EXTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS

When it comes to selling, first impressions are key – many buyers decide whether they love or hate a property before they even set foot inside the house.

Follow these exterior design trends to boost your kerb appeal and make buyers fall in love with your home .

Sustainable materials

With the growing concern about the future of our planet, it’s no wonder that sustainable materials are being used more and more in both interior and exterior design. Reclaimed roof tiles and bricks add character to your home and using sustainably sourced timber to add accents to the front of your home gives a contemporary look.

 

Keeping in natural

In line with the trend for sustainable materials, the colour palette for exterior trends is moving towards natural colours such as brown, green and grey. Freshen up your fences and decking with a lick of paint and add large outdoor plants and climbing roses for a modern but timeless exterior.

 

Lots of windows

The desire for a light and bright interior has been a popular trend over recent years, and one of the simplest ways to achieve this is by adding lots of windows. Not only does it make the inside of your home feel more spacious, large windows also give your property a lavish, modern look.

 

Exterior lighting

Adding lighting to your porch, paths, driveway and bedding areas can transform your outdoor space and give your home a luxurious and welcoming feel.

With house prices in your area increasing, are you curious to know how much your property is worth?

Call us on 01702 39 49 59 or email southend@hairandson.co.uk.


KEY LOOKS FOR YOUR GARDEN

As summer approaches, now is the perfect time to start refreshing your garden, ready to enjoy the sun. This is especially important if you’re thinking of selling as many buyers value outdoor space. With property viewings on the increase, now is the ideal time.

Follow these key looks to help you and your potential buyers fall in love with your garden.

Grow your own

Whether you have a designated vegetable path or a simple potted herb garden, growing your own produce is becoming increasingly popular due to its relation to natural and sustainable living.

If you have a large outdoor space, you can build stackable raised beds using reclaimed materials to grow a mixture of vegetables, or if space is limited, you could fix boxes or pots to a wall to plant herbs, salad leaves and tomatoes.

Outdoor living room

Gardens are increasingly being used as an extension of the indoors with sofas, cushions, rugs and fairy lights creating an outdoor living area.

Rattan is a popular texture for outdoor furniture to create a holiday feel and is weather-resistant and durable too. L-shaped sofas around a table are perfect for socialising and adding a patio cover helps to make the most of the area all year round.

Garden Jungle

Nature’s association with relaxation and mindfulness has fuelled the trend for creating mini garden jungles. You can create your own oasis by purchasing large leafy plants and tall grasses and adding a comfortable seat or hammock to relax and unwind.

Patchwork patio

Solid patios are becoming a thing of the past and patchwork patios mixing stone slabs with gravel or woodchip are becoming more popular. Not only do they look more interesting, they incorporate sustainable materials, especially if you choose recycled paving stones.

Curious to find out how much your property is worth? Call us on 01702 39 49 59 or email southend@hairandson.co.uk


MORTGAGE ENQUIRIES

Getting a mortgage can be a challenging process, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.

Whether you’re looking to secure your first mortgage or thinking about re-mortgaging your property, follow these tips to help you prepare.

Research your options

Understanding the different types of mortgages will help you decide which option is best for you.

You also need to decide between fixed and variable rate mortgages – a fixed rate means that you agree an interest rate, and this remains fixed for a set period of time whereas a variable rate means the interest you pay can change over time.

Improve your credit score

Having a strong credit score will boost your chances of being accepted as it provides evidence that you can keep up with monthly payments. There are several simple ways to improve your score, such as registering to vote, keeping credit usage low and making sure you never miss a repayment.

The bigger the deposit the better

Having a small deposit is a common reason for mortgage applications to be rejected, so increasing your savings may increase your chances of being accepted. Consider saving for longer before applying or opening a lifetime Isa which allows you to benefit from a 25% bonus from the government when you buy a house.

Get advice

We know that applying for a mortgage can be difficult, so our team is here to help you navigate through the process. If you’re getting ready to apply for a mortgage, or simply just want to know more about the process, contact our team today.

If you have any questions, please get in touch on 01702 39 49 59 or email southend@hairandson.co.uk


ROYAL COLOUR'IN COMPETITION

Enter our Queens Jubilee Colouring Competition for the chance to win a prize!

To enter, download our colouring sheet and get colouring! When you are done simply send your picture to chelseaanderson@hairandson.co.uk along with your name, age & contact number.

