a good idea to take advice, as you may want to lend against the property to carry out any Refurb work required, and still turn a profit.

3. Find the right local agent to let and manage your property for you

If you are new to buy to let and are unsure on how to find a good tenant, why not let an experienced letting agent take away the hassle of having to find a tenant, properly reference them and let out the property.

Piece of mind is worth the fee, which is also tax deductible, a good letting agents services are an investment and should represent good value to you.

Your local letting agent should be a member of the appropriate industry professional bodies. Meaning staff are highly trained to look after your needs, and abide by a code of conduct.

If you have just become a new landlord and are looking for the right tenant, and more importantly the right advice on how to maximise rental profit and have a successful let.

Why not give James Kristian a call, or pay us a visit and one of our friendly team will be on hand to give you the right advice to help you on your journey as a new landlord.

 

Important Landlord Information for Selective Licensing

Dear Landlord

As you may be aware on the 21st September 2017, Sefton Council approved the designation of a selective licensing scheme for all privately rented properties within parts of Sefton (please see the attached for the list of areas included).

This came into effect on the 1st March 2018 and will last for a period of 5 years up until 28th February 2023. If your property falls within the Selective Licensing area you will need to apply for a Housing License before the 1st September 2018.

Selective Licensing requires landlords who privately rent out properties in the designated area to obtain a license from the Council. Landlords will be required to meet a range of licence conditions and show that they have appropriate management arrangements in place.

You can contact us for a list of the roads which are included in the licensing.

What is the licensing process?

This is the process that your application will then follow as it moves towards the grant of a Housing licence.  Please note that your application will only become valid when steps 1 to 5 have been completed.

  1. You compete and submit your online application form with the first payment, a copy of your application will be held within your account area and you will receive an email acknowledging your submission and receipt of payment.
  2. The Council then process your form, you may be asked for further information if not included with your application.
  3. A Notice of Intention to Grant a Licence will be issued to you and to any other interested parties. The notice will invite you to make any representations you wish to make on the conditions included in the draft licence. If you decide to make representations you must do this within 14 days from the date on the notice.
  4. The balance of licence fee will be requested within 14 days if full payment is not received your property will remain unlicensed.
  5. Final licence will be issued after representations (if any), have been considered and resolved.
  6. We will contact you to arrange an appointment with you to inspect the property. The inspection may be arranged sooner in respect of ‘higher risk’ premises such as HMO than in the case of some single-family properties, however we fully intend to inspect all licensed premises within the course of the licence.
  7. Where an inspection of the property has taken place, you will be informed of the outcome.
  8. If an inspection identifies licensing issues or housing related hazards that need to be addressed, the licence may be varied by including additional conditions and/or may require other action to remove any serious hazards under the ‘Housing Health & Safety Rating System’ (HHSRS).

The cost of the License Application is £695.00.

We have now been Accredited by Sefton Council, which entitles ourselves to a discounted rate of £495.00.We are proud to be one of only four agents in the borough to pass this accreditation and it has been a lengthy process, so we apologise for not writing sooner.

We have a good relationship with the Selective Licensing Team so if you would like us to submit the application on your behalf then this would involve us putting the License in our name, which then prompt any correspondence being sent to ourselves, which allows us to act quickly on any requests or conditions from Sefton Council, and completing the above steps 1-8 on your behalf. The cost for us to submit the license to all landlords is £100.00 per property.

 

For further information regarding licensing your property, please don’t hesitate to contact James Kristian today.

Tel: 0151 928 8822

10 Things Every Landlord Needs to Know Before Letting Out a Property

To Let - James Kristian

If you are thinking of renting out a property, or even if you are an established landlord, then there are certain boxes that need to be ticked before you can put the property on the market to let.

If not done correctly then you may find the house causing issues for you over the longer term.

Preparation is key to ensure a successful rental period for a landlord.

At James Kristian we have plenty of experience in handling properties for landlords, so we’ve put together a list to help you as a prospective landlord to make sure you get going on the right footing.

1. Make sure the property is competitively priced.

You must do your research when it comes to pricing your property for the rental market, everyone wants to maximise the rental profit you make every month.

However, if the property is overpriced it will sit empty as you lose tenants to more competitively priced properties.

The last thing you want is for a property to be sitting vacant for months.

The best way to research is to look at properties in your street, or the local area and see what they rent out at.

