Posted on

Most Affordable & Cheap Places to Buy House in the UK 2024

cheap places to buy house

Most Affordable & Cheap Places to Buy House in the UK 2024

Looking at cheap places to buy house in the UK 2024, the most affordable regions to purchase a house, and how we can help you sell your home.

Alexandra Ventress

Alexandra Ventress ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

If you are looking at upping sticks and moving home, then one of the first things you may wish to look at is the different prices of property across the country. The price of property by region can be an important factor when looking at buying and selling, as it allows you to understand not only how much your next property may cost you, but also how much you may get for yours. 

 

With the cost of living crisis crunching the nation, knowing the price of your property and the average prices around the country can set you off on the best foot when it comes to your selling journey. 

 

In this blog post, we will be looking at cheap places to buy house in the UK 2024, the most affordable regions to purchase a house, and how we can help you sell your home.

 

Looking for a quick answer? Check out our interactive menu to the left!  

Sell your house without the fees

Housing market predictions for 2024

2024 is nearly upon us, and whilst it is impossible to predict exactly what will happen in the housing market over the upcoming year, property experts can get pretty close. For the first half of 2024, mortgage rest are set to remain higher. Property experts are not predicting the rates to fall back to 4.5% until the second half of 2024. Because of this, if housing affordability is to improve, then people will need to earn more money and grow their incomes. The main factor that is set to support house sales over the course of 2024 is the rise in wages. 

 

UK house prices 2024 are expected to fall by 2% over the course of the year. Should the price of property fall further and incomes increase or mortgage rates fall, then affordability will improve for home buyers and will boost predicted sales. 

 

As the number of houses for sale has now reached a 5-year high, it is critical that sellers keep pricing their properties competitively if they wish to sell. 

Where in the UK is cheapest to buy a house 2024?

Keeping these predictions in mind you should remember that house prices will fluctuate month on month, depending on the season, as well as the area that you are living in. Where you live in the UK can have a big effect on the price of your property, especially if you live in the north instead of the south. Whilst it is not the case every time, you can typically expect a 3 bedroom semi-detached house in the north to cost less than one in the south. 

 

According to the HM Land Registry UK House Price Index,  the average house price in the UK last year was £291,560. But how does this figure compare to this year and how is it reflected in the different regions across the UK? 

 

Whether you are first-time buyers or an investor looking to purchase a second home, affordable areas to buy a home are always worth knowing about. Below we take a look at the average regional prices in England according to  the UK house price index and look into how much each region differs in price: 

RegionAverage price August 2023Annual change % since August 2022Monthly change % since Aug  2023
East Midlands£251,0000.4-0.6
East of England£353,000-1.4-0.4
London£537,000-1.1-0.3
North East£163,0001.6-2
North West£218,0000.60.5
South East£392,000-1.4-0.6
South West£329,000-1.6-0.1
West Midlands£254,0000.5-0.2
Yorkshire and the Humber£210,0000-2.4

Average house price by property type in England 2023 

House prices in the UK are not just affected by the area you are looking in or the time of year it is. House prices can also be affected by the type of property that you are looking to sell or purchase. Below is data collected from the HM Land Registry, showing the change in house prices over two years, depending on the property type:  

Property typeJuly 2023July 2022Difference %
Detached£488,835£478,3172.2
Semi-detached£297,183£293,9831.1
Terraced£252,084£252,589-0.2
Flat/maisonette£249,064£251,486-1.0
All£308,633£306,6550.6

*According to data from Rightmove

Is it hard to sell your house in cheap areas?

Selling your home in a cheap area can be a challenge as if you set your price too high, you may struggle to find a buyer, but if you price it too low, you risk waiting on the open market, or losing buyers who are concerned that there may be an underlying issue with the property. 

 

In order to sell your home in a cheap area, you should take the following steps: 

 

  • Choose your estate agent carefully
  • Set a realistic asking price that you can achieve 
  • Cater your property towards first-time buyers 
  • Stage your property to paint it in the best light 
  • Highlight amenities your property may have 
  • Be honest and upfront 
  • Prepare to negotiate 

What county has the cheapest house prices?

County Average House Price
 County Durham £164,945
 Tyne and Wear£193,470
 Northumberland £205,304
 West Yorkshire £205,705
 Lancashire £213,078

*According to data from Rightmove

As it currently stands, County Durham is the county with the most affordable house prices. As we have previously mentioned, the North East is the region with the cheapest house prices, so it is no surprise to see County Durham on the list. Its close proximity to Newcastle and homing the city of Durham, as well as the excellent transport links it boasts, allowing you to travel both in and around the county with ease. 

 

An affordable choice for all home buyers, the average house price in Durham is £164,945. The most popular property type sold in the county over the last year were terraced properties. 

 

Below is a breakdown of the average cost of property throughout the county: 

 

  • Terraced property – £110,198
  • Semi-detached property – £156,356
  • Detached properties – £299,292

The next most affordable county in the UK is Tyne and Wear, also located in the North East of England. With affordable house prices and brilliant travel links to London and Edinburgh, as well as in and around the county, there is no wonder that Tyne and Wear is a popular county for those looking to purchase property. 

 

The average price for a home in Tyne and Wear over the last year was £193,470, with the most popular property type sold being terraced properties. 

 

Below is a breakdown of the average cost of property throughout the county: 

 

  • Terraced property – £163,151
  • Semi-detached property – £199,071
  • Detached properties – £119,846

Next up on the list of affordable counties in the UK 2024 is Northumberland. A breathtaking county full of picturesque walks, national trust properties and a fantastic coastline, Northumbria is a firm favourite for those seeking low, affordable house prices.  

 

Northumberland is a hotspot for reasonable property prices, with the average home costing £205,304. The most popular Northumberland property type sold over the last year were terraced properties. 

 

Below is a breakdown of the average cost of property throughout the county: 

 

  • Terraced property – £161,130
  • Semi-detached property – £195,097 
  • Detached properties – £367,060

 

The next county on our list is West Yorkshire, home to the Royal Armouries and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. With the average price of a property in West Yorkshire costing £205,705 in 2023, there is plenty to love about life in West Yorkshire.

 

Below is a breakdown of the average cost of property throughout the county: 

 

  • Terraced property – £162,608
  • Semi-detached property – £221,463
  • Detached properties – £405,891

Lancashire is the last county on our list of counties with the most affordable housing, with an average house price of £213,078. With a host of beautiful beaches and scenic countryside walks, there is plenty to see and do in the wonderful county of Lancashire. 

 

Below is a breakdown of the average cost of property throughout the county: 

 

  • Terraced property – £110,198
  • Semi-detached property – £156,356
  • Detached properties – £299,292

Sell your house in as little as 28 days

The most affordable areas in the south east

The southeast covers a broad range of the country, encapsulating property hotspots such as Reading, Brighton, and Winchester. However, with an average property price of £540,354 over the last year, it’s easy to see why many buyers may be put off the southeast when house hunting. 

 

While the average house price may be on the slightly pricier side of people’s budgets, there are plenty of areas in the south-east that can be classed as affordable. 

 

Below we take a look at some of the most affordable places to buy a house in the south-east: 

AreaAverage asking price
Southampton City Centre£230,278
Ocean Village£242,225
Brompton£251,548
East Cowes£255,978
Whippingham£256,555

*According to data from Rightmove

According to data from Rightmove, the cheapest place to buy a home in the southeast is Southampton City Centre. Packed full of great local amenities, such as museums, parks, and a theatre, as well as great travel links, a property in this area will set you back by about £230,278, which is less than half the regional average! 

The next up on our affordable towns to buy in the southeast is Ocean Village, a development in Southampton where the average asking price is £242,225. 

 

Located only minutes from the water, Ocean Village is full of amenities, such as shops, bars, restaurants and a cinema and is only a 20-minute walk from the city centre. 

With an average asking price of £251,548, Brompton in Kent is one of the cheapest places to buy a property in the southeast. 

