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Estate Agent in Epsom  Ewell  Stoneleigh  and Surrey   The Personal Agent

10 Year Anniversary Prize Draw Event

Published on 27th November 2014

We are delighted to invite you to join us on Saturday 20th December for canapés, drinks and our 10th Anniversary Prize Draw. Prizes include a spa day, a hand crafted rocking horse by Grant & Valentine, a Charles Rowbotham original painting and the grand prize of a Fiat 500 car.

The Mayor of Epsom, Councillor Robert Foote, will be conducting the draw at 1:45pm but please join us from 12 noon – 14:15pm to enjoy the celebrations. The event will take place at The Canopy Restaurant under a marquee in Epsom Square.

We look forward to seeing as many people there as we can, especially those who have already been successfully entered into the draw (a full list of names can be found here). And we hope the event will be an excellent example of local companies working together to provide a great afternoon for everyone involved.

Posted in Local Events/News, Local Focus, TPA News |
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10 Year Anniversary Prize From Grant & Valentine

Published on 24th November 2014

As part of our 10 Year Anniversary Prize Draw, we’re happy to announce that the runner up will receive a hand crafted luxury rocking horse made by award winning artists Grant & Valentine.

Grant & Valentine’s bespoke rocking horses are traditionally hand crafted by award winning artist Billy Grant and his grandfather Ralph Valentine. Each rocking horse is unique and can be customised to your exact specification.

Each piece is individually crafted using only traditional methods, carved from the finest selected woods. Playing with colour and tone they make their own tack, and leathers are chosen from premium Italian tanneries.

Fascinated by early British traditional rocking horses for their ingenuity, loveable personalities and nostalgic emotions, Grant & Valentines rocking horses are composed conserving their original characteristics, yet gently adding a current look.

“Timeless pleasures creating an everlasting impression” – Billy Grant

For more information on these excellent works, visit them at www.grantandvalentine.com

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Posted in Local Events/News, Selling Your House, TPA News |

Lights on Broadway

Published on 19th November 2014

On Friday 5th December Stoneleigh is hosting its annual ‘Lights on Broadway’ event in which they’ll be turning on the Christmas lights and inviting everyone to enjoy an evening of late night shopping, food, drink and entertainment. ‘Lights on Broadway’ will go on until 7pm and shops including The Personal Agent’s Stoneleigh branch will be staying open to welcome anybody in late on. Along with evening shopping there will be a Santa’s Grotto, Carol Singing, Food Stalls, a Winter BBQ, a Fun Fair and plenty more to get involved in.

Entry is free and we hope to see as many of you there as we can. Details can be found in the flyer below:

Posted in Local Events/News, TPA News |

4 Reasons Why Being A Landlord Has Never Been Better

Published on 13th November 2014

The rental market is booming, there have never been more options for landlords or homes to let, so we’ve put together four of the biggest reasons why landlords have never had it so good and why anyone should be looking to break into the private rented sector.

1. Tenant Demand is Huge

The demand for rented properties is now huge, people are finding owning a home either less affordable or not suited to their lifestyle, and are choosing to rent as a result.

A recent survey by Paragon Mortgages in autumn of this year found that 41% of landlords believed the amount of people looking to rent was either ‘growing or booming’ whilst a further 50% said it was staying the same or stable.

Over half of the landlords surveyed said that tenant demand was the main reason to invest in a buy to let property right now, with some 63% of people saying they expected to see the demand for rented properties increase further in the next 12 months. This prediction is up by 7% in January when landlords were asked the same question and reflects the growing confidence that people will continue to seek out properties in the rental sector.

2. Renting is a Long-Term Choice

The decreased viability of owning a home has led more people to choose to rent their home instead. But this is not merely a stop-gap solution, research from Knight Frank and YouGov found that less than a quarter of tenants expected to stay in the private rented sector (PRS) for less than 2 years while a survey of 3,500 renters said that 32% did so because it suits their lifestyle or they don’t want to have to pay for a mortgage.

This is a marked shift in attitudes from people looking to get a foot on the property ladder to ones who are content with not having to own their home. In that same report a quarter of people said they expected to continue to rent and would not look to own a home in their lifetime, with 15% saying they would continue to get their accommodation from the private rented sector in the next 5 years.

3. Buy-to-Let Mortgages are Cheaper

Not only is demand high and people are looking to rent for longer, but UK landlords are also benefiting from falling mortgage prices and longer fixed-term rates.

The latest index from ‘Mortgages for Business’ says that short-term fixed rate deals are now being replaced by longer-term fixed rate mortgages with almost 1 in 5 of all available buy to let mortgage products now being 5 year fixed-rate deals. They say that overall, the competition felt by lenders to attract landlords is causing them to their lower their prices as well as offering more longer term fixed rate deals.