You can even book viewings to see how your property compares to others in terms of price and décor, this will help you to set your monthly rental price.

Then once you know the average prices for rent in your area, you can price accordingly and put the house on the market.

2. Plan for uncertain outcomes with the correct landlord insurance.

Landlord insurance is different from regular insurance, so make sure you have the correct insurance in place when you rent out your property.

If you don’t and something goes wrong, then you may be in serious trouble, both from a legal and financial standpoint.

A good landlord policy can cover you for rent protection, or if there are any legal disputes with your tenants.

But mostly it will cover you if there is any significant damage to the property, if you have a break in, or if there is damage to the property from a sitting tenant, the piece of mind that comes from having good robust policy in place is worth its weigh in gold.

3. Account for unseen expenses

One thing for sure if you’re a landlord, you will at some point have to pay out money you never accounted for. This may be from a broken window repair to having to replace a boiler.

Its very important that you have a reserve if money that you can tap into in an emergency. This is so important, and one of the main points new landlords overlook.

A pot of money is needed to pay the rent in times of void periods to see you through and pay the mortgage. Ideally you need at least six months’ worth of mortgage payments in reserve for void periods.

When the winter comes calling, this is generally when your expenses increase, especially when it comes to boiler repairs and leaks.

So its vital you have your emergency repair fund in place, a happy tenant tends to be a long term tenant, and fixing repairs quickly is one way to make sure your relationship and reputation as a landlord is well respected.

4. Pay attention to the law

If you’re a landlord with only one rental property, it is still a business, and as such needs to be treated as one.

You must be fully versed in the legal requirements for UK landlords, indeed you have to know any regional laws dictated by your local councils for tenancy requirements.

This is a heavily regulated industry and you need to make sure you stay on the right side of the law, you don’t want your own ignorance to cost you money, or wind you up in court because you don’t know the laws associated with being a landlord.

5. Know your tax obligations in relation to section 24.

The tax laws are not so friendly anymore for private landlords, and with the introduction of Section 24, and the phased reduction in tax relief for mortgage payments. It means you have to really crunch your numbers when it comes to making a profit from your rental income.

If you are looking into becoming a landlord for the first time, then you need to look into the advantages of setting up a limited company for property acquisition.

The moral of the story when in comes to property tax, do your homework on the operational costs for you, speak to an accountant who specialises in property to make sure it’s a viable option for you.

6. Consider a Gas Repair Policy

If there is one thing you can guarantee as a landlord, at some point you will have to fix or replace a broken boiler. And boilers have a tendency to break at the most inconvenient times.

Leaving you to receive a late night call from a cold and disgruntled tenant, one way you can remedy this is to take out a gas/boiler repair policy.

This will give you access to a 24hr call out and repair service, this can really be lifesaver for a landlord.

Private contractors can be very expensive to call out at 2am to repair a boiler, so if you don’t have any good friends that fix boilers, make sure you plan ahead with a policy.

Factor the cost into your rental income and sleep easier knowing when that late night call comes you’re prepared.

7. Find reliable tradesman for your maintenance team.

When it comes to getting work done on your property, it’s important to find tradesman who are good at what they do, and are reliable.

Particularly with gas and electrics, these two areas are probably the ones you will deal with most, and it’s very important to use registered tradesman for your yearly gas certificate.

There are websites to help you find trusted tradesman, and also ask for referrals from people who have had work carried out recently.

8. Don’t skimp when it comes to paying for work.

The old saying goes ‘ You get what you pay for ‘ and this is certainly true when it comes to hiring tradesman.

Cheapest is definitely not the best option.

If you choose to fix and Refurb at the cheapest possible cost, then it won’t be long before you are paying out again as the cheap work and cheap materials cost you more in the long run.

It’s worth paying out for quality work, as it will save you more over time.

Plus if your tenant knows you won’t pay out for decent work, they will not be as inclined to look after your property.

9. Carry out thorough tenant checks and know your tenancy agreement

There are ways and means to run checks on potential tenants from various online sources, and it always helps to get references off previous landlords or employers.

A guarantor for the deposit and any repairs is also an extra reassurance for you as the landlord, in the event of any uncertainty.

And make sure you know exactly the terms on the tenancy agreement, how long is the agreement for, and any other stipulations that make it appropriate for your property.

