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The fastest way to pay off your mortgage

 

 










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Being mortgage free faster is something many of us only dream of, but it may be easier to do than you think and can save you thousands of pounds. Take a look at our tips to see if you could pay off your mortgage faster…

 

Overpay your mortgage each month

Paying as little as an extra £50 a month on top of your normal mortgage repayment can make all the difference to how much interest you pay and how quickly you’re rid of your mortgage.

 

For example, if you owe £130,000 and have 20 years left on a 2.5% repayment mortgage, by paying an extra £50 a month, you’ll pay off your mortgage 1 year and 8 months earlier, saving £3,235 in interest. If you overpay by £100 a month, it would be reduced by 3 years and 1 month and you’d save £5,920 in interest.

 

Before changing anything, check that there aren’t any penalties for overpaying. Most mortgages now allow some level of overpayment – typically up to 10% of the total mortgage balance each year on fixed rate deals (variable rates, where your mortgage rate can go up or down, often don’t have penalties). Be careful not to go over any limits, as the penalties can run into hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

 

If you can’t afford to pay any extra, check to see if you could switch to a better mortgage rate. Then, instead of paying the new lower mortgage repayment, simply continue to repay what you were paying before and you’ll pay off your mortgage faster.

 

Make a one-off lump sum payment

If you come into some money, you could use it to pay off a chunk of your mortgage.

 

For example, if you owe £130,000 and have 20 years left on a 2.5% repayment mortgage, by making a one-off overpayment of £5,000, it would save you £3,132 in interest and mean you pay off your mortgage in full 11 months earlier. If the overpayment were £10,000, it would save you £6,068 in interest and mean you’d be mortgage free 1 year and 11 months earlier.

 

Again, make sure you won’t incur a penalty before doing anything.

 

Shorten the length of your mortgage

You can simply ask your lender to reduce the term of your mortgage – say from 15 years to 10 years.  This will increase your monthly repayments, but you’ll pay less interest overall. Think carefully before doing this – it’s a much less flexible option than overpaying, which you can switch on and off as it suits you. But if you prefer the discipline of higher repayments this could work for you.

 

There are various mortgage calculators online, such as the one on the Money Supermarket website, which can show you how much quicker you can pay off your mortgage if you make regular or one-off repayments, as well as how your repayments are affected if you increase or reduce the term of your mortgage.

 

Think things through                           

As with all financial decisions, it’s important not to make the decision to pay off your mortgage early in isolation – there are a number of things to think about first. For example, if you have debt elsewhere, or can get a higher return on a savings account, it may be best to invest your spare cash there.


 

 

What are the most popular things people look for in a new home?

 
 
 

Orange Real Estate Flowchart



If you're thinking of selling your home, it helps to know exactly what most buyers are looking for when they walk through the door. So we've looked at the top must-haves listed by would-be buyers to help you work out how in-demand your home is likely to be.
 
While there's not a lot you can do about some of these asks (you can't make your neighbours disappear, for example), others are quite easily done and could be the difference between someone making an offer or continuing their search.
 
The results below come from GoCompare’s 'Home essential's survey’, which was carried out late in 2019. To try and give you some more insight into the features that are becoming more (and less) important to buyers, we'll compare the results of earlier surveys.
 

1.     Heating tops the list
If your house is cold and draughty, it might be worth doing something about it: house hunters have listed good central heating and double-glazing as their biggest asks for the last four years running.
 
This year, more than three quarters (78% for heating, 76% for double glazing) described it as 'essential'.
 
If you don't want to shell out for new windows or a better heating system, winter-proofing your home will make it cosier without breaking the bank.
 

2.     Is your home burglar-proof?
Security is unsurprisingly a big consideration for many house hunters.
 
Some 71% of those surveyed described secure windows and doors as essential and this aspect has regularly featured in the top four asks since 2016.
 

3.     Broadband signal is vital
The survey also shows the increasing importance of technology at home, with ‘reliable broadband signal’ and ‘strong mobile phone signal’ nabbing spots five and six on the list respectively.
 
Rewind to 2016 and the same two factors ranked ninth and 17th, so it's unsurprisingly becoming a vital factor as more items in our homes become reliant on the Internet.
 
Sadly, there isn't much you can do if you suffer from poor mobile signal or rubbish broadband speeds in your area, although you can at least take steps to ensure the Wi-Fi works as well as possible in your home, with Wi-Fi boosters and by opting for fibre optic if it’s available.
 

