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Top Tips for First-Time Buyers in Kensington and Chelsea

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Published: 08/11/2019   Last Updated: 08/11/2019 17:39:39   Tags:

Finding a property in Kensington and Chelsea is not always easy; there is the excitement of the property search but there are also a number of other things that you need to consider.  The current uncertainty in the country could be making you nervous, but let us assure you that the number of first-time buyers across the UK continues to rise year on year.   It is understandable for you to be overwhelmed with what is before you, but we hope our top tips will put you at ease and place you in a strong position when you find your first home.

1. Become a savvy saver

One of the biggest hurdles to home ownership is the deposit, so the sooner you make some adjustments to your lifestyle, the quicker you will see your savings pot grow.  It is worth having a target to help you keep focused and on track, so when you’re having a dilemma on whether to buy that “must have” accessory or a coffee on your way into work, you will know the sacrifice will be worth it in the long run.

2. Keep your eye on your score

There are many credit monitoring sites out there, such as Experian, who can give you an insight into where your credit rating stands.  This rating is crucial for strengthening your ability to obtain a mortgage – the higher it is, the more options will be available to you.  Start to pay off any debt as soon as possible, and ensure you always pay any agreed payments such as your mobile phone and utilities on time, every time.
 
3. A factual budget

We sometimes meet first-time buyers who have done their research and produced a budget for what they can afford.  This is great, but unless you have a budget based on realistic figures from a mortgage broker or lender, your budgeting could be fictional.  By securing a mortgage in principle not only do you know the true figure you are able to offer when you find that dream home, but you also place yourself in a strong position when you come to make an offer.

When budgeting, make sure your savings will cover not only the cost of your deposit but all those additional extras that can easily tot up.  There will be initial fees such as your surveys and valuation, stamp duty (if applicable) as well as solicitor fees and possible fees payable to the lender.  In addition, think about your moving costs and any appliances and furniture you may need to buy.  Being prepared for all these costs will make sure you don’t have any shocks as you go through the process of buying.

4. Don’t be rigid

For a long time you may have had a vision in your mind of the type of house you’re going to buy, and its location.  But, on average, first-time buyers find themselves moving to a home 5.2 miles away from where they had initially set their sights.  The advantage of looking further afield is that you may find you get more for your money, as well as making a wise investment.  
Think about looking in up and coming areas rather than those places that have peaked.  Also, be open to seeing properties that don’t match your list of criteria – you may be surprised by what wins your heart in the end.

5. The right mortgage

There are many different kinds of mortgages out there, so you need to find the right fit for you and your future plans.  You can go direct to your bank or building society or you can ask an independent mortgage broker to show you a wide variety of products to see what is the best fit.  You are under no obligation at this stage so it’s worth shopping around, we can put you in touch with an independent mortgage broker who our clients recommend should you wish.

6. The perfect team

When it comes to buying a property you need to have the right person by your side.  The solicitor or conveyancer you choose will determine the experience you have and so you should never rush into deciding who to use.  You want a conveyancer who will go into battle for you and push the sale forward whilst keeping you informed every step of the way.

As a buyer, there is nothing more frustrating than not understanding the process or never having calls returned.  Your conveyancer will be able to explain each stage, undertake the searches, deal with land registry, chase your seller’s solicitors, handle contracts and the transfer of funds.  Our team at Harding Green can recommend a conveyancer in Kensington or Chelsea should you wish, or you can ask friends and family for their recommendations.

7. Be responsive

One thing that sends nervous shivers down any buyer or seller’s spine is delays. Delays get people over thinking and can result in someone walking away.  One of the most common causes of delays is miswritten paperwork or not responding quickly to requests for documentation or information.   Be responsive, and do everything you can to prevent any delays in your chain.  This will make a much smoother sales process and see you moving into your new home sooner rather than later!

As well as being responsive you also need patience. Some things will take time, but if you have the right team by your side, you will know that they will be doing everything they can to get you into your first home.
At Harding Green we are here to support you in finding and buying your first home,  it isn’t just about the property, but also ensuring you understand the process and what is expected of you and when.  We never want a first-time buyer to feel overwhelmed, and there are no stupid questions either!  Why not come and chat to our sales team and let us help you find and move into your dream home in Kensington and Chelsea.            