David Whittaker, managing director of Mortgages for Business says that “landlords can now choose from a pool of in excess of 700 different buy to let mortgages. Longer term fixed rates are the best option for landlords looking to protect their future income and minimise any risk associated with interest rate rises, and there are now more of these options available than ever before.”

4. The Rental Market is Growing

Private landlords now own almost 1 in every 5 homes according to the mortgage lender Paragon and they say this will expand by a further million in the next five years. Research by the intermediary lender IMLA confirm this saying that by 2032, 1 in 3 properties will be owned by private landlords.

The value of property owned by landlords in Great Britain is also set to break the £1 Trillion barrier next year as the total value of the private rented sector has now reached £930.7 billion, rising by 13.3% on last year alone. Since 2001, the PRS has expanded by nearly two million households, increasing by a massive 71.4%. London accounts for 41% of the sector’s value while the South East is the next biggest region worth around £137 billion or 15% of the sector as a whole.

The size of the PRS inside London is a major factor in the pace of growth in the overall sector’s value and despite the slowdown in rental inflation landlords have seen gross total annual returns hit a six year high of 15.1% on the back of the resurgence in property prices. Representing an average return of £27,475 per property and showing just how good landlords have got it at the moment.

Posted in House Price Trends, Letting your property, TPA News |
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6 Things to Remember When Moving Home at Christmas

Published on 7th November 2014

With just 7 weeks until Father Christmas slides down the chimney, we at The Personal Agent have put together this helpful list of things to remember when moving at Christmas time. So your big move goes off without a hitch.

Christmas can be a hectic time of year at the best of times. The evenings are darker, there are presents to wrap and decorations to put up, and moving home can prove a tricky task for some.

But it needn’t be so stressful, and with our handy checklist, you’ll be toasting your successful move as you empty your stocking on Christmas day.

So with that in mind here’s what you need to remember:

1) Sell quick! This is the trickiest part of the move and you won’t be going anywhere until you’ve successfully sold your old home. For the best results you’ll need an Estate Agent who’ll invest time in getting your home advertised effectively. With our network of branches throughout Epsom, Stoneleigh and Ewell we can make sure your property gets the exposure it needs quickly and efficiently.

2) Book a Removal Company! This time of the year is busy for everyone, which is why it’s important to plan ahead and ensure things run smoothly by getting some professional help. Once you’ve confirmed your move date, book a removal company as soon as possible to help transport your belongings for a low cost, time saving solution, that will save you a great deal of hassle.

3) Stay Organised! Leave clear instructions on what you might need once you move in and exchange phone numbers with everyone who’s helping you move. Label where the spare keys are, leave out instructions for the cooker, boiler and alarms and create a folder that includes all the warranties on any utilities in the home, keeping everything clear and close at hand.

4) Tell Friends and Family! Sending out Christmas cards is a great way of letting everyone know your new address, and avoids people sending you messages of congratulations to your old postal address. If not, remember to leave a note to the people taking up your old residence so they can forward on all your mail.

5) Inform your Gas and Electricity Company! Nothing is less welcoming than entering a freezing house. So make sure you’re not without heating and electricity on Christmas by informing your energy companies that you’ve switched to a new residence. Measure the meter on your old home as well so you’re not being over-charged on your energy bill either.

6) Relax! Moving home can be tough, so why not celebrate your successful move by ordering in a takeaway and relaxing on the sofa. Tomorrow the real work can begin!

Posted in Moving House, Selling Your House, TPA News |
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An Eerie-sistable Lettings Agent

Published on 29th October 2014

The Personal Agent is donning its cape and sharpening its fangs in time for the year’s spookiest holiday as we invite you to our newly redecorated Lettings office where you’ll find a haunted house with a frighteningly good selection of properties to let this Halloween.

Whether you’ve been tricked in the past, or are just looking for a treat on All Hallows’ Eve, you’ll find some great deals in our Lettings branch as we aim to provide you with  great service, practical advice and the best rental properties around.

Having been voted number 1 lettings agent in October for the most new properties and the most available properties; our commitment to offering only the best lettings service is sure to leave you with shivers running down your spine.

Visit our lettings branch this Friday where we’ll be giving out some spooky sweets as well as some ghoulishly good property advice.

Posted in Letting your property, Local Events/News, TPA News |

Calling All House Sellers

Published on 17th October 2014

This December, The Personal Agent celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary, and to mark the occasion we’re giving one lucky person a brand new Fiat 500. So far we’ve had an amazing response from everyone involved, with loads of people choosing to take part.

