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Real Estate    

To Buy or Not to Buy – Buying vs Renting: The Pro’s & Cons.

For the average adult living in the UK, this will be an inevitable question: do you buy or do you rent? Well, depending on your financial circumstances and your long-term goals, each option has some pros and each has some cons. This article aims to offer some insight on the upsides and downsides of each in order to help you make a more informed decision. We’ll start with renting.

Renting is usually the first step that the average person will take when it comes to setting out independently, or with a new partner. Usually, in order to rent a property, all you’ll need is a couple of good references, proof of income (or, in some cases, a guarantor), and a deposit that equals the equivalent of about two-months’ worth of your rental. Depending on where you are renting, this could be anywhere from around £800 to £2000. But usually, if you’re renting in an area at the higher end of the cost scale, it’s likely that you will start out in a house share anyway. Not many people can afford £1000 per month in rental costs when they’re just starting out. So, as an average, let’s stick with a deposit of around £1000 and a monthly rental cost of around £500 plus bills. If you’re in a fulltime job or if you are moving in with a partner where your income matches a decent combined living wage, renting may be a good place to start. As the deposit and requirements are fairly manageable, it’s one of the fastest ways to find a home to live in. What’s more, if anything goes wrong with the rental property (with details depending on individual contracts and as long as and damage is not down to tenant neglect or carelessness), it is most likely the responsibility of the landlord to foot the bill and see to it that the issue is sorted and fixed.

The downside of a rental is that your monthly payment will, in most cases, be more than the sum you might be paying on a mortgage. What’s difficult about this is that every time you pay your rent, you’re putting your money into someone else’s pocket and making no investment. When you buy, the monthly mortgage payments are going towards your ownership of a property, which can increase in value and earn you some profit in the long term.

In simple terms, rentals are great when you’re not in a position to provide a buyer’s deposit. They are easier to attain, usually quicker to move into, and shouldn’t cost you unexpectedly if something were to occur; a boiler breaking or a leak for example. But be aware that rentals will have rules an restrictions with regard to freedoms you would otherwise have with a property of your own. For example, interior decorating, house modifications, and whether or not you are allowed pets, etc.

So let’s look into buying. As we’ve already said, buying will require more from you in the first instance than a rental. So, you will have to have the starting capital required to put down a deposit (which is usually 10% of the property selling price). There is also a longer and more detailed process to go through in terms of legalities, surveys and insurance requirements. This being said, if you have the means to buy, it is potentially the better option. Buying is essentially investing. Where with rentals, you are paying the landlord to ‘borrow’ their property as a tenant, when you buy a home of your own, your money is going towards an investment in a property which, if looked after, extended or converted, will likely increase in value over the years and offer some profit long-term. On a more trivial level, the house is yours to do with what you will: own pets, decorate in any way you like, modify or extend, and so on. You won’t have the added worry that you are going to accidentally damage something that will later cost you your rental bond. On the flip side of this, you will need to be cautious with your savings, as anything that may go wrong in the home, is solely your responsibility. Having said that, it is likely that your monthly mortgage payments will be lower than that of your rental price – so that extra cash can be put to one side for unexpected events.

On the whole, whether you buy or rent will be circumstantial. However, it is likely that rentals are the option when you are still finding your feet or you’re on a lower income and unable to put together a deposit. Buying a home may be a more complicated process, but for those who have the means to do so – they are an investment and offer more freedoms to live your life exactly as you choose.

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General

Should We Spend Less Time at Work? The Pros & Cons

When we say less time at work, we’re not talking holidays, annual leave or simply cutting our hours. What we’re looking at here is a trend in flexible working. Modern technology and access to software such as the Cloud and VoIP systems that allow us to work from anywhere in the world at any given time of day or night are leading an increase in flexible working options. This means less time at work, say – in the office, for example – and more time elsewhere. For example, working from home, working flexible hours and potentially even working abroad. But what are the pros and cons of working less ‘at work’? Let’s take a look.

