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Stamp Duty Changes

Posted on 3rd December 2014 in Stamp Duty

You have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you buy a property in the UK over a certain price. This is charged on all purchases of houses, flats and other land and buildings.

Different rates apply in Scotland from 1 April 2015 when Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) replaces SDLT.

The SDLT rate depends on:

  • the purchase price of the property
  • whether the property is residential

SDLT may also be due if you lease a property.

SDLT rates from 4 December 2014

SDLT is charged at different rates depending on the portion of the purchase price that falls into each rate band.

Before 4 December 2014, SDLT was charged as a single percentage of the property price.

Where contracts have been exchanged on or before 3 December 2014, and the transaction is completed on 4 December or later, you can choose whether you follow the new or the old rules.

Residential properties

Purchase price of property Rate of SDLT (percentage of portion of purchase price)
£0 – £125,000 0%
£125,001 – £250,000 2%
£250,001 – £925,000 5%
£925,001 – £1.5 million 10%
Over £1.5 million 12%

Corporate bodies

SDLT is charged at 15% on residential dwellings costing more than £500,000 bought by bodies like:

  • companies
  • collective investment schemes

There are some exceptions. For example, you pay SDLT based on the new rates and bands where the property is used for:

  • a property rental business
  • a property development or resale trade
  • providing admission to visitors on a commercial basis

Residential leases

If your residential lease is for more than £125,000, you’ll pay 1% SDLTon the amount above the £125,000 threshold.

Non-residential and mixed-use properties

Purchase price/lease premium or transfer value Rate of SDLT (percentage of portion of purchase price)
Up to £150,000 – annual rent is less than £1,000 Zero
Up to £150,000 – annual rent is £1,000 or more 1%
Over £150,000 to £250,000 1%
Over £250,000 to £500,000 3%
Over £500,000 4%

 

What Impression are you giving?

Posted on 30th October 2014 in Photography, Plymouth Property, Property

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What Impression are you giving?

Agency photography really can be the difference between selling your property and being on the market for the next 6 months.  The article below will summarise a few keys areas to consider when choosing your agent and putting your home on the market.

The Front Photo:

The front photo is arguably one of the most important as it is the first thing that the potential purchaser will see when browsing Rightmove, Zoopla or Prime Location. Having a bright blue sky as opposed to taking a photo on a rainy day is of Paramount importance. For the sake of a day or 2 waiting for the opportunity to have a blue sky front photo could be the difference between standing out and getting lost amongst the other uploads. The front photo where possible should accurately display the frontage of the house, this will allow the potential purchaser to have a clear mind of what the property looks like and the external condition.

Is your agent content to leave an untidy room on display?

 As an agent it is our responsibility to highlight each and every room to our best ability, from the entrance vestibule to the main living quarters.  Moving objects and/or furniture to highlight the size of a room for the photography is always advisable. As a vendor it is always handy to be present for photography as you can discuss with your agent the layout of a room and if anything needs to be altered within the room in order to get the best photo.

Having a good tidy up the night before your photography appointment is again a key part of selling your home. Ultimately the more items you have on display that look out of place could be telling the potential purchaser that the property is small and lacks storage space. Whether this is accurate or not you have to be mindful of what message your property is sending out.

For me personally I am enthusiastic about all of the photography I present to the public, having an agent who is content to show an untidy room shows laziness and if they are prepared to be lazy with your photography, what else will take a back seat….

How can I ensure my photo’s stand out?

The best tip I can give any potential vendor considering selling their home in the near future is to regularly have a look on the market, have a look at all the properties on display and avoid the agent’s whose photos you don’t like. At Cross Keys we value our photography and have gone to great lengths to ensure the equipment we use is of the highest standard. Having a good camera with the capacity to show the full room makes all the difference.

To summarise the points above barely scratch the surface of what it takes to sell a home, however it is important that you consider all aspects of your home and its presentation. Taste is subjective and ultimately you have to accept that you cannot please everybody. By implementing small changes you can appeal to the majority and ultimately the more people you have come to view the property, the increased chance you have to sell for the best price.

