Just 13 Weeks to Christmas!

With just three months to go to Christmas the question is can you move home in time? This Christmas will you be giving the kids a bigger chimney for Santa to climb down? Will you now have enough room for both sets of in-laws to stay over? In thirteen weeks it’s not going to be easy. You’ve got to find a new place to live, sell your current home and move out – and in. Can it be done?

Well Peter Ward Homes certainly think so and in the past number of years their buyers have done just that!

“Buying a new house in the Autumn and run up to the Festive Season means there is little time to get settled in before the end of December celebrations start and the New Year begins” said Sales Representative Craig Maurier, who is based at the company’s Habrough Fields, Immingham site. “It does mean you need to move quickly.

For those who want to sell their existing property then its a possibility but you will need to be organised. In this Blog we try to help those people who have set their sights on a Christmas move whether to one of our new homes or into an older property.

Once you decide to sell up you need to find and appoint an Estate Agent. To sell your home quickly we wouldn’t advise self-sell, if you do this you are relying on passing traffic or your own promotion. By using an agent they get you the buyer because that’s what they do! But therein lies the problem how do you stand out from the rest of their properties. One tip is to incentivise your estate agent. For example ask three agents to value your home and to pitch you their services. At the end, when they tell you what percentage of the sale will be their fee, tell them you will give them an additional 1% if they sell your home in a month or ½% if they sell it in two. Assess their presentation, services and response to your question and choose who you think is the best one. Remember nothing focuses an Estate Agents mind more than earning their fee!

So once you have appointed your agent what’s next. Well obviously you need to find your new home. In the case of Peter Ward Homes we have plots at Habrough Fields in North Lincolnshire that are either ready now or you will be able to move into by Christmas

Young couple with boxes in new home celebrating New Years

You can be in your new home for the Festive Season

“We have a lot of experience in getting people moved quickly” said Craig  “For example we have three of our 4 bed Sandridge housetypes for sale at Habrough Fields. Two are ready now and the third is the Show Home, that comes fully furnished. This will be ready to move into at the end of November. That gives time for the legal completion and moving in to take place”.

The story is the same for the other three 4 bed homes at Habrough.  One is completed and ready to move into and the other two are due for completion in October and November.  This gives buyers plenty of time to reserve plots and, if necessary, get existing homes on the market.

So, you have sorted out who is selling your old home and where you are buying the new one. Now there is just everything else that has to be done in between. Like a lot of things in life there is a Five Point Plan that will make this stage a success too:

STEP 1 Prepare your existing home for sale…

The obvious things are to tidy every room up and take out the clutter, do any necessary redecoration and make rooms look attractive to potential buyers. So turn that junk room back into a bedroom, clean the kitchen, put flowers in the living room and pot pourri in the bathroom. Look at your home as if you were buying it. Spend more time cleaning and tidying than baking bread and putting the percolator on!

STEP 2 Organise the purchase of your new home…

Establish all the costs including the sale price of your new home, all fees for conveyancing and moving, not forgetting stamp duty. Check you have enough money from the sale price of your existing home plus your savings and additional mortgage combined, for the new property. Don’t forget you may have to haggle over the price of your existing home so knock 5% off the price if you want to be on the safe side!

STEP 3 Choose someone you know or who are recommended for the conveyancing…

Some “busy” solicitors just firefight, giving their time and attention to your sale and purchase only when a problem arises. Ask friends if they would recommend the conveyancers they used? Look at hiring solicitors who offer a fixed-price No sale, No fee service. Explain that you have a deadline and if they can’t meet it they need to be honest. If not you will make their life a misery. And once you have chosen don’t be a pest but do cajole. And ask for milestone dates when things should be done by.

STEP 4 Secure your mortgage as early as possible…

You need to meet with your bank, building society or independent broker to see how much you can borrow and discuss whether a fixed or variable rate is best, repayment or interest only. Many people find that dealing direct with banks and building societies is a longer process, so consider a broker. Discuss timescales with your mortgage provider as lenders do have backlogs. For that first meeting take along your past three months’ pay slips and at least two annual P60’s. Provide details of any life assurance and if necessary pension arrangements. If you have any investments including deposit accounts ISA’s or shares bring proof of ownership. Print off bank statements from the past twelve months and take a utility and council tax bill. If self-employed, you will need at least three years of audited accounts. And proof of identity is a good idea, a passport is best. All this will help speed up the process. If you need to supply anything further try to take it in to the lender rather than post it.

STEP 5 Contact the removal company…

Blog Xmas Removals

Even though you don’t have a date, start to look at removal companies and save money by shopping around. If you move close to Christmas, bear in mind that removal firms get booked up and prices could rise. At your existing home, start to pack things away. Any large items or garage clutter can be put into temporary storage. Start thinking about time off work and save at least two days for the move. Moving mid-week is normally cheaper and gives you two extra weekend days.