When it comes to flexible working the clue is in the title – it offers more flexibility. Gone are the days where working life means being at the office for 9am and staying there until 5pm when you make the traffic-packed journey home. Today, the majority of office-based work can usually be from anywhere, which allows room for the varied lifestyle of the modern human being. More companies these days are putting an emphasis on work-life balance due to the increasing trend of work-related stress, depression and anxiety. In fact, according to a report published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in late 2018, workload was the number one cause of anxiety, stress and/or depression in the workplace at 44%, while the other 56% was spilt across causes such as lack of managerial support, changes in the workplace and bullying. It is a serious issue that should be considered by employers. Potentially, flexible working options could help to reduce the burden of workload by offering employees more choice and more freedoms. Not only is this good for the wellbeing of employees, but it could result in less time taken off sick, which benefits employers too.

Cutting down on the commute. Working from home, for example, means cutting out any need to drive to work or use public transport. Not only does this save time, it allows for more quality time either side of working hours: time for a decent breakfast, or more time to cook dinner on an evening. This can be a great enhancer of wellbeing and can reduce stress. What’s more, cutting down on travel is also good for the environment, so this aspect of flexible working is sort of win, win.

All of this being said, it’s not all smooth-sailing when it comes to flexible working. At first glance, it looks like a very appealing option. Afterall, who wouldn’t want to work from home? I mean, you could even sit in your favourite pj’s, listen to your favourite music and sip your favourite coffee while getting your work done and earning at the same time. However, the reality isn’t so simple.

Turning your home into your workplace. This in itself can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it sounds much more appealing than sitting in a neon-lit office. On the other, however, it can be quite important to be able to separate your home and working environment. This is because lines can very easily blur and, if you don’t have a strong and assertive sense of boundary-setting, you could find yourself in one of two situations: 1. Your work will suffer because home-comforts becme too much of a distraction, 2. Your home life will suffer because it becomes less and less clear where the line is drawn between your home being an office and your home being the place you come to when work is done.

All in all, flexible working is only a positive thing for offering people more choice and giving more consideration to quality of life and work/life balance. But in order for it to be successful and worthwhile, boundaries need to be set, and people need to be strong and assertive enough to stick to them.

Categories
Real Estate    

Spain & Portugal: Why are they the UK’s Favourite Property Investment Destinations?

When you think of property investments, holiday and retirement homes and rentals abroad – particularly from UK investors, you’ll likely think Europe, more specifically, Spain and Portugal. This is because Spain and Portugal are among the most popular destinations of choice for expats, holiday-makers and those planning to retire in a warmer climate. But why so? This article seeks to explore.

One of the more obvious reasons is that these destinations are only a short flight away. They are accessible destinations from most UK airports and flights are, on the whole, relatively cheap (particularly off-season). Spain and Portugal are close enough to keep administrative responsibilities, moves and procedures fairly simple to undergo, while far enough away from the UK to offer warmer summers that can be spent enjoying time outdoors or by the coast. This is a hugely appealing aspect of countries like this overall.

There are also some real benefits when looking at the economy and trends that would suggest that these places are an enticing place to not only live but do business. Looking at Portugal in particular, there has been a rise in tech start-ups over the past few years which continue to strengthen and modernise the working economy. More business means more money coming into the country, and Portugal is reaping the rewards as investors are spotting the rise in opportunity. Spain is also quite an appealing choice when you review the economy as a whole. The reputation of the Spanish government has a lot to offer, as government spending and input is on the rise. This will also potentially see a positive influence on business opportunities, as well as property.

We can’t ignore the lifestyle appeal either. Not only is the climate a welcome change for those in the UK looking to move or invest, the lifestyle as a whole is also ticking many boxes. Generally, life in Spain and Portugal moves at a different pace from that in the UK. In part due to the warmer weather, there seems to be a more relaxed attitude in Spain and Portugal, with more of an emphasis on living contently than breaking your back in order to get by. This is reflected in the warmth and friendliness one might encounter amongst the locals. The cuisine is also not to be ignored, with excellent links to fresh seafoods, and fruit and vegetable selections which would otherwise be seasonal and more expensive in the UK, a more Mediterranean diet is also an appealing invitation from these countries. Not only is it fresh and tasty, but it can be sourced locally and is potentially much cheaper than in the UK.