If you are renting privately, when you meet the tenant ask them any important questions you need to feel they are right for your property.

10. Choose a reliable letting agent carefully

If renting out your property is not something you want to do privately, then the next option is to use a letting agent.

But like finding a good tradesman, make sure you do your homework; don’t be afraid to ask questions to your potential agent.

How long have they been operating?

What professional bodies do they belong to?

Can they provide any testimonials from other landlords?

Above all choose an agent with professionalism and experience to help you rent out your property. One you can have a mutually beneficial working relationship with.

 

If you need any further advice on renting out your property, why not give James Kristian a call, and we will be only to glad to help you.

10 Ways To Keep The House Cool In A Heatwave

The UK is currently experiencing a heat wave like we haven’t had for years, the weather has been so good, people are outside enjoying the sun, looking pink and burned in some instances.

Enjoying time in the parks or down the beach, or sitting in a beer garden watching the world cup, it’s shaping up to be a great summer.

The downside to such warm weather though is it can make your home uncomfortable to live in during the heat wave. Especially when you are trying to sleep.

So James Kristian have compiled a list of tips to help you keep cool in your home as the heat wave continues to grip.

1.  Keep the blinds closed.

It may seem obvious but the majority of the heat that comes into your home comes via the windows, as much as 30% of the heat that warms up your home.

An easy way to beat the heat is to keep the curtains or blinds closed during the day, it may darken the room, but it can reduce the heat in your home by up to 20%.

This is especially true if you have south facing windows, where the heat is most prevalent.

Window blinds

2. Check the Airflow

If you have all of the internal doors closed where you live, then this will create that stuffy feeling of warm air in your home.

It’s best to create airflow throughout the property, so open up all of you internal doors to let the cooler air flow through your property.

This is important in the evenings when the air is cooler outside, opening the doors will allow the cooler air into the bedrooms to help you sleep easier in the evenings.

Air flow

3. Change the Sheets

If you don’t have summer bed linen then maybe it’s time to invest in some lightweight cotton sheets.

Ideally it’s best to swap your winter quilt for a lighter cooler option during the warmer months.

Opting for cooler cotton sheets is the better option, keep away from the satin and silk options, as they are not as breathable, so will not be as cool whilst trying to sleep, and don’t forget to opt for lighter colours that reflect the heat, and don’t absorb it.

Cotton sheets

4. Freezer Tricks

If the heat is becoming really unbearable, one trick you can use is to place your bed sheets into the freezer before you sleep.

The chill won’t last all night but it will give you a cool start, the thing to remember though is to place the sheets into a bag first, so they don’t gain any unfriendly stains or smells.

Another good trick for the freezer is to reverse the use of a hot water bottle, by adding cold water to the bottle and freezing it in the fridge.

You can then take the frozen bottle to bed, to help keep you cool as you sleep.

Frozen hot water bottle

5. Stick to the salads

Eating hot food during a heat wave is only going to raise your core temperature, so if you plan on making a roast dinner, then expect your temperature to go through the roof.

Especially if you have had the oven going for hours on a hot summers day, this will also raise the temperature through out the house.

So stick to the salads, where the food comes straight from the fridge, not only is it lighter in your stomach, but its cooler to eat and won’t send your internal thermometer souring.

Summer Salad

6. Keep the body temp down

It may seem obvious but keeping yourself cool is very important, one of the biggest risks during a heat wave is dehydration.

So make sure you take in plenty of cool fluids, water is always the best for hydration, you can keep a jug in the fridge to keep I cold.

A cold beer is tempting, but that will dehydrate you, stick to the water in general and keep in the shade.

Also wear light airy clothing to keep the ventilation going round the body when the sun is shining and the temperatures rising.

Cold water

7. Turn off the appliances

There are so many devices in our lives these days there is almost always something on charge, or turned on.

All those devices turned on around the house are going to create unnecessary heat throughout your home.

So take the time to switch off all appliances that are not being used, and this will keep the rooms cooler, and save you some money off your household bills.

Plug socket

8. Use your fans to full effect

Fans are a great help when it comes to coping with the summer heat, and a way to help this further is to place a bowl of icy water in front of the fan, as the ice evaporates it will spread cool air around the room.

You can also point fans towards open windows and this will help to push back the hot air, keeping the room cooler.