10 easy ways to improve your relationship with your tenants in Kensington

Published: 04/11/2019   Last Updated: 04/11/2019 14:03:58   Tags:

At Harding Green we know how challenging being a landlord can be. Never mind the ever-changing legalisation, some tenancies can be more stressful than others.  Yet developing and maintaining good relationships with your tenants can result in increased trust, minimal void periods and also more sustainable and successful long-term revenue.  Here are 10 easy ways to improve your relationship with your tenants in Kensington.

1. Don’t lose touch

As your portfolio grows and your blessed with increasing success we often find that some landlords can start to lose touch with the issues that tenants might face.  They can become complacent about the service they provide, no longer putting themselves in their tenants’ shoes.  Don’t forget what finding and moving home can be like; be fair, be honest, and keep talking.

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2. Be responsive


Things break and suffer from wear and tear in every property – how frustrating do you think it feels to be left waiting for things to be repaired whilst trying to get on with daily life?  Earn your tenants’ trust and loyalty by being responsive. Tenants want to feel secure in their home, and your actions may see your them stay longer than you envisaged.

3. Think about the person


Lettings is a business, but it is also about having a working relationship, which is why you shouldn’t overlook the personal side.  Your tenant is your customer, and keeping them happy could benefit your business in the long run, as happy tenants could continue to recommend you for years to come.  

4. Who wants an expensive void?

In Kensington we are finding that tenants are deciding to stay longer in their rental properties, but when they are unhappy they want to move quickly.  It is much harder to find a new tenant than it is to keep your existing tenant happy, and think about the drain on your resources a void period would cause, and the cost of finding a new tenant.

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5. Tenancies are partnerships


Tenancies are built on a good partnership between the landlord and tenant.  Success for one can’t be achieved without the other, and tenants should never be seen as a commodity.  Therefore it’s essential that you keep compliant and also simply show that you care – considering their well-being will only strengthen your partnership.

6. Be proactive

Why wait for things to deteriorate during a tenancy? You know your property and what improvements can be made.  Being proactive is one of the best ways to keep your tenants happy during their tenancy, as it not only improves your property but ensures it holds its value whilst you are renting.

7. Listen

There is no easier route to feeling like a relationship has failed than when you think you’re not being listened to.  Whether you’re managing the property yourself or using a letting agent such as ourselves, one of the essential things to do is listen.  When tenants report issues with your property, you have a choice on how quickly you respond.  Should they report a broken door, it could jeopardise their safety – they deserve for this to be fixed as soon as possible.

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8. Add value

Your tenancy agreement is a contractual document which sets out the responsibilities for both landlord and tenant.  It is essential that your tenant understands what is required of them from the start to prevent confusion and misunderstandings down the line.   Yet unforeseen personal circumstances may require a little bit of flexibility to create a win–win situation for you and your tenant.  You will know when to stick by the contract, and you can add value for your tenants.

9. The right people

Your property portfolio is your business, and the people you use within your business represent how you as a landlord are perceived.  Therefore it’s essential to use a letting agent who has shared values, and tradesmen who complete repairs quickly and to a high standard.  Everyone you use reflects on you, and your tenants deserve to have the level of service you aspire to.

10. Create a community

You can improve your tenants’ experience and make your property more desirable when your property is within a community.  A strong community is highly attractive to tenants and may make your property a place they wish to stay longer.  A property within a good community can reduce void periods – what landlord wouldn’t want that?

When you start to improve your relationship with your tenants in Kensington you will see the benefits in all areas of your business.  If you’d like to know more about how we can support your lettings portfolio, contact our lettings team today on 0203 375 1971.

Don’t neglect these 6 maintenance tasks

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Published: 28/10/2019   Last Updated: 28/10/2019 10:24:26   Tags:

All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey… You may be dreaming of hotter climates but the reality is autumn is here and winter is very much on its way.  It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to sell your property in the next few months or years in Kensington, keeping it well maintained is essential so that little niggles don’t turn into huge problems down the line.  Instead of snuggling in front of the fire, why not get these six maintenance tasks ticked off your list over the weekend?

Leafing around

Fallen leaves of all colours can create a beautiful scene, but they can also play havoc with your lawn and inhibit growth during the spring.  Buyers want to see luscious green grass not a lawn with barren patches making it look unloved and uncared for.  Leaves can also make paths and paving very slippery, causing preventable accidents.   Raking up the leaves and removing them from your garden and pathways will help to keep your garden alive and also your family safe this autumn.