So now you are all primed up what other advice is there for you? A great website to visit is reallymoving.com, a price comparison site with loads of advice on moving and that lists suppliers of services including solicitors, surveyors and removals. Right Move have some comprehensive guides and the Home Owners Alliance website (hoa.org.uk) is packed full of useful information. And don’t forget if you’re buying a home in East Yorkshire or Northern Lincolnshire spend some time looking at the Peter Ward Homes website. After all we brought you this article so we know it works! Happy moving and let us be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas in your new home.

SUMMER SCHOOL HOLIDAYS, WE HAVE A GREAT LOW COST OPTION FOR ENTERTAINING THE KIDs

Okay its Summer and one of the biggest problems with the kids being off school is what to do with them? Days out can be expensive. So home based activities are a great idea. But then it’s a glorious day outside so baking isn’t such a good idea. So what can we do outside, that’s fun, will get all ages involved and has an “educational” element too it.

Well those Percy Throwers and Monty Don’s out there are already shouting out “Gardening”. So here at Peter Ward Homes our Blogging Team took a look at children’s gardening and even though we say it ourselves “What a Great Idea!”

Gardening is one of the most fun activities you can do with your kids outside of school, and it can really help with their learning and diet too. Research has found that children who have spent time planting demonstrate better scientific understanding because the process of gardening covers many topics on the school curriculum. And its also been proved that when they are involved in growing and harvesting vegetables they are keener to try them!

Three generation family including children (7-11) with gardening tools in garden, portraitProblem is that many of us aren’t gardeners any more. By comparison our parents grew up in a generation of gardeners. Often for baby boomers and those generations afterwards gardening is a must do activity. But modern new homes come with gardens, at Peter Ward Homes for example we do not sell homes without front and back gardens. So how’s about using them to your advantage!

So what if you aren’t a gardener? Well think of the benefits of learning together with your children. You are out in the open air, spending quality time together and sharing what may become a passion for both of you. And if you are one of those people who love to garden involving children is a great way to pass on your knowledge to the next generation of gardeners.

So here are our tips for gardening with your children:

  • Summer is out of Season – a common misconception about gardening is that if you don’t get your planting done in Spring then you have missed the boat. Find seeds that can be planted all year round – so you can get started now!
  •  Plant Easy-to-Grow Seeds – kids aren’t the most patient people. Giving them seeds to plant that won’t show up for months means they are likely to get bored, and quickly lose interest in gardening. Children need to see results fast so consider planting things like green beans or marigolds, they will start to sprout in just a few days.
  • Make it Edible – children often find traditional gardening tiresome. Girl with a bunch of freshly carrotsTo get your kids over this plant some fruit and vegetable seeds that they can eat once they have been harvested,. This way they can really see the results of all their hard work. Herbs are very easy to grow, and can even be cultivated on a sunny windowsill inside or out. Great if you don’t have a very large or accessible garden.
  • Let Them Do Things Themselves – planting flowers and veg and maintaining them while your kids sit and watch isn’t going to work. Look at how modern museums approach engagement with the young people?They use interactive, hands-on experiences, because children are not only more interested when they have a go for themselves, they often learn better through tactile experiences. As you can imagine, this can be quite messy, but there aren’t many opportunities these days for youngsters to get dirty, so dress them accordingly and hose them down if it’s a warm day for extra fun!Girl planting flower bulbs with her mother
  • Give Them Their “Own” Garden – if your garden is your pride and joy and you really can’t imagine the thought of little feet tramping all over it, give your kids a section of the garden that is all theirs. Tell them they can do whatever they like in this area. Make sure you keep the area free of anything they could hurt themselves on, or anything dangerous.

So there are some basic ideas. We researched a few gardening websites, books and blogs for more expert guidance on actual child friendly activities.

 DAWN ISAAC, a Mum who has a great website for indoor and outdoor childrens gardening  http://littlegreenfingers.typepad.com/little_green_fingers/

Little Green FingersDawns website is just packed with all the things you’ll need. There are Blogs, tips in fact it’s a one stop shop for children and adult gardening. Take a look and get some inspiration. Here are some ideas she has for young gardeners

  • “Encourage them to be budding entrepreneurs: they could dry herbs and make scented bags with them, or grow and sell their own cut flowers.”
  • “Weird stuff always goes down well. Steer them towards edible flowers, or unusually coloured or shaped veg.”
  • “Let some of their crops run to seed, so that they can collect seeds, design seed packets and then give them to friends and family as gifts – or just keep them for next year.”