 

Located less than a 10-minute walk away from the historic Dockyard in Chatham, Brompton has many great amenities nearby, such as green spaces and a shopping centre. The town also boasts excellent travel links, taking just over an hour to travel to London using public transport. 

Located on the Isle of Wight is the town of East Cowes. With an average asking price of £255,978, the town is famous for its yachting events, with many occurring during Cowes Week, which is the largest sailing regatta of its kind. 

 

You will find that you are an hour and a half away from Southampton and Portsmouth, and three hours from London by train. 

Last but not least is Whippingham, a village located on the Isle of Wight with an average asking price of £256,555. Close by to the town of East Cowes, the village is most famous for its history with Queen Victoria, who made Osbourne House a royal residence, and St Mildred’s church. 

The cheapest place to live in the north of england 2024?

AreaAverage asking price
North Ormesby£70,683
Shildon£95,916
Eston£106,332
Easington£108,429
Peterlee£108,524

*According to data from Rightmove

North Ormesby gets the crown for the most affordable places to buy a house in the north of England, with an average asking price of just £95,916. 

 

Situated a mere 30-minute drive from North York Moors National Park, and Sunderland an hour and 15 minutes away using public transport, there is lots to love about North Ormesby. 

Shildon in County Durham is next up on our list of cheapest areas to buy a house in the north of England 2024. With an average asking price of £95,916, Shildon is one of the cheapest areas in the north and boasts green spaces, pubs, shops, museums, and a rich history with the railway. 

 

Just an hour away from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne on public transport, Shildon has great travel links in and around the county. 

 

The area is due to benefit from a £20 million investment that sets to open the UK’s oldest suspension bridge and transform its Locomotion tourist attraction. 

Next up on our list is Eston, an industrial town in Cleveland. With an average asking price of £106,332, it is easy to see how Eston has made the list for affordable areas. Located a 10-minute drive away from North Ormesby, Eston is home to plenty of outdoor green spaces, shops, museums and more. 

We are going back to County Durham for the next area on our list. Easington is a village located around 30 minutes away from Sunderland by public transport. 

 

With an average asking price of £108,429, this coastal town has plenty to offer residents, with many coastal walks to choose from, outdoor green spaces, shops, and more. 

Finally on our list of affordable places in the north of England is Peterlee. With plenty of nearby coastal towns to visit, and a grey seal spotting nature reserve, Peterlee has plenty of amenities on offer. 

 

With an average asking price of £108,524, Peterlee also has excellent transport links, getting you to Sunderland in 30 minutes on the bus.

Most expensive places to live in england 2024?

Now that we have looked at some of the cheapest places to buy house in the UK, we can now explore some of the more expensive areas in England. Regardless of whether you are a first-time buyer trying to get a foot on the property ladder, a family homeowner looking to upsize, or are simply just curious, below are the 5 places in England with the highest property prices: 

CountyAverage House Price
 City of London£1,024,218
 Greater London £697,212
 Surrey £626,518
 Hertfordshire £533,784
 Buckinghamshire £500,843

*According to data from Rightmove

Unsurprisingly, the City of London is at the top of our list of the most expensive places to live in England 2024. Whilst experts predict a 2% fall in house prices over 2024, this is unlikely to have much of an effect on London property. With the average property price in the centre of London being an eyewatering £1,024,218, it is easy to see why the City of London has topped the list. 

 

Over the last year, the most popular property type sold in the City of London were flats, selling for an average price of £1,005,207. Semi-detached properties cost an average of £2,850,000 in the city and terraced properties fetched an average of £2,050,000. 

 

In the last year, the overall sold prices in the City of London were up 2% on the previous year and 18% down on the 2018 peak of £1,248,823. 

Next up on our list is Greater London. Another area that will not be a surprise to most, Greater London is home to a prime location, excellent travel links and properties priced at an average of £697,212.

 

Much like the City of London, flats were the most popular type of property sold over the last year, fetching an average price of £538,488. Terraced properties in Greater London sold for an average price of £763,523 and semi-detached properties cost an average of £761,668. 

 

Overall, the sold prices on average in Greater London were similar to the previous year, nut 8% up on the 2020 peak of £643,624. 

 Situated in the south East of England is the county of Surrey, home to a bounty of historical houses, zoos, theme parks and more, with easy access to London and beautiful countryside, Surrey is a top choice for those looking to commute to the capital whilst enjoying the peace of the countryside. 

 

While it may be the middle of our list, Surrey’s house prices are certainly on the more expensive end of the property pricing spectrum with the average home costing £626,518 last year. The most popular property type sold in Surrey last year were flats, which sold for an average price of £388,771. Terraced properties in Surrey sold for an average of £633,355 and semi-detached properties fetched £659,553 on average. 

 

Overall, sold prices in Surrey increased by 1% from the previous year, and were 10% up on the 2020 peak of £570,133.

Next up on our list of the most expensive places to purchase a property in the UK is Hertfordshire. Bordering Greater London, this commuter county is ideal for those looking to escape the city, whilst still being able to travel in and out of the capital with ease. 

 

Slightly less expensive than its neighbours London and Greater London, Hertfordshire is still on the pricy side of property purchases, with the average house price last year settling on £533,784. The most popular property types sold in Hertfordshire last year were terraced properties, which fetched an average of £448,940. Semi-detached homes in Hertfordshire sold for an average price of  £560,129 and flats sold for an average of £294,174. 

 

Hertfordshire sold prices over the last year saw a 3% increase on the previous year and saw a 12% increase on the 2020 peak of £476,607. 

Last on the list is the county of Buckinghamshire. With beautiful countryside views and excellent travel links to the capital city, Buckinghamshire is great for those who are looking to commute. 

 

With an average home price of £500,843, Buckinghamshire has found itself at the bottom of our top 5 most expensive places in the UK, but it is still pricier to purchase in than most. 

 

In Buckinghamshire, the most popular property type sold last year were detached properties, which sold for an average price of £816,534. Buckinghamshire semi-detached properties cost an average of £453,080 and terraced properties sold for an average price of £377,283. 

 

Overall, Buckinghamshire properties over the last year had risen by 3% on the previous year and were 12% higher than the 2020 peak of £448,238. 

How we can help you sell your house

We are The Property Selling Company, an online estate agency that wants to change how you sell your home. We pride ourselves on our philosophy that selling a house should be three things; fast, effortless, and free. That’s why when you sell with us you can say goodbye to the days of expensive estate agents and legal bills, as we cover all of the selling fees for you. 

 

We keep our philosophy at the heart of what we do, offering a tailored service to suit you. Our dedicated team of property professionals are by your side throughout every step of the process, offering you support even after you have sold. We will advertise your property on Rightmove and Zoopla, organise viewings, cover legal fees, and negotiate better deals for free. 

 

We are making the challenges of buying and selling your home a thing of the past. Over the years, we have built a seamless process to provide you with an excellent service and sell for free.

 

So if you are ready to get your home on the market, fill out one of our free no-obligation forms today! 

Sell your house without all the hassle
Posted on

Are eco friendly houses hard to sell: Sustainable property

Are eco friendly houses hard to sell: Sustainable property

Learning what an eco friendly house is and how hard they are to sell…

Tom Condon
Tom Condon ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

In the UK, most new build homes are far more eco friendly than their older counterparts with 63% of new builds being cheaper to run. This is one of the reasons why new build homes are a target for first time buyers looking to cut down on their energy bills. 

 

But, what happens if you opt for a completely eco friendly house? Well, they can be slightly more expensive to buy, come with more maintenance, but can be cheaper to run. You may find that the market for a fully eco-friendly home is smaller, but that doesn’t mean it’s harder!

 

In this article we will cover how hard it is to sell an eco-friendly house, and the best routes to do it.

What is an eco friendly house?

Eco friendly houses, green homes or Passivhaus properties are homes that are built with sustainability at the heart of the project. The sustainability ethos could come from the sustainable materials used to build the house, the properties energy efficiency, how it reduces the inhabitants carbon footprint and much more.

 

There are plenty of different types of eco-friendly houses, with some being entirely off grid countryside cottages, and others being state of the art modern houses – the type you’d see on Grand Designs.