4.    Death of the landline?
The survey didn’t see an increased demand for all forms of technology however, as 'landline phone connection' dropped out of the top 20 essential features for the first time this year.
 
This is in line with recent research by Ofcom which shows that the amount of time we spend talking on the home phone has nearly halved in the last six years.
 
Replacing the landline in 20th place is satellite TV, which 36% of people saw as ‘essential’.
 

5.     What about the neighbours?
The importance of technology hasn't replaced the human touch just yet however, as 'friendly neighbours' came in 10th place this year.
 
Having a friendly face next door is a consistent in the survey since it began, give or take a position or two.
 
Other things that people wanted that just missed out on the top 10 were 'at least two toilets' and 'off-road parking', which were both considered essential by 51% of participants.
 

6.     Living room size over schools nearby
The biggest increase on previous years was the number of people wanting ‘a living room large enough to accommodate a large flat-screen TV.’
 
Only one in 10 people considered a living room of that size to be a priority in 2014, whereas that figure has quadrupled to over 40% in this year’s survey.
 
A property’s proximity to high-performing schools did not make the top 20, as only 17% of buyers said that it was something that they considered to be important.
 
Whether or not a property has period features came in even further down the list, with only 9% of people rating it as having a big influence on their choice of home.
 

Final thoughts
 
Stepping back and looking from a buyer’s perspective usually helps to understand what might be important to highlight in your home. You should also take into account who will be buying it – for example, a young family will want a garden, but a single professional will want the best commute. This way, you can tailor the home to the perfect buyer. If you want some help knowing what buyers in your area specifically want in a home, or how you can raise your home’s value – get in touch. 

LOCKDOWN NEW GUIDELINES

Purple Yellow Blue and Pink Disease Prevention Coronavirus Awareness Poster

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a three-step plan to ease out of the lockdown. Contact with others outside your household should still be avoided, as should keeping two metres apart when out, while hand washing regularly should be continued. 

 

 Step One – 13th May

  • Wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces
  • Only meet one person from outside household
  • Drive to open spaces irrespective of distance
  • Travel to work if workplace open
  • Avoid public transport where possible

 

 Step Two – Earliest 1 June

  • Phased return for nurseries and schools
  • Hope all primary pupils to return before summer
  • Non-essential retail to open when safe
  • Sport & cultural events behind closed doors
  • Measures to facilitate small weddings

 

 Step Three – Earliest 4 July

  • Re-open all remaining businesses including…
  • Hairdressers, beauty salons
  • Pubs, hotels
  • Leisure facilities including cinemas

 

The new measures come into force on Wednesday. However, the new guidance only applies in England – those living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been advised by the government to follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK. Johnson also made clear that each step would only be entered on the proviso that the data collected shows that this is viable. You can read more by visiting www.gov.uk/coronavirus


 

Should you use a letting agent?

 

letting

 

Are you letting out a property for the first time? Or have you often faced a lot of problems while searching for a rental property? Well, in the current property market, letting out as well as finding a property can be a real challenge. Have several people recommended that you should hire a letting agent but you are not sure about it? Don’t worry! You are not the only property owner with this confusion. If you talk to landlords, you may get contrasting opinion about the need of a letting agent. Few landlords just don’t do their job without a letting agent while others simply don’t hire one. So, instead of believing the opinion of others, you need to analyse your requirement.

Here are a few points you should consider while deciding whether you need a letting agent or not.

Trust - When you are letting out a property, you mostly deal with strangers. Having someone reliable in between is always a good idea. It not only makes the process but also reduces the risks involved.

Knowledge - A letting agent has a sound knowledge of the local property market. They know what tenants are looking for and how you can market your property. They will also decide the right amount of rent you should be quoting based on other properties in the area.

Paperwork - A letting agent takes care of all the paperwork required in renting out a property. They give correspondence, take care of viewings, references and complete any other paperwork involved in the process.

Legal Requirements - Though you may have rented out several properties, you may not always be aware of the legal requirements for landlords. Also, there are several Health and Safety regulations a property must abide to and you may suffer penalty if you fail to do so. A letting agent has updated knowledge of the regulations, and can help you meet them.

Cost Effectiveness - Though it may seem surprising, going for a letting agent is actually cost effective. Property owners argue that they have to pay the letting agent and it is an extra expense. But if you compare the time, money and efforts the agent saves with the amount paid as fees, you will realise that you have saved money. Not just money, a letting agent also saves you a lot of stress.