TOM MOGGACH is an author and his book “The Urban Kitchen Gardener” is a classic http://tom-moggach.com/books/

 Tom’s book is great for first time “food” gardeners and adults who want to learn with their children. Growing, picking, preserving and cooking herbs and veg are all covered and you don’t need a massive plot. It’s a great buy and at the time of writing this Blog you can save £11 on the purchase price at Amazon, making the book just £5.99Urban Kitchen Garderner

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Urban-Kitchen-Gardener-Growing-Cooking/dp/1856269868/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500384219&sr=8-1&keywords=urban+kitchen+gardener

 

  • Here are some ideas Tom has for gardening with children:

 

 

  • “Pounce on any flashes of interest. Cast off adult preconceptions and think about how you can transform that tentative spark of interest into an activity they can sustain for more than a few nanoseconds.”
  • “Graze from the plot – show them how easy it is to pick a pea or eat a nasturtium flower. Greed is always a good motivator.”
  • “Watering is another winner. Punch little holes in the lids of large recyclable plastic bottles to produce a light sprinkle of water, so they can fill them up and wander around the garden.”

 

DALE and LEE CONNELLY known as the Skinny Jean Gardeners, off the wall broadcasters and gardeners  http://www.skinnyjeangardeners.com

These two are gardening celebs and have appeared on Blue Peter, Radio 1 and work with Jamie Oliver. If you have older children they are a great way to introduce them to gardening. Its all a bit “rock and roll”. Take a look at their website and view their fun on-line videos.

Skinny Jean GardenerHere are some kids gardening ideas from the trendy twosome:

  • “Try growing upside-down, hanging-basket tomato plants. Cut the bottom off a 1.5l bottle and punch four holes around the cut edge. Feed a tomato seedling into the cut end and carefully pull the leaves through the spout, so the leaves are outside and the roots inside. Fill the bottle with compost to hold the roots in place and thread twine through the holes. Then hang upside down somewhere in the sun, water it regularly and wait for the tomatoes to come cascading down.”
  • “Let children get muddy. Put them in old clothes and relax. They have so few opportunities in life to get properly grubby and they love it.”
  • “Go on a worm hunt. Teach them the importance of worms and show them how to handle them carefully.”

PWH-Gardening-with-your-Children-Guide

So use some of the resources here to get you started and then progress on from there. And if you are still a bit stumped and need some help we have put together a “Gardening With Your Children Activity Guide”.

Its packed full of tips and help for those who aren’t gardeners at all and it will also be useful for those who have some gardening know how. There are also links to some great websites that will keep you going throughout the Summer and afterwards. Simply download the Activity Guide by using this link

http://www.peterwardhomes.co.uk/peter_ward_homes_downloads.php

You will soon find that gardening is a lot more fun than you imagined, especially when you do it as a family. And just think how satisfying it is afterwards!  And don’t forget that at Peter Ward Homes we want to hear all about your gardens so post us a message on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/peterwardhomes/ and we will try to cover your story!

Note: We realise we might have made ourselves a bit unpopular with parents when it comes to gardening and dirty clothes so here’s a tip for getting the little earth monsters outfits back to pristine condition – we hope!

“A good way of dealing with soil stains is to let them dry first, before tackling the mark with a hard-bristled brush.”

Those nasty hard to get rid of stains can be dealt with using some of the cleaning tips available here https://www.cleanipedia.com/gb

 

New Homes – Save You Money and Heartache!

A survey, by the NHBC, of 2,000 people who had recently moved into a new home has come out with some predictable and some not so predictable results The survey called The Advantages of a New Home asked what those surveyed considered the advantages of new homes to be.

Some of the advantages will be very obvious to all, such as the fact that everything in the home is new, the home is a blank canvas ready to be personalised and there is no need for expensive home improvements. But many of the advantages are not so obvious such as the high levels of thermal insulation found as standard in a new home, giving the benefit of both improved comfort and lower fuel bills. Also the safety advantages of modern wiring and the improved robustness of foundations on which new homes are constructed.

Many did point to the energy efficiency benefits of new homes – the better standards of insulation enhanced draught-proofing and improved ‘airtightness’ that help to lower household annual energy bills.loft-insulationImportant too were the improved levels of comfort that this brings. The report shows that energy bills for a new build four-bedroom detached house are estimated at £1,050 – saving £1,400 compared to those of a 19th century house.

Homeowners of newer properties were also drawn to the idea of buying a ‘blank-canvas’ that was ready to be personalised, free from the nasty surprises left by previous owners’ DIY. They also commented on the contemporary, flexible layouts and modern facilities of new homes such as new kitchens, bathrooms and appliances, all covered by manufacturers’ warranties.

The report outlined the safety advantages of new homes such as mains-powered smoke alarms, interlinked throughout the home, which are a standard feature The benefits of safety glazing, safer stairs and the additional security features were also seen as a big advantage. pwh_kitchen_dinning_sceneHowever it was interesting to note that the advantages purchasers saw in buying a new home extend beyond the property itself. Many of the new homeowners surveyed considered that moving to a new development was also an attraction, allowing the opportunity to make new friends and neighbours in a new community.

Neil Smith, Head of Research & Innovation at NHBC, said: “It is pleasing that homeowners are able to identify the many benefits of new homes, ranging from the obvious advantages of a ‘blank canvas’ with everything being new, through to the much-improved energy efficiency standards, which lead to greatly-reduced fuel bills, compared with those of older homes.