What is a Passivhaus property?

A Passivhaus property creates a comfortable and energy efficient living space with minimal reliance on conventional heating and cooling systems.

 

The term originated in Germany in the 1990s and has since gained international recognition as a leading approach to sustainable building design. Passivhaus properties can be 25% more expensive to build than traditional properties, but save 90% more on energy bills.

 

Homes that meet the Passivhaus standard are certified through a rigorous verification process and must have:


  • Superior Insulation: Passivhaus properties have high levels of insulation in the walls, roof and floor to minimise heat loss and gain.
  • Airtight construction: They are built to be extremely airtight to prevent uncontrolled air leakage, ensuring that the ventilation is carefully controlled.
  • High performance windows and doors: They use high-quality windows and doors with advanced glazing to minimise heat loss.
  • Ventilation with heat recovery: Mechanical ventilation systems with heat recovery are a core component of Passivhaus designs. These systems exchange stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air while recovering the heat from the outgoing air.
  • Thermal bridge-free construction: Passivhaus design minimises thermal bridges, areas where heat can easily transfer between the interior and exterior of a building.
  • Solar gain: Passive solar design principles are often incorporated to optimise the use of solar energy for heating. 
  • Performance standards: Passivhaus properties must meet specific energy performance criteria, including a maximum annual heating demand, primary energy consumption and airtightness level.

What should be included in an eco friendly house?

Most buyers looking for an eco-friendly house will be looking for a property that aligns with four pillars of sustainability; natural building materials, thermal mass heating, green energy source or supplier and temperature controlled architecture.

The use of natural building materials instead of plastic sources contributes to the eco-friendliness of the house. 

 

Buyers value this feature because it not only promotes sustainable construction practices but also ensures that the home has a reduced environmental impact. Natural materials are often renewable, biodegradable, and have a lower carbon footprint compared to synthetic alternatives.

The focus on thermal mass heating is vital for energy efficiency. Home buyers are attracted to this feature because it helps regulate indoor temperatures more effectively. Thermal mass retains and releases heat slowly, contributing to a more comfortable living environment.

 

This not only reduces the reliance on artificial heating and cooling systems but also lowers energy consumption, resulting in cost savings for the homeowners.

The use of electricity from a green energy source or supplier is a very important factor for eco-conscious buyers. Green energy demonstrates a commitment to reducing the carbon footprint associated with the home’s energy consumption. 

 

It aligns with the growing awareness of the environmental impact of traditional energy sources and reflects the homeowner’s dedication to using clean and renewable energy.

The architectural design of a building plays a very important role in controlling temperature. Eco home buyers appreciate features that contribute to natural temperature regulation, such as strategically placed sky lights, shading and doors, all of which maximise on potential natural light. 

 

In some properties, the architecture of a property can aid in the heating system and heat recovery. Temperature controlled architecture not only enhances comfort but also reduces the ends for excessive energy consumption in maintaining a suitable indoor climate.

How can architects utilise natural light in eco-friendly buildings?

Although you are probably reading this article because you want to sell your house, it can never hurt to know different ways architects create properties so you can recognise the features in your existing property.

 

One hack architects use is orienting the home to maximise any natural light and heat gain in order to reduce the need for artificial lighting and heating. This is also used alongside incorporating natural ventilation like operable windows and vents to encourage natural airflow, and limit the reliance on mechanical ventilation systems.

What features do eco friendly houses have?

Eco friendly houses with these features are attractive to potential buyers because they offer long-term cost savings, reduced environmental impact and a healthier living environment:

Good insulation helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature, it helps by reducing the reliance on heating and cooling systems, leading to lower energy consumption. Which in turn reduces utility bills and the overall carbon footprint of the house.

 

You should always remember to insulate your roof as well as your walls and floors, as most of the heat will escape through your roof.

 

According to the UK Government website, good insulation could increase your home value by up to 9%.

Using renewable energy sources such as wind, solar or geothermal power helps to reduce dependence on non-renewable energy like fossil fuels and contributes to a lower environmental impact. 

 

Heat pumps, whether they are ground source  heat pumps or air source heat pumps, are highly efficient in converting energy from the air, ground, or water into heat for indoor spaces. This is because they achieve high levels of efficiency, especially in moderate climates like the UK.

Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, providing a clean and sustainable energy source. Solar panelling reduces reliance on traditional energy grids and fossil fuels, leading to cost savings and environmental benefits. 

 

Solar panels can add between 4% and 14% to a house’s value, with some rare cases seeing house valuations increasing by 25%.

Water conservation systems such as rainwater harvesting and efficient plumbing fixtures, help reduce water consumption. In areas facing water scarcity water conservation systems can be great as it collects rainwater to use within the property. 

 

Water conservation systems can save homeowners between 40% and 50% of their water bills, all while adding up to 8% to a house’s value.

Incorporating reclaimed or recycled materials into construction reduces the demand for new resources, minimises waste and promotes a circular economy by preventing valuable materials ending up in landfills. 

 

While using reclaimed materials can be a great way to save costs when building, you will need to be careful that the property does not become classified as ‘non-standard construction’ as this could affect the likelihood of potential buyers getting mortgage approval on your property.

Double or triple glazed windows enhance insulation by providing an extra layer of thermal resistance. Glazed windows help in maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature, reducing the need for heating or cooling, and contributing to noise reduction and energy efficiency. 

 

It is estimated that double glazing windows can increase the property value by up to 10%, while triple glazing can improve the house value by up to 20%.

Smart technologies, such as energy efficient appliances, programmable thermostats and home automation systems enable homeowners to monitor and control energy usage, leading to optimised energy consumption, increased efficiency and cost savings. 

 

Making smart technology additions to a property may add on average, £16,000 to a house’s value. But, this will depend on the type of smart tech added and whether you have taken steps to increase your EPC.

Does interior design matter when it comes to eco housing?

Interior design matters to a degree when dealing with eco housing, as sustainable home design practices can complement the overall environmentally conscious ethos of a property. 

 

Sustainable interior design can be achieved via the use of eco-friendly materials like recycled or reclaimed wood, low volatile organic compound paints, and energy efficient appliances.

Why would potential buyers be put off by an eco friendly house?

As we have previously mentioned, one of the drawbacks of eco friendly housing is the steep learning curve attached to their home systems, especially if they are off grid or are completely self-sustainable ecologically, 

 

Away from this, another issue some potential buyers may have with your eco-friendly home is the fact that its airtight insulation traps sound indoors which can be annoying if the potential buyer is part of a large family – as noise is trapped within.

 

Another issue that arises is eco homes need some or a lot of maintenance in order to maintain their eco status, and potential buyers will need to be proactive when keeping up with energy consumption requirements.

What is the most eco-friendly town in the UK?

In May, Oxford in Oxfordshire, was crowned the greenest and most eco friendly town in the UK, under the ENDS Report Green Cities Index 2023. The index evaluated England’s 55 largest urban cities on more than 30 environmental factors grouped into five categories: public realm, green behaviour, air quality, climate and water quality.

 

Oxford scored highly in the public realm and green behaviour categories. The city’s residents were recognised as among the greenest in England. In addition to this, Oxford has the fourth highest recycling rate in the country, which represents a commitment to sustainable waste management. 

 

In terms of sustainable infrastructure, the city boasts the fifth highest number of electric vehicle charging stations per 100,000 people in England. Oxford also performed well in terms of green commuting behaviour, with a high proportion of residents travelling to work by bicycle or on foot.

 

The city has a history of leading the way on environmental measures for the South of England, with initiatives such as the UK’s first Zero Emission Zone pilot, Europe’s most powerful EV charging hub and the UK’s first citizen’s assembly on climate change.

 

Oxford has demonstrated commitment to zero carbon efforts including the establishment of a Zero Emissions Zone in the city centre and plans for an all electric bus fleet. 

 

Despite some controversies over recent green initiatives like low-traffic neighbourhoods and the decision to serve 100% plant-based meals at internal events, Oxford has been proactive in implementing measures to enhance its environmental sustainability.

