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We have seen many sellers at Deakin-White over the last few months, but there is one kind of seller that has been on the rise, and that’s the downsizer. There are many reasons why you may be considering downsizing to a smaller home. You could be looking to release some equity to help your children or to add to your savings pot for the years to come. Maybe you have some dreams of adventures that you wish to fulfil and an easier to maintain property is just what you need right now instead of redundant rooms just gathering dust. Whatever your motivation, it is essential when downsizing that you honestly evaluate your expectations so you can make the right decision for you. So how do you know you’re ready to downsize?
Does it make financial sense?
Just because you’re moving to a smaller home, doesn’t mean it will necessarily save you money. Should you be moving to a different location, the property values could differ greatly. The type of property you are looking for may have amenities and so there could be additional monthly charges that you need to take into consideration for things such as maintaining grounds and communal areas. The home you are looking to buy may need renovating or some upgrades; even with a budget, there could be things that turn up that you weren’t expecting so make sure you build in a contingency pot that won’t eat into your savings.
You’re excited to leave
Often, those looking to downsize find it a difficult decision to leave what is often their family home. Their house has so many memories and family members such as children could be upset at the thought of saying goodbye to the house that was a huge part of their childhood. We are sure that no matter how much you have loved living there, there will be some things that have niggled at you over the years that honestly you won’t be sad to leave behind.
Maybe you had a large and beautiful garden but it takes a lot of work each year to keep it looking its best. If you live in a period property, you will no doubt have an endless list of jobs that need doing, and you’ve been happy to do them but now you would prefer an easier life. Remember, this move is not about the past, it’s about the future, so if you start to have doubts, focus on why you made the decision and how your future will look in your new home.
Where will I put my things?
We all become attached to things in our home, from furniture which may have been passed down to pieces we’ve bought and can’t bear to part with. Instead of worrying where all your furniture will go in your new home, start to think about what items you definitely want to keep. If you’re moving from a large house to a more diminutive one, not everything you have now is going to fit – nor do you want it to. Think about the style of your new home, will your furniture work in the property or might it be fun to have a completely fresh start?
What about an apartment?
You may not have thought about an apartment but, depending on your future plans, it could actually be the ideal choice. Should you be looking to travel then you know you can lock up and leave with peace of mind that the grounds will be maintained and neighbours around to keep an eye on things. There are many stunning apartment complexes now that are designed for those of retirement age but are certainly not aesthetically doddery. With stylish and high-specification finishes, spacious balconies for entertaining and communal spaces that feel like a quality hotel rather than an apartment building, they are certainly something you should look at and not dismiss without investigation.
Does the floorplan work?
Just as you would when looking to buy any home, you need to ensure the floorplan is going to work for you now and in the years to come. Just bear in mind that you’ve been used to a certain amount of space and that will be reduced, but this might in terms of the number of bedrooms rather than the amount of living space. You may wish to have more of an open-plan space that brings everyone together, or a hobby, work or visiting family may mean you lean toward having separate spaces. You may even find that the floorplan in your new home works better for you than the one you have now.
Location, location, location
Location is particularly important with this move, as you may be thinking about what you need for the short and the long term. Being closer to family could be a key factor in the move, as it is for many who are looking to downsize after the stresses and strains of the pandemic. Would you be happy driving to amenities or would you prefer to be able to walk to the local shop, pub or café for that morning coffee and sneaky slice of cake?
If you’re not familiar with the area you’ll be moving to, it’s important to do your research. Feeling at home is a priority and our team are always on hand to offer advice. Just remember, a house can be altered and decorated but a location cannot be changed. Really think about what you want and need from this move so that when you decide on a location, you know that you will be happy living there. If you can see yourself living in another town, village or even in another street, it can make that thought of moving a little bit easier.
Am I ready to downsize?
One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is: are you ready? Yes, you may be looking at smaller homes, and you could have talked about this move for months if not years, but knowing it’s something you want to do and being ready to do it are quite different. When you’re not ready you will be hesitant and sometimes over-critical, as you subconsciously try to find faults and flaws and delay progress.
This can lead to a frustrating and stressful process, which is something that no one wants, especially whilst undertaking what can often be the emotional move of downsizing. Make sure you’re clear in your mind before you start, as being ready for this move will make it a much happier experience for everyone involved.
A smaller home awaits
At Deakin-White we have helped many people and families to downsize, we understand the emotions and also how to find the right next home for you and your plans. If you’re thinking of downsizing and have any concerns, please chat to a member of our team.
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Dunstable’s Number One
As we begin June, we are delighted to share with you that our office in Dunstable is the number one selling estate agent in the town for 2021 to date.
They have helped 127 of our clients sell their homes so far this year.
Our office manager Tayler Barnes said, ‘I’m really pleased we have been able to help so many people get sold so far this year and I hope we can help lots more’ when asked about why Deakin-White have sold more than any other agent he said, ‘We have a fantastic team at Deakin-White who love their job and are very passionate about helping people.’