“Maybe less obvious are the more solid foundations on which new homes are built, which are designed to suit local ground conditions, as well as the safety advantages of modern wiring and mains-powered smoke alarms, interlinked throughout the home.

“This report is a useful reminder of the benefits of buying a new home, designed and built in accordance with up-to-date standards. What’s more, an important advantage frequently raised in the survey is the peace of mind provided by NHBC’s warranty and insurance protection under Buildmark, from exchange of contracts through to a maximum of 10 years after completion.”

Here is a summary of the 10 areas identified in the NHBC Report:

  1. Ready to Move In
  • no structural repairs
  • no nasty surprises; no need to put money aside to put things right
  • nothing to do immediately
  • reduced ongoing maintenance
  • clean surfaces and straight lines
  • a clean slate; ready to make your own
  1. Everything is New
  • new, clean, nobody else’s dirt
  • new kitchen appliances covered by manufacturers’ warranties
  • no unwelcome repair bills
  • peace of mind
  1. Modern Layout
  • modern design
  • open layout
  • well-proportioned spaces allow different furniture arrangements
  • good natural and artificial light
  • built-in cupboards and storage
  1. Modern Facilities
  • extra bathroom facilities including downstairs wc
  • water efficient; water-saving taps and fittings
  • water meter for easy monitoring of water use
  • safety measures to prevent scalding
  • easy to keep clean
  • good ventilation
  1. Energy Efficiency – Cost
  • reduced bills for heating and hot water
  • reduced electricity bills
  • better standards of insulation, draught-proofing and improved ‘airtightness’
  • double glazing
  • efficient controls (programmer, room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves)
  1. Energy Efficiency – Comfort
  • draughts minimised
  • unwanted heat loss reduced
  • quicker warm-up time and improved control of comfort
  • improved ventilation
  • reduced risk of condensation and mould
  1. Safety – Smoke Alarms and Wiring
  • mains-powered smoke alarms interlinked throughout the home
  • plenty of socket outlets located at an accessible height
  • trailing wires reduced
  • modern consumer unit with safety circuit breakers that can easily be reset
  1. Safety – Glazing and Stairs
  • safety glass toughened or laminated so it is less likely to splinter if broken
  • stairs designed for safe, comfortable use
  • handrails provided for safety
  • balustrades and guarding meet safety standards
  • doors do not open directly onto stairs
  1. Solid Foundations
  • improved foundation design
  • risk of structural damage due to trees minimised
  • appropriate foundation design for the locality and the ground conditions
  1. A Quiet Home
  • adjoining homes separated by walls and floors designed to reduce noise transfer from neighbours
  • internal walls and floors designed and built to reduce noise transfer between rooms

 

 

 

 

 

Can I Move Into a Brand New Home Before Christmas?

As we are writing this there is just 10 weeks to go to Christmas. A question we get asked a lot at this time of year is can you move into your brand new home in time to be in for the big day? This Christmas will you be giving the kids a bigger chimney for Santa to climb down? Will you now have enough room for both sets of in-laws to stay over? To do this in a few weeks is not going to be easy. You’ve got to find a new place to live, arrange the necessary finance, appoint a solicitor and arrange to move in – can it be done?

Blog Header XmasFor those who want to move into a new home its still a possibility but you will need to be organised. And here is some bad news, if you are an existing homeowner there probably isn’t enough time to get your own property on the market and sold. So we are concentrating here on people who have already sold their property, are renting or living at home. In this Blog we try to help those people who have set their sights on a Christmas move to a brand new home.

So what’s next. Well obviously you need to find your new home. In the case of Peter Ward Homes they are promoting plots at their three sites across East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. They have homes waiting for those people wanting to move in before Christmas and enjoy the festive season in their new home.

“We have a lot of experience in getting people moved quickly” said Kara Hoggard the company’s Sales Administrator “For example we have twelve plots for sale that are all available to move into during December. That gives time for the legal completion and the moving in to take place. At Habrough Fields for example there are 2, 3 and 4 bed homes which can be ready to move into as soon as the legal process is sorted”

So, once you have decided that a new home for Christmas is what you want, what do you need to do? Like everything in life these days there is a Five Point Plan that will help make this as stress free as possible:

Step 1 – Finding your new home

Because you have to move quickly to ensure you are in before Xmas you need to use the internet to start your search. Decide on the areas you want to move too, look at the city, town and village names in that area and use Google to find out more about them, just type in the name of the place. Once you have an area or place you prefer do your search using various search terms eg “new homes in….”. Have a look at the housebuilders and estate agents sites, get a feel for prices and then decide which new developments suit you. Then set aside time to go and visit each development.