Surety - One of the biggest nightmares of a landlord is not receiving the rent on time. If the rent is not being paid or not being fully paid, it can affect your cash flows. With a full service letting agent, you get the guarantee that you will receive your rent on time.

There are several benefits of hiring a letting agent, but one of the most important ones is peace of mind. With a letting agent, you can keep all the stress and hassles at bay. Just make sure you make a reliable choice for a letting agent. Do your research properly, seek recommendations from coworkers and friends, and talk to few letting agents before making a decision. Remember, your peace of mind and piece of property is in his hands!


 

 

 

 

 

Keep the kids busy

KEEP THE KIDS BUSY

 

 Health & Fitness

Over 800,000 people tuned in to Joe Wick’s first YouTube live PE session on Monday morning. The fitness influencer first announced he was going to be holding virtual workouts at 9am each day last week, and with the incredible success of the first video, you can guarantee it won’t be long till the country will be getting fit together, first thing every morning.
Joe has promised to keep the stream going for as long as the schools are closed, however, he added: “We’re going to return to normal and be reconnected again.” The Body Coach isn’t the only fitness professional going online, check out social media for live fitness classes, including yoga and boxercise, in your local area and help to support local businesses today.
 
 

Learning

Schools and businesses are coming to the rescue to keep your kids up to date with their lessons while not at school. Some schools and colleges are offering live lectures to their students, while a whole host of companies including the BBC, Scholastic and I See Maths are offering informative lessons for children of all ages.
 
 

Art and Culture

Art galleries and museums may have closed their doors, however, with a little creativity the curators are catering to an online audience with some incredible virtual tours. What’s better is that you aren’t just tied to British treasure; you can search the whole world!
Some of our favourites include:
 
So, remember, even though the kids are at home and off school, you are not alone. There are plenty of interactive ways that you can keep your children entertained and stimulate their learning and creativity at

 

Government Guidelines When Buying & Selling Property

 
 
 Mark Beaumont estate agents The Prudential Bulding Lewisham at night
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The government has at last issued extensive advice on home moving and the activities of estate agents during the continuing Coronavirus crisis.
 
This came last evening after days of debate on how much marketing, valuing, viewing and conveyancing could be done during the lockdown.
 
Here is the guidance in full:
 
There is no need to pull out of transactions, but we all need to ensure we are following guidance to stay at home and away from others at all times, including the specific measures for those who are presenting symptoms, self-isolating or shielding. Prioritising the health of individuals and the public must be the priority.
 
Where the property being moved into is vacant, then you can continue with this transaction although you should follow the guidance in this document on home removals. Where the property is currently occupied, we encourage all parties to do all they can to amicably agree alternative dates to move, for a time when it is likely that stay-at-home measures against Coronavirus (COVID-19) will no longer be in place.
 
In the new emergency enforcement powers that the police have been given to respond to Coronavirus, there is an exemption for critical home moves, in the event that a new date is unable to be agreed.
 
Recognising parties will need to alter common practice, we have sought to ease this process for all involved by:
 
Issuing this guidance, developed with Public Health England, to home buyers and those involved in the selling and moving process;
Agreeing with banks that mortgage offers should be extended where delay to completions takes place in order to prioritise safety; and,
Working with Conveyancers to develop a standard legal process for moving completion dates.
Advice to the public
What does this mean for my property move which is scheduled whilst the stay-at-home measures to fight Coronavirus (COIVD-19) apply?
Home buyers and renters should, where possible, delay moving to a new house while measures are in place to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Our advice is that if you have already exchanged contracts and the property is currently occupied then all parties should work together to agree a delay or another way to resolve this matter.
If moving is unavoidable for contractual reasons and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, people must follow advice on staying away from others to minimise the spread of the virus.
In line with Government’s advice, anyone with symptoms, self-isolating or shielding from the virus, should follow medical advice which will mean not moving house for the time being, if at all possible. All parties should prioritise agreeing amicable arrangements to change move dates for individuals in this group, or where someone in a chain is in this group.
What if an extension goes beyond the terms of a mortgage agreement?
UK Finance have today confirmed that, to support customers who have already exchanged contracts for house purchases and set dates for completion, all mortgage lenders are working to find ways to enable customers who have exchanged contracts to extend their mortgage offer for up to three months to enable them to move at a later date.
 