Clean gutters

Those pesky little leaves can get everywhere, and one place where they can create a lot of problems is in your gutters.  It’s easy to ignore what you can’t see, and often you don’t know how much they are cluttering your guttering until you see rainwater spilling over and down your walls.   This overflow can start to cause damp and, if left, more serious issues can arise.  If this is one job that feels out of your reach we can certainly recommend a local company who would be happy to help you.

Chim-Chiminey 

Many homes in Kensington have a multifuel stove or similar – you don’t want a relaxing night ruined by smoke coming back down your chimney and flue, which is why it’s important that you get it cleaned regularly.  Cleaning helps to you burn fuel more efficiently, thus reducing smoke and emissions.   When you don’t maintain your chimney, tar and soot can build up on the flue, which can be corrosive and increase the risk of a chimney fire.  According to the Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme, if you have a wood stove you should have it cleaned twice a year, and once a year for authorised smokeless fuels.

Get testing

We all want to ensure that our families are safe, and it can be easy to forget to test our home safety devices.  When was the last time you checked that your smoke alarm is working, or even changed the batteries?  There is no time like the present to make sure you’ve done everything you can to keep your family safe – every second counts when it comes to a fire, and your alarm will make sure you are alerted.

Protect from damage

The days of BBQs in your garden may be a distant memory, but have you made sure your garden and patio furniture is protected for the winter?  Garden furniture is susceptible to damage and our weather is anything but kind, so if you’re not able to put it in a shed or garage, you can purchase a covering so you know it will be raring to go when the sunny weather arrives again next year.

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Are you covered?

The autumn and winter can bring wild weathers – when was the last time you checked your home insurance to ensure you’re completely covered in case of the unexpected?  Take some time to look through your documents so you know what you’re covered for and what you’re not, and you can see if you need to make any additions, or change to another company when it’s time for renewal.   Make sure you check the accidental damage on both your buildings and contents insurance to give you peace of mind for those everyday mishaps or sudden shockers.

However you spend your weekend, try and make some time to maintain your home before winter takes hold; this could save you a lot of time, unnecessary stress and wasted money.   This is your home and by giving it the care it deserves, you’ll be maximising the value of your property for when you decide it’s time to sell.  Every day we help many people with their moving needs in Kensington and Chelsea if you’re curious about the current value of your home, give our team at Harding Green a call on 0203 375 1970.

10 ways your kitchen can help you cosy up to buyers

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Published: 18/10/2019   Last Updated: 18/10/2019 15:39:07   Tags: House, Home, Estate Agents

Your kitchen is a key selling point to your home. With the cost of a new kitchen running into the thousands, how your kitchen is presented can make or break a sale.  With autumn well and truly upon us and our days growing grey and dreary, staging your kitchen for sale at this time of year is about adding warmth, inviting colours and textures.  Why wouldn’t you want your home in Kensington to stand out? Check out 10 ways your kitchen can cosy up to buyers.

1. Warm with textiles

Textiles are not something you may think about when looking to stage your kitchen for sale, but they are a gorgeous way to weave in some warmth and style.  Introduce textured pillows, throws and table linens where appropriate, using a rich autumnal palette; juxtapose this with smooth surfaces and raw textures.

2. Add pops of colour


As you know, when staging your home it’s important to use more neutral tones. That being said, it’s always fun to add pops of colour in your kitchen.  Painting an accent wall will be too overpowering, so use a piece of art or even paint a piece of furniture focusing on deep reds, warm oranges or olive tones.

3. Introduce soft details

Soft details, such as fresh fruit, can bring life into your kitchen.  The best way to introduce fruit is with a large bowl or vase filled with a mixture of lemons or limes.  You may decide that you would prefer to present them separately ­– whatever you decide, they are a great and easy way of adding a touch of freshness to your kitchen.

4. Kick out the clutter


Marie Kondo has kicked our clutter into touch, making this the year that many of us discovered how to ‘tidy up’ in a revolutionary way.  Clutter does nothing for a kitchen, it makes it feel small and disorganised, so it’s essential to clear all your work surfaces and ensure that everything has a place.  Don’t think your cupboards are a no-go zone, as nosy buyers are bound to take a look inside.