And if you have ceiling fans, then set them to rotate counter clockwise as this pulls the hot air away from the room.

Icy Fan

9. Use the garden

A longer-term plan for keeping the temperature of your house down is to plant trees and shrubbery to create shade.

If you know the locations where the sun has the most impact on heating up your home, then this is the ideal place to plant a tree or a tall bush.

Climbers and vines are great for stopping the sun from blazing in and warming you up.

So this may not make an impact during this year’s heat wave, but you will reap the benefits in the coming years.

Tree shade

10. Paint it White

White reflects the heat, so it makes sense to paint your house to reflect the heat during the summer months.

You can also use this method for your home interior, using white throws to cover couches and the like will also help to keep the temperatures down during these hot summer months.

So there you have our tips for keeping cool for the rest of the summer, we are sure you can use them to keep cool as the heat rises.

One other solution for keeping cooler may be to find a different property to live in, whether that’s to buy a house, or to rent a house, a bigger cooler space may be just what you need.

If that is the case then James Kristian can help you find the right place for your needs.

Feel free to contact us at any time, and one of our friendly professional staff will be on hand to help.

Have a great summer.

4 Tips to Spruce up the Home for a Quick Sale

The seasons are changing, the summer is breaking and the flowers are blooming, I don’t know about you, but I always feel my mood lifts when you start to feel the heat of the sun on your body after a long winter.

Summer is a time for rejuvenation, rebirth and new life. Time for a change can come in all shape and sizes, and summer can be the ideal time to refresh the home and make it great for the rest of the year.

If you have a house to sell, then it’s the ideal time to make the house look great for any prospective buyer, if you have to compete against other houses in the street, then you need to make sure your house is presented at its best.

  1. Colours are critical

When it comes to summery shades for a home, light pastel colours will give the home a warm feel, but still create the illusion of space within a room.

It’s important to make a room feel spacious when inviting viewings to your home. You have to remember, if someone is looking at your house with a chance they buy, and you get a quick house sale, with minimum fuss.

It’s because when they where in your home, they where visualising how it would look if they lived there. The viewers where placing their furniture and hanging their pictures.

Mentally of course, but if you prepare the room correctly, then you will allow any prospective buyers to visualise the house as they would like it. And if that helps to sell your house fast, then it will be worth it.

2.  Keep the house free from clutter

When you show people round. Don’t have the kids bikes in the hallway, and don’t have shoes lying round on the floor, as this could look unsightly and put people off.

Take the time to present your house at its best, another big space to utilise as the spring approaches is the garden, or any outside areas you may have.

If the sun is shining then take your prospective buyers outside to feel the sun, and show them how much they could make use of it for barbecues and parties.

 

3. Make sure any outside areas are tidy and presentable.

Make use of the blooming summer flowers and place them so they best display how appealing a space the garden is to relax in, summer is the perfect time to inject colour and light into a home.

Tidy Garden

4. Create extra space

A house is not only a home but also an investment for the future. And one of the best ways to add value to a property is to create extra space.

If someone is looking for houses for sale in Crosby, then one of the main motivations for this is to have more room to live in. Everyone has a cupboard that is full to the brim with clutter.

The two best ways of doing this is to either build an extension, or convert a loft space, both will cost you money, but if done well, both will add more space, and more importantly both will add value to the property.

Loft Conversion

And if you need to make a quick house sale then it’s in your best interests to make the effort, and make your home look its best in order to invite a buyer.

If you need any help or advice on how to sell your house quickly, feel free to give James Kristian a call and one of our team will be on hand to help you.

Bootle by the Sea, So Much History

It’s hard to believe that Bootle was once a thriving seaside resort, but its true.

Back in the early 19th Century, Bootle was the place for the wealthier residents of Liverpool to come and splash in the sea, and enjoy the summer sunshine.

The history of Bootle goes back way before the 19th Century though, with Bootle being mentioned in the Domesday book in 1086, known then as ‘Botelai’.

Bootle in the Domesday Book

The original village sat at the junction of Merton Rd and Litherland Rd, which even today is known as Bootle village, and is still one of the most popular places to live, with houses for sale in Bootle being very popular in that area.

In the late 19th century the town started to grow, as the expansion of the docks attracted Irish immigration into the area, with the attraction of work and houses to rent in Bootle.