If a customer’s circumstances change during this three month period or the terms of the house purchase change significantly and continuing with the mortgage would cause house buyers to face financial hardship, lenders will work with customers to help them manage their finances as a matter of urgency.
 
If your home is not yet on the market
 
Getting your home onto the market may be more challenging than usual in this period.There should be no visitors to your home. You can speak to Estate Agents over the phone and they will be able to give you general advice about the local property market and handle certain matters remotely but they will not be able to start actively marketing your home in the usual manner.
 
If you are thinking about selling, you can use this time to start gathering together all of the information you will need to provide to potential purchasers.
Advice for people to stay at home and away from others means you should not invite unnecessary visitors into your home, including: Property Agents to carry out a market appraisal or take internal photographs prior to marketing your home; and Energy Performance Certificate assessors.
 
Viewings
 
If your property is already on the market, you can continue to advertise it as being for sale but you should not allow people in to view your property.
 
There should not be any visitors into your home, and you should therefore not let people visit your property for viewings. Your agent may be able to conduct virtual viewings and you could speak to them about this possibility.
 
Accepting offers
 
The buying and selling process can continue during this period but you should be aware that the process is likely to take longer than normal.
 
You are free to continue to accept offers on your property, however the selling process may take longer.
Advice for people to stay at home and away from others means you should not invite visitors into your home, including prospective buyers or advisors.
 
Exchanging contracts
 
Once you have exchanged contracts, you have entered into a legal agreement to purchase that home.
 
If the property you are purchasing in unoccupied you can continue with the transaction.
If the property you are purchasing is currently occupied, we recommend that all parties should work either delay the exchange of contracts until after the period where stay-at-home measures to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19) are in place, or include explicit contractual provisions to take account of the risks presented by the virus.
Advice to industry
All businesses must follow the Government’s latest Guidance for employers and businesses on Coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
Estate Agents
 
Estate Agents should ensure they are able to support clients during this period:
 
Agents should work with their clients and other agents to broker a new date to move where sales are due to complete on occupied properties in the current period where emergency measures are in place to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Agents should prioritise support for anyone with symptoms, self-isolating or shielding from the virus, and those they are in chain with, to agree a new date.
In line with advice for certain businesses to close, agents should not open branches to the public during this period, or visit people’s homes to carry out market appraisals.
Agents should ensure that employees can work from home, to support existing clients and advise potential new clients.
Agents should continue to progress sales where this can be done whilst following guidance to stay at home and away from others.
Agents should advise clients to be patient and not to exchange contracts unless the contracts have explicit terms to manage the timing risks presented by the virus.
 
( Beaumont Gibbs are fully operational, with all staff safely working from home, with access to all of our systems. We will be doing our upmost to help all our clients or any member of the public that may need some advice. )
 
Solicitors and Licenced Conveyancers
 
Conveyancers should continue to support the sales process as far as possible and should make sure their clients are aware of the difficulties of completing transactions in this period:
 
Conveyancers should continue to support the sales of unoccupied properties as far as possible.
Conveyancers should make every effort to support clients who are due to complete on occupied properties in the stay-at-home period to change this date.
Conveyancers should advise their clients who are ready to move not to exchange contracts on an occupied property unless they have made explicit provision for the risks presented by the virus.
Conveyancers should prioritise support anyone with symptoms, self-isolating or shielding from the virus and those they are in chain with, and we urge them to do all they can to help a new date to be agreed in these circumstances.
 
Surveyors
 
Surveyors should not expect to carry out non-urgent surveys in homes where people are in residence, and no inspections should take place if any person in the property is showing symptoms, self-isolating or being shielded. It may be possible to carry out some of your work online and also carry out urgent surveys on empty properties, or those where the occupants are out of the property or following guidance to stay at home and away from others.
 
Surveyors should follow the latest Government guidance which currently (26 March 2020) states that work carried out in people’s homes can continue, provided the trades person is well and has no symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
It is important to ensure Government guidelines are followed, including maintaining a 2 meter distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).
No work should be carried out by a person who has Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, however mild.
 
Removals Firms
 
There will be people who have already committed to moving home; where possible we are encouraging them to delay their move but a small number of moves may need to go ahead. We would urge everyone to take all sensible precautions to ensure the move can happen safely.
 
