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Should I Sell My House Fast?

Should I Sell My House Fast?

Some house sales drag on for months. Sometimes the process can take years.

So where does that leave the seller who can’t afford to hang about waiting for completion of a sale which may – or may not – materialise?

Fast House Sale NI came into being to help those who want or need to sell quickly, quietly, no overheads, no fuss, deal done, money banked, moving on thank you very much.
The reasons for fast sales are many and varied. But for the individual, couple, family or group intent on selling, the need to do so promptly and discretely is the priority.

They are aware of cases where it has taken forever and they have no wish to become another anxious, frustrated, disappointed would-be seller being charged by agents and advertising outlets and who, despite having forked out good money, cannot get over the line in terms of completion.

Who needs to sell quickly? And why? All sorts of people for all sorts of reasons.
People who are emigrating and just want the whole house-selling issue done and dusted before they leave. A quick sale would be very welcome.

People to whom property may have been left following the death of a relative. They have a home of their own so they don’t need this other one as a residence, particularly as it might need to have work done before they could move in; redecoration at least, but quite possibly something a lot more substantial – and expensive.

It may be a case of a relationship breakdown which has seen both halves of a couple going their separate ways. They don’t want to spend time and money on the traditional house sale route involving estate agents, solicitors and a spruce-up or overhaul in readiness for visits by a stream of viewers, particularly as there is no guarantee of an offer at the end of it all that time, trouble and outlay.

Perhaps they have lost your job and, as a result of being unemployed, they need to get rid of everything they can no longer afford. Top of the list? The house. A quick sale is exactly what they require.

But how do you sell your home quickly? What does a quick house sale involve? Are there hidden costs? And how much could you expect to receive if you chose to follow the fast house sale road? And if you were happy with the price, how quickly could you expect to see the money for the sale?

Fast House Sale NI’s way of doing things is a clear case of ‘what it says on the tin’. It’s a quick sale which means you will not get full market value on the property in the same way you would if you were to go through the normal channels. But it’s a genuine option for somebody who wants good cash quickly.

Typically, Fast House Sale NI will offer up to 80% of the current full market value, though on occasions offers in the region of 85% have been made.And as all of those to have availed of its services decided, better the guarantee of £8 in your pocket right now than the mere dream or vague hope of a full £10 at some undefined point down the line, particularly as you may be substantially out of said-pocket between now and then.

All in all, it’s a quick, easy, no-hidden-costs transaction. An offer is made – and, significantly, it is one which includes Fast House Sale NI picking up all the other tabs normally associated with a house sale.

In other words, the seller does not have to pay for legal fees or foot the bill for an estate agent’s costs. Ordinarily it’s a six-eight weeks start-to-finish process, though there have been examples of completion within four weeks.

In addition to having all the extra costs looked after, further attractions of any such sale include the certainty that it will go through and that the seller is assured of complete discretion. There are no For Sale boards, no adverts and nobody else will be aware of the fact that you are selling, or have sold, or to whom or for how much. All such information is strictly confidential.

Once the deal is done and the handshakes are exchanged, the cash will be in your bank within weeks. Worst case scenario? Eight weeks.

Not only are Fast House Sale the biggest such company in Northern Ireland; they are part of a much bigger entity, namely CD Fairfield Capital, a Belfast-based group of companies who are both proud and protective of their reputation for ethics, integrity and transparency.

Fast House Sale NI guarantee an open market valuation of the property. Nor are they put off by its state of repair or the standard to which it has been maintained.

Even if it has been so poorly looked after that it has reached the point of not being mortgageable, they will welcome the opportunity to take a look with a view to buying it.

If you’re interested in a quick sale – be it residential, commercial property or land – Fast House Sale NI want to hear from you.

Should I Buy A House Or Rent A House? Aria Residential

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the ‘Should I buy or should I rent?’ question.

In reality it depends on what you want to do, what you expect your home to be and its role in all the other areas and aspects of your life.

The current state of the property market – and, as a result, prices – is a huge factor, too, particularly given the fact that prices can plummet as well as spiral, a fact which many tens of thousands in Northern Ireland can confirm in the wake of 2008 and the negative equity crisis that followed. The repercussions of that are on-going, of course – the road to recovery will be a long one.

Finally, and perhaps most pertinently and importantly, is the matter of what is realistic for you in terms of what you need in tandem with what you can afford. To that end, are you thinking in terms of the next 12 months or the next 20 years?

So, let’s go through those points step by step.