What town in the UK has the most eco-friendly houses?

Norwich has the most eco-friendly homes in the UK, according to research provided by Rated People. The research calculated eco-home scores based on a set of 20 ‘eco-home criteria’, considering environmentally friendly features such as extra insulation, smart metres, electric car charging points and heat pumps, biomass boilers and electric cars.

Is it harder to sell an eco-friendly house?

Selling an eco-friendly house can be interesting to sell on the open market because although it has some very good positives, it may be seen as a learning curve by inexperienced eco home buyers which narrows the pool of potential buyers.

 

One of the positives of eco homes is that they are more energy-efficient and appeal to environmentally conscious buyers as they offer reduced monthly energy bills. 

 

But, this energy efficiency will probably come with a steep learning curve as eco-friendly houses tend to have their own insulation systems, window shutters and water conservation systems.

 

It gets even more complicated if your house has Passivhaus recognition as this will need to be maintained in order to retain its value and quality.

What are the main differences between eco housing and normal housing?

The main difference between eco housing and normal housing is that eco friendly housing and their sustainable features are 25% or more expensive than traditional homes, but buyers will take into account the fact they are making an investment into the future and environment. 

 

Eco housing tends to be more energy efficient, resulting in lower utility bills which is a significant selling point for cost-conscious potential buyers, especially as normal housing may lack the energy efficiency features of an eco home and will result in higher long-term utility costs for buyers. 

 

Sustainable properties appeal to people looking to prioritise sustainable living and reducing their ecological footprint, which unsurprisingly, has become a top demand amongst buyers on the open market within the last decade. 

 

Most new build properties are built with some form of eco friendliness to them, offering double or triple glazing, underfloor heating and thorough insulation throughout the properties. Although these are not considered completely sustainable properties, they are a good starting point for eco friendly housing. 

 

In most cities in the UK, especially in the Government’s Investment Zones like Cambridge and Leeds, there are incentives and tax exemptions for eco-friendly features which can be additional selling points. It’s always good to find out if your property falls within this as it will make your house more attractive to people on limited budgets. 

 

Finally, buyers are far more likely to buy traditional properties with period features, as this is what they have become accustomed to. Although demand for eco friendly housing has risen, there is still quite a narrow pool of buyers that are interested in one specific area.

Where can I sell my sustainable property?

The best way to sell your sustainable property or eco friendly house is through us! We are a leading UK estate agency with over 50 years of combined experience in selling and buying houses. 

 

We can help sell your property in as little as 28 days, all while handling and covering the costs of all your marketing, photography, listing, visiting and more. All the costs usually associated with selling your house, we will cover — even your solicitors!

 

We have an ethos here at The Property Selling Company, that selling your house should be fast, effortless and free. And, we have made it our mission to do just that! We will work alongside you with every step of the house-selling process, ensuring that you are satisfied around every corner.

 

We will market your property on property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, organise viewings and much more. If you are looking to buy or sell a property, get in touch today and fill in one of our free, no-obligation forms!

Posted on

Who Decides Completion of House Sale Time & Date?

completion of house sale

Who Decides Completion of House Sale Time & Date?

Looking at what happens on completion day, whether completion happens on moving day, and what the process involves.

Alexandra Ventress

Alexandra Ventress ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

The completion process is the final hurdle of the house selling and buying process, so it is important to be well-versed in the process so you can fully prepare for any last-minute surprises that may come your way during the period between exchange and completion. 

 

In this blog post, we will be looking at when the house sale completion time occurs, what happens on the day of completion, and who decides the completion of a house sale.  

 

Looking for a quick answer? Check out our interactive menu to the right! 

Sell your house without all the hassle

What is the completion time for a house sale?

The completion date for house sale is the final stage that occurs in the conveyancing process.  It will typically occur anywhere between 7 and 28 days of exchanging contracts and signifies the end of the property sale and ownership is passed to the new buyer. 

 

During the completion day, the buyer’s conveyancer will be responsible for transferring the final funds to the seller’s solicitor. After the payment has been received, then completion has legally occurred. The buyer will then get the keys to the new house and the seller must move out. 

 

When the day arrives, you may have a target completion time, which is typically anywhere between 11 am to 12 pm, however depending on the chain length it can sometimes take longer. 

What happens on completion day of house sale?

House sale completion day is one of the final stages of the house selling and buying process. It is the day when the seller of the property will receive the rest of the funds from their solicitor, which is usually the deposit and the remaining money from the buyer’s mortgage lender. 

 

At this stage, the buyer will be able to collect the keys from the estate agent and move into their new property. They will also receive a signed transfer copy of the title deeds for the property. 

 

The completion of house sale is also the stage where both parties will be required to pay their final solicitors fees. The seller will also be required to pay any remaining estate agent fees and the buyer will need to ensure they have paid any legal costs and disbursements that may be outstanding. 

 

Stamp duty land tax will then be paid by the buyer’s solicitor on their behalf.

What can I expect on completion day? 

Every completion day is different, however, as a rule of thumb this is what you can expect when the big day rolls around: 

This is the time when the first buyer in the chain, typically a first-time buyer, will complete their purchase transaction

It is now the time when the second buyer, who will have sold their property to the first buyer will complete the purchase transaction

The next buyer to complete their purchase will be the third buyer, who will have sold their property to the second buyer

At 4pm, the final seller in the chain (who only needs to sell) will receive payment from the third buyer and complete the sale transaction. This is where the property transaction will end. 

More often than not, the completion deadline will be set before 5:30 as this is the time when the majority of CHAPS banking systems and solicitors offices close for the day. 

Can you exchange and complete on the same day? 

Yes, it is possible to exchange and complete on the same day, although it can be a risky move! By having the exchange and completion occur on the same day, you may find that either the buyer or seller is not fully organised or prepared to move. 

 

Below are some of the things you may need to look out for if you plan on having exchange of contracts on the same day as completion: 

 

  • If you are a cash buyer, then it is easier to exchange and complete on the same day as there is no transferal from the mortgage lenders
  • You will need to transfer the funds to your solicitor the day before completion in order to ensure there are no transition problems
  • You run the risk of putting yourself in a vulnerable position, as you will have packed up your property and be ready to move, and a seller may ask you for something extra at the last minute. You will not have a lot of room for negotiation so it is best to read carefully. 
  • If you are chain-free, it will be easier to exchange contracts and complete on the same day 
  • The majority of mortgage lenders are fine with the buyer and seller exchanging and completing on the same day, however, you should be wary that others require a minimum period of at least 5 working days between

Can you have exchange and completion on different days? 

By the time that completion takes place, the seller must have either already moved out, or be moving out on the date.  This is the day when the seller’s solicitor receives the purchase funds and transfers ownership. 

 

Should the buyer be without a property to sell, then they will be able to move into the house either on or after the completion day. Should the transaction be a part of a property chain, then the buyer may be at the mercy of the seller’s completion day. 

Can anything go wrong on completion day?

As with anything in life, occasionally things can go wrong. Typically, problems can occur with the transfer of funds. This can happen due to money being passed from your mortgage provider to your solicitors, and then onto the buyer’s solicitors. If there is a delay in the transfer and it does not go through before 3 pm, then you will need to wait until the next working day. 

 

If you are part of a property chain, you may also run into issues. Should part of the chain collapse or become delayed then the whole process can be stopped in its tracks. 

Sell your house without the fees

How do I make completion day less stressful? 

Thankfully, whilst there is always room for error, there are things you can do to help the whole day to progress smoothly. Below we take a look at some of our top tips to help your completion day go as planned:

 

Plan ahead: It’s always good to prepare ahead of time for moving day, so once you know your house completion day, you should start getting all of your ducks in a row. This means arranging your removal company for the day far in advance, packing up your property and confirming timings with your seller. 

 

Regular communication: Communication is key in all aspects of life, but especially when dealing with your solicitor. Making sure your solicitor is able to contact you at all times is a great way to ensure that you complete your house sale as quickly as possible as if a problem arises, they will be able to reach you and resolve it. 