5. The pantry look

The pantry look has been a growing trend this year, one which you won’t have missed if you like a home and interiors magazine or two.  What do we mean? The look is created by placing items such as dry pasta, rice and cereals in labelled jars, with baskets used to store similar items, making storage not only functional but beautiful too.

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6. Create life

The rise in the sale of houseplants has been significant this year and they are a great go-to decoration.  Whether you choose to create a small herb garden so you have easy access to your favourites, or opt for some easy to care for succulents, adding a houseplant is a must for your Kensington kitchen this autumn.

7. Hinch it!


Marie Kondo may be the queen of tidying, but when it comes to cleaning you need to take a few ideas for Mrs Hinch herself.  You want your kitchen to sparkle – no appliance or corner must be neglected, as buyers have sharp eyes and tend to notice things that others miss.  

8. Make a scene


A kitchen is the heart of the home, as it is a space we often spend a lot of our time. One way to add a touch of cosiness to win over buyers is to create a tempting vignette or two.   For example, you could put together a bread board with a loaf of rustic bread and a bread knife.  Trays are perfect for vignettes, a cafetière with coffee, a couple of cups and a small jug of milk will not only set the scene, but also the smell of coffee will be incredibly inviting to buyers.

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9. Cosy not dark

You need to make sure your kitchen is well lit, as dark days can drain your efforts and you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste.  As well as your main lights, let our team at Harding Green know where any additional or counter light switches are placed so we can ensure that we make your kitchen shine for every viewing.

10.  Speaking of scents

Viewing a property isn’t just about the things buyers can see, it’s a sensory experience.  They will also be taking into account what they can hear, smell, touch and possibly taste (if you leave them a treat to sample).   Therefore, when you are preparing your kitchen for sale don’t just focus on what you can see, as you may be missing a trick to win your buyers’ hearts.

At Harding green  we believe that when your kitchen provides a cosy experience for buyers they are likely to want to spend more time there.   The longer they are in your home, the more likely they are to start seeing how they could make it their own.   For more advice on how to prepare your home for sale, contact our sales team on 0203 375 1970.

Why you should present your London rental property as a home

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Published: 14/10/2019   Last Updated: 14/10/2019 09:43:50   Tags:


How have you prepared your property for the London rental market?  When a vendor seeks to sell their property, those in the know spend time decluttering, deep cleaning and staging their homes to make them alluring and eye-catching. But why should you present your London rental property as a home?

Attitudes are changing

When you look across Europe the attitude to renting a property is very dissimilar to ours in the UK. It is more common to rent than buy and tenants seek a home for the future, not just for a year or two.  Recent research by buy-to-let mortgage marketplace Landbay has found that our motivations for renting here are changing, with many tenants stating they prefer the benefits that renting provides.

The flexibility of renting is one of the main advantages for tenants, especially as many find themselves relocating for work.  Some want to travel, and renting provides them the ability to do so without the responsibility of owning a property at home.  One of the more surprising findings is that it isn’t just millennials who are losing interest in buying their own home – only 13% of the over 55s who responded wished to become a homeowner.“The changing face of employment and a thirst for flexible living mean renting is more attractive than ever, and landlords should reflect this in their interactions with tenants,” states John Goodall, Chief Executive of Landbay.

Outshine the competition


Across the country demand for privately rental properties remains high, but that doesn’t mean that tenants are willing to settle for substandard abodes.   Tenants are likely to pay a premium for those properties that meet their needs in terms of style and substance.   Staged rental properties are also let quicker, providing you with a faster and greater return than those that are left to sell themselves.  

One of the financial strains you may face as a landlord is void periods. When your property stands out from the crowd you minimise the gaps between tenancies, thus easing the pressure voids can create.  There could also be several similar properties in your area to let, and considering how your property is presented will enable it to outshine the competition.

Win their hearts

We all have a love affair with property, whether we swoon over architectural design or lust after period features, one way or another a certain kind of house can grab our attention.  It’s not always easy to say what attracts us to one property over another, but as many will tell you, you just get that feeling.  Although your staging has encouraged potential tenants to view, you now have to make an extra effort to win their hearts.  

