Redstones Property Management

How to select a good home removal company

When you’re moving home and planning to select a home removal company, there are many factors to consider. Firstly, if you value your possessions, it’s important to appoint a quality removals company. Ask if the company are members of the British Association of Removers (BAR).

This ensures that the company complies with all legal and insurance considerations and uses the correct, licenced vehicles. Questions to ask should include what level and type of insurance is offered, how long have they been trading and can they supply references?

Ascertain how your move will be carried out, so you understand the logistics too. Also, look for signs of professionalism, such as liveried vehicles and competent estimators.

Of course, price is a consideration, so it’s important to gain several quotes. The main factors that determine price will be the number of possessions you have to transport, whether you require the crew to pack for you, whether you require strong packing materials and how far the van(s) have to travel. Other factors include whether you have any high value special items, how fast you want to move and whether you intend to move during peak times such as school holidays or weekends. Moving mid-week will often lead to lower prices, with more time available to complete the work for the removal crew.

The ultimate goal is getting your prized possessions to your new home in one piece, in the rooms in which you want them. To make the move as stress free as possible, select a professional removals company and ensure that you understand how they plan to carry out the job.

Redstones - The Green Deal

Reasons to buy a new build home

If you’re looking for your next property, is a new build home something you’ve considered? Here’s Redstones guide to why it could be an attractive option for you:

Modern lifestyles – In contract to some older properties, new homes are very much designed with modern lifestyles in mind. This includes homes with open family space, space for a home office or a city apartment.

Peace of mind – New build properties usually come with a warranty and insurance of 5-10 years.

Flexibility – You will be the first owner, so you can decorate the home in your own personal style. There’s no need to attempt to fix the DIY disasters of the previous owners and there will be little costly maintenance and repairs to complete. If you buy a new property ‘off plan’, your new home can be reserved before it’s even built, meaning that you can choose your desired plot and personalise the house to your requirements.

Lower running costs – Generally, new homes will include efficient heating systems and higher levels of insulation, helping to reduce carbon emissions and significantly decrease heating bills.

Property chain – Often, with a new build, the length of the property chain is reduced as only the buyer is at the end of the chain.

Great incentives – The many incentives available include the Government ‘Help to Buy’ scheme. Some developers have their own schemes, such as part exchange or an assisted move that may involve part-funded deposits, payment of stamp duty or help with removal costs.

If these advantages appeal to you, it would be worth including new homes as part of your house search. It’s always best to keep your options open and at Redstones, we have many exciting new properties for sale. Just use the ‘Search’ function on our Redstones website homepage.

Redstones

Landlords and tenants – Do you understand wear and tear?

Wear and tear is often disputed at the end of a tenancy, with many landlords and tenants being unsure about where the boundaries lie.

Essentially, wear and tear can be defined as the gradual decline in the condition of a property’s fabric, fittings and contents. It’s crucial for landlords to properly establish wear and tear at the end of a tenancy, to facilitate a decision about whether you’re entitled to retain some of the deposit. This means that landlords must separate damage from wear and tear. When actual damage occurs, tenants should be charged, for example, where they have made deliberate marks, holes, stains or misused an appliance.

From a tax point of view, it’s also important to understand what’s tax deductible. The law around wear and tear has now changed, meaning that the 10% of rental income that could be claimed every year as an allowance for general wear and tear costs has been replaced by a new system. Landlords can now only claim what they’ve actually spent in that tax year on replacing furniture and furnishings. However, over the longer term, this amount should average out – leaving landlords no worse off financially.

At Redstones, we can expertly advise on wear and tear and deposit issues if you have any queries. Get in touch with our team and find out why our property management services are a step ahead of our competitors.

Redstones

Achieving the right style with your next home

If you’re currently searching for a new dream home, have you given any thought to how you can achieve that impressive designer interior, without the price tag to match?

Here’s how to achieve an effortlessly stylish look:

Declutter
We all hold onto furniture or household objects we don’t really like or use anymore. Make the effort to only include furnishings that you love, which really work together. Even re-positioning your existing furniture can have a big impact.

Simplicity is key
Why not let your high quality furniture or accessories do the talking and keep walls clean and crisp? Good décor should be easy on the eye and kept simple and striking.

Pay attention to lighting

To create a particular atmosphere or mood, lighting is key. It’s not just an after-thought. Nowadays, lighting itself can be a work of art. In particular, metallic finishes are becoming very popular.