 

Keep everything together: It is always a wise move to ensure that you keep any and all important documents regarding your house sale and move together. This way if they are needed, you know where they are located and will be able to find them with ease, avoiding delays. 

How do Solicitors transfer the mortgage funds? 

On the completion day, the buyer’s solicitor will transfer the money for the purchase to the solicitor of the seller. Usually, this transfer occurs using CHAPS payment, as this form of payment allows you to make a payment that is high value on the same day. 

What if I can't pay? 

If you do not transfer the funds on the contractual completion day, then you will face a fine. However, if the reason that you did not transfer the funds was due to your buyer not transferring, then they will pay a penalty to you. 

Who decides the completion date?

The house move completion day is a date that should be chosen by both the vendor and the buyer in advance of it occurring. However it is worth bearing in mind that i you are buying a new build, then this process will be different. The date of completion will typically occur on a working weekday. This is to ensure that the money transfers through that bank in time. Once you have confirmed completion, you will be able to plan your move. 

How do I get the keys? 

After the seller’s solicitors have received the funds required, they will confirm completion with the buyer and release the keys. These can then be picked up from an estate agent or from the buyer directly. 

Can someone else pick up keys on completion?

Yes, they can! You are allowed to have someone else, such as a legal representative or guardian, pick up the keys. If you are the named buyer of a property but are unable to collect your keys or wish to have someone else do so, you must be sure to instruct your solicitor, as well as the seller and estate agent of your plans. 

Can a buyer pull out on completion day?

Once contracts have been exchanged, it is impossible for the buyer or seller to pull out without serious legal and financial consequences as this is classed as a breach of contract. 

 

If you are the buyer… 

 

Then you are the one who stands to lose the most financially from pulling out. As a result, you will lose the full deposit funds if you pull out after the exchange, and you may still have to pay a percent of the unpaid purchase price. Your seller may also request that you cover their conveyancing costs for the process. 

 

If you are the seller… 

 

Then you will be required to cover your buyer’s costs for the process. This will typically include the solicitor’s fees as well as surveying costs. You may also be asked to pay accrued interest. It is also worth bearing in mind that the buyer also has the right to pursue legal action. 

The Property Selling Company 

Whether you are buying or selling a house, we are here to help.

 

Here at The Property Selling Company, we pride ourselves on your personal philosophy that selling a house should be three things; fast, effortless, and free

 

We have made it our mission to shake up the way that you sell your home, which is why we offer a full online estate agency service but without the fees and hassle.

 

We will work alongside you every step of the house-selling process, covering everything, so you won’t have to. The days of expensive solicitor fees and legal work are over, and our team of property experts will continue to be there even after the process is complete. 

 

We will market your property on popular property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, organise viewings, cover legal fees, and negotiate better deals, all for free!

 

So if you are looking to buy or sell a property, get in touch today and fill in one of our free, no-obligation forms! 

Sell your house without all the hassle
Posted on

I cant sell my house & why is selling a home so stressful?

cant sell house

I cant sell my house & why is selling a home so stressful?

Looking at the reasons why you cant sell your house, the steps you can take to help sell quicker, and how we can help.  

Alexandra Ventress

Alexandra Ventress ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

It is an undisputed fact that one of the most stressful situations a person will go through is selling their home and moving out. Finding an estate agent, arranging viewings, and preparing your property before photographs and viewings can all add to the stress sellers feel whilst selling. But if you are struggling to find a buyer on the open market, the stress that homeowners can feel can increase ten-fold.  

 

If you have found yourself wondering ‘why I cant sell my house’ then read on. In this blog post, we are looking at why homeowners cant sell home, what to do if you can’t sell your home and why selling doesn’t always have to be so stressful. 

 

Looking for a quick answer? Check out our interactive menu to the left! 

Why is selling a house so stressful?

A house is the most expensive asset that many of us own, so the process of selling it is bound to be a cause of stress. The uncertainty it can bring is one of the main causes of the stress when it comes to selling, as well as the amount of time it can take to sell. You can spend months looking for a buyer on the open market, only to eventually find one and have the sale collapse at the last minute leaving you right back where you started. With all of these balls in the air, it is easy to see why selling a house is regularly polled as one of the most stressful life experiences people go through. 

 

In order to help alleviate some of the stress, there are steps that you can take: 

The process can be brought with uncertainty and stress, so expect to be on the market a while. This way you will avoid stress and disappointment if you do not sell within two months. 

If you read up on the selling process you will have a better idea about what to expect as you are going through it. It will help make the process smother and may alleviate some worries you may have.

With so many estate agents out there, it is important to choose one with experience and knowledge who is able to do what they say. You should read reviews, compare quotes and shop around before settling on the agency you will sell with.

It can be difficult to sell exactly when you need to. So be sure to leave yourself enough time between buying and selling to meet the dates you wish to. 

Why is my house not selling UK?

Selling a house can be difficult and can often take longer than we originally anticipated.  If you have found yourself waiting on the open market for some time and are wondering why i can t sell my house, then read on as we explore some of the reasons why your house is not selling: 

Clutter 

One of the reasons why your house may not be selling is because it feels cluttered. Buyers like to be able to imagine themselves living in your property, so it is important to take the necessary steps to help them feel at home in the property. Decluttering does not just mean hiding trinkets and clearing surfaces, it also means you will need to put things away properly. You should sort through items and leave out what is absolutely necessary, and put the rest into storage. 

 

Showroom homes are often clean, tidy, and clutter-free in order to really help the buyer envision their life there, so it is important that you do the same. Before any viewings or photographs, you need to remove any clutter or personal items that may distract from the room. This can include: 

 

  • Family photos
  • Children’s artwork
  • Collectible items
  • Trophies and certificates
  • Holiday souvenirs 

 

Removing any clutter that you may have in your property will not only help your buyers to imagine themselves living there, but it will also help rooms appear bigger and will make your property look a lot more attractive. 

Kerb Appeal

If you are struggling to sell your house, then your problem may lie closer to home than you think. You may have heard the saying ‘first impressions matter’ and this is certainly the case when it comes to house sales. According to a survey done by Home Owners Alliance, more than 68% of homeowners said that kerb appeal was a key factor in their choice of home. 

 

In order to give the best first impression of your home, you should make sure that the lawn is mowed, there is no clutter left on the lawn, any bins are out of sight, and clean your doors and windows. 

Incorrect pricing 

You may be stuck on the open market because of your asking price.  If your asking price is too high or too low for your property then you may find that you get little to no interested buyers. In order to make sure that your asking price is correct, you should combine any online research with the valuations of at least 3 local estate agents. 

 

Some estate agents have been known to overvalue a property as a way of winning custom, only to have sellers stuck unable to sell. On the other hand, estate agents have also been known to undervalue a property in order to achieve a quick sale. 

Photographs 

In the golden age of the internet, you will find that the majority of house purchasing is done online, via property portals. This means if your photographs don’t do your home justice, you may find yourself on the open market for months waiting for a buyer. 

 

It is up to you to make your home look its best. As we have already mentioned you should deep clean, declutter and stage your home to make sure it is painted in the best light possible. Furthermore, you should be sure to check that the photographs that your agent provides you with are up to scratch. You are paying for the service so you should ask to approve any pictures before they are posted on online property portals. 

Estate agent 

It may be a case that your estate agent is not pulling their weight when it comes to selling your home. If you feel as though your agent is not doing enough to market and sell your property, you should reach out and ask them what else they could be doing to reach potential buyers. It is important to keep in regular touch with your estate agent in order to ensure that you are in the loop about the sales process. If you are still unsure about the level of work they are putting into your sale, you could ask a friend or family member to pose as an interested buyer to gauge the level of service that they get. 

 

If you feel as though you are not being listened to or you have simply lost faith with your current estate agents, then you can give notice to end your contract with them and move on to a new agent. 