Firstly, what do you want your home to be?
Is it as straightforward as a mere roof over your head for the foreseeable future, or do you regard it as being your castle – a good, enjoyable, safe, affordable ‘home’ in the true sense of the word. In other words, the place where you feel you belong and, because of that, love to be?

Or is it, first and foremost, an investment from which you hope to make money? And if it is the latter, in the interim do you see yourself treating that property as your family home and actually living in it for some time to come? Or might you be happy to move on as soon as there is some profit available?

Your attitude as to what a home is or should be will go a long way towards determining how you feel about owning or renting it. If you see a home as being nothing much more than the place to which you go after work and wherein you sleep, that does not suggest any great level of attachment to it on your part. In those circumstances, renting might make more sense at this stage.

Things, however, can change. You would not be the first fun-loving single guy or girl to have changed direction, decided to settle down and begun to view the world through very much more mature and serious eyes!

Note, too, that there is no shortage of owners who never spend a minute of their time in properties they have bought. That’s because they buy a home in which they see investment potential and rental income rather than with a view to ever living at that address themselves.

Note, too, that our fixation with home ownership is not one shared by everyone. Go to continental Europe and you will discover a much higher percentage of people who prefer to rent rather than tie themselves to a long-term mortgage commitment.

Secondly, what role do you see your home playing in the rest of your life? That’s a crucial question and the answer to it is that it depends on what stage you have reached and what hopes and plans you have regarding what happens next. What is your marital/relationship status right now? Do you have children? If so, at what stage are they education-wise? Pre-school? Nursery? Primary? Secondary? For those with children, proximity to school is a big consideration. Living somewhere which is going to entail a long haul to and from their seat of learning Monday to Friday – and Saturday, too, if they participate in sport – is hardly ideal. That one is pretty obvious.

If you do not have children at this point, but hope to start a family at some future date, it is vital that you factor this into your thinking, especially if there is a particular school you would like your offspring to attend.

Of course, location is all-important in each of the other areas of your life, too. How close to work would you be living if you were to buy or rent this property? Shops? Churches? Relatives and friends? Favourite sports club(s)?

Thirdly, what is the state of the property market in Belfast? And, indeed, in the rest of Northern Ireland? Is this an opportune moment to be buying? Or selling, come to that?

And if you plan to buy, how ready for that are you? Do you want or need to do so quickly, or can you wait to see how things unfold a little further down the line? Big questions, as the timing could end up saving – or costing – you a lot of money. Which takes us to the fourth and final point of what EXACTLY you want or need to do NOW.

Do you have to sell a home first in order to buy? Is bridging finance an option or a non-starter? Have you consulted your lender regarding a future mortgage, or sought expert advice about re-negotiating the terms of your existing loan? All things to be included in your thinking.

Or, if you are renting, have you made yourself known to a reputable, results-endorsed estate agency whose track record confirms their standing as experts committed to top-quality customer service and noted for their attention to detail? Their standing is boosted if they are able to add a portfolio of first-class rental properties plus unrivalled back-up and support.

If all of those ingredients are present you have the perfect answer to any property-related problem, whether you are renting, buying or selling property in Belfast.
Aria major in all three – renting, buying or selling – as well as offering bespoke advice and assistance en route to matching the right people with the right property in the right location at the right price.

Whether it is a short-term rental for just a few days or weeks , the long-term purchase of a property which is to be your family’s home or indeed anything else in between, Aria pride themselves on providing more than others by way of service and expertise.

Every customer enjoys that level of support; there are no gradations and no class distinctions based on the amount of money involved. If you’re renting a one-bedroom flat, a two-bedroom terrace house or a top of the range detached home, they undertake to treat you the same.

We opened with the question ‘Should I buy or should I rent?’
It varies from person to person, couple to couple or family to family depending on what you/they need, what you/they want and how much you/they are able to afford.

The answer, however, is the same, whether you rent or buy. For honest advice, genuine help and unmatched attention to detail designed to make renting or buying a stress-free process, contact Aria.

Buy-To-Let, Invest With Aria Residential

Not so long ago, buy-to-let was seen to be a sound property investment – a proven, productive and profitable piece of business.

On an industrial scale this entailed super-rich individuals or large consortia buying houses, apartments or flats, if necessary sprucing them up a little and then letting them out to reliable tenants whose rent covered the owner’s or owners’ mortgage repayments as well as providing surplus to be invested in more property or deposited in a pension pot.

Meanwhile, with property prices seemingly destined to go on rising, the landlords’ investment continued to grow in value.