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Neutral décor providing a blank canvas is a must, but so is respect for their needs.  Quality appliances and even some high-tech touches can add that spark to an already great home, but also those simple touches such as a light and warm welcome, rather than a cold and dingy hello!  With the dark nights upon us there is no better way to give a great first impression than with a property that is well lit and heated.  If the property has an electric or gas fire, why not put it on for the viewing? It will make the living space feel cosy and you may find the prospective tenants don’t want to leave.

Give them security

One aspect of renting a property that can often cause tenants uncertainty is who it is managed by.  Make it extremely clear from the start who will be in charge of what during their tenancy.   Should your property be managed, make sure you choose wisely, as their actions will have a direct impact on the success of your portfolio.  

At Harding Green we work closely with our landlords to ensure that we look after their property as if it were our own.  By treating our tenants fairly, respectfully and with care, we find they feel secure and at home and, as such, take extra care of the property as a result.

Create a home

When you see your portfolio not simply as properties to let but as homes, you will start to attract the right tenants and reap all the benefits that brings.   At Harding Green we can be the difference your rental properties need, contact our team today on 0203 375 1970.

Upstaging the Joneses

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Published: 07/10/2019   Last Updated: 07/10/2019 10:12:29   Tags: Home, Selling, For Sale, Estate Agents, London Property

How to sell your home at the same time as your neighbours

You’ve been thinking about selling your home for some time and, just as you’re about to call the estate agent, you notice a ‘For Sale’ sign appear next door.  You knew there would be competition locally with similar properties in the area, but your neighbours!  Before you start to re-think your decision to sell, let us give you some handy tips on how to upstage the Joneses and make your property the star of the street in Kensington.

Preparation is key

Many people think about selling their home and get an estate agent in without putting in the work first.  An estate agent will give you a valuation based on the current condition of your property, and although a quick clean and tidy will help, you could be missing a big trick.  When you’re selling your home you have to try and emotionally detach yourself from your personal feelings about your property, and start to see it as a house for sale.


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When you’re in love with something you can forgive a flaw or two, but flaws don’t attract buyers and they certainly don’t attract strong offers.  You need to be able to see the flaws so you can correct them.   It takes time and energy and, yes, a few pennies to prepare your home for sale, but when you put the work in the results will speak for themselves. Fresh décor makes a home look loved and cared for. Well-maintained fencing and thoughtful planting can turn even the smallest of outside spaces into a haven to relax.  No matter how you have lived in your home, you have to think about what buyers will be looking for and transform your home to win them over.

Instagrammable

Image counts. We all make assumptions on first appearances, whether we intend to or not.  As a buyer is swiping through the properties on Rightmove or Zoopla, what will make them click on yours?  What will make a buyer passing by your house stop and do a double take when they see the sign outside your door?  Regardless of what your home offers, you need to make it Instagrammable to grab their attention and make them want to see more.

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Recent research by Aspect found that the Instagram appeal even extends to the type of work we are seeking to have undertaken on our home.  Although people have always wanted to keep up with the Joneses, it seems our inspiration is now found online and on social media. As we know, tricks can be used online to enhance the appearance of a property, but you can’t hide the reality when it comes to a viewing.  This is why it’s important to take inspiration from Instagram, should you wish, but ensure that your home stands out for the important reasons.

Attention to detail

You must sweat the small stuff when selling your home, as it can often be those wonderful little details that give buyers butterflies.  Fixing, painting, decluttering, tidying and deep-cleaning inside and out is the least you should be doing; where many sellers go wrong is that they create a space that is sterile and without personality.

A house is just a house; it’s a family that makes it a home, and although you need to downplay your personal touches, you should never take away the warmth.  How can this be achieved? Think about when you go around a show home or see celebrity homes in magazines; they are clean, tidy and clutter-free, but on the whole,  they have a welcoming and ‘homely’ feel about them.  There are vases of fresh flowers, a cafetière or tea pot and cups carefully placed in the kitchen, a throw beautifully placed on the bed, and a creative eye when it comes to adding accessories.  

Create a home

No matter how you prepare your property for sale, always remember to keep the heart of it on show.  If you put in the work, make it stand out as Instagrammable and always have a keen eye for detail. Then, when your home is placed on the market in Kensington you will have created a home that outshines the rest.

If you’re struggling to see how to upstage your home, contact our sales team today on 0203 375 1970.