Written by Rob Down, Estate Agent at Cross Keys Estates in Plymouth

 

Plymouth mortgage-free capital of UK

 

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Plymouth is the mortgage-free capital of the UK, according to a new survey carried out by Which? Mortgage Advisers.

Nearly half of Plymouth residents own their homes without a mortgage, with 44 per cent owning their properties outright

Plymouth also has a higher proportion of over-60 residents, with 22 per cent being aged 60 plus, and this could explain why it has the most outright homeowners.

On the whole, 33 per cent of people living in the UK own their homes outright, compared to 35 per cent who are paying off a mortgage and 31 per cent who rent.

The survey also revealed that the average age of someone who had paid off their mortgage was 51, but that 16 per cent of owners had managed to pay off their loan before that.

Glasgow saw the lowest percentage of outright homeownership, with 24 per cent of residents being mortgage-free.

9% Great Yielding Flat in Fegan Road

Posted on 21st June 2014 in Buy-to-let Property, Plymouth Property

Stuart Donnington from the Property Group in Plymouth comments on his views of the Buy-to-let market in Plymouth.

I have come across the following little gem courtesy of Connells. They have a 2 bedroom flat in the Fegan Road, St Budeaux area with a asking price of £70,000.The flat might not be to everyone’s cup of tea, and ture capital growth might not be that great, but you should be able to let that flat to LHA tenants for the 2 bedroom LHA rate which is £525PCM. The flat itself internally looks smart and no work would be required in order to get the property ready to let. The flat was last sold in 2005 for £71,500.

If you can get the property for a little cheaper at around the £65,000 your looking at a great yield of 9.7%, even at the £70,000, the yield would be 9%, still not bad.

I know, I know there is a little more to property investment than great yields, some capital growth would be nice too.

For more information on the best local properties view the Plymouth Property Portal www.plymouthproperty.co.uk or contact Stuart direct on 01752 710747 or visit his website http://www.the-property-group.co.uk

Plymouth Property House Prices

Posted on 5th April 2014 in Plymouth Property, Uncategorized

THE average price of a house in Plymouth is now back up to the value it was before the market crashed.

Soaring property prices have left Plymouth homes worth nearly as much as during the 2007 high, which marked the end of the last boom, a new survey shows.

Prices are eight per cent up year-on-year to April, according to Nationwide, meaning the average home in Plymouth is now £177,198. The national average is £178,124.

Confidence in the economy and government initiatives such as the Help to Buy scheme have all helped kick start the market, according to property experts. But one estate agent says that Plymouth has been slow to catch up with other cities. Roger Punch, the South West spokesman for land and property experts RICS, said: “It started to take effect elsewhere way back last year and caused the market to warm up and really get going. But it’s only just starting to reach us.”

By Lisa Clark from the Evening Herald

Top Trainer

Posted on 5th April 2014 in Plymouth Property, Property, Uncategorized

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The Mansbridge & Balment team has been back to the classroom to get the inside knowledge on the industry from one of the UK’s leading estate agency trainers.

Staff were at Moorland Garden Hotel near Yelverton on Wednesday, 19 March to hear Richard Rawlings of Estate Agency Insight, who is widely regarded as the country’s leading authority in contemporary estate agency method and marketing.

And they were delighted to discover that the methods and practices the agency has put in place recently are helping to keep Mansbridge & Balment ahead of the field.

“It was great to hear first-hand from an award winning estate agency trainer how what we have implemented in the last few months will prove to make a real difference to the general public and keep us at the forefront of the market,” Chris Mervyn, Valuation & Brand Manager for Mansbridge & Balment.

“There was a lot of information to take in, but both those new to estate agency, and more experienced staff members, will have taken away some key points to help them improve.”

The event was part of a regular series of staff training sessions booked throughout the year, to keep the company focused on offering the very best training for its staff, ensuring that its professional and ethical standards remain high.

During the evening event Richard – who has clients from across the UK, as well as throughout the world – talked to the Mansbridge & Balment staff about the importance of making the service individual and tailored to the customer’s needs, as well as going above and beyond in its delivery to create a lasting impression.