In the vernacular, a nice little earner from whatever angle one viewed it. But at a much more modest level, houses, apartments and flats were bought by ordinary people, too. They included parents who saw the merits of providing affordable accommodation for their offspring who were studying at university. And they, too, saw that as an investment which would continue to increase in value. Others who entered the world of buy-to-let included young couples who, having previously owned two homes, moved into one when they married. They kept the second, however, turning it into a rental property which more than paid for itself whilst also appreciating in worth.

Then there were those who inherited property following the death of an elderly parent. Rather than rushing to sell the home left to them, they kept it on and rent it out.

It remains to be seen how any of those highlighted above will fare now that Chancellor George Osborne appears to declared war on the UK buy-to-let market which has mushroomed in size in recent years.

With speculators buying up swathes of property for rental in London in particular, he is moving to offset that trend, given that it is threatening to destabilise the economy in general and house prices in particular.

To that end he is in step with the Bank of England which also is acting to head off property speculators at the figurative pass. This follows a series of warnings by the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee about the impact of high levels of mortgage lending to buy-to-let borrowers.

The figures underline the MPC’s concerns; from January 1 to September 30, 2015, buy-to-let lending soared by 10%, compared with a rise of just 0.4% in the owner-occupier sector.

In mid-2015 there were 1.7 million buy-to-let mortgages worth a staggering £201 billion. That translates as 16% of the UK’s residential mortgage market. In 2002 the share was 2%. By 2008 – when things went so disastrously wrong – it had risen to 12%.

As a result of this trend, the Chancellor has signalled his determination to restrict the size of loans to landlords. If he and the Bank of England are united on this one, mortgages advanced to buy-to-let property owners will be assessed strictly in accordance with the value of the property AND rental repayments on it.

That is because a major concern at this stage is that landlords may run into mortgage repayment problems in the not too distant future.  There are reasons for this anxiety, not least because landlords tend to take out interest-only loans. So if, due to them encountering payment difficulties, they chose to sell, that could see the marketplace swamped with for-sale properties, a scenario both George Osborne and BoE governor Mark Carney are very keen to avoid.

Between April 1 and June 30, 2015, a massive 85% of newly-issued buy-to-let loans were of the interest-only variety, so misgivings about that are understandable. Already we have seen the Chancellor make changes which mean less tax relief for buy-to-let property owners. To that he has added an increase in stamp duty, pushing it up by a full 3%.

So banks are becoming noticeably more cautious when it comes to lending for buy-to-let or second property purchases. Again, that is understandable, recent history having shown that buy-to-let mortgages are over two times more likely to end up creating problems for banks than those given to conventional owner-occupiers. To that add the fact bankers believe that landlords will pose a real threat to the economy in the event of a slowdown or downturn in the property market. Why? Because in the bankers’ eyes, when the going gets tough, buy-to-let landlords are much more likely to default than home-owners.

The BoE’s end-of-third-quarter 2015 statement confirmed those misgivings, stating: “Since 2010, rates of credit loss on buy-to-let loans in the United Kingdom have been around twice those incurred on lending to owner-occupiers. Assessed against relevant affordability metrics, buy-to-let borrowers appear more vulnerable to an unexpected rise in interest rates or a fall in income.”

With the rental sector growing quickly, first-time buyers are finding it harder to get a foot on the bottom rung of the property ladder. So that’s the circuit; more buy-to-let borrowers snapping up houses, flats and apartments and by so-doing gobbling up an ever-increasing percentage of the mortgage pie, thereby making it harder and harder for young would-be home-owners. But, in the background, the shadow cast by a bad repayment record coupled with vulnerability to changes in property prices or interest rates.

If you are a landlord worried about any of these issues, now is the time to seek help. Contact our team at Aria Residential, Belfast, phone 028 9059 9599

Can You Sell My House In Belfast?

Selling a property in Belfast

HERE in Northern Ireland there are some things that so deeply embedded in our make-up that now they are taken as being DNA-transmitted. One such example is our fixation with home ownership.

While our counterparts in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and much of Scandinavia may be happy to rent, to those in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, ownership remains all-important.

For years it was said that ‘an Englishman’s home is his castle’.

And over the years we have bought into the notion that it also applies on this side of the Irish Sea. Now we too aspire to home ownership. There aren’t too many examples of rented castles…

The numbers of houses for sale in Belfast, and the interest in them, mirror that reality. And although the crash of 2008, the recession which followed and the impact that had on house prices here momentarily derailed the ownership locomotive, little by little it has been getting back on track.