In 1851 only a few docks came as far north as Bootle, were the docks are now, were residential areas that stretched from Kirkdale up to Seaforth.

But expansion came not without trouble though, as some of the dockside streets became notorious.

The case of the ‘The Teapot Murders’ happened on Lyons Street, where two sailors killed several call girls, that incident was one of multiple murders that happened in the street.

The incidents resulted in the street changing its name to Beresford street shortly after.

By the end of the 19th Century Bootle was a thriving town in the midst of expansion, and the amenities to service the population also began to emerge.

Bootle Baths in Balliol road was built at this time, South Park and Bootle Cricket Club also became fixtures within the community, with the cricket club moving to it current home in 1883.The North Park first appears on a map in 1894, and The Metropole Theatre was situated on Stanley Rd and played host to the biggest music hall stars of the day.

For the residents of Bootle one of the biggest events of the year was the annual May Day carnival, with one lucky lady being crowned May Queen.

Bootle Mayday Queen( Bootle May Day Parade 1903)

Bootle was the target for many German bombs in the wartime area, with the docklands often glowing red at night as the bombs caused major fires to the warehouses during the blitz.

There are many a tale of the bombs that fell on Bootle, with families hiding for shelter in the basements, and in the Anderson shelters built in the back garden.

It has been noted that up to 90% of all houses in Bootle sustained damage during world war two, but just as importantly it was an important naval point with the HMS Starling sailing from Bootle to fight in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Bootle had the dubious distinction of being the most heavily bombed borough in the whole of the UK.

Bootle in the Blitz(Bianca Street Bootle)

Post war Bootle was redeveloped in the 60’s with most of the large offices being built, such as The Giro, and The Triad, with The New Strand shopping Centre being developed in the early 60’s.

This provided the heartbeat of the local Bootle community for shopping and meeting with friends, and still does today.

Bootle New Strand(The New Strand Under Construction)

In the present day the docks are expanding still with the cranes from the new super dock standing firm on the horizon, bringing new trade and bigger ships than ever into the Freeport.

Bootle Super Dock(The Superdock)

Community is important, and Bootle is a community with a long history. James Kristian has been serving Bootle for over 10 years, looking to provide the best properties for the people of Bootle to buy or let.

If we can help you to find houses for sale in Bootle, or homes to rent in Bootle, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we are more than happy to help you.

 

 

How To Sell A Probate Property

Probate Property

Losing a loved one is never easy, and when it comes tied in to a being left a property in someone’s will, then it can make the situation more complicated.

If the property is not going to remain in the family, then on the whole most people want to sell the property quickly; this can be for a number of reasons, but mainly for emotional or financial reasons.

Selling a house in probate is different to selling via a regular sale, so there are guidelines that need to be adhered to make sure the sale goes through.

So Just What Is Probate

Probate is the where the courts have been given permission to deal with the estate of the deceased person.

This can also include all of their assets, and usually includes paying off any debts before the proceeds of any sale can be distributed to beneficiaries.

Do Probate Properties Sell Quickly

The condition of the property at the point of sale is obviously going to be a factor when it comes to selling. Around 1 in 10 properties for sale in the UK market are probate properties, which can be attractive to buyers, as they tend to sell for lower prices for a quick sale.

Areas To Be Cautious Of

When selling a probate property, there are areas you need to check before a sale goes through, namely third party interests in the property, such as amount outstanding on the mortgage, or equity release charges.

Is there anyone else named on the title of the property, this can cause issues if you are the intended benefactor of the property, but if someone else is named in the deeds, then they may be entitled to the property, no matter what the will says.

It’s important to have all of these legal points covered before any intended sale goes through. Make sure you check the deeds to the property and any charges against the mortgage, as this will save you a lot of heartache in the long term, if not approached correctly.

When it comes to clearing the property, be careful what you throw out unwillingly. Before anything goes to the tip, make sure all-important documents are accounted for.

Its not uncommon for property deeds to be thrown out with the rubbish, so you may have to find copies, also in the case of probate, family members or friends can lay claim to property that may be theirs.

As trivial as it sounds, if your recently deceased relative has borrowed the neighbour’s lawnmower, this can become a protracted area of dispute when it comes to ownership of possessions in the property.

Before any items are given away or more so sold make sure an inventory of the property is carried out and all items listed thoroughly, this can then be used as a reference for family members when the time comes to move on.