Help to Buy ISA Couple

Choose five to ten things that are important to you and score each site/house type between 1 & 10 on each of those criteria. Take away literature if its available and also get a firm price on the house type(s) you like, that are going to be available to move into before Xmas. Then go away and compare and contrast and whittle your list down to just three homes. Revisit each site, talk to the sales representatives and decide which ones for you! Once you have made the decision get in touch with the lucky sales rep and reiterate your time frame for moving. Keep them in the loop when it comes to mortgage decisions etc.

 Step 2 – Organise the purchase of your new home

Help to Buy Isa Saver

Check you have enough money to move into the new property. Establish all the costs including the price of your new home, the deposit required (reduced if you use Help to Buy), all fees for conveyancing and moving, not forgetting stamp duty. And don’t forget any furniture, soft furnishings, TV/audio equipment etc you will need to buy. Don’t underestimate the costs and look at a 10% contingency fund for those extras that you may need.

 Step 3 – Choose someone you know or who are recommended for the conveyancing

Some “busy” solicitors just firefight, giving their time and attention to your purchase only when a problem arises. Ask friends if they would recommend the conveyancers they used? Explain that you have a deadline and if they can’t meet it they need to be honest. If not you will make their life a misery. And once you have chosen don’t be a pest but do cajole. And ask for milestone dates when things should be sorted by.

 Step 4 – Secure your mortgage as early as possible

You need to meet with your bank, building society or independent broker to see how much you can borrow and discuss whether a fixed or variable rate is best, repayment mortgage or interest only. Many people find that dealing direct with banks and building societies is a longer process, so consider a broker.

First Time Buyers 3

Discuss timescales with your mortgage provider as lenders do have backlogs. For that first meeting take along your past three months’ pay slips and at least two annual P60’s. Provide details of any life assurance and if necessary pension arrangements. If you have any investments including deposit accounts ISA’s or shares, bring proof of ownership. Print off bank statements from the past twelve months and if you have them take a utility and council tax bill. If you are self-employed, you will need at least three years of audited accounts. And proof of identity is a good idea, a passport is best. All this will help speed up the process. If you need to supply anything further try to take it in to the lender rather than post it.

 Step 5 – The actual Move

If you are lucky and this is your first home then you might not have a lot to move in so you can use your car or a hire van. Don’t forget to plan what you need for your first few days so make sure you have a microwave, kettle and some crockery and cutlery. You also want to start looking at beds, furniture, TV’s etc and have them delivered a few days after your move in date.

Young couple with boxes in new home celebrating New YearsIf you aren’t so lucky and you have been renting and acquired “stuff” start to look at removal companies and save money by shopping around. If you move close to Christmas, bear in mind that removal firms get booked up and prices could rise. At your rented home, start to pack things away. Any large items or garage clutter can be put into temporary storage. Start thinking about time off work and save at least two days for the move. Moving mid-week is normally cheaper and gives you two extra weekend days.

 

So now you are all primed up what other advice is there for you? A great website to visit is reallymoving.com, a price comparison site with loads of advice and also lists suppliers of services including solicitors, surveyors and removals. The Home Owners Alliance website (hoa.org.uk) is packed full of useful information. And don’t forget if you’re buying a home in East Yorkshire or Northern Lincolnshire spend some time looking at the Peter Ward Homes website. After all we brought you this article so we know it works!

Happy moving and let us be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas in your brand new home!

 

Making It Easier For First Time Buyers To Get Onto The Property Ladder ….. Including Our Top 10 Tips

 

There are a lot of offers available to help buyers take that first step onto the property ladder. With new developments springing up across the country, there has never been a better time for first-time buyers to secure a new home.

The two most popular offers, that make buying a new home more affordable, are covered by the government’s Help to Buy Scheme. With a Help to Buy Equity loan the Government lends you 20% of the cost of your new-build home, so you’ll only need a 5% cash deposit and a 75% mortgage to make up the rest. You won’t be charged loan fees on the 20% loan for the first five years of owning your home, after which rates start at 1.75% per annum

The second scheme is the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee. It works in exactly the same way as a normal mortgage, except that under the scheme the Government offers lenders a guarantee on mortgage loans. Because of this support those lenders taking part are able to offer home buyers more high-loan-to-value mortgages (80-95%). You will still be fully responsible for your mortgage repayments. So if you have a 5% deposit, you will need to take out, and pay back a 95% mortgage.

You need to get on the Property Ladder as early as you can.

You need to get on the Property Ladder as early as you can.

Both these schemes are open to First Time Buyers. For more information on Help to Buy you can go to the Peter Ward Homes website www.peterwardhomes.co.uk

A third scheme is due to be added to the range of Help to Buy products on 1st December 2015 – The Help to Buy ISA. If you’re a first time buyer you can save up to £200 a month towards your first home and the government will boost your savings by 25%. That’s a £50 bonus for every £200 you save. You can receive a bonus of up to £3,000, which means if you save £12,000, the government bonus will boost your total savings to £15,000. More details of this scheme can be found here http://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/other-housing-options/help-to-buy-isa

As First Time Buyers look to take advantage of these offers, they need advice to ensure becoming a homeowner for the first time is as hassle-free as possible. This blog will help with that.