Finally – investments from the UK in Spain and Portugal are familiar processes from both sides. This might sound quite a simplified point. It is quite simple, but it can make a massive difference. Because UK investors have been turning to Spain and Portugal for so long, the procedures, papers, surveys, policies and eligibility lists, as well as property guides and advice, are already strongly in place and easier to research for first-time investors. This can be a huge selling point. Familiarity is always more of a puller than the unknown. So, as a starting point, this is a great stepping-stone for UK investors.

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Real Estate    

What are the top five house-buying dealbreakers?

Can you imagine finding your dream house, only to discover once you’ve moved in that it’s riddled with a myriad of problems that will cost you a small fortune to fix? Here is a look at some of the most common dealbreakers in new homes.

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Damp

Damp houses are depressing. They smell, they make your clothes smell, and mould and other nasties can grow, making them harmful to your health. Damp is often a sign of another problem somewhere – perhaps water leaks or even subsidence. According to the Guardian, cracks in the wall are a sure sign of subsidence. Subsidence is expensive to fix in terms of time and money, and houses with it are best avoided. 

Old connections

Nothing lasts forever, and this is especially true for old electrics or plumbing that has not been done properly. Electricity can cause fires, plumbing water leaks, and other problems. Make sure you know what to expect with older homes.

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Asbestos

It’s no longer used, but it may still be lurking in some old houses and has to be removed by specialist companies because it is carcinogenic. It will cost a lot to have it removed, and even if it’s not disintegrating when you buy the house, it will at some point in time. Its presence should be picked up somewhere in the conveyancing process, so avoid it like the plague.

Energy Efficiency

Older houses were not built with energy efficiency in mind, and it may be costly to make the necessary changes, such as double-glazing and new boilers. Check out the Energy Performance Certificate of your chosen house before you buy, and determine whether the price of the house is realistic for the amount and cost of any work you will need to do to make it cost-effective to run.

Use a reputable company such as https://www.samconveyancing.co.uk/login to arrange for a survey and other advice about the process.

Location 

We all have different needs in this regard, whether it’s nearby schools if you have young children, good rail links if you commute, or crime rates. Keep in mind that locations, like hemlines, change over time. Do your homework first so you know which way the trend is going.

If you carry out due diligence, you should be fine – as long as you know what to look for!

Categories
General

The Pros and Cons of Renting Out to College Students

If you own a rental property near a university or college your first thought might be to rent it out to them. But there is a matter of concern for many landlords if they should rent out to a younger, often, less mature individual.  At the same time, they don’t want to miss out on a great chance to charge competitive rent. It is definitely a decision worth weighing the pros and cons.

Pros when renting out to College students

  • With mom and dad supporting them, you can feel confident you’ll get rent on time on a consistent basis.
  • With a University or College nearby there will be demand from students in particular. Knowing this, you can charge a competitive rate due to the housing demand from students.
  • Many Universities offer programs to help market your property to help you get a steady flow of prospective tenants.
  • Students may be less demanding and not be overly concerned with minor issues.

Cons when renting out to College students

  • College students can stay at the same property for several years (during their time at school) but many may only stay for a year or less. This leads to more time involved in tenant screening, marketing, etc.
  • They’re a younger individual and may be less mature. That said, they may not care for the property the way an older, more mature person may care for it.
  • There is the obvious concern for property damage. This may be a result of a party or simply not properly caring for their rental space.
  • College students may struggle to pay for rent if they’re without a job, financial support from their parents or a loan.

Despite the cons listed above, many experts believe that renting to college students is, generally speaking, a good idea. Granted, there may be issues you’ll need to deal with that are unlike those of an older, more mature individual, the pros can outweigh the cons if you do your due diligence.

How to minimize risk when renting to students

  • Require the student to sign the lease as well as his or her parents or legal guardian(s). By having them on the agreement as well, they may think twice when it comes to maintaining the property and having student parties.
  • Put certain rules into writing like the student halls and dorms have. For example, no burning candles, fires, charcoal grills, weaponry etc.
  • Do not pay for utilities. College students are often on their own for the first time and may not realize the true cost of leaving the TV and A/C on all day until they see the bill.
  • Check in on the property each month. If you go months on end without seeing the property a small problem may turn into a very big problem. Consider hiring an apartment rental management company to help keep up with the day to day communication and check-ins as well.

Should you choose to rent out your property to College students, consider using the list above to save you a lot of stress and, potentially, additional costs.