Not got your copy yet? Here’s a download so you can still join in the fun. Alternatively, you can visit our Rayleigh branch to collect a colouring sheet and either drop it back to us or send an email to the address above.

Entry to the competition ends on Monday 6th June 2022 at 9am.

WINNER will be announced on our FACEBOOK page, so make sure you give us a FOLLOW!

*Competition is open to all school-age children


SIMPLE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR GARDEN LOOK BETTER

As the weather gets warmer your outdoor space becomes more and more valuable. When it comes to selling, some buyers are willing to spend much more for the luxury of a well-kept garden.

Follow our easy tips on how to spruce up your garden ready for the summer months:

A simple Spring clean

Digging up weeds, mowing the lawn and scrubbing the patio may be all it takes to transform the area. You could even give the garden shed and fences a fresh lick of paint to give your outdoor space a new lease of life. These minor improvements will make your garden look much neater and more inviting.

Get Planting

Planting bedding plants in flower beds or pots is one of the most budget friendly ways to brighten up your garden. Opting for ready-grown flowers, such as Pansies, Violas and Chrysanthemums offer an immediate improvement, whereas seeds and bulbs take a little more patience.

Add some lighting 

Give your garden a welcoming glow by adding some ambient lighting. You could wrap fairy lights around trees or hedges, position lanterns on the patio or simply place candles on the garden table. You could even hang string lights above your seating area for a cosy feel.

Accessorise!

You may think soft furnishings are restricted to indoor use but adding brightly coloured cushions and blankets will really jazz up your seating area. They’ll also come in handy on those cooler summer nights!


MISTAKES TO AVOID AS A LANDLORD

Buying a property, renovating, and renting out to tenants may not sound too difficult, but a landlord's job doesn't stop here... 

It’s not always plain sailing, it takes knowledge and experience to operate successfully. However, by avoiding these four common mistakes, your life as a landlord will be a lot easier!

Here are the most common mistakes landlords make –

1.Failing to complete a detailed inventory

Conducting a full inventory before your tenant moves in will help avoid any discrepancies when the tenancy comes to an end. Make a list of the furniture, note its condition and take detailed pictures.

2. Assuming your property will always be rented

Before you commit to a mortgage on the property, make sure you can cover your monthly payments. Don’t rely solely on income from tenants as rental properties can remain vacant for periods of time. Carry out a cash flow analysis to avoid running into financial issues.

3. Conducting inadequate tenant checks

You may be eager to secure a tenant, but don’t rush the background checks. You want to make sure they will pay their rent on time and look after your property. Obtain personal references and check credit history to spot a potentially unreliable tenant.

4. Underestimating repair costs

A broken boiler or a leaky pipe can be a costly fix, and tenants will expect them to be dealt with quickly. Make sure you keep some money aside to help cover unexpected repair costs.


    HOW TO BE MORE ORGANISED FOR YOUR MOVE

    1. Arrange a removals company

    Once you have confirmed your moving date, book a removal company to help you move your belongings.

    Make sure you research reliable companies and choose one within your budget.

    Before you commit, check that the cost quotation is accurate and confirm what services are included.

    2. Packing for your move

    It is a good idea to declutter your home before you move to avoid wasting space on items you no longer want or need. Label all your boxes by room for a smooth arrival at your new home.

    Pack one box of essentials for your first night – you don’t want to be rummaging through all your boxes the box of tea bags or your child’s favourite teddy!

    3. Update your address

    Before you move, update your address with the royal mail post office and any other important contacts. This could include banks, insurance companies, health services and government bodies, as well as friends and family.

    You will also need to inform utility companies of your move as soon as possible to ensure you have water and electricity when you arrive.

    4. Final preparations

    To reduce your stresses on moving day, it may be a good idea to arrange care for your children and pets .

    You may also want to order a food shop to your new home, so you have one less thing on your to-do list.

    5. Moving day!

    Moving day is exciting, but there is a lot to do – make sure you wear comfortable clothes as you’ll be on your feet all day.

    Pack your valuables and essentials in your car so they are safe and easy to find when you arrive. You may want to create a box-free room to give you space to relax without having to look at the boxes.

    For more advice on looking to move, get in touch with us on
    01702 34 11 77 or send us an email using the contact form below.