What Is The Cost Of Selling A Probate Property

The cost of selling a property via probate should not really differ from a regular sale, however there may some additional expenses to consider.

If the property has been vacant for more than 30 days then you will need ‘vacant property insurance’ to cover any potential damages while the property is empty.

There may be an expense for clearing the property, and it is to be empty during the winter months, there may be some maintenance costs to make sure the property doesn’t incur any damp or burst pipes.

What Documents Do I Need For Probate

For a sale to be completed documents that would be required are.

  • Copy of the probate or letters of administration
  • Original Will
  • Death Certificate
  • NI number
  • Property deeds
  • Mortgage information
  • Bank Statements

You are under no obligation to use the same solicitor for probate, for the sale of your property.

Find the Right Estate Agent

Once all of the legalities are in place then its time to put the house on the market. For the purposes of Probate the property’s value is based upon the open market value of the property, in a sale by a willing seller to a willing buyer.

This will be guided by previous valuations on the property to evaluate an average price for sale.

At James Kristian we have the experience to help sell your probate property quickly, we understand the sensitivities that come along with probate sales.

Our team is on hand to advise you all the way to point of sale, we can help appoint you the best solicitor for the sale, and make sure the property is in the best condition to appeal to the market.

Our estate agents in Waterloo are happy to advise you on all points needed to ensure the sale completes quickly with minimum stress or fuss to you and your family.

We have dealt with many probate sales over the years, and have the experience to help you today.

If you would like some advice on the best way to move forward then please don’t hesitate to contact us in our Waterloo offices.

Feel free to drop in at anytime or give us a call on 0151 928 8822.

And one of our friendly staff will be on hand to help you through what can be a difficult time, to make sure you achieve the sale you require quickly.

Whats On In Waterloo – A Guide.

Spring is around the corner, and even though there’s still a chill in the air, it won’t be long now before the warmer weather starts breaking through.

One of the best places to enjoy the nicer weather and find some time to enjoy a stroll is Waterloo.

Poised on the edge of the sea, Waterloo is one of the best areas locally for greenery, space and local amenities.

The area is known for its Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian Villas, which stretch out facing the sea and overlooking the marina gardens.

On a sunny afternoon you can take a leisurely stroll around the lake, up to the seafront, and onto the beach.

The Marina has an excellent bar and bistro, housed in the Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, which overlooks the lake, where you can enjoy a nice meal and a drink as you watch the activities.

Marina Lake, Waterloo

Ranging from the local triathlon club swim training, to the windsurfers gliding over the top of the waves, and the local sailors enjoying the lake.

It’s only a short walk to the beach front, which houses the world famous “Another Place” the permanent art installation from Anthony Gormley, which spans the beach from Waterloo up to Blundellsands.

The installation itself comprises of 100 cast iron figures that look hauntingly out to see in silent expectation.

Another Place, Anthony Gormley

Gormley wanted to harness the ebb and flow of the tide, exploring mans relationship with nature.

And for an attraction to have in the local area its been a fantastic addition to waterloo and Crosby.

Aside from the natural beauty of Waterloo, we also have our local slice of culture that comes via the Plaza Cinema.

The Plaza opened originally in 1939, and before the advent of cinema it was a live entertainment venue, where some of the countries biggest entertainers would perform.

It was converted in 1976 to the three screen cinema we have today, The Plaza is now run by a community charity, which saved the cinema from closure and redevelopment.

The Plaza continues to show the latest movies to the local Waterloo community, at a much cheaper price than the big multi screen franchises.

Plaza Cinema Waterloo

Just around the corner from the Plaza is South Road, which over the last 10 years has become one of the best places in Liverpool for restaurants, bars and live music venues.

South Road runs from Cremona Corner down to the Marina lake, and the range of restaurants cover the whole of the road, but also covers the globe when it comes to eating choices.

You can choose from Indian, Nepalise, Greek, Turkish, Chinese, Italian, Mexican and a good old burger in Wetherspoons if you fancy it.

South Road has become a bit of a mecca for foodies, and Saturday evenings are the busiest as you see lots of people moving in and out of the restaurants and bars.

There are some great live music venues such as The Old Bank, and Stamps Too. Where you can see the local talent performing for the crowds.