Categories
Real Estate    

Get condos for sale in toronto developed by Tridel at an affordable rate

Among others, we need to look for first-class condos which give stunning look and features. For commercial, retail and rentals in Downtown, Tridel condominiums take place necessary role for providing an ambitious mixture. Of course, condos for sale in toronto developed by Tridel offers an exclusive arrival that makes a proper solution for the extension of urban vibrancy. It meets expectation as it delivers quick results for carrying out top-notch condominium living experience. Thus, it offers an excellent solution for one who needs to grab more features when compared with others. Based on urban vibrancy, it takes average time for carrying out much condominium introducing in anticipated lifestyles.

Meet commercial space

In Toronto, the host will approximately have 10,000 people daily and worked well. Moreover, it stands foremost choice for creating massive ambitious endeavor in Canada. Thus, it grabs many things to evaluate condominium lifestyle at the Well. It begins to carry out Well Development team includes residential condominiums by Tridel, residential rentals. Apart from it, commercial space begins to meet the requirements clearly without any hassles. The professional team will develop many things suitable for commercial space and rentals.

A major development in condos

It can live the progress that begins to carry out construction feed by updating features. Moreover, it carries out major development in evaluating an honest way of meeting the desires. Get the necessary amenities that belong to care a lot by involving major development. See information on condos for sale in toronto developed by Tridel without any hassles. Therefore, it grabs many things suitable for updating the office space and commercials. This is nothing but an ideal transformation begins to carry out major benefits for new homes and communities.

Perfect commercial and retail space

Unlike others, modern condominium has lots of things establish to revolve around the factors. It also connects with close proximities and surroundings. It is quickly developed concerning new homes and communities. A tradition inspires many things as it evaluates the standard lifestyle. It transforms the office space that believes in the facilities for the master-planned community. Condo rental in Toronto begins to carry out massive options for bold reflection. So, it does not take much time to complete your projects. It stands as best one that imparts to make proper commercial space and retails in a condominium.

World-class amenities

With the most innovative and sustainable concept in building a condominium, your outcome is familiar due to unique amenities. It takes one to evaluate your living standard by grabbing properties at condos for sale in toronto developed by Tridel. Many advanced features permit one to make true innovation because it grabs many things as quickly as possible. Home and community standard developed concerning featuring world-class amenities. So, one needs to make proper guidance for landscaped grounds for connecting.

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Property Management

5 Strategies to Boost Employee Retention in Property Management

The brightest of all the employees are hard to maintain. Especially when they possess all of the required skills which are hottest in the market. This gets into a real challenge in the business of property managers. This usually goes out of the scope of human resources people and their department resulting in the company being in a great loss. The employment opportunities are growing with time and hence the people do leave the jobs earlier and with the hope to get a new one. This article brings you all the hottest strategies to boost employee retention in property management companies.

Culture of addition and love

The women are a great workforce and they are said to be more organized than their male counterparts. But sadly it is reported that women are being lost in the corporations because they don’t offer the professional culture which women as a minority wants. The retention rate is very low and has become a real challenge. There are considerable no support and considerations from the managers in this regard. Also, the promotion level culture often demotivates the women to lose all their enthusiasm in the workplace mainly they don’t get the same opportunities outside the work.

The feedback is crucial

Many of the times employee feedback is ignored and not taken into account at all. Even in the cases where employees show up and voice their opinions about a topic they are just listened and not acted upon sadly. The management should be involved in active and effective communication with the employees at all levels. The listening of all kinds of feedback will boost your organization’s efficiency and will build an unsaid level of trust.

Promoting the people onto the leadership positions

The awards and the merit determine how happy an employee is. This comes in the category of employee management and the trends coupled with the research has shown positive retention results. The employees shouldn’t be just restricted and put into training and recruiting process. The creates a different level of impact on the whole workforce within an organization.

Employee rebranding

Before you hop onto the question of what things are making your employees leave your organization. You should question yourself if you are investing the money rightly on your employees. This may range from varied and multifaceted engagements which are easy to remember in the long run. You can spend money on their workshops and certifications. This will make them grow in their respective career paths and will help them in getting engaged as well.