Make bedrooms and bathrooms luxurious

Crisp, white sheets are the latest in vogue look and a bed throw and some plump cushions can help create the feel of a 5 star hotel. For bathrooms, keep toiletries hidden away, whilst displaying any luxury handwashes and complement this with some high quality, fluffy towels.

Kitchens
Kitchens are the heart of the home and make the greatest impact to visitors, so place some extra effort here. Keep all surfaces as clutter free as possible and freshen up the space with some beautiful flowers or plants.

Accessories
A great way to keep up with the latest trends, but with minimal expense, is to invest in simple accessories such as vases, candle sticks or small items of furniture that embrace the latest colour trends or finishes, such as copper or rose gold.

A welcoming front
Any pots and plants in your garden or near the front door creates a welcoming atmosphere and helps establish your stylish new home as one to admire.

Redstones Lettings

Good news for landlords looking to maximise their investment

Recent statistics have shown that buy to let properties still outperform most other types of investment, with average returns made by landlords in England and Wales being 9.6%.

Despite the recent increase in stamp duty, it is essentially house price rises that influence the return that landlords make.

It is calculated that the average price of a home in England by 2030 with be over £450,000. Already, between 2000 and 2015, house prices have risen by 84%. Of courses, property prices vary throughout the country, with London experiencing the highest rise, although this trend does impact the West Midlands too.

In fact, house prices have increased by 36% since April 2011 alone. This is out of step with the average weekly pay packet, which has risen by 7% only.

As a result, many people are locked out of home-ownership, leading to higher demand in the private rental market.

Inflationary property prices will continue to boost the buy to let sector, even if rental yields don’t quite the same returns. It therefore makes sense for landlords to consider expanding their property portfolio in the future.

At Redstones, we continue to offer landlords a high level of support, to take the time and hassle away from property management. You will find that our comprehensive range of services is over and above what’s offered by many other letting agents.

Redstones Management Team

Open Days prove to be a great route to owning a property franchise

Ever wanted to operate your own estate agency and letting business? Well, those that do took advantage of the recent Redstones Open Days, which took place recently in May.

Interested individuals took advantage of the opportunity to find out what it’s like to run their own highly successful property business and why it could be their ideal next career move.

We spoke to a number of pre-qualified attendees and are taking forward the applications of a select number of interested potential business owners.

Director of Redstones, Manjit Virdi says, “The open days have proven to be an excellent face to face opportunity for us to find the right franchise partners. Deciding to own and manage your own property franchise is a huge decision, so this high level of interaction has been perfect for potential franchisees and has enabled us to build some fantastic new relationships with some very talented professionals.”

To register for open days please click Redstones Open Days.

Second interviews are now booked and an exceptional candidate for our Redstones Academy has been identified from the Open Days. One lucky Redstones Academy Apprentice wins the opportunity to become a franchisee with their own large territory – for free – and they will gain our full support to ensure their business succeeds.

To find out about winning a FREE franchise visit Redstones Franchise Academy Apprentice.

Ideal candidates are existing property professionals or property business owners interested in
re-branding to the prestigious Redstones brand, with a minimum of two year’s industry experience and a thorough understanding of business development.

We will keep you posted on who our first Redstones Academy Apprentice will be. In the meantime, don’t forget that it’s not too late to apply to be our apprentice, so get in touch now.

Redstones Buyers

Finding tenants with a good credit score

As a landlord, an essential part of finding good tenants is checking their credit. This is the best way of predicting whether or not they will be able to pay their rent on time.

There are various issues to consider in regards to credit scores, such as the age of your tenant. When you rent property to younger tenants, they may not have built up enough positive credit history to achieve a high credit score. However, remember that if a potential tenant has a low credit score but you feel they would be a good tenant, you could consider a co-signer such as a parent.

Another issue is the region where the property is located. Factors such as employment rates and property values can impact credit scores, so the region’s average credit score needs to be taken into consideration.

Many credit reports highlight issues that may have adversely impacted your prospective tenant’s credit score. It’s worth investigating these issues, as some of them may not matter as much as others.

Income, of course, is another factor and a credit report helps to assess whether the tenant has enough money to pay the rent, with enough left over for other expenses.

Clearly, a mixture of judgment and intuition, as well as evidence, helps determine good tenants.

As part of the detailed tenant screening process at Redstones, we can advise on credit issues and much more to take the hassle out of finding good tenants.

To safe guard you in any eventuality Redstones launched the Redstones “Platinum Total Care Service”. Rent is guaranteed whether the tenant pays or not.