Rosemary Key, sales director at Peter Ward Homes is keen to make the journey for all buyers as simple and easy as possible. “We see large numbers of First Time Buyers at our sites. They vary tremendously, from singles looking to escape the rental market, to couples looking to move in together. And its not just having the savings or access to funds that’s important, many haven’t realised the wide array of other things that are needed when you want to become a homeowner. So, to make sure they have everything they need we’ve put together a number tips to make sure taking that first step is as straightforward as possible.”

Tips for First Time Buyers

There is a list of ten top tips that the company give to First Time Buyers and these include:

  • Start budgeting – its never too early to start saving! And don’t just put money away for your house purchase costs. You will need to look at the costs of moving in, buying furniture, if you need to, and generally running a home.
  • Don’t overstretch yourself – it’s about understanding the costs involved and still having money to enjoy yourself once you move in.
  • Mortgage Advice – always take professional financial advice. Many housebuilders, like ourselves, can point you toward an Independent Mortgage Adviser. This will ensure you know you have the right type of mortgage to suit you on the right terms.
  • Solicitors – housebuilders will often recommend a solicitor for you to use for your conveyancing. They may offer special discounted rates to customers of that particular builder and will be used to working to the builder’s deadlines.
  • Buildings Insurance – your house is likely to be your biggest asset and needs to be protected from the date you exchange contracts to buy a new build home. A broker can help you with this. Or you can buy direct from many insurers, banks and even supermarkets.
  • Contents Insurance – quite often this comes in a single package with Buildings Insurance. Make sure you are getting good value by getting separate quotes for these.
  • Home from Home – make sure you have sorted everything you need to retain your existing lifestyle, the things you need and expect including internet connection, a phone line and a TV service. Remember that these can all be additional costs.
  • Utilities – once you know the purchase is going through, get in touch with the various alternative gas and electricity suppliers and ask them about deals. A comparison website can be a good idea as you can type your details in once and get quotes from dozens of suppliers. Finally get the best internet/telephone/TV deal you can.
  • Consider buying smaller household items whilst you are saving up your deposit. When you do buy your new home you might find it difficult to afford all those pots and pans, bedding etc and so it is often easier and cheaper to buy these things over a period of time when you see things you particularly like or when the sales are on.
  • Spend time in the area – if you are moving to a new area, take a car journey to find local shops, take-aways, surgeries and any other things that interest you including sports facilities, pubs, restaurants etc. By doing this first you will feel more integrated into the community when you first move in

“Like other housebuilders we want our first-time buyers to know what to expect and plan for when becoming a new homeowner. We want it to be a stress free experience, so our first time buyers get pleasure and enjoyment from moving” said Rosemary. “We hope these ten top tips will help first-time buyers wherever they are purchasing their new home and whether they are buying a new Peter Ward home or not.”

And if you do want to have a look at one of our homes we have sites that you can view on line at peterwardhomes.co.uk. Happy House Hunting and let us know if our First Time Buyers Tips were any help!

Just 13 Weeks to Christmas!

With just three months to go to Christmas the question is can you move home in time? This Christmas will you be giving the kids a bigger chimney for Santa to climb down? Will you now have enough room for both sets of in-laws to stay over? In thirteen weeks it’s not going to be easy. You’ve got to find a new place to live, sell your current home and move out – and in. Can it be done?

Well Peter Ward Homes certainly think so and in the past number of years their buyers have done just that!

“Buying a new house in the Autumn and run up to the Festive Season means there is little time to get settled in before the end of December celebrations start and the New Year begins” said Sales Representative Craig Maurier, who is based at the company’s Habrough Fields, Immingham site. “It does mean you need to move quickly but by using FreeSell, a unique product to Peter Ward Homes, it can be made much easier. FreeSell is where we take on the responsibility for selling your existing home, it can shorten the sales period and get you into your new home in plenty of time for Christmas. Unlike a private sale, with FreeSell we appoint three Estate Agents so you get three times the effort and marketing of your home. As only the Agent who sells the home gets a commission, they all push harder for a sale than with a normal home on their books”

For those who want to go it alone and sell their own property then its still a possibility but you will need to be organised. In this Blog we try to help those people who have set their sights on a Christmas move whether to one of our new homes or into an older property.

Once you decide to sell up you need to find and appoint an Estate Agent. To sell your home quickly we wouldn’t advise self-sell, if you do this you are relying on passing traffic or your own promotion. By using an agent they get you the buyer because that’s what they do! But therein lies the problem how do you stand out from the rest of their properties. One tip is to incentivise your estate agent. Ask four agents to value your home and to pitch you their services. At the end, when they tell you what percentage of the sale will be their fee, tell them you will give them an additional 1% if they sell your home in a month or ½% if they sell it in two. Assess their presentation, services and response to your question and choose who you think is the best one. Remember nothing focuses an Estate Agents mind more than earning their fee!

