Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

Holding Versus Buying and Selling – Which Is Better for Property Investors?

Property investment isn’t an exact science. Many investors build their portfolio without relying on much theory. They pay attention to market changes, they follow their instincts, and they listen to their advisors.

But it can be useful to think about the crux of your strategy. Here is an overview of the two approaches you can have to property investments.

A Short Summary of Terms

There are two basic guiding principles you can use to build your property investment portfolio:

Buy-and-Sell - The idea is to buy a property in need of repairs, invest in renovating it, and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Then, you sell your property at a considerably higher price, and you move on to the next investment.
Buy-and-Holdalso referred to as Buy-to-Let - In this case, you want to purchase a property and then hold on to it for a longer time. While eventual sales are a possibility, you start by focusing on making the property appealing to tenants.

Taking some time to reflect on the way you do things is important for seasoned investors and newcomers alike. Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of both approaches.

The Upsides and Downsides of Buy-and-Sell Approach

Many people are attracted to this option because it promises quick profits. However, it’s important to understand that this method requires more work on your part. It also doesn’t always work out the way you planned.

Pros:

It can accelerate your progress up the property ladder.
You have more control over the property, as you don’t have to worry about tenants damaging it.
As you become experienced with this method, you will gain the connections necessary to make the repair process as smooth as possible.
Some people enjoy making a property more appealing to buyers.

Cons:

It’s too easy to underestimate the cost of repairs and renovations.
This method is considerably more labour-intensive, and it will cut into your free time.
You may find it difficult to predict the timeline of selling your property. If you want to sell above a particular price, you may end up waiting a long time until the market shifts to fit your vision.

How to Make It Work:

If you want to use this method, consider hiring internet estate agents to help you make good sales. They will help you sell the property on your timeline and according to your terms.

The Upsides and Downsides of Buy-and-Hold Approach

“Buy and hold” is a strategy that’s widely used on the stock market. Many finance giants swear by it, and it’s easy to see why it’s popular on the property market too. You can use the rent to supplement your monthly income and keep up with your mortgages.

In this case, the idea is to choose a house or a flat in a stable and welcoming neighbourhood and then work towards attracting renters. It also works for up-and-coming locations that are likely to see significant economic growth in the near future.

 Pros:

Your property brings you a steady monthly income.
You achieve financial stability. Your property can act as a backup in case your financial situation changes for the worse. In times of economic uncertainty, this consideration becomes more important than usual.
If you wait until the time is right, you can make use of the changing property market and then sell your property at the perfect moment. Of course, it can be difficult to know when that moment is.

Cons:

Holding one property for long means that you aren’t making full use of your options. If you don’t move up the property ladder, you miss out on some great opportunities to improve your finances.
Dealing with tenants can be frustrating and it can put your property at risk.

How to Make It Work:

You need to get comprehensive insurance before you start looking for renters. Working with agencies can help reduce the risks in this strategy.

What’s the Verdict?

Most people use a combination of both approaches. This seems like a good compromise, and it works well for people who don’t have too much free time but who want to make bold new investments.

Do you have an investment property that isn’t bringing satisfying profits? Consider looking into online house valuation. If you know what the property is worth right now, it’s easier to decide if you want to sell or hold on to it.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

3 Ways to Rejuvenate an Old House

There are many benefits to living in the same house for an extended period. You’ve collected fond memories over the years and you know its every nook and cranny. But, such older houses will also inevitably lose some of their lustre with time. And every now and again, it’s important to do something to rejuvenate them.

It doesn’t matter if the plan is to sell your property or continue living in it, sprucing up a house is always worth it. And you don’t need to do a complete renovation to get noticeable results. This article will look at three ways to give an old house a new lease on life that is both relatively inexpensive and quick.

Bring Colour into Your Home

This advice probably seems obvious, yet it is impossible to overstate just how big of a difference painting a house can make. All walls get dirty, but it can be particularly bad in the kitchen due to cooking, the grease, etc. However, a fresh coat of paint can make all of that disappear.

If you plan to live in the house, then you could consider a more vibrant colour scheme to change things up a bit. But if you want to sell your house online in the UK, then you’re probably best off going with neutral colours as they have the broadest appeal.

Of course, if your budget allows it, you can also paint the exterior of the house. It’s a bigger task but still perfectly manageable. 

Sort Out the Floors

After the walls, it’s time to tackle the floors. Your options will depend on the type of flooring you have, but there is always something you can do.

If you have hardwood floors, you can give them a thorough cleaning and apply a rejuvenating product to get excellent results. If not, you can have your carpets professionally cleaned, get your tiles to sparkle by giving them a good scrub, and so on. 

Decorate with Accessories

Finally, little things matter and accessories can breathe new life into an old home. Get different curtains and replace the upholstery and cushions. Add a few pieces of art and frame some of your photographs. Replace door knobs, use mirrors to create more space, add a standout lamp or a chandelier– the options are limitless. Also, add plants. They will bring in colour and liven up your home.

Upgrading Your Home Brings Many Benefits 

Rejuvenating an old house is a wonderful sensation, and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. By following these tips, you can make your living space much more enjoyable. And if you want to sell your property afterwards, you will have financial benefits as well.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

5 Small Things You Should Fix Before Selling Your Property

Do you want to sell your property for a better price? Forget about expensive renovation projects. You don’t have to repaint and redecorate the whole house. 
Turn your attention instead to small fixes. Small fixes like the ones in this article are cheap, fast, and less risky. You can do them over the weekend, without having to call in anyone to assist you.