PJ0401-09833WA

The property franchise dilemmas you can avoid

If you’re looking for a property management franchise, there are certain dilemmas that you will certainly want to avoid!

These include ensuring that you’re not paying a fortune upfront. Some property management franchisors expect new franchisees to spend as much as £150K to set up in business. That’s a huge initial payment, considering you haven’t earned anything yet! At Redstones, our fees are much fairer. In fact, we’re currently offering 10 successful applicants the opportunity to take advantage of a reduced franchise fee (£9,995 rather than £14,995) if they complete their application form by 30th June 2016.

Why not come and see us at our Open Day on the 25th June in Walsall.

To register please visit www.redstonesopendays.co.uk

Higher costs are often associated with a high street presence. At Redstones, we’ve proved that an on-line business model can work exceptionally well, as long as the right IT systems are in place to manage all business operations. We have the best systems in the business at Redstones, making the process of managing tenants and landlords, as well as accounting much easier.

Of course, it is essential to research management fees too if you’re choosing a property franchise. It’s important to make comparisons, as we have come across some ridiculous management fees that would seriously impact profitability. Ensure that you’re aware of hidden charges too, where franchisors introduce extra charges for additional services not covered in the initial franchise fee.

Redstones offer a clear and transparent service to franchisees, with no hidden charges. Instead, we are fair in terms of all of our rates and offer a much higher level of support than many other property management franchises. This helps ensure that our property management franchisees are fully satisfied and set up to succeed as a new business owner.

Discover more about operating a property franchise with Redstones.

Redstones

Spring cleaning before your big move

Many people sell up and move home in the spring and summer, which makes right now a perfect time for a spring clean before the ‘big moving day’ to save you both time and money before a house move.

Remember that reducing clutter can help you focus on your plans to move, reducing the stress involved. Here are Redstones tips for making your spring cleaning much simpler:

1. Be prepared
Start cleaning a few weeks before you plan to move and ensure that the right tools are in place, including the correct amount of dusters, bins bags and cleaning products! Start looking into finding a professional removals company too.

2. Declutter effectively
Go through your house and work out what you do and don’t want to take with you to your new home. Don’t waste time and money on packing, moving and storing any furniture and items you no longer need.

3. Start cleaning
Clean your own house as thoroughly as possible for the new occupiers and think about arranging for your new property to be cleaned. It’s always better to clean carpets and windows without having to empty rooms again. You could tackle this yourself or there are plenty of cleaning companies that charge reasonably for this service.

4. Some useful cleaning tips
You don’t necessarily have to throw everything away. Save old towels and bed linen for the move. They can be used as dust sheets, for wrapping furniture or for covering carpets if any painting is taking place. Remember that some of your old belongings can still be valuable, so consider eBay or a garage or car boot sale. Finally, ensure you wear comfortable and protective clothes when moving and keep rooms well ventilated if working with chemical cleaning products.

Cleaning your current home and ensuring your new home is clean and comfortable too takes some organised effort but will help you settle in faster in the long-run.

Redstones Houses

Speeding up the home selling process

When you’re selling your home, often the last thing you want is for the process to take a long time. So, what is the best way to improve your home’s ability to sell? Redstones recommend that you try these top tips:

Understand the market
One of the main reasons for a house not selling is because it’s priced too high. Despite the money you may have spent on the property, you need to go with what the housing market in your area dictates. Look at the prices of comparable homes and ensure your home is priced competitively.

‘Fixer upper’ homes can be difficult to sell
Nowadays, more people are looking for homes they can move into quickly, without conducting significant repairs. Avoid making your home look like a ‘fixer upper’ by fixing any damage, painting the home to freshen it up or tending to the garden to make your home an inviting prospect.

Location, location, location
The location of your home is vitally important to a buyer. Emphasise the good points about your location to buyers, including access to amenities, schools or even strong broadband access!

First impressions count
Keep your home neutral, simple and uncluttered. When buyers come around for viewings, it’s important that they can imagine it as their home, with their belongings.

Always be flexible
Just like you, remember that buyers are busy people. Always be flexible about when you can show them around your home. Also, to compete with other homes in the area, make sure you are prepared for viewings by keeping your home clean and orderly to make the best possible impression.

If your home isn’t selling as quickly as you would ideally want, why not give some of these tips a try? Alternatively, Redstones offer tailored advice to help. Discover even more about the home selling process with Redstones.