So once you use a service like FreeSell or you have appointed your agent what’s next. Well obviously you need to find your new home. In the case of Peter Ward Homes they are promoting plots at their three sites across East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. They have homes waiting for those people wanting to move in before Christmas and enjoy the festive season in their new home.

Young couple with boxes in new home celebrating New Years

You can be in your new home for the Festive Season

“We have a lot of experience in getting people moved quickly” said Debbie Ward Sales Representative at the company’s Willows site in Goole “For example we have three of our 3 bed Woking housetypes for sale that will all be completed in early December. That gives time for the legal completion and moving in to take place”.

The story is the same at Habrough Fields where there are 3 and 4 bed homes either completed and ready to move into now or a number due for completion in October. This gives buyers plenty of time to reserve plots and, if necessary, get their own homes on the market.

So, you have sorted out who is selling your old home and where you are buying the new one. Now there is just everything that has to be done in between. Like everything in life there is a Five Point Plan that will make this stage a success too:

Prepare your existing home for sale…

The obvious things are to tidy every room up and take out the clutter, do any necessary redecoration and make rooms look attractive to potential buyers. So turn that junk room back into a bedroom, clean the kitchen, put flowers in the living room and pot pourri in the bathroom. Look at your home as if you were buying it. Spend more time cleaning and tidying than baking bread and putting the percolator on!

Organise the purchase of your new home…

Establish all the costs including the sale price of your new home, all fees for conveyancing and moving, not forgetting stamp duty. Check you have enough money from the sale price of your existing home plus your savings and additional mortgage combined, for the new property. Don’t forget you may have to haggle over the price of your existing home so knock 5% off the price you want to be on the safe side!

Choose someone you know or who are recommended for the conveyancing…

Some “busy” solicitors just firefight, giving their time and attention to your sale and purchase only when a problem arises. Ask friends if they would recommend the conveyancers they used? Look at hiring solicitors who offer a fixed-price No sale, No fee service. Explain that you have a deadline and if they can’t meet it they need to be honest. If not you will make their life a misery. And once you have chosen don’t be a pest but do cajole. And ask for milestone dates when things should be done by.

Secure your mortgage as early as possible…

You need to meet with your bank, building society or independent broker to see how much you can borrow and discuss whether a fixed or variable rate is best, repayment or interest only. Many people find that dealing direct with banks and building societies is a longer process, so consider a broker. Discuss timescales with your mortgage provider as lenders do have backlogs. For that first meeting take along your past three months’ pay slips and at least two annual P60’s. Provide details of any life assurance and if necessary pension arrangements. If you have any investments including deposit accounts ISA’s or shares bring proof of ownership. Print off bank statements from the past twelve months and take a utility and council tax bill. If self-employed, you will need at least three years of audited accounts. And proof of identity is a good idea, a passport is best. All this will help speed up the process. If you need to supply anything further try to take it in to the lender rather than post it.

Contact the removal company…

Blog Xmas Removals

Even though you don’t have a date, start to look at removal companies and save money by shopping around. If you move close to Christmas, bear in mind that removal firms get booked up and prices could rise. At your existing home, start to pack things away. Any large items or garage clutter can be put into temporary storage. Start thinking about time off work and save at least two days for the move. Moving mid-week is normally cheaper and gives you two extra weekend days.

So now you are all primed up what other advice is there for you? A great website to visit is reallymoving.com, a price comparison site with loads of advice on moving and that lists suppliers of services including solicitors, surveyors and removals. Right Move have some comprehensive guides and the Home Owners Alliance website (hoa.org.uk) is packed full of useful information. And don’t forget if you’re buying a home in East Yorkshire or Northern Lincolnshire spend some time looking at the Peter Ward Homes website. After all we brought you this article so we know it works! Happy moving and let us be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas in your new home.

10 top tips when visiting a show home

If you are thinking about buying a new-build home then visiting a show home may be a good start. Show Homes allow you to really visualise your family living their as well as  get a feel for the quality and finish of the build. However before visiting a show home, there are a number of things you may want to look out for in order to help you get a better idea of the place you are looking for. We have compiled a list of all the necessary things to consider.

Our newest show home, The Sandridge, is available to view at Habrough Fields, Immingham.

Our newest show home, The Sandridge, is available to view at Habrough Fields, Immingham.

1. Condition of the site 

At Peter Ward Homes not only do we take pride in the embellishment of our homes, but the sites too. A tidy and well managed site gives a great first impression and a good indication that your new home will be built with quality workmanship in mind.

2. Which way does the house face?

South facing windows can improve the energy efficiency of a home because solar energy warms the walls and floors of a building. However north facing windows offer more consistent quality of light.

3. Timescales

When is the house likely to be ready and completed to move into? It is natural to want to move in as quickly as possible but your chosen plot could be a few months from completion.