South Belfast in particular is on the up and up with properties in the Stranmillis, Malone and Lisburn Road areas much in demand. Things are buoyant in the east of the city, too, with Ballyhackamore now regarded as being a prime location.

When it comes to house-hunting, of course, much has changed in the past two decades. In terms of house-selling, gone are the days of reliance on an ad in the Tele and a For Sale board in the garden or else nailed to the wall above the front door.

We’re a much more sophisticated, technologically literate lot these days, with social media and on-line searches now our weapons of choice when we set about trying to sell – or buy – a property.

If they are to survive in what is a much-changed, highly competitive marketplace, Belfast estate agents really do have to be up to speed in order to meet the demands and expectations of today’s laptop, smart phone and tablet conversant house sellers and buyers.

Certainly Aria have risen to this challenge by appointing knowledgeable staff who are completely at home in that environment. In addition they have quipped themselves with the latest hi-tech gadgetry and offering 24-hour on-line access. Even their office opening hours eclipse those of rivals still stuck in the 9-5 era.
And they offer a number of additional services, all designed to make the whole house-selling process easy, straightforward, stress-free and successful. Call it a case of positive results via simplicity.

As per Aria’s approach to rental accommodation, attention to detail is everything when it comes to residential property sales. In other words, they insist on every box being ticked, with nothing being left to chance.

“Do that and you will sell the property,” is the mantra.

There is no doubt that trying to sell property can be worrying for those intent on matching their home with the right buyer. That being the case, working hand in hand with an estate agent who minimises the hassle whilst maximising the seller’s return makes sense.

To that end, openness, transparency and honesty are Aria watchwords.

They tell it like it is; their valuation of a property is based on how others of comparable standard in the same locality have sold. They provide evidence of how the prices those homes have fetched, for which reason the seller knows the asking price being recommended is realistic valuation and fair.

No exaggeration, no hopelessly unrealistic assessments, no promises which cannot – and therefore will not – be kept.

Free valuation is part of the service, incidentally.

With more and more people going on-line to find property for sale in Belfast, Aria have invested accordingly. Up-to-date technology, around-the-clock access, national and international marketing and support at every stage of the process are all part of the deal.

Aria offer honest feed-back as to possible modifications and improvements the would-be seller could make in order to boost the prospects of a sale. Again, it’s a case of tell-it-straight honesty rather than tip-toeing around the subject out of fear of causing offence or upsetting the vendor. If that bright red room with the black skirting board is a handicap, Aria will tell you!

In brief, they level with their clients, telling it like it is based on their knowledge of what modern-day buyers want and expect. That way, the desired result is achieved a lot more often – and a lot more quickly.

Because there is no shortage of houses for sale in Belfast, getting the selling process right is key.

The importance of first impressions cannot be over-emphasised, nor can the value-for-money return on an investment in a shampooed – or better still, new – carpet, a freshly decorated entrance hallway, the tidy-up of a garden or the removal of clutter that has been sitting in the back garden for months, or even years, and is never going to be a plus in the eyes of a potential buyer when it comes to selling points.
A for-sale house has to look attractive and here, too, Aria offer advice based on experience.

Having invested heavily in on-line know-how, high quality cameras and some of the latest technology, they are able to show any on-sale property in its best possible light – literally.

This means that if they have taken photographs which do not meet their standards of excellence, they will then take more to ensure that those who see them cannot fail to be impressed. Rest assured, therefore, that photographs which are too dull or show just half a bedroom because the camera used was not good enough to capture it in its entirety will not feature on any Aria site. They set the bar very high for themselves – and their results confirm that such attention to detail yields results.
They know that buying a house almost certainly is the biggest purchase most of us will ever make. For that reason Aria believe that anyone who uses them to enable that is deserving of the very highest level and standard of support.

In furtherance of their aim to be market leaders in Belfast estate agency, Aria also offer help – in purely practical ways – to those on whose behalf they are trying to sell.

If, for example, their analysis of a property for sale in Belfast is that the likelihood would be enhanced as a result of some minor work which will cost comparatively little in monetary terms, but would be very helpful in yielding an overall result, not only will they advise it – they will also arrange to have it done by a team of tradesmen they have at their disposal.

Belfast is awash with homes for sale and estate agents hoping to cater for vendors and buyers alike. Because selling property can be difficult, using those who offer that little bit more when it comes to detail and expertise makes good sense.
No up-front fees coupled with a modern, fully professional, 365-days-a-year marketing strategy and the ready availability of tradesmen capable of making quick, inexpensive, price-enhancing improvements to your property make Aria particularly attractive estate agents.