How to ensure your pets have a stress-free move

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Published: 30/09/2019   Last Updated: 30/09/2019 09:58:09   Tags: Pets, House, Moving Home, Moving House


If you have ever moved home before you’ll know that the whole experience can send you through a spiral of emotions.  As much as you and your family know what is about to happen, there are some members of your family that are completely in the dark.  One thing is certain, your pets can become very anxious and their behaviour can change when placed in stressful environments.  This is why at Harding Green, we want to ensure that every member of your family has a stress-free move within London.

Calm amidst the chaos

Your home is filled with mountains of boxes, removal men coming and going, and tempers often on a short leash – it’s safe to say that moving day can be very chaotic. Not only that, you want your animals to be safe, and it can be easy for them to get into situations that could cause them an injury – which we know is the last thing you want.

We would always advise that you let your pet have a mini break whilst you’re in the middle of moving home.  Whether they go for a pamper, a friend’s house, or even to a boarding home they are familiar with, you can be safe in the knowledge that whilst your home is one crazy place, your pets will be calm, safe and ready to explore their new home when it’s ready for them.

Smelly is best

It can be natural to want to wash and clean things before you pack them away, ready to find their new home when you arrive.  But when it comes to your pets’ belongings, it’s best to leave them as they are.  As you may know, one way to ease your beloved animal’s anxiety is for them to be around familiar smells.  Your new home will be filled with unknown scents, and that as well as a strange layout may make them nervous.

When they arrive at their new home there will be nothing more reassuring than being able to smell and see their things.  From their bed to their toys, each item will help them to adjust to what must be an extremely confusing situation.  

Give them time

It can take time for your pets to get used to their new home and environment and it’s always good to keep an eye on what they’re doing.  Your garden may have a fence, but if there’s an escape route you can guarantee that your pet will find it before you do.  We would also recommend introducing yourself and your pet to your neighbours, not only will this help you settle into the community, but it will also help should your pets get out as you’re all trying adjust.

With dogs, it can take some longer than others to get used to a new neighbourhood, so take each walk one step at a time and keep your eye on them in case they need a little reassurance.   Remember, moving home is just as big a deal for them as it is for you!

Keep the familiar

For cats, territory is everything and they feel most at ease when they are in familiar spaces, which is why moving home can cause them to act out of character, such as being more focal and even hiding.  Although this is a new home, try and set up their belongings as close as you can to how you have always done, to make things seem as normal as possible for them.  

It’s not just their things that can help your pets’ readjustment, but also trying to stick to their old routine.  Routines are extremely important for pets, if you’ve always walked your dog at 7am, continue to do so. Feeding times should also be kept the same, if possible. The more you keep familiar for the furry members of your family, the easier it will be for them to get used to their new home.

Be prepared

Every member of your family will settle into their new home at a different pace and you need to be prepared that your pets may show signs of anxiety and stress for several days.   It’s worth keeping their medical records to hand, including their microchip number in case they get lost. Should your pet stop eating, it’s worth consulting with your vet.

We want to ensure that you all move as safely and as enjoyably as possible within London. If you would like advice on finding the ideal home for the whole of your family, contact our sales team today on 0203 375 1970.





How to buy a home without regrets

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Published: 23/09/2019   Last Updated: 14/10/2019 09:42:30   Tags: Buy, Sell, Home, New Home, Property

As the seasons begin to change you may find yourself spending more time in your home, and as you relax one evening and find yourself taking in your new home, are you filled with joy about your decision or do you have a niggle of regret?  In your quest to find your next home you will make compromises, but will your decision on where to compromise come back to haunt you?  Based on our years of experience selling property in Kensington and Chelsea here is our advice on how to buy a home without regrets.

Buy for tomorrow


The home you need today might be different to the one you may need in a year or even five years’ time.   Although you can’t predict the future, you can look for a home that will accommodate what you believe may lie ahead.   Recent studies suggest that the rate we move house has slowed over the years, thus you may find yourself living longer in your next property than you anticipate.  Therefore you should think about what you may need for at least the next five years with regards to space and features for today and tomorrow.


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Quality of life

Are you buying a home or an investment?  We all hope that our property will increase in value whilst we are living there, but your home is where your life happens – it’s where you eat, sleep and raise your family.
The UK housing market can be unpredictable at times and if you’re seeing this purchase as purely an investment then you will have a completely different mindset and criteria to what you will have when buying a home.  Your house should be there to help improve your quality of life and lifestyle, and if it increases in value that’s a bonus.