4. Personalisation

Everyone loves to make their home their own, so one thing to consider would be whether you can make certain areas of the house your own taste. At Peter Ward Homes buyers can choose a number of finishes to their home.

5. Warranty cover

One of the main things to check is whether the builder is registered with the NHBC. Peter Ward Homes is covered by the NHBC’s ten-year build mark meaning your home is covered before it is even completed.

6. Furniture

Take measurements of large items such as beds, sofas and dining room tables and then measure up the space in the show house to check your belongings will fit. It is also a good idea to check what storage is available to fit extra items around the house.

7. Community

Check the full site plan to see where the open spaces and play areas for children are planned as well as other useful facilities such as GP surgeries, schools and local shops. This will give you a better idea of how the community plans to develop over time.

8. Consumer code for home builders 

The code gives you protection and rights to purchasers of new homes. All you need to do is ask to see a copy of the code and make sure you are protected during each stage of the buying process.

9. Energy Efficiency 

Buyers are able to view a copy of the homes Energy Performance Certificate as this will give you a good indication of how energy efficient the home is and how much the utility bills are likely to cost. Ask to see if the home has any renewable technologies that reduce bills even further.

10. Council Tax banding 

Find out which council tax band the house will be allocated to, and what current yearly change is for that band.

How to keep your home warm this winter!

454971487For those of you who have been unlucky (or lucky) enough to have been hit by the snow these past few weeks, you may be in desperate need of keeping out the cold. We have come up with 10 top tips that will help keep you and your Peter Ward Home warm!

1. Put up curtains

A set of heavy curtains can block out drafts of air. You don’t have to have them shut all the time as the sun shining through the window will warm up the room.

2. Close and seal all doors 

A closed door makes that room another barrier between you and the cold outdoors. It also stops air from circulating as much, which reduces heat loss. So if you are one for leaving doors open around the house, try closing them and see how the rooms will become warmer. You may also want to check around the door frame and under the door. Maybe invest in a door sweep or just simply place a towel there to block any draft.

3. Put down a rug 

If you have laminate or tiled flooring, try covering it with a rugs. Rugs and carpets help prevent heat loss through the floor so when you walk across it your feet will generally feel warmer.

4. Cook

A spot of cooking is a good way to not only warm up your stomach but your Kitchen too. The oven will help to dry the air and heat the room.

5. Drink warm liquids

A nice cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate will really raise your core temperature. What better way to relax and stay warm!

6. Electric blanket

An electric blanket can keep you very warm and comfortable in the night and it is more economical that an inefficient and expensive old wall heater.

7. Hot water bottle 

A hot water bottle is the ideal winter accessory to snuggle on the sofa and is at a very affordable price.

8. Dress warmly

A onesie or fluffy dressing gown may come in very handy during the winter time. Dressing in layers with warm socks and slippers combined with a hot drink, will not only give you a great amount of warmth but is the perfect way to wind down after a long working day.

9. Exercise

Moving around produces body heat so there is more to staying active than great health benefits.The more active you are, the better your blood circulation will be. This means that warm blood gets to your fingers and toes, keeping them warm.

10. Light candles

Candles not only look and smell nice but are a cheap way to keep your home all toasty this winter.

Take advantage of lower stamp duty!

You can purchase your perfect Peter Ward Home with help from government-backed schemes such as Help to Buy.

You can purchase your perfect Peter Ward Home with help from government-backed schemes such as Help to Buy.

With the recent announcement from Chancellor, George Osborne, that stamp duty tax rates are to be changed, we thought we would give you a insight into what this now means for house buyers and how it can help you purchase your brand new home.

What is stamp duty?

Stamp Duty is a tax that everyone in the UK has to pay when purchasing a property. This is charged on any property you buy e.g. flat or house. The rate you pay depends on the price of the property.

What’s changed?

Stamp duty was previously charged, as a single percentage of the entire property price, with fees increasing at the threshold of the rate bands. This meant there was a £5000 tax difference between a property priced at £250,000 and one which sold for just £1 more. Sounds ridiculous right? Well, you’re in luck as this is no longer the case.

The new rates are as follows: (Percentage of portion of property price)

0% up to £125,000

2% up to £250,000

5% up to £925,000

10% up to £1.5m

12% above

From now on anyone purchasing a property above £125,000 will only pay the rate at which the proportion of the price fits in. So for a house costing £295,000 you will pay nothing on the first £125,000, 2% on the next £125,000 and 5% on the remaining £45,000.

What does this mean for Peter Ward Home buyers? An average Peter Ward property sells at £175,000 costing the buyer an additional £1750 tax fee. With the new rules in place, only £50,000 of the overall price will be taxed, saving the buyer £750. What this means is you can now buy a property without the extra worry of raising high additional fees and with the help of Government-backed schemes such as Help to Buy, buyers have more help now than ever before.