If you haven’t already got your name in the hat and want to be in with a chance of winning, then all you need to do is sell your home through The Personal Agent and exchange contracts with us on – or before – the 19th December and you will be entered with a chance of winning this great prize. Please note that it will take roughly 4 weeks to exchange contracts with The Personal Agent so we advise that if you wish to enter the competition you complete this exchange with us before the 23rd November.

A list of the people who have already been successfully entered can be found in the list below. If your name is missing but you think you should be on the list call us on 01372 745 850 or email us at epsom@thepersonalagent.co.uk and we’ll make sure you’re in the hat come before the competition closes.

For more information and to see our Terms and Conditions visit the 10 Year Anniversary page.

Mr & Mrs Patrick Aloir

Mrs Alison Golt

Jenny Mathews & Hazel Brown

Umadey Jobanputra

Mike & Iris Pascoe

Sian Smith

Andrea & Michael Merrington

Roy & Margaret Payne

Craig & Peggy Poyser

Tristan Hinxman

Frank & Cathy Coma

Gary & Sophie Ramsay

Simon Tolliday & Mrs Craven

Martin Marro & Marianna Dagatti

James & Laura Sealey

Dominic & Sarah Clarke

Angela Seal

Eric & Jacqui Garnier

Michael & Teresa McDonald

Keith Humphrey & Helen Wynn

Rob McDougall & Hatty Taylor

Christina Brooke

Michael & Jan Bunn

Jacinda McSorley

Victoria Churchill & Susan Bund

Martin Burns

Robert Cusack & Victoria Worvell

Paul & Carol Foster

Katie Clark

Michael Martinez

Lucy Morrell

Zoe Gould

Toni Herschel

Josie Down

Mr & Mrs Dunn

Mr Warner

Mrs Amin

Mr & Mrs Cox

Beryl Kernot

Steve & Julia Edmonds

Mr & Mrs Patrick Dehm

Richard & Christine Bowker

Mr Evans

Mr & Mrs Boxall

Craig & Michelle Norman

Fiona Terry

Ms J Scowcroft

Simon Stannard

Mr & Mrs McGarry

Mr Sutehall & Miss Morton

Chris & Claire Harris

Jack May-Robinson & Lyndsay Slade

Hannah & Mark McCormack

Mr & Mrs Jamie Keefe

David Carter

Andrew & Louise Harris

Jeffrey Evans

Robin & Lucy Farmer

Denise & Clive Goodall

Tony Kerslake & Janet Egan

Gail Hogan

Mrs Perilli

Mrs & Mrs Martell

Mrs A Arthur

William & Elizabeth Trevorrow

Leanne Leggo

David Hunt & Samantha Mayell

Simon & Leigh Bowyer

Tracey & Chris Landon

Richard Hill & Jennifer

Mike Griffiths

Mr & Mrs Gary Nader

Paul & Erica Taborn

Mr & Mrs Carl Huntington

Jo & Joel Osborne

Julia Archer

Chris Wilkins & Fran Janssen

Chris Long & Nicci Makinson

Michael & Janice Gladwell

Mr Randall

Mr & Mrs Terry Mayho

Terrence & Jacqueline Gartell

Donna Green

Mr & Mrs Toribio

Alan Marsh

Tamlin & Gail Howard

Stephen & Jane McManus

Andrew & Samantha Bailey

Julie Hibbert

John Wilkins

Francesca Palmer & Joel Heasman

Alex & Sarah Preager

Mike Zullo

Dan Heighes

Maureen Wright & Michael Barrell

Gary Andrews

Rebecca Banham McGraw

Posted in Local Events/News, Selling Your House, TPA News |
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A Landlord’s Guide to Insurance: What You Need to Know

Published on 13th October 2014

Managing one – or multiple – properties at the same time can be a tricky task. There is a wealth of things to stay on top of all at once and when you’re trying to keep everything running smoothly the last thing you need is an unexpected catastrophe taking up more of your valuable time.

But unfortunately for even the most diligent planners, things will occasionally go wrong. For this reason it is often a good idea to consider insuring your properties should the worst happen. With landlord insurance you can get tailored, comprehensive and value for money cover that will help protect you and your property in the event of any damage or losses incurred.
In doing so not only will you receive secure protection but important peace of mind as well.

First of all it is important to consider these points:

Is it mandatory? – Whilst it’s not a legal requirement for you to insure your property against damage or accidents, if you have taken out a mortgage to purchase the property then lenders will often ask that you insure their asset against any potential loss.

What do you need it for? – Landlord Insurance is useful for a whole host of reasons. In many cases simple home insurance will not provide the cover required for general rental activities and when a lot of money has been invested into a property, the last thing you want is to have to put even more of your funds into policies that reap no benefit should something bad happen to your property.