Keep focused

You are looking for a home in Kensington and Chelsea that meets your needs, is in your desired location, and that you afford.  All singing and all dancing features may grab your attention and excite you, but they could also drive up the price.  Although they may be nice to have, will the enjoyment last long term or will you end up paying the price for shiny features rather than keeping focused on your needs?

Location can’t be changed

When it comes to property, many things can be changed – you can redecorate, extend, knock down walls, and make it work for you and your family.  Yet there is one thing you can never change, and that’s where it is situated.   Therefore, before you rush into a decision think seriously about local schools, and how that planned shorter commute can improve your life.

Remember, your home is only part of your move, the community you’re moving into is what can see your life enhanced.  The ability for your children to easily access a park, a place where you can quickly nip for a coffee, a strong community that always hosts events, these are the things that will matter.  Spend time in the neighbourhood, see what is happening around you, and, if it is new to you, take some time to get to know the locals, you will know if it starts to feel like home.

Stay the distance

The sales process can be stressful, and unnecessary delays brought by others in the chain can start to make you nervous.  Doubts may set in as you ponder whether you are making the right decision as the delay is just a sign.  The truth is, at Harding Green we will work tirelessly to keep your chain moving forward, but even with all our efforts delays can happen that are out of our control.  Therefore, go into your move with no preconceptions of timescales as, in doing so, you may walk away from your perfect home.


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Walk away


That being said – and you may not understand why we are saying this – but you should also be prepared to walk away if something is really niggling at you.  But before you run, make sure you ask all the right questions, and do all the research you need, as you would hate to say goodbye over a misunderstanding that can be easily resolved.  We also understand that sometimes things just don’t feel right and the last thing we would want you to do is make the wrong decision for you and your family.

No remorse

Homebuyers’ remorse is more common than you think, yet if you plan for tomorrow, buy for needs and quality of life, seriously consider location and you’re able to stay the distance, you will have found your ideal home.  

If you’re looking for a home in Kensington and Chelsea we’re the agent who can find a needle in a haystack.   Give the sales team a call today on 0203 375 1970.

Top tips for first time renters in Kensington

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Published: 16/09/2019   Last Updated: 14/10/2019 09:44:34   Tags: Renting, Property, London, Kensington, Chelsea

Renting a home for the first time in Kensington can be daunting. There are so many things to think about and you want to make sure you find the right property and have a stress-free experience.  At Harding Green we want the same, which is why we have put together these top tips so you can set out on the right path.

Set a budget

Assuming you already have your deposit, set a budget for a rental property before you start looking as you can easily be swayed by something out of your reach and the last thing you want is to get yourself into a difficult position.  It isn’t just your monthly rent that you need to consider but also all the associated costs such as utilities, council tax and insurance; also throw into the mix the cost of any furniture and accessories you may wish to buy.

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Keep your head out of the clouds

You’ve set your budget for a reason, it’s what you can comfortably and realistically afford on a monthly basis giving you money to enjoy life too, we hope.  Now your budget is set you need to be realistic. If you can’t find the type of property you seek in your desired location, it’s probably because it doesn’t exist.  Do your research online and also take advantage of our expertise; we are here to help and can show you properties that might not be what you’re seeking but spark your interest.

Unfurnished?

There is always the debate of which is better, furnished or unfurnished and, to be honest, it all depends on your situation.  Should you already have furniture or the budget to furnish a home, then unfurnished is for you.  You will probably find more unfurnished properties in Kensington and Chelsea than furnished, yet that’s not to say that a ready-made home is not a possibility.  Just remember, should you rent a furnished property it’s your responsibility to care for all the furnishings so that they’re returned in the condition they were found.

It’s not all about the property


When it comes to renting your first home, one thing you may not have considered is who the property is being let through.  It’s easy to get swayed by a beautiful home and forget one of the most important factors. Your experience of living there can be a wonderful experience should the property be managed by a highly respected letting agent, such as ourselves.  A good letting agent is worth their weight in gold, so do your research on the agent or landlord before you sign on the dotted line.

Don’t assume

You know that a landlord has certain responsibilities during your tenancy but do you know yours?  You may have been given advice from friends and family, but don’t assume it’s correct.  Your letting agent will go through the tenancy agreement with you; make sure you read it thoroughly and get clarification of anything you’re not sure on.  This way, there can be no confusion going forward and you’re on your way to a successful tenancy.