Lift the phone and let them maximise your asset, your price and your prospects by virtue of the second-to-none service they provide.

Buying A House In Belfast

Buying a house is probably the most expensive venture you will ever undertake. It costs a lot more than the average car, holiday or any other big ‘life’ event, weddings included. As well as being expensive, buying a home is a long-term commitment. How long? In the past it tended to be a 25-year project at the end of which, finally, you have outright ownership of the property. But now, increasingly, the term over which mortgage repayments are stretched out extends beyond that quarter-of-a-century norm.

We haven’t gone quite as far as the Japanese, of course. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, such was the price of property in Japan that ordinary working people could not possibly afford to buy. To offset that, Japanese lenders began offering mortgages to run over a term of many years – up to 100 years in some cases. Under such an agreement, the property – and the outstanding mortgage – pass to the children when the parents die.
Closer to home, longer-term mortgages are common in Switzerland, too, in view of the highly prohibitive price of property there. While things in the UK and Ireland have not reached that stage, the mention of a 30-year mortgage no longer makes us blink. Because buying a home is both an expensive and a long-term commitment, it would be foolish in the extreme to rush into such a transaction without having gone through all of the necessary steps and examined the possible options in detail.

In addition, because it is where you plan to live for the foreseeable future, you need to be sure that this is the right home in the right locality, not only for you but for everybody else involved in or affected by the move.
Is it conveniently situated with regard to all the people and all the facilities/amenities of importance to you? Friends? Relatives? Work? Schools? Shops? Clubs or groups to which you belong? The right home in the wrong place is an oxymoron; such a home, however desirable, is not ‘the right one’ so do yourself a favour and look elsewhere. At the outset of buying a home, itemise the most important steps of the process. Decide on your price bracket and make sure you stay within it. Regardless of how attractive that addition feature may be, DO NOT allow yourself to be talked into spending more than the amount for which you have budgeted. Discuss the availability of a mortgage with a lender or lenders before you start your search. There is no point in having your ‘dream home’ offer accepted by the vendor only then to find out that you don’t have a mortgage with which to buy it. Crucially, examine all of your options before deciding what type of mortgage best suits your needs and your pocket. More than anything, your decision as to the best mortgage for you will be taken on the grounds of affordability. Ultimately it comes down to your ability to repay.

Basically you have three options – repayment, interest-only or a combination of both of those. The words to note are CAPITAL and INTEREST. Capital is the amount you have borrowed. Interest is the amount you are required to pay for borrowing that capital. A repayment mortgage is one where you, the borrower, repay your bank or building society, the lender, BOTH the capital and the interest on it. As a result, your mortgage balance decreases each month until, at the end of the term (usually 25 years), it is all fully repaid. Note, however, that in the early years of that term most of the money you repay will be interest rather than capital. This means that should you wish either to pay off the mortgage or move house, the amount you owe at that stage will not have gone down by very much.

Interest-only mortgages are cheaper due to the fact that your monthly repayments do not include any of the capital you borrowed at the outset. The downside to this is that when you reach the end of the term, you will still owe all of the capital.
That being the case you must have a repayment strategy so that you are able to pay off the capital at the end of the mortgage. This could mean paying regularly into savings, investments, pensions and/or other properties. It is YOUR responsibility to have a plan which enables you to clear the capital at the end of the mortgage, though your lender must also review the situation at least once during the term. Note also that some lenders ask for a larger deposit on an interest-only mortgage.
Both repayment and interest-only mortgages can be paid at fixed interest or variable rates. While fixed interest mortgages are more expensive than their ‘variable’ counterparts, the big plus is that you are not going to be affected by a rise or rises in the base rate.

The third option is a mortgage on a part-repayment and part-interest-only basis which means that at the end of the term some of the mortgage capital will still have to be repaid. Before embarking on any house-buying employ a good solicitor – ideally one with a proven track record in conveyancing. Ignore stories about that teacher or that car salesman who handled the whole process themselves. If only it were that simple…‘Tried and tested’ makes a lot more sense, particularly if any unforeseen difficulties were to arise. In that event, your solicitor could just end up sparing you a lot of anxiety and saving you a lot of money.

If you would like more info on the process of buying a home or you want to speak to estate agents in the know, contact Aria now: 028 9059 9599 (Lisburn Rd office) or 028 9443 3388 (Templepatrick office)