      NO USE EMPTY – SCHEME FOR A MORE VIBRANT RETAIL STREET SCENE

      Some of you may have read in the national press that schemes are planned under the Government’s ‘levelling up initiative’ particularly aimed at re-vitalising our town and city  centres 

      We have news of one such scheme – a ‘No Use Empty’ scheme where interest free loans are available to property owners and developers .  This is a loan scheme,  and not a grant and is particularly aimed at revitalising our High Street.  

      The Southend led NUE project is focussing solely on commercial property, with the objective of returning between 10 and 15 empty buildings to use across the NUE SE partnership, (Southend, Basildon, Thurrock, Castle Point, Rochford and Brentwood) supporting new developments for alternative commercial purpose, or mixed-use commercial/residential

      Funding is time limited , Interest free loans are available in multiple of £25k, up to a maximum of £175,000.   

      More information is available from Tony Wilson at Southend City Council.  You can email Tony direct on NoUseEmpty@Southend.gov.uk and further details are available on their webiste www.southend.gov.uk/nuese.  Tony will be delighted to hear from you and is encouraging interested parties to act fast to maximise the impact of this limited funding.

       

      Diane Tait

      Commercial Manager


      IMPORTANT UPDATE - Selective Licensing Scheme

      We have been advised by Southend Borough Council that a new Selective Licensing Scheme will come into effect from the 1st December 2021. The scheme covers properties in certain areas of Westcliff and Southend, and falls across the Milton, Kursaal and Victoria Wards of the Borough.

      We have made every effort to identify the affected properties and write to the landlords concerned. If you have not already received a letter, we would suggest you check the interactive map. CLICK HERE to confirm your property is not affected.

      The aim of the scheme is to regulate the condition, management and occupation of properties within the designated blanket area. It is hoped that this will contribute to a positive effect in the local community.

      All licences will be subject to having the required documentation (including a current Electrical Installation Condition Report and Gas Safety Certificate) and landlords will be expected to pass a ‘fit and proper person’ check. The council will also carry out an inspection of every licensed property.

      The cost of obtaining a license has been set by Southend Borough Council at £688 per property and is valid for a 5 year period from the date of issue. However, we have been advised that applicants who apply for a license before March 2022 will be eligible for a 25% discount. We will endeavour to register all eligible properties by this date if possible.

      As the scheme is compulsory, we will be acting on your behalf to apply for the license for your property, unless we hear from you advising that you wish to arrange the license yourself. An administration fee of £199 (inc. VAT) per property will be applied. This will be capped at £799 (inc. VAT) for 4 or more properties. Please note that this fee includes the arrangement of all required documentation and compulsory floor plans for each property.

      Selective licenses will be a legal requirement and failure to license may result in a financial penalty of up to £30,000 plus prosecution. Landlords may also be ordered to repay any rent received during the unlicensed period.

      If you wish to arrange the Selective License yourself, please advise us of this no later than 30TH NOVEMBER 2021.

       

      We only have limited information currently which is detailed above in full. Further information can be found at https://www.southend.gov.uk/private-housing/selective-licensing-scheme or by emailing selectivelicensing@southend.gov.uk.


      WE ARE HIRING!

      Lettings Negotiator

       

      Southend-on-Sea

      Hours: Monday-Friday 8.45am-6pm (less 1 hour for lunch)

      Holiday: 28 days annual leave per year (including bank holidays) rising with length of service

      Salary: A competitive salary package based on skills and experience

       

      We are looking to recruit a Lettings Negotiator to be part of a dynamic fast-paced Lettings office. This role will be the main point of contact for prospective tenants from the initial enquiry to the move in date. The successful candidate will be a motivated individual who has a background in Estate Agency or Customer Service.

      Responsibilities-

      • Answering incoming telephone calls
      • Responding to portal enquiries
      • Arranging and carrying out viewings
      • Preparing tenancy agreements and accompanying paperwork
      • Taking marketing photos and details
      • Carrying out 3 month initial property inspections

      Requirements-

      • Customer orientated
      • Good telephone manner
      • Methodical and organised approach to work
      • Must be willing to become an integral part of the Lettings Team and contribute to the development of the department
      • Clean UK driving licence
      • Previous experience relating to Estate Agency is desirable but not essential

      This is an excellent opportunity to join a well-established local Estate Agency and Property Management company and benefit from a thriving surrounding sales environment.

       

      If you are interested in this position and feel you have the experience and attributes for this role then please apply by sending your CV to oliviadedman@hairandson.co.uk.