If you are thinking of selling, please click this link to book a valuation with the areas number one - https://www.dwrealestate.co.uk/valuation
This data is provided from Rightmove for January 1st 2021 to 31st May 2021 and the following postcodes LU6 1, LU6 2, LU6 3, LU5 4, LU5 5, LU5 6 and LU7 9. It is based on the towns 11 core agents and other agents who have sold one or two properties in the locality this year.
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Welcome to the emotional ride that is buying a home. When you are spending so much money, you want to make sure you choose the right investment. The process is exciting, complicated and, let’s face it, a little bit scary at times. Your mind is bound to be racing with so many things – wants, needs, location and lifestyle, compromises and must-haves. We all have those little fibs we tell ourselves to make things feel a little easier. Here are some fun classic fibs that many homebuyers tell themselves when looking for a new home.
1. I’m Going to Keep Below My Budget
You know that it’s essential to establish your budget before you start looking at houses. For one, you don’t want to be disappointed should you be able to afford less than you thought, but also if you have a mortgage in principle this places you in a stronger position when it’s time to make an offer. With your budget in hand, we know many home hunters have a deep desire to stay below that figure, but the reality is many don’t. Now this isn’t through lack of trying, they just discover that those extra pennies can often get them the home they really want.
One strong word of warning: if you know that your budget will be stretching you financially, lower it to something you are more comfortable with. You may have to make a compromise or two but you will be happy you did when you feel more financially stable.
2. It’s Fine If They Don’t Accept My Offer
This is such a typical way of trying to prepare yourself for disappointment, because deep down you know that you absolutely want this house and you will be shedding a tear or two if you don’t get it. But telling ourselves a fib like this makes us feel a little better, as does the relief when the offer is accepted and we can finally be honest!
3. I’m Happy to Do Some Work
It is always tempting to look at properties that need some work because, at the end of the day, you can turn them into exactly what you want and add value along the way. But what you think you’re up for now may not be the reality. We have seen many cases over the years where would-be renovators end up standing inside a project house looking like bunnies caught in the headlights. Be honest with yourself, when you say, “I’m happy to do some work”, do you really mean, “I don’t mind painting the walls but knocking one down and doing any kind of building is a little out of my depth”?
4. I’m Not in Any Rush
Now we wouldn’t say searching for a new home can become addictive, but it’s funny how you start off with intentions of not rushing – and then suddenly that changes. You avidly check any new listings daily – okay, maybe hourly – to try and get in there first, calling the agents quickly to arrange a viewing because you don’t want to miss out by only sending an email. Pretty soon your ‘not in any rush’ mentality is replaced by a quest that you can’t seem to walk away from.
5. The House Will Still Be Available in a Few Days
Or will it? We would love to tell you that you have some thinking time after a viewing, time to see other properties and check out the location, but the fact is, in the current market, waiting is a sure-fire way of missing out on a property you love. Houses are flying right now, but that doesn’t mean you should make a rash decision. Try and do your research on the location and similar properties and understand what it is exactly that you need, so that when you attend a viewing on a property that gives you the overwhelming feeling of being your future home, you are ready to act, and act fast.
Buying a home
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or just unsure about the best way to start your property search, our team at Deakin-White are always here to help. We know the area intimately, can help you drill down to what’s important in your next home, and explain the best way to approach the sales process. If you’re also telling yourself the classic fib ‘you can do this on your own’, let us show you the difference it makes to have a great local estate agent by your side. You can read more about the home buying process with our handy First Time Buyers Guide - https://www.dwrealestate.co.uk/images/first-time-buyer-guide.pdf
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If you’re looking to buy a house at the moment you may have a ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ (FOMO), and who could blame you? With a distinct lack of properties on the market and an abundance of buyers all wanting to find a home, it’s like the Wild West out there on the housing front. In March, HMRC announced that UK property transactions were at their highest level since records began in 2005 – in fact, there were 180,000 sales, that’s double the number seen in March last year. So if you are a buyer trying to navigate this market, how can you ensure your FOMO doesn’t become a reality?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a buyer is to start your search before you’ve got yourself in a viable position. In other words, do you have a mortgage in principle? Having an up-to-date mortgage in principle demonstrates to both the homeowner and the estate agent that you are able to proceed with the purchase. Your offer will be considered serious and in cases where demand for viewings on a property is overwhelming, you will be considered over someone who doesn’t have this in place. If you haven’t taken the steps to speak to a mortgage broker, we would suggest you do so as soon as possible.
If you want to be taken seriously, you need to be transparent when speaking to an estate agent about what you are looking for and your maximum budget. We know that by placing all your cards on the table you may think you are putting yourself in a weaker position when it comes to negotiating. But stating that you don’t have a maximum budget doesn’t ring true and can make it difficult for an estate agent to help you find your dream home.