But if it’s a more sedate kind of activity you’re looking for, then there’s the Waterloo Farmers and Artisans market, which is an indoor market with stalls selling a variety of produce from farms and other traders located in Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria, Wales and elsewhere.

The market is situated in Old Christ Church in Waterloo, which also houses the Waterloo Flea Market.

An all indoor market with up to 80 stalls selling a variety of products in a magnificent Grade II listed building.

Christ Church Waterloo

So if you are looking for something to do in Waterloo you are spoiled for choice. Stay local for a great time, or if you need to get away for a weekend break, try a Lake District Hotels as an alternate before you come back to Waterloo.

No wonder the area is a popular place for people to live, with great schools and transport links, the main bus routes and train station are situated in in the middle of South Road.

Which makes commuting to the city centre easy and quick.

If Waterloo is somewhere you have been thinking about moving to, then there are plenty of positives to help inform your decision.

Why not let James Kristian help you find the right place, we are local estate agents in Waterloo.

Estate Agents Waterloo

If you are looking for houses to rent in Waterloo, or houses for sale in Waterloo, then we have the experience and local knowledge to help you find just the right place.

We are situated on Cremona Corner at the junction of South Road and Crosby Road.

If you are visiting Waterloo, then why not call in and see how we can help you find the right place to live.

If its evening strolls along the beach among the ironmen, or drinks, restaurants and entertainment, Waterloo has it all.

Summer is on the way so why not plan to make the most of it, and enjoy all that Waterloo has to offer.

 

 

10 Years of James Kristian

As the New Year arrives, 2018 takes on a bit of extra significance for James Kristian, as it means this year we celebrate our 10 year anniversary in property sales & lettings.

James Kristian started back in 2008, and in the 10 years that’s passed we are proud to say we have worked hard to help all of our clients, find a great place to rent, buy a house, or sell a property quickly.

Our values haven’t changed in a decade, from day one we set out to be friendly and professional, with our client’s best interests at the forefront of everything we do as a business.

In that time our knowledge of the local markets and the experience we have gained,helps us to understand your unique needs, and tailor an individual approach so you achieve your aim quickly.

Whether that’s buying, selling or letting, all for the best price quickly.

We have recently moved to our new home on Cremona Corner on South Road, Waterloo, which is a great location.

In line with the growth of the business, our new office gives us further potential to offer great properties for our clients.

Initially lettings was the main core of the business, and from our start in the Knowsley road office in Bootle, we have built steadily on the foundations of customer care.

We have always worked around our clients needs, if its late night or weekend viewings, then we are more than happy to accommodate this, to make sure you find the best place to live.

Over the years the James Kristian team has grown with the business, and this has allowed us to expand the services we can offer you within property.

The other side of lettings aside from finding you a home to suit your needs, is helping landlords to let out their properties to the right tenant.

So we now have great systems in place to offer full property management services for landlords.

As a landlord you want to know your house is in safe hands, with the experience James Kristian has built in letting out properties for the last 10 years, you can be assured we take the greatest care to only let your property after being thoroughly checked and referenced.

We want to make sure you get your properties rented out quickly to maximise your rental income.

We can also offer a property refresh service for in between tenancies, to make sure any property is brought back onto the market quickly, and to a high standard of décor.

We understand your property is an asset, and take great care to look after it.

Adhering to the highest standards has been the cornerstone of offering our services to you, and helping us to grow over the last decade.

The other aspect of our business is property sales, we want to make sure you sell your house quickly, whilst achieving you the best price.

The decision to sell a house is not one that’s taken lightly, and the team here at James Kristian understand that.

That’s why our property sales side of the business has grown, because clients have come to trust the way we work for you.

Our team are on hand to take the stress away for you and find a buyer for your home.

We strive to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing your property, using professional photos of your house, as well as marketing online across Right Move and Zoopla.

We also use social media to promote and sell for you quickly.

Equally if you are looking to buy a home, we have an excellent range for you to browse online, our local market knowledge is second to none, and we can find you the right house for your budget.

In no time at all.

At James Kristian we have always taken a family run approach to growing the business, and communication has always been at the heart of that.

We believe in building relationships, and this is reflected in some of the long standing partnerships we’ve built over the years.

From landlords, tenants, sellers, buyers & contractors, the longevity of the business, is totally dependent on the relationships we have built with our core clients.