Paper ready

As part of your application to rent a property a reference check will be undertaken. You will need to present a number of documents to confirm your identity, credit history, employment and immigration status.  Make sure you have all these ready, as you don’t want to delay the process, especially if the property you want to rent is in demand.

Take a moment

Before you move into your new home an inventory will be conducted, which essentially highlights the its condition, any marks or damage, and lists all the fixtures and fittings. When you get the keys the last thing you are going to want to do is check this document thoroughly, but please take a moment.  

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When you decide to leave the property, this document is crucial as it will show what wear and tear has been caused during your tenancy.  If there is a mistake on the document you could end up paying for it, and we don’t want this to happen.  Once you’ve checked it and are happy, you can run around excitedly and start making this house your home.

Happy home

It’s always wonderful to see the joy of someone getting the keys to their first home, and we hope we can be there for yours.  Come and tells us what you’re looking for and let’s make renting your first home in Kensington a memorable experience.  Give us a call today on 0203 375 1970.

Help! My Kensington home isn’t selling

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Published: 09/09/2019   Last Updated: 14/10/2019 09:53:49   Tags: Property, Home, Buyer, Seller

When you place your home on the market you’re filled with anticipation and excitement, but if things don’t go according to plan and initial interest fades, frustration and annoyance can set in.  There could be a number of reasons why your home isn’t selling, and even if they may be difficult to hear, getting it right could get your home sold sooner rather than later.  You don’t want to wait for buyers to come to your door, could one of these reasons be why your home isn’t selling?

Location, Location, Location

We all know how the saying goes, the location of your home can be a valuable asset when attracting buyers, but as our villages, towns, and cities evolve and the infrastructure changes what’s around us, the appeal of a location can change.  Although you may adore where you live, should there be reports of flooding or a known flood risk, new planning applications close by, or even an old mine shaft, this could put buyers off.  



If you know of an issue, there are things you can do, such as have surveys done in advance for potential buyers to view. This will help ease their worries and those of their lender.  

The price isn’t right

This is a bitter pill to swallow for many. You may have an assumption about the value of your property based on previous sales in the area and the work you have undertaken whilst living there.  Whilst some estate agents may present you with an inflated valuation to win your business, at Harding Green we will always provide you with a competitive valuation, one that will attract buyers and also help us to negotiate the highest possible sale price for you.
Buyers are savvy. They will have been looking at property online and already have a feel for the market.   Therefore, a property that they deem to be overpriced is one which they will pass by without a second glance.  We want to ensure that your property grabs their attention and encourages them to view, which is why it’s essential to get the price right from the start.

Presentation

Buyers are not buying your things, they are buying the bricks and mortar, so it doesn’t matter how your home looks. Or does it?  Don’t be naive in thinking that people can see past your clutter and disorganised rooms, most people struggle to see beyond what’s in front of them.  Buyers are seeking a dream, and that comes packaged in a home that looks loved and cared for with natural décor and beautifully presented rooms.
Moving home is the perfect time to have a major sort out, so before you put your house on the market start to work through each room of your home.  We all have things that we no longer want or need, clothes we hold onto ‘just in case’, and boxes of stuff that, honestly, we have no idea what’s inside.   The last thing you’ll want to do is take all this clutter to your new home, so do the hard work now and it will make getting your home ready for sale easier.

Poor maintenance


You know your home. You may have noticed that there has been an issue with damp, which you may have chosen to ignore.  A crack may have appeared, or your windows might have started to look like they’ve seen better days.  Signs of poor maintenance and structural issues will often make buyers run, so get any problems resolved before you place your home on the market.

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You’re not ready


Are you ready to sell your home?  This may sound like a silly question, but if you have any doubts about moving you can unknowingly sabotage a sale.  Moving home is stressful, and this is only heightened if you are reluctant.  You need to find a way to focus on the home you’re looking to buy rather than the one you’re about to leave behind.  By doing so you will be able to make decisions that are in the best interest of the sale.

Sold

It’s easy to have an emotional bias when you decide to sell your home, but by being objective – even when the truth stings a bit – you’ll be in the best position to ensure your house in Kensington will sell quickly and for the highest possible price. For an honest conversation on how to get your home sold, call our team at Harding Green on 0203 375 1970.
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