He also talked about the key reasons as to why people choose Mansbridge & Balment and the power of the staff to the company’s continued success in terms of their longevity to the business and their experience of the local marketplace.

Propertydrum Estate Agency Trainer of the Year, Richard is renowned for getting to the heart of industry issues and focuses particularly on helping businesses to secure market share and increase profits.

He is regarded as a highly motivational and inspirational speaker and works with estate agency companies of all shapes and sizes to help them get more out of their staff and their businesses, as well as how to utilise marketing channels more effectively.

Valuation Days

Posted on 22nd March 2014 in Plymouth Property

The latest Valuation Day proved to be a tremendous success for Mansbridge & Balment. The most recent event took place on the Bere Peninsula and was so successful, the appointments had to be arranged over three days.

Dan Bryant, one of the firms senior valuers, said that the response was overwhelming, “we had no idea this was going to be so popular. With other colleagues, we saw a real variety of property both in Bere Alston village and across the peninsula. A number of the properties have already come to the market.”

Mansbridge & Balment will be continuing to hold Valuation Days across the area, where the team are available for FREE property advice. Dan added “Don’t wait for a Valuation day – if you are thinking of a move, we’ll come and see you at a time to suit, just give us a call.”

For FREE property advice at any time, contact your nearest Mansbridge & Balment office.

Is this Plymouth’s ultimate job?

Posted on 19th October 2012 in Uncategorized

Chief Executive

Up to £70k pa

Plymouth is a fantastic place to visit and tourism is a key priority for the city. Destination Plymouth has recently been created to ensure that Plymouth is on the map as a city of great experiences and is able to fully realise its potential within the visitor economy.

We now need a Chief Executive who will be able to lead, develop and market tourism within the city; to build and develop effective partnerships, and to raise the profile of Plymouth with national and industry leaders, and in particular in the lead up to Mayflower 2020.

If you have successfully worked at a senior level in tourism, with a strong background in developing and managing partnerships, and you have the ability to combine strategic thinking and vision with a strong understanding of what it takes to deliver quality services – then we want to hear from you.

We’re proud of Plymouth. It’s a great place to visit –and it’s a great place to live and work. With all the benefits of a big city, but situated in one of the most scenic areas of the country, Plymouth offers the opportunity to achieve a work/life balance that’s hard to beat.

If you would like to find out more about this exciting opportunity and how to apply for the role, please click here.

If you would like an informal discussion about this role please contact Gill Peele, Business Manager (Plymouth City Council) by email gill.peele@plymouth.gov.uk or by telephone on 07766 367289.

Closing date: Friday 2 November 2012

It is anticipated that interviews will be held over two days within week commencing 3 December 2012.

This is a permanent appointment which is funded for the first three years. Funding beyond this time will be dependent on the success of the company achieving its objectives and generating continued funding from the public and private sector.

Bellini’s Now Open

Posted on 7th September 2012 in Uncategorized

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As much as property is important in the local economy, also hairdressing in Plymouth has always been a strong point with the local city academy and hairdressing college. A new hair salon has just opened called Bellini Ladies Salon above the City Gent Barbers with cost starting from £14 for Lady dry cuts, full head of colour £35 and full head of highlights for £55. All colours include free cut and blowdry. They also accept student discount.

Torpoint Estate Agent Job

Posted on 7th September 2012 in Uncategorized

PART TIME SALES NEGOTIATOR REQUIRED in Mansbridge & Balment’s Torpoint office.

The candidate must be well presented, Good People and IT skills, Friendly and confident.
Knowledge of estate agency and conveyancing an advantage but not essential for the right candidate.

Flexible Hours by negotiation to include weekday(s) and Saturdays.

Driving licence and access to a car essential.

Please contact Chris Mervyn on 01752 812600 or torpoint@mansbridgeandbalment.com if you wish to discuss the position further.

A Job Description is available by email.

Closing date for applications is Friday 21st September 2012