So now its time to look forward to the next 10 years and beyond, you can be assured we’ll continue to treat every day like it was the first, and continue to improve what we do as a business.

And keep providing you the customer with the best customer service available.

So come and call in for a chat and a coffee at any time, we are just on the corner of South Road and Crosby Road.

We look forward to seeing you.

 

 

Local Estate Agents v Online – Price is Not The Only Factor

When it comes to selling your home, there are costs involved in the sales process that are unavoidable.

Aside from solicitor’s fees, there are the fees you pay to your estate agent to sell your house.

In recent years there has been an increase in online estate agents who’s main selling point is reduced fees, in comparison to high street estate agents.

But like most things in life, just because you pay a cheaper price, does it mean you get the same level of service.

There is no comparison for local knowledge, and this is where local estate agents such as James Kristian have the advantage over online sales portals.

A recent study carried out by getagent.co.uk, a comparison website for estate agents, analysed homes listed by the top four online agencies over a period of 12 months.

On average homeowners who listed properties online completed on only 53% of their listings.

By comparison the Home Owners Alliance consumer group states that, traditional high street estate agents complete on more that 84% of their listings.

This indicates two things, firstly that sellers may think they are going to get a sale for a lower fee by going online, but when the sale fails to materialise they switch to a local high street agent to complete the sale.

Secondly, they end up paying two sets of fees to secure the sale, as online agents charge their fee up front, which are more often than not non refundable.

Additionally, online estate agents basic costs rarely include services that are included as standard from high street estate agents.

Indeed this has led the Governments National Trading Standards team, who are the body in charge of policing the estate agency industry to issue the below warning.

‘We’ve seen many examples of online agents making unsubstantiated claims about fees when compared to traditional or high street agents.

‘It’s wrong to make general claims about savings when the headline price does not include facilities such as a sales board, floor plans, photographs, accompanied viewings or other facilities normally included with traditional firms,’ says National Trading Standards spokesman James Munro.

So while it may seem cheaper to use an online agent initially, it can actually cost you double the fees, once you switch to a local estate agent to complete the sale.

The high street agent gives you the personal touch.

Another common factor of using online agents is you end up speaking to a different person each time you call for an update on your property.

Essentially you are calling a national call centre.

The Home Owners Alliance notes that it’s not uncommon for vendors to have to wait on hold for lengthy periods of time, before being able to speak to someone about their query.

With a traditional agent there are no hidden costs, however with an online agent you may have to pay additional fees for items such as floor plans and professional photographs, and after sales support.

Hidden costs mount up and will end up costing you more that you bargained for.

When it comes to viewings if you list for sale online, then you will be responsible for scheduling and carrying out viewings with potential vendors.

So you will need to be comfortable with this process as well as having to act as your own salesperson.

This could include having to create your own sales adverts, as well as managing and responding to buyer enquiries, arranging and conducting viewings, and carrying out negotiations to secure the offer you want for your property.

These tasks are all done as standard by a traditional estate agent, who are trained and experienced in carrying out viewings, with sales experience to secure you the best price.

Additionally after sales support is crucial to completing on a property, online estate agents can’t call a buyers solicitor to push along a sale.

This can only be carried out by a property professional, which can slow the sales process down considerably.

So selling online loses the benefit of the middleman service you get with a local high street agent, this can add stress and time to the process.

Another crucial factor that sets out the high street agent from the online one is local knowledge.

There is no substitute for knowing the local area when it comes to answering queries, which a good local estate agent should pride itself on.

Additionally when it come to setting a valuation for a property, high street agents are aware of local market trends and pricing levels for the area, which is something that online agents may not be able to match.

Plus you only pay when your property sells, paying a cheaper fee up front to an online agent may be tempting, but this more often than not turns out to be a false economy.

It only turns out to be cheaper if the property actually sells; otherwise you have paid a substantial fee up front for a very expensive listing.

Experienced local estate agents such as James Kristian achieve the best possible price for our customers without up front costs, or risk.

Providing high quality personalised service for you on both value and saleability, to achieve you the best price from the sale, with minimum fuss to you.

So if you’re looking to sell a property, and you want the sale to be carried out by an experienced sales team, who understand the importance of good communication, then don’t hesitate to contact us.

James Kristian has over 20 years experience in selling properties for the best price.

Understanding your unique needs to sell your property quickly.