Is it expensive? – Typically landlord insurance isn’t that expensive with policies starting from as little as £12 per month and this will cover upwards of £1 million pounds in buildings cover and £75,000 in contents cover.

When deciding what kind of cover you require there are a range of insurance products available on the market to cover all kinds of scenarios that may unfold. Here I’ll talk about some of the more common ones:

Building Insurance – This is the most common form of Landlord Insurance covering the basic bricks and mortar of the property. In the event of any structural damage, such as fire or water, this will cover any rebuilding or repair work.

Contents Insurance – Is there to cover everything that you own in the property that isn’t the building itself. So things like the upholstery, any furniture, television, cooking utensils and so on.

Liability Cover - This will protect you the Landlord, in the event of your tenant pursuing legal action against you for whatever reason. With this kind of cover it is usually taken as a precaution in the event of a tenant sustaining an injury which they felt was a result of negligence on the landlord’s part. In other circumstances it could mean an employee of yours being hurt whilst carrying out work for you, or if you were to damage another person’s property. This policy will cover all legal fees and help ease what can otherwise be a difficult situation.

Loss of Rent – One of the more common issues you may face as a landlord is when a tenant doesn’t pay the rent. As the name implies is there to cover any income you would normally receive through your letting fees. In addition this is a policy which can be advantageous if for some reason you are unable to let the property, providing you with a steady stream of benefits.

Home Emergency Cover – Is there to give you 24 hour a day assistance so that in the event of something drastic going wrong, you need not worry. Including everything from fixing a leak, to refitting the locks or dealing with a pest problem, we can have some to take care of whatever you need.

For more information on receiving a comprehensive landlord insurance plan take a look at Ignite Financial Services for a range of great policies, or email info@ignitefs.co.uk for a quote.

Posted in Letting your property, TPA News |
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Mortgage Availability Set to Rise as Lenders Aim to Hit Targets

Published on 7th October 2014

The difficulty in getting a new mortgage is set to decrease as lenders aim to hit yearly targets in the build up to Christmas.

House buyers and those looking to take out a mortgage are likely to receive a far better deal than has previously been the case as lenders look to resurrect interest in the market. With many lenders offering incentives such as iPads and Council Tax discounts in an attempt to increase their share of the market.

The Bank of England’s most recent Credit Conditions Survey has said that it expects lenders to increase the availability of mortgages during the next 3 months after a sharp decline in activity from July to September. The survey of banks and societies had found that lenders had been acting cautiously when approving mortgages due to fears surrounding rising house prices and the likelihood of another crash. It also said that the effects of the Credit Crunch had further inhibited their willingness to offer secured loans.

In addition, the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review that comes into effect next April is said to have caused more cautious lending as new safeguards are put in place to prevent the kind of profligate lending that led to the financial crisis in 2008.

However, lenders will now compete for market share in the wake of a dip in interest from would-be house buyers during the summer months who had seen a barrier to purchasing new homes emerge from increased house prices and the difficulty in acquiring a mortgage.

The House Price Index from Nationwide had shown the first fall in 17 months indicating that the slowdown in activity had hit prices. It appeared that lenders said demand from borrowers had also fallen significantly, breaking a trend of increasing demand seen since the start of 2012.

For more information on a great range of mortgage products, get in touch with Mike at Ignite Financial Services. Email at info@ignitefs.co.uk or call him on 01372 940152.

Posted in House Price Trends, Moving House, TPA News |
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Buy-to-Let Portfolios Increasing

Published on 24th September 2014

Great news for landlords as recent research by Paragon Mortgages has shown that the average number of buy-to-let portfolios is expanding at a phenomenal rate. The research found that the average number of properties owned by landlords currently stands at 14.9, which has risen by more than 10% when compared to the second quarter of this year when the number was at around 13.5. By comparison, when Paragon first started their research in 2002 the average number of properties held within a landlord’s portfolio was at around 9.

These findings coincide with Direct Line for Business’ report that landlords in England as a whole are seeing increasing growth, with earnings now in excess of £32 billion a year. Of this figure, properties based in London accounted for £14 billion (44%) of that total, which is greater than the whole of the Midlands, Yorkshire and East Anglia combined. The average property in inner-city London generated £19,596 per annum meaning income of £1,633 each month.

In addition, the LSL Buy-to-Let index has shown that the average price of rent in England and Wales was at a record high of £761pcm. When this is combined with rising house prices and increased investment opportunities for landlords nationwide, the current landscape for has never looked better.

Posted in House Price Trends, Letting your property |