Facelift

Another reason why you may be struggling to sell your property is because it is looking tired. If your home looks like it has seen better days then it may be time to break out your toolbox and painting set. Small wear and tear jobs that can be easily fixed should be at the top of your list, such as broken tiles, mould build-ups, and dodgy lightbulbs. By fixing these small issues in your home you are helping to get your property across in the best possible light. Every time a potential buyer sees an area that needs fixing in your home, they will either take money off their asking price or it will put them off your property. 

 

If your property is looking tired, a great way to give it a facelift without breaking the bank is using a fresh coat of paint. This will help brighten the room whilst keeping it looking smart and fresh. 

 

You may also want to consider staging your property when you have viewings or photographs taken. According to research from Homesandgardens.com, a home that has been staged will sell three times faster than a house that has not been staged. The same research also revealed that 70% of estate agents stated that staging your home can help to increase the offer value on a house by up to 10%.

 

For more advice on how to stage your home, check out our guide here

How long does it take to sell? 

How long it takes to sell a house is not a one-size-fits-all kind of question. Each house is different and exactly how long it will take to sell will depend upon a variety of factors such as demand, location, price, size and market conditions. However, in the UK you can expect to sell your house on average in two or three months although this figure is subject to change. 

 

Not knowing how long it will take to sell your house can add to the stress of the situation. To avoid unnecessary stress you should try and set realistic expectations for your house sale and prepare to sell in the latter half of this figure. 

How many viewings does it take to sell a house? 

Exactly how many viewings it takes to sell a property can vary from property to property, however, you can on average expect between 10 to 15 viewings before you receive an offer. However, this is a ballpark average and can change dramatically per person. You may have a property that requires far fewer viewings or you may have a property that attracts far more viewings. It can all depend upon the following factors: 

 

  • advertisement 
  • local market conditions 
  • demand 
  • price 
  • size
  • location 
  • condition 

I bought a house but can t sell mine

If you have bought new house can t sell old house, then you have a few options to help you get the ball rolling. You could sell your house to a cash house buyer, sell it through an auction or you could swap agents.  

 

Selling through a cash buyer would ensure the sale of your property in as little as 7 days (depending on who you sold to). However, for the security and the speed of the sale, you would not receive full market value for your property. 

 

Another option you may wish to explore if you have bought a house but cannot sell your current property is to sell to a house auction. House auctions are a popular choice as they tend to attract serious buyers only. This is because once the gavel falls, all winning bids become legally binding. However, selling at auction is not without cost and often involves a lot of waiting which is not ideal if you want to sell your current property quickly in order to move house. 

 

You may also want to consider the option of swapping your current estate agent. Uf the estate agent that you are selling with currently is not pulling your weight, then you could put your notice in to end the contract with them. There are plenty of local and online estate agents available so it may be worth taking your custom elsewhere in order to sell. 

Why would a property not sell?

When it is time to sell your house, the last thing you want is to be struggling to find a buyer. There are many reasons why a property may not be selling, and below we take a closer look at some of the reasons why you may not be able to find a buyer: 

When purchasing a property, the last thing that potential buyers will want to deal with are unresolved issues surrounding boundaries or the title deed. Issues surrounding ownership and boundaries can be costly and risky for new buyers, so you may find that this turns many away. 

 

You must resolve any issues surrounding title deeds or boundaries before you put your home on the market. You should seek advice from legal professionals in order to determine what the situation is as well as what you will be able to do to remedy it. 

Whilst it may not seem like a big deal, an undesirable layout can have an effect on the ability to sell your house. Buyers are often looking for properties that suit their specific needs and if a house does not meet that then they will look elsewhere. If the layout of your home is outdated or unsuitable for most, then you may find that you will struggle on the open market. 

 

If you wish to correct this, you could consider remodelling or renovating part of your property. You should always consult a professional in order to make sure you are making the correct changes to your property. 

Another reason why your house may not be selling is due to any ongoing legal disputes to do with the property. This can include title disputes, encroachments or undisclosed easements. These issues can make buyers incredibly wary due to the hassle and risks that they bring.   

 

Before you put your property up for sale, you should remedy any legal issues to do with the property that may be simmering in the background. 

Whilst they may not be top of your list when you think about factors that may make it difficult to sell your property, environmental issues can have a knock-on effect when it comes to selling your home. Such factors can include proximity to flood zones, contaminated sites, or previous mining sites. They are a cause for concern for potential buyers because they can bring complications with any insurance that buyers may wish to take out on their property, health issues, and other liabilities. 

 

By having the correct surveys performed and taking steps to correct any issues, you may be able to by step the hassle that selling with environmental factors can bring. 

No doubt you will be familiar with the age-old mantra repeated by estate agents up and down the country: location, location, location! If your location is in a less desirable area then you may find that you are on the open market for longer than you originally anticipated. This can be close proximity to busy roads, difficulty accessing local amenities, poor travel links or a high crime area. 

 

If this is the case for you, you should highlight the positives of the property. Look at what sets it apart. Are there good green spaces nearby? Are there good schools in the area? Or maybe there’s an exciting new development set to take place nearby? 

If your property is in poor condition, then you may feel your sale is affected negatively. Dampness, subsidence, and mould can all negatively impact a sale and can leave you struggling to find a buyer. If you wish to increase your saleability, you will need to address the root of the issue. Whilst this may cost you, you may be saving yourself money in the long run. 

Why would a property not sell?

Yes, you can! Whilst a poor condition may make it slightly harder to sell your property, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be done! You should always be upfront with buyers if there are issues with your home. Whilst it might impact the time it takes to sell, you will be saving yourself hassle in the long run. 

 

If your home has problems, then you will be legally obligated to disclose this and answer any questions surrounding the issue on the Property Information Form (TA6). This form is not mandatory, however many conveyancing solicitors will insist on it as a part of the selling process. This is because it keeps the process simple and a refusal to fill it out will be a red flag for any buyers. 

 

A TA6 form includes questions about all aspects of the property, including its construction, boundaries, environmental issues, planning issues, structural issues, and many other potential problems. 

 

Failing to answer the questions honestly, either deliberately or through failing to disclose information, can result in a claim for misrepresentation. Questions about the property are also not limited to a TA6 property information form. Should you mislead buyers, fail to disclose information, or attempt to hide physical problems, then you may also find yourself facing a misrepresentation claim. 

What to do if you cannot sell your house?

If your property is not selling on the open market, then fear not, there are choices you can make to help get sold quicker. If you are struggling to sell, then you may want to consider the following: 

 

  • You may wish to sell through a sell house fast company. A cash house buying company is a person or company that can afford to buy your house without needing a loan or mortgage. They will be able to provide you with a secure and fast sale, however, in return they will not offer you full market value. You should also take steps to ensure that they are registered with a regulatory board such as NAPB or The Property Ombudsman.
  • You may want to consider selling your home at a property auction. Selling at auction is a route often favoured by slightly more unusual properties however they are generally a more secure way to sell, due to the fact that all winning bids are legally binding. The downside to selling through an auction though it is not without cost and often involves a lot of waiting. 
  • Alternatively, you can always switch agents if you feel as though your current estate agent is not pulling their weight. You should look at reviews, quotes, and average sale time in order to properly weigh up your choices. 
  • The state of your property could be what is keeping you on the open market. You may want to consider doing any repairs around your house in order to help sell quicker. Whilst they may seem small, repairs can make a world of difference to your home and can help you sell quicker.  Another route you may wish to explore when it comes to the state of your home is staging. By staging your home for viewings and photographs, you may be able to help draw in potential buyers. 
  • Or, you may want to sell through us! Here at The Property Selling Company, we believe that selling a house should be three things: fast, effortless, and free. We can help you sell in as little as 28 days without any extra cost to yourself. 

 

But it doesn’t have to be. When you sell with The Property Selling Company, we take the hassle out of selling. This is why we have made it our mission to change the way that you sell your house.  

 

Our dedicated team of property experts are by your side through every step of your house-selling journey, helping you to sell your new build in as little as 28 days. 

 

So if you are ready to sell your house, get in touch today by filling out one of our free, no-obligation online valuation forms today! 

Posted on

Will Downsizing After Retirement Affect My Pension UK?

Will Downsizing After Retirement Affect My Pension UK?