Take advantage of Virtual Viewings
Virtual viewings are a great way of touring a number of properties to see what you like and don’t like. It can help you to solidify your wish list and work out where you’re willing to compromise. Within a virtual tour not only will you be taken around the property but you will also get the opportunity to ask questions. This means that when you are sure of what you want you can focus all your time and energy on properties that could be the perfect match.
Buying a house is a massive investment, yet it’s a decision that many rush into, and we don’t want you regretting a purchase down the line. Before you start to physically view properties, think about all the things that are important to you and not just the property itself
As the country starts to open up to some kind of normality, what can the neighbourhood offer you? Your work situation could be different, perhaps involving work from home days, so is commutability as important as it was? Or, do you want walks, shops and bars in walking distance? Remember, a home can be changed but a location can’t, and it’s easy to be swayed by a stunning interior and glorious garden design, but is it the right ‘home’ for you?
More Haste, Less Speed
This market requires a clear and level head, if you snooze you will lose, but your decisions shouldn’t be rushed either. Set up alerts with property websites so you’ll know as soon as a new home in your chosen area comes onto the market, book a viewing as quickly as possible and do your research before you go if it is a street or area you’re not familiar with. Make a list of questions so these can be answered whilst you are viewing the property. Try and view the house without rose-tinted glasses, because this could be your home – will you be happy living there? Don’t wait to make an offer if this house is for you, because you can be assured that others who have viewed it will no doubt be doing the same.
Do You Want This House?
Any offer you make has to have an impact. Yes, we all love a bargain but when homes are going for close to or over their asking prices at the moment, making a low ball offer will seem like an insult to the homeowners. You want your offer to be taken seriously. Don’t forget to remind the estate agent of your position – are you a first-time buyer, chain-free, your property already sold? Knowing more about you and your position could make your offer more attractive; not all sellers take the highest figure, some wish their home to go to a local family, not an investor, or prefer a buyer for other reasons.
No More Fear
With these hot tips, you may still have a little fear of missing out but you’re taking steps to place yourself in a strong position so you can not only find your dream home, but buy it too. If you’re looking for a new home come and chat to our team to see how we can help you.
If you are looking for a property, click this link to see our latest available stock in Herts, Beds & Buck:
Looking to Sell
If you are thinking of making a move on 2021? Click this link to find out what the market is like for your home using the latest market insight data:
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For the first time in the 21st Century, the cherished family home of a major music industry figure is coming onto the market. Husband and wife team Charley Foskett and Lauren Field have lived in and loved their Bedfordshire home for 21 years, but have now decided it's time to move on.
Charley has enjoyed a dream of a career as a globally respected record producer and songwriter while Lauren has followed a parallel path as a singer/songwriter. Charley's expertise in the studio and at the mixing desk has made him a highly sought-after partner for a huge array of musical stars over the decades.
While he can count working with two Beatles, one Rolling Stone and a member of Led Zeppelin on his CV, the range of his talents has made him the producer of choice in all kinds of different musical genres for other rock veterans including Steve Harley and pop acts such as Bucks Fizz and Alvin Stardust as well as new wave giants including Elvis Costello, the soul legend Edwin Starr and the pioneers of world music Osibisa.
In the 1980s Charley was instrumental in setting up The Anti-Heroin Project, modelled on the Band Aid concept, which resulted in the release of a 30-track double album, 'It's a Live in World', with songs recorded by a cast of international musical stars, of which he co-wrote twelve and produced fifteen.
"We have had such fantastic times here,' says Charley, "building up our music production business and, at the same time, having the chance to entertain some of the music industry's most famous names."
The house incorporates a remarkable home studio which has hosted recording sessions by the likes of Paul Young, Jethro Tull and British blues legend Paul Jones. Like those owned by Peter Gabriel and Sting, in common with many of the industry's favoured recording locations, Charley and Lauren's home is far from the heart of London. However, Charley is convinced that their Dunstable location is one of the attractions that brings such world-class talent to their door.
"Our proximity to London Luton airport and our fantastic rail and road links have made it easy for artists from all over the UK and Europe to reach us," says Charley.
Charley has battled and survived serious illness and even released his own solo album in 2020 as an almost literal 'comeback'. The home he shares with Lauren has been an important part of their lives together, both personally and professionally. But even though, as Led Zeppelin would have it, 'the song remains the same', Charley and Lauren feel it is time for a change.
Charley again: "Now that our kids have grown up and are moving on, we've decided it's time to downsize. We feel so privileged to have been able to spend two decades bringing up our family in such a big, beautiful, happy, welcoming home. The parties we've had are legendary and the memories we take with us are priceless. And we've also had the huge, good fortune to make it our place of business too."
This stunning Dunstable residence is a true one-off. As you walk through the rooms you can see all the signs that it has been treated with manifest care through the years. It is the perfect example of what we mean by 'a well-loved home'.
"We've absolutely loved living here," Charley says, "and we have absolutely no doubt that whoever becomes the new owner will love it just the same and enjoy as much success as we've had."
Deakin-White is immensely proud to have been appointed by Charley and Lauren to market their exceptional home and match it with a very lucky buyer.