Leave no chance in an exit interview

One can’t help too much if the employees are too firm on their decision to leave. However, what can be done is to know their real motives and reasons for them going from your organization. This can be a tricky affair for many including the human resource department. The reasons for employee turnovers can serve as a new approach to apply new methodologies for better employee experience.

Visit OaksProperty for More Details

Categories
Buying General Homes

Buying a dream home in Spain? Here’s 4 Things You Definitely Need To Know

If you’ve decided you finally deserve that dream holiday home in Spain, or even fancy a permanent move into the sunshine, here are a few things you need to know:

Find yourself an expert

Spanish property law is packed with quirks that can confuse international investors, especially when they’re searching for their first property. As such, it’s essential to find an independent lawyer who understands the inner workings of Spanish land law. Independent means someone who works solely on your behalf and is not closely affiliated with sellers or developers. And as tempting as it might sound, resist any temptation to cut corners. You want a lawyer that crosses every T and puts a dot over every last I.

Get your eyes on those credentials

If you’re working with a Spanish lawyer, make sure they’re a registered, practicing member of the local bar association. If so, they should be able to produce a registration number. You also need to check that they have professional indemnity insurance and always seek impartial legal advice before you sign anything or hand over any money. And if there’s a language barrier, never guess or assume that you understand each other. Hire a translator instead. You can find info on hiring translators at the Spanish Ministry for Foreign Affairs website.

Do all of your homework

If you’re taking out a mortgage for your Spanish home, make sure you know what kind of mortgage you’re getting into. The first thing to do is find out if the lender is authorized to operate in Spain. You can do this by contacting the Bank of Spain. When looking over the many types of mortgages available, pay extra attention to the interest rate and repayment schedule, as well as any setup or cancellation fees. And be mindful:  if you fall into arrears and the property is repossessed with negative equity, the bank can recover the loss via your other assets via a European Enforcement Order.

Extra consideration for coastal and rural properties

If you’ve got your eye on an idyllic coastal property, contact the Coastal Demarcation office to check that the building is not affected by 1988 coastal law. A certificate of exemption will prevent you from getting trapped in some complicated and expensive disputes about the public and private boundaries around your house. Be extra careful if the land registry states the property is built on rural land. The government tends to reserve this for agricultural purposes, meaning there may be issues with planning permission for residential use.

These are just four of the things you need to know about buying a property in Spain – that’s why it’s crucial you work with reputable and established legal experts and estate agents. ValuVillas have been a market leader in the Spanish property sector for 30 years. Based in Javea along the Costa Blanca, they’ve got a fantastic portfolio of properties now available and are always on hand to guide you through the buying process.

Categories
General

How To Avoid Killer Bees This Summer

The killer honeybees, also known as the Africanized Honey Bees, are a type of honeybee that tenaciously safeguards their hive. The name “killer honey bee” is somewhat deceptive because honeybees are tiny and its sting is less venomous than other honeybee species. Furthermore, the killer honeybees can be deadly; they are provoked, causing them to sting their target steadily. In any chance that killer honey bees are attacking you, you should run as fast as you can and look for a place to hide. When you find the right prevention method, you can avoid being stung by the killer honeybees this summer. There two major ways to get rid of killer bees; alert professional bee control companies near you, or use the following tips to avoid being stung by them;

Do not jump into the water to escape bees: try not to jump into a body of water to avoid bees because they will wait for you to surface. There was a case when a swarm of bees hovered for hours over a guy in a lake; they stung him whenever he came up for air. He only survived because the bees return to their hive after sunset. So jumping into water is not a good idea at all.

Secure your head and face: The killer bees will focus on your head and face zone, and the most extreme wounds are typically sustained in those zones. Make sure you cover your head and face when you are being attacked by the killer bee, using a blanket, your shirt or a sheet. However, you do need to position the sheet or cover appropriately so you can still see under it. If by any chance that you don’t have anything to wrap your head and face with, you can use your hands to cover your face, trying not to cover your eyes so you can watch where you are going.

Run, Run and Run: If you unintentionally disturb the killer bees’ nest, run right away. Endeavor to get to an enclose safe shelter, like a vehicle or just keep running until the honey bees quit tailing you. You might want to run a quarter mile or more from where the attack started. Just as I said before, cover your face when running away without covering your vision.