Will Downsizing After Retirement Affect My Pension UK?

Looking at why people downsize for retirement, the pros and cons of downsizing in retirement and how we can help sell your house and boost your pension.

Alexandra Ventress

Alexandra Ventress ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

Retirement can be a very exciting part of life. You finally get to stop working, take things a bit easier and enjoy the fruits of your labour, surrounded by your loved ones. One aspect of retirement that a lot of people decide to tackle is downsizing. By downsizing after retirement, people are able to ease the maintenance of their property, move into more accessible properties, as well as boosting their retirement fund.  

 

In this blog post we are going to look at downsizing after retirement, the pros and cons of downsizing, and answering the question ‘does selling my house affect my pension?’

What is downsizing in retirement?

Downsizing is the process in which someone moves out of their family home in order to move into a smaller, cheaper property that they can grow old and retire in. People often move in order to save money, boost their retirement fund, and be closer to family, friends, and local amenities. 

 

Downsizing sounds as though you are moving to a smaller property, sometimes people will downsize to a cheaper house or flat to release equity in their current property. 

How to know when it's time to downsize? 

If you are thinking about downsizing after retirement but are unsure whether it is the correct move for you, then there may be warning signs popping up to tell you it may be a route you wish to explore:

If you are fast approaching your retirement, then you may have already given some thought to downsizing. It is a great way to help set yourself up for your retirement, especially if your current property has steadily risen in value over the last few years. 

If you have finally reached the milestone in every parent’s life that they both crave and dread in equal measure, then you may start thinking about selling up and moving to a smaller property. You may find that your family home feels quiet and empty now your children have left, and that moving yourself to a smaller property closer to family and friends may be the way to go. 

When walking around your property, you may begin to notice that you have more unused space than you do used space, then it could be time to consider downsizing. You may as well save your money rather than heating empty rooms. 

A great sign that downsizing is for you is that day-to-day maintenance of your home is becoming too much of a chore for you to complete on your own.  

Why do people downsize? 

There are many different reasons why you may be considering downsizing. Below are some of the most popular reasons people have for taking the plunge and moving to a smaller property: 

 

  • Want better amenities
  • Change in lifestyle/health 
  • Financial reasons 
  • Wish to be closer to family 
  • Looking for a better location 

Should you want to rent or buy a smaller home?

When you are deciding to downsize, you will need to decide whether you will rent or purchase a new property. Below we take a closer look at the two housing options: 

Buying 

Buying a property is a long-term commitment no matter how old you are. If you are unsure about the property you are planning on purchasing, it may be a good idea to spend some time in the area and get to know whether the location and property type are compatible for you. You will also need to consider the extra costs you may have to face, such as: 

 

 

These costs can add up, so it is important to factor them into your budget. 

Renting

Depending on the property that you choose and the location that you move to, renting can work out as either more or less expensive. By avoiding maintenance costs you may find yourself saving money. However, it is less secure than owning your own home outright. If your landlord decides to sell up or increase your rental payments, you may find yourself in a tricky situation.  

Will selling my house affect my pension UK?

One of the biggest questions you may have when it comes to downsizing after retirement is ‘if i sell my house does it affect my pension’. The selling of your property should have no effect on your state pension as any capital that you have released from the sale of your home will only be relevant to your PensionCredit entitlement. This is because your State Pension is based on contributions and is not affected by any savings you may have. 

 

As far as your Pension Credit entitlement current legislation allows the DWP to ignore the proceeds you gain from a house sale for up to 26 weeks if you plan to use the proceeds to purchase another property. If you need to extend this period due to renovations then you may be able to do so. 

Pros and cons of downsizing for retirement

As with any buying or selling decision, there are pros and cons to selling your current property for a smaller home. Below we take a close look at the advantages and disadvantages of moving to a smaller home for those who want to downsize…

Benefits of downsizing your home in retirement

One of the main reasons people wish to downsize is to increase their retirement income. Many people wish to sell house and retire to a smaller house close to family or friends. By moving into a smaller property, they should have cheaper bills and lower maintenance costs as well. It is also a means for people to move closer to family and friends, ensuring they have a good support network as they get older. 

 

It also means that you are able to keep your independence for longer. By moving into homes that are better suited for your needs as you get older, such as assisted living, sheltered housing, retirement properties and bungalows, you are able to keep your independence for longer.

 

Other positives to moving into a smaller property can be: 

 

  • it’s easier to maintain 
  • It’s closer to family and friends
  • It’s a way to get extra support and help as you get older 
  • It’s a more accessible property 

Cons of downsizing in retirement

However, when you downsize you may have to give up some of the luxuries you have grown accustomed to in your family home. For example, you may find that your new home: 

 

  • is further from shops, doctors, and leisure centres and facilities. If you have already given up driving, or think you may need to in the future, you will need to factor in how you will get about as well as visit people
  • is further away from your family and friends than you previously were 
  • smaller and with less space 

 

There is also an issue with people overestimating exactly how much their property is worth and not fully understanding the cost of moving. 

At what age do most seniors downsize?

It is widely believed that the best age for most seniors to downsize is 64. This is according to data from Retirement Move, where half of those over 60  admitted that they struggle when it comes to the day-to-day maintenance of their property. Furthermore, a third of those asked could not keep up with maintaining their gardens. 

 

Although there is no right or wrong answer to this question, 64 tends to be the age that most people will start to consider the possibility of downsizing, although some may consider it earlier and others may decide to do it a little later. 

Inheritance tax implications 

You may also wish to look at how downsizing after retirement can affect any inheritance tax on your estate. The inheritance tax threshold currently stands at £350,000 but this number can increase if you decide to leave your home to your children or grandchildren by using the Residence nil rate band (RNRB). If you are concerned about your children and grandchildren being unable to use the full tax-free allowance, you may be bale to add a ‘downsizing addition’ to the RNRB. 

Is it worth downsizing to be mortgage free?

Becoming mortgage-free is a dream for most people, and those who are looking at downsizing for retirement are no exception. Downsizing is a great way to fund your retirement as well as helping you to achieve your goal of becoming mortgage-free, but is it worth it?

 

Downsizing can help you to achieve mortgage-free status if the remaining balance on your mortgage is less than the value between your current and new house. So if you currently have £110,000 left on your mortgage and the difference between your current home and your potential retirement home is greater than this number, then you will be able to pay off your mortgage. 

Will the council pay me to downsize?

If you live in a council house and have one or more spare bedrooms, then depending on your council you may be able to move to a smaller and cheaper property through a Smart Move scheme. Through this scheme, eligible people will be able to get up to £1,000 for each bedroom they give up in their property. 

 

In order to check your eligibility for the Smart Move Scheme, you will need to fill out an online housing application form from your local council’s website. 

Can I sell my house and live off the money?

If you decide that you wish to downsize to fund your retirement, then this is a selling avenue that you can explore. Whilst selling can be a great way to boost your retirement fund unless you are in a property that has risen in value considerably and is worth a lot, you may struggle to live off the profits of you’re house sale alone. Retirement is a long time, and you don’t want to run out of profits and be left struggling. You may wish to explore releasing equity or working for longer in order to increase your savings. 

 

If you decide that you want to take the plunge and boost your savings for retirement, have a look through our checklist below to make sure you are ready to go: 

 

  • You should first look at your reasons for downsizing. Are you feeling positive about this change or are there other routes you would rather explore? 
  • If you decide that downsizing is a route you wish to go down, then you will need to start thinking about places you will want to move to. Do you want to stay close by or are you looking for a property that is further afield?
  • You will next need to think about the property type you wish to move into. Take a look at different property types, locations, and amenities nearby. 
  • You will also need to think about your mortgage. Do you plan on paying it off in full?
  • You will need to start decluttering as soon as you can. Not only do clean tidy homes sell quicker, but if you are downsizing you will not have the same space that you have in your current home. 

Should you move house when you retire?