Removers should honour their existing commitments where it is clear that the move can be done safely for the client and your own staff and it is clear that the moving date cannot be moved.
Removers should follow the latest Government guidance which currently (26 March 2020) states that work carried out in people’s homes can continue, provided the trades person is well and has no symptoms or Coronavirus (COVID-19).
It is important to ensure Government guidelines are followed, including maintaining a 2 meter distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).
No work should be carried out by a person who has Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, however mild.
 
I hope this article was of help and should you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of my team.
 
Best wishes








Open

We are still open.

Just not from the usual place.

Call:                                                               020 8852 500

Email:                                                            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Whatsapp sales:                                              +44 7832 685 596

Whatsapp Property Management Emergencies:  +44 7913 835 397

As the spread of Covid-19 continues and in line with the latest Government advice, we have taken the decision to temporarily close our offices and move to remote working across, sales, lettings and property management.

Our staff are at the forefront of everything that we do and this has not changed.

We are still here and open for business, just not from our usual place. Whether you are midway through a move or thinking about it, or if you would just like some property advice.

#AskBeaumont

We will be delighted to speak with you. As ever our advice will be informed  by the latest thinking and research, local market knowledge, and insight.

We are ready willing and able to offer help, and advice during this extraordinary time.

For the last 20 years we have worked with the people of South London and will continue to do so.

#MarkBeaumontOPEN


Catford a nice spot to live


Screenshot 20200317 163837

Lewisham Council is investing in a masterplan framework – a vision to be developed in collaboration with the community – that aims to map out how the town will look in the 2030s. The council has appointed Studio Egret West, along with Carl Turner Architects, Civic Engineers and Greengage, to draw up the masterplan for Catford town centre.

Over the past decade, Catford has transformed into a buzzing South-East London suburb,developing into one of London’s buzziest places to be. That’s, in part, because of it’s proximity to Central London (London Bridge is just 11 minutes by train, while Charing Cross is just 19 minutes), but the area has also been invaded by trendy cafés, bars and a monthly food market, which is separate from the daily Catford marketbut interestingly has avoided gentrification, unlike neighbouring locations such as Crystal Palace. Catford is also a good spot for vintage lovers. Places such Archibald's A cosy, friendly cafe in south London with old school (but stylish) furniture, an outdoor seating area. Broadway Theatre that was built in 1932 and plays host to all kinds of performances from comedy, plays, awards nights to film screenings. Halcyon Books, It's a Second hand and antiquarian bookshop serving tea and freshly ground coffee.They  also have a secret garden in the back and plenty of seating to lounge around.

 The house market is also performing really well, sold prices in Catford over the last year were 9% up on the previus year and 4% up on 2017 levels. Catford has an overall average price of £447,710 (Rigtmove) with flats selling for an average of £316,399. 

It’s certainly possible that where Catford goes, others will soon follow when it comes to regeneration without gentrification, and improvement without exclusion.

 

 If you need further assistance with your property, then contact us today we offer yo a personal apraisal or an online valuation avaiable on www.markbeaumont.com/valuations.  it gives you an idea of the property's value in 60 seconds!


 

 

 

ELECTRICAL SAFETY REGULATIONS EFFECTIVE FROM 1ST JULY 2020

electrical safety


THE ELECTRICAL SAFETY STANDARDS IN THE PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2020 COME INTO FORCE ON 1ST JULY 2020 FOR LANDLORDS OFFERING NEW RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES FROM 1ST JULY ONWARDS.

 

For existing tenancies, an electrical safety test will need to be carried out by 1 April 2021, with regular tests in accordance with the new regulations, which will apply to all properties across the PRS. A breach of the regulations could see landlords fined up to £30,000. The electrical safety regulations apply to Residential tenancies where tenants have the right to occupy either all or part of a premises as their only or main residence, they pay a rent, and it is not listed as an excluded tenancy. The regulations currently only apply to rental properties in England only. And the regulations replace those already in place for HMOs.

 If the electrical safety report identifies a fault or potential fault, which the landlord must either investigate further or repair, the landlord must ensure further investigations or repairs are completed by a qualified person. Following these further investigations or repairs, the landlord must ensure they receive written confirmation that these have been carried out and that either the electrical safety standards are met, or further work is required. This confirmation must be supplied to each existing tenant and to the local housing authority  along with the original report identifying further work is required. This process must be repeated until the electrical installation is found to be compliant. The report will need to be supplied to new tenants before they move in, to existing tenants within 28 days of receiving it, and to any prospective tenant within 28 days of their request to view the report.

 Landlords can review ways to fund improvements on the government’s website:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-landlord-guidance