Category Archives: Willenhall Estate Agents

Redstones Lettings

Reviewing your plans for 2017 as a landlord

Many landlords will have benefited from their property investments over the years but given the changes introduced in 2016 and beyond, assessing your position is always a good idea. As we start a new year, Redstones recommend that landlords review their investments.

2016 presented challenges for landlords, which included an increase in running costs due to Right to Rent checks that made sure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (where required) were fitted. Also, in 2016 an extra 3% stamp duty land tax on second homes was introduced and the automatic annual ‘wear and tear’ allowance disappeared.

In addition, from April 2017, the reduction in mortgage interest relief for higher rate tax payers will begin, meaning that finance costs can no longer be deducted from rental income. Unfortunately, this means that some landlords will have to pay significantly more tax.

However, the good news is that although profit margins may be tighter for investors, property prices have generally gone up in most areas and some landlords have been in a position to increase rents. This helps to offset some of the increases in tax and other costs. Other ways of offsetting these costs include re-mortgaging, with many landlords now taking advantage of historically low interest rates.

Furthermore, the number of tenants looking for high quality properties continues to rise. This is not only due to affordability, there are many other factors now at play. For example, with Brexit throwing the economy into some uncertainty, more people are considering flexible employment and a flexible lifestyle.

Managing Director of Redstones Manjit Virdi states, “The beginning of the year is a great time to review financial plans and goals. Redstones believes that the private rental market in the areas we serve still represent excellent investments and we’re on hand to help landlords with their property plans in 2017.”

Find out more about the exceptional lettings and property management service at Redstones.

Redstones Residential Sales

Property market buoyant as lending booms

In 2016, mortgage lending hit its highest level in 8 years, which can mainly be attributed to low interest rates.

Proving that the property market remains buoyant, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has confirmed that with a lending total of £246m last year, lending has increased by 12% on the total amount lent in 2015. Mortgage approvals for both purchasing property and re-mortgaging rose in December 2016, showing that this trend is likely to continue into 2017. In fact, since 2008, remortgaging has grown year on year by 30%.

Therefore, despite Brexit and higher stamp duty for buy to let investors, many people have clearly been taking advantage of low interest rates to move up the property ladder. However, despite banks being keen to do business, in some areas, there is an ongoing shortage of properties on the market nationally and house price growth is expected to slow.

Manjit Virdi, Managing Director of Redstones explains, “We’ve got off to a very busy start in 2017 across the board, in terms of both property sales and lettings. We have a very high quality supply of properties right now too.”

He continues, “The positive situation with mortgage lending means that this could be the ideal time to buy your first home, move up the property ladder or continue expanding an existing property portfolio. We’re finding that for many people, it makes sense to start the new year by strengthening property investments.”

We offer innovative services in both sales and lettings such as Switch Agent and Redstones Platinum Total Care, which are very popular with our landlords.

Find out more about the great service Redstones has to offer.

Make buying your first home a reality in 2017

Is 2017 going to be the year you buy your first home? Whether it feels impossible or achievable, here are some simple, practical steps you can take to get that bit closer to becoming a home owner:

Investigate monthly outgoings – When saving for a deposit, every pound counts! Getting into good habits now will lead to increased levels of monthly savings, taking you closer and closer to your first home. Think about areas where you could be saving money, whether the amounts are small or large. Perhaps you’re not fully utilising that monthly magazine subscription or gym membership?

Keeping a record of your spending may help with this. Investigate regular costs and see if savings can be made on items such as food, clothing or entertainment.

Improve your credit rating – Consider setting up direct debits on any regular expenses such as credit cards and utility bills to improve your credit rating. Also, ensure you’re on the electoral roll too, as lenders may conduct these types of checks.

Set up a savings account – Putting away a fixed amount of money each month into a savings account where access to the account is restricted is a great, disciplined approach to saving that will help you build up the deposit you need more quickly.

Get the mortgage that suits you best – There are so many mortgage products and deals on the market that it’s worth thinking very carefully about what will suit you best. Think about how long you may want to live in your property and whether a fixed or variable rate mortgage will work for you. With interest rates being low, it may be worth considering a remortgage in a few years’ time. If mortgages leave you feeling confused, it’s well worth speaking to a mortgage advisor and family, friends and relatives about their own experiences.

At Redstones, we appreciate that this is a lot for you to consider and plan for. We’re therefore always keen to advise first-time buyers any way we can. Whether you’re looking to buy or rent right now, find out what Redstones can offer.