Whether or not you should move house when you retire is a decision that only you can make. As a homeowner, it is a good idea to weigh up the pros and the cons of your move to decide if it is the right move for you. Downsizing is a big decision, and it is not one that should be rushed into. However, if you decide that it is an avenue that you wish to explore, then we may be able to help you get the ball rolling…

How can we help?

If you are looking to downsize your property, we are here to help. Whether you are looking to sell your current home to downsize or you are looking to purchase a new home to grow old in, we’ve got you covered. 

 

We are an estate agent with a difference, making it our mission to change the ways that you sell houses. In fact, we believe that selling your house should be three things: fast, effortless, and free. 

 

Whether you are buying or selling your home, The Property Selling Company is here. Our dedicated team of property experts are here to support you every step of the way, helping you sell your family home in as little as 28 days and get your downsizing journey underway.

 

If you are ready to downsize get in touch today by filling in one of our free no obligation online valuation forms! 

Posted on

Buying a house without viewing: Risks and strategies

Estate agent carrying buying a house without viewing it

Buying a house without viewing: Risks and strategies

Wondering about how risky “buying a house without viewing” is? Well join us as we delve into all things house viewings from a-far.

Tom Condon
Tom Condon ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

Buying a house without viewing - should you do it?

In the competitive housing market of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic created a new era of home buying, where many home buyers found themselves making an offer on a property without viewing it in person. 

 

With lockdown restrictions in place, house viewings became a challenge. Some took the bold step to buy a house sight unseen, relying on virtual tours, photos and video calls with estate agents to assess properties. 

 

It’s important to remember that making an offer without viewing the property in person entails risks. While virtual viewing options and remote home inspections provided a way to navigate this unfamiliar territory, long-distance home buyers often had lots of questions and had to exercise due diligence to protect their investments. 

 

Whether you are an experienced investor or a first-time home buyer, buying a house without setting foot in it can be a daunting decision that should be approached with caution and careful consideration of all available resources and information. 

 

Usually, when you purchase a house you will go to viewings to ensure the property is up to par with your life goals and to make sure it meets your expectations. But, since the pandemic, there has been a massive increase in the amount of people buying houses without viewing them. 

 

Buying a house without viewing it in person is a decision that should be made cautiously and with careful consideration of the circumstances. While it’s not an ideal way to purchase a property, there can be situations where it might make sense.

What does buying sight unseen mean?

When you buy a house without viewing it, this is known as buying sight unseen, or otherwise known as buying blind. Buying sight unseen is a normal strategy in the property investing world as confident investors buy properties without viewing them in order to beat rival bids. 

 

But, when it comes to the average homeowner, buying sight unseen can come with a whole range of risks that could end up costing you further down the road.

How do you buy sight unseen?

Buying a house sight unseen is similar to buying a property traditionally except you don’t need to physically enter the property. If you purposely look to buy sight unseen, you should ensure that you create a plan at the beginning of the process.

 

You should clearly outline your criteria, including your budget, location preferences and what kind of property you want, having a well-defined plan will help you narrow down your options and help you liaise with the estate agent easier. 

 

Once with an estate agent, you will need to tell them your preferences and plan, to which they should recommend some local properties. Luckily, due to the housing market’s response to the pandemic, most estate agencies ensure there are virtual tours available for most properties. 

 

You will need to scrutinise all available virtual tours, photos and videos of the property and ensure that there are no hidden cuts within the video, as this could be a sign that the estate agent is attempting to hide issues.

 

Once you are happy with the property and its condition, you can then follow the usual house selling process, ensuring that there is a RICS surveyor visiting the property.

When might you consider buying a house without viewing?

If you are relocating to a new area and it’s logistically challenging to visit properties in person, buying sight-unseen might be a practical option. Being able to put forward a sight unseen offer will allow you to not miss out on homes that are moving fast within the market, which may even be your next dream property. 

 

We would recommend that you have a trustworthy estate agent with local knowledge who can thoroughly inspect the property for you. 

 

The estate agents should be able to provide you with detailed local information, conduct video tours and help calculate the risks associated with the property. 

 

Furthermore, if the property offers comprehensive virtual tours, detailed photographs and you feel confident in your ability to assess the property remotely, you may be more comfortable buying without visiting in person.

When should you be cautious buying a property without viewing it?

If you are a first time buyer, we would generally recommend not buying a house without viewing it in person. Lack of experience can increase the risk and without knowing what to look out for, you may overlook certain issues within a property.

 

This is especially true for all homebuyers, if you are looking to buy a property in an unknown location. If you are not familiar with the local housing market, it’s a lot riskier to make a sight-unseen purchase as local market knowledge is invaluable when assessing it’s value and neighbourhood. 

 

Even if you toured the property’s location on google maps, and came to the conclusion that it was in a safe neighbourhood with plenty of amenities, you may not know the area is prone to subsidence issues.

 

Visiting a property before buying can help assist you in making informed decisions about the building, especially if you have major concerns about its condition.

Risks of buying a house without viewing

Buying a house without viewing it in person entails significant risk that prospective buyers should carefully consider. The foremost concern is the unknown property condition, as it’s impossible to assess the property’s true state without a physical visit.

 

Misrepresentation in online photos and descriptions can also be problematic, potentially leading to unexpected issues post-purchase. The property’s location, neighbourhood dynamics and undisclosed problems may not become evident until it’s too late. 

 

Moreover, unfamiliarity with local housing market dynamics can result in overpayment or missed opportunities, Legal and contractual risks can also add complexities to the process, while buyer’s remorse and difficulty in reselling are emotional and financial challenges associated with sight-unseen purchases.

 

Buying a house without viewing it in person carries several risk that could impact your financial well-being and overall satisfaction with the property:

When you don’t physically visit a property, you can’t assess its condition firsthand. This can lead to unexpected and costly surprises after the purchase, such as structural issues, water damage or subsidence that were not apparent in online photos, descriptions or disclosed by the house seller.

Photos and property descriptions provided by sellers or estate agents can be selective and may not accurately represent the property’s true condition. Without viewing the property in person, you may rely on potentially misleading information.

The location of a property is a critical factor in its value and your overall satisfaction. Without visiting the area, you might not fully understand factors like noise levels, proximity to amenities, safety, and the overall neighbourhood environment.

Sellers may not disclose all issues related to the property, such as pest problems, disputes with neighbours, or other issues that could negatively impact your experience as a homeowner.

After purchasing a property sight-unseen, you may experience buyer’s remorse if it doesn’t meet your expectations or lifestyle needs which can be emotionally and financially challenging to reverse the decision.

If you decide to sell the property in the future, you may face difficulties in marketing it to potential buyers who expect to view a property before making a purchase.

Visiting a property in person allows you to connect with it emotionally — it’s harder to gauge whether a property feels right for you without a physical visit.

Buying a house without viewing - strategies to protect yourself

Buying a house without viewing it demands a strategic approach in order to safeguard your investment. The truth of it is, only through thorough research and localised expertise will you be able to buy a house without viewing it and minimise your problems.

 

You should start by choosing a trusted estate agent (like us) to guide you through the virtual tour and photography of a property, insist on third party surveys and review all property disclosures available. 

 

Some examples of strategies you could use are:

Get a pre-approved mortgage

Using a local mortgage provider to get a pre-approved mortgage for the area in which you are interested may help you when purchasing a house long distance. This is because you will be able to make more competitive offers on the property.

Utilise virtual tours

The estate agency you decide to use should be able to arrange a virtual tour of the property, which means you can see the property on your own timeline.

Send a trusted representative

If you personally cannot view the property but you know someone that can, then this person can step in and tour the property. Just make sure that you provide them with a list of things you are looking for.

Using a highly rated estate agent

You will need to find a highly rated estate agency with plenty of experience in sight unseen property transactions — like us! We have over 50 years of combined experience in the property industry and really know how to sell your house online. 

 

We’ve made it our mission to change the way you buy and sell houses because we believe that a house sale should be three things; fast, effortless and free. 

 

We offer you a full estate agent service but without the hassle. Whether you are buying or selling, we are here to take care of everything and work alongside you every step of the selling and buying process.

 

Want to kickstart your buying or selling journey?