Wear light-colored clothing: The killer bees have always known the dark colors as their most common enemies like badgers and bears. So for this reason, wear light-colored clothing so you won’t be a threat to them. Do not wear red because this color appears black to the killer bees. So avoid wearing that color as well.

Do not disturb: try not to disturb or approach the nest of a killer bee. If you see bees exiting or entering a rock crevice, tree cavity, a hole in the ground, just assume that there is a nest there and leave the area as soon as possible.

Pay attention to their behavior: when you see a bee starts to swarm over you, they are probably trying to warn you not to come any closer. However, do not swat at them just leave that area.

Categories
Real Estate    

Ways To Grow Your Business With Commercial Mortgage

In an ideal world, nobody would ever need to borrow money from a bank or a financial institution to grow their business. Business loans simply would not exist. Entrepreneurs would always have a sufficient amount of funds at their disposal, and whenever a new opportunity arose that required additional investment, they could carry it out by withdrawing the necessary sum from their bank accounts. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work.

Small business owners often need a cash injection to grow their businesses, and in that regard, Commercial Mortgage may be the best solution. However, nobody is attracted to the idea of ​​paying interest on a mortgage. While it is true that interest payments can be high, you should consider this problem from a different point of view.

The question you should ask yourself when applying for a mortgage is: “Will the benefit that my company will obtain when using the borrowed money be greater than my interest payments?”. If your answer is affirmative, then you can consider that your interest rate is fair. Definitely, it’s a good idea to go ahead and borrow the money your company needs.

How can your company use the money from a commercial mortgage? Here we offer you several ideas that you may find very useful.

  1. Buy new equipment

It is essential to update the machinery and equipment you use in your business from time to time. If you use old tools and tools in poor condition, your productivity may decrease. In addition, you will offer a bad image if your company is customer-oriented.

But buying machinery can be expensive. You have to invest a significant amount in advance. You can always ask your provider if you provide financing through monthly payments. If this is not possible, consider a commercial loan as your second best option. A mortgage can be the perfect solution when it comes to buying equipment.

  1. Pay your suppliers before they give you discounts

Do you know the term “2/10 net 30”? It is a form of payment offered by many suppliers, and that has advantages. It means that if you pay within ten days after your purchase, you can get a 2% discount. The other option you have is to pay the total amount in 30 days.

Do the math for yourself. It may make sense to get a loan to pay your suppliers ahead of time and get a discount.

  1. Encourage your marketing activities

The most effective way to grow your business is to sell more. That’s simple but how to get it? Good entrepreneurs know that a well-focused marketing campaign can boost their sales. But traditional marketing methods and even digital marketing require investment. A mortgage used for this purpose can be an excellent investment because it will generate additional sales.

  1. Expand your business to other areas

With a commercial mortgage, you can grow your business by expanding your geographic coverage. This does not necessarily mean that you open a new office or a new location, nor that you rent an additional warehouse for your products. You can expand your business by expanding the radius of your potential customers, targeting clients in a nearby location through ads in the appropriate media. You can also launch an online advertising campaign aimed at a larger audience.

  1. Set up or improve your company’s website

If your company does not have a website, it’s time for you to build one. Small businesses with an online presence have more credibility and reach than companies that do not appear in a Google search. The money you spend on digital marketing and the improvement of your website can generate very high returns. If you do not have the money for this investment, a commercial mortgage can be a great idea.

  1. Increase your income by selling on credit

If you work in the business services industry, you can sell credit to your customers. Let’s imagine that you are a wholesaler that sells your products to restaurants. You can win customers to your competition if you offer more attractive credit terms. And your existing customers may decide to buy in larger quantities if you accept longer credit periods.

While this could mean higher sales and profits, you can also put your cash flow in a delicate situation. That’s where mortgages for companies can bring you a solution. If you decide to adopt this strategy, do it with caution. In your effort to increase sales volumes, do not go too far by providing the terms to your customers. Waiting too long for your payments could end up being an inconvenience.

  1. Improve your product or service

A superior product or a better service can attract more customers. The investment you make to improve your product or service can help you get more customers and grow your business. Remember that you may not need drastic changes in the products you offer. Often, something as simple as a change in packaging or an improvement in only one particular aspect of your products can result in an increase in your sales.