So, what quick fixes can help you sell your house online in the UK for a better price?

1. The Lighting 

Upgrade dated lighting fixtures. Start with the hallway, living room, and kitchen. Remove heavy curtains and any blinds that may dim the room. Bring the light back into your home. Tip: fix the lighting before you take the photos for your online property listing.

2. The Front Door

Stuck with an old and unappealing door? Unless you’ve decorated your apartment or house in a vintage style, an unattractive door can make the wrong impression. The door is one of the first things you should consider improving or changing. A good front door isn’t only safe but also looks reassuring.

3. The Pot Plants

Green ads freshness to your home and makes it more welcoming. That’s it’s important to take care of your pot plants and rearrange them so that they have a stronger impact. Do something about the old, neglected pot plants too.

4. The Curtains

Curtains can add richness to a home. But old, mothy curtains that smell like they have never been washed have the completely opposite effect. Many home sellers pay more attention to windows than to curtains, forgetting that once a potential customers steps into the house, the curtains often catch the eye more easily than the windows. 

5. The Smell

You want to avoid a bad smell, but then you can do better than settle for a neutral one. Adding a few vases with flowers and an air freshener can make your house nicer to live in. Focus on the flowers and make sure you include plenty of pictures.

Before you try to sell your house online in the UK, make the recommended fixes above. It won’t cost you much nor will it take long. The result will be a higher online house valuation and better chances to sell your property faster at a great price.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

How to Increase the Value of Your Garden Space

A pleasant garden makes your property stand out. It produces a great first impression when you try to sell your property and can also increase its value. When the buyer is undecided, the garden can help him or her make up their mind.

Before you ask for an online house valuation and list your property for sale, you should maximise the value of your garden. You can do this without a large investment. Learn more now.

Create a Sense of Space

Making your garden seem larger is one of the best ways to improve the appeal of your property. The first step is to remove from your garden large items like wheelbarrows or lawnmowers – store them in your garage or shed instead. 

Without them, your garden will gain space. It will become airy. You can also create space by extending the paving and using climbing plants to mask walls and other unappealing areas.

Add Colour with New Plants

Planting new flowers in your garden can be a quiet and relaxing experience before the hustle and the bustle of the move. Potted plants help you plant new flowers in your garden without having to call in an expert. For many buyers, the prospect of having their own garden is a great incentive to go ahead with the purchase.

Repair Patches in Your Lawn

Although they are common, lawn patches can ruin the effect of an otherwise charming garden. When you want to sell your property online in the UK, you need to market it effectively, and lawn patches don’t help at all. So, take the time to fix your lawn before selling. Sow new grass seeds, cover them in a layer of topsoil, add a good fertiliser, and water it adequately.

Do you want to sell your property for more? Before you look for online estate agents, put some time into making your garden as best as it can be. Spring is a great time to get started but any time of the year will do. It may take a bit of planning and some manual work, but the result can be wonderful. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Staging Your Home and Why It’s Worth It

Is it worth the time and effort to “stage” your home when trying to sell it?  What is “staging” anyway?  Staging is when the homeowner makes the very best effort possible to let the house shine in its best light.  This happens when each room is presented in almost what could be characterised as a showcase.  If everything looked new and clean, a pristine representation of the room would be put forth.  In many cases, this is the best way to present a home to a future homeowner because they are more easily able to envision themselves living in each room.  They may change this or that about the room, but when each room is staged, it offers the best representation of what the room could be.

Time and Effort

It takes time and effort to stage each room.  Is it worth it?  Most people who have done it conclude with a resounding, yes!  Staging is perhaps the best way for prospective homebuyers to visualise the spaces as their own.  Many times, it has also been known to increase the price received for the home.  Homes that are staged also typically sell much faster.

Stage Important Rooms First

Staging your whole home would be optimal, of course, but if you don’t have the time or money to do so, start with the most important rooms first.  As far as staging goes, the living room is the most important room to make sure it looks just picture-perfect.  The bedroom is the second room you’ll want to extend your efforts to, followed by the kitchen.  These are the three most important rooms to focus your attention on first.  If you dress these rooms up to the best of their potential, your staging efforts will have gone a long way toward reaching your goal of making your house look the best it can be.

Rearrange Furniture

You will want your home to take on a light and airy look and feel.  Often, along with a fresh coat of paint and removing “clutter” (or unnecessary items) from the room, rearranging furniture can also showcase your space in a new and different light.

Selling your home is an important decision and a big undertaking.  You want everything to look and feel just right to prospective homebuyers.  To that end, staging the most important rooms in your home can be a tremendous asset.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Why You Should Depersonalise Your Home Before Selling

While some aspects of personalisation in a home can help a prospective homeowner visualise how cosy the home could be, most homeowners want fewer personalised items when viewing a home so they can envision their own furniture and accessories in the spaces.  It is considered the best rule-of-thumb to depersonalise your home when prospective buyers come to view it.  This is often one of the hardest steps for homeowners, yet it is a necessary one to help show the home in its best light.

Prepare Yourself Emotionally

Selling your home can be an emotional experience depending on the reason you are selling.  If you’ve lived in the home for a long time, many memories you have are likely centered around experiences in your home.  Change is difficult.  Even if you are moving to a new and grander home or moving to a new location where you have been longing to live, it can still be hard to make the changes necessary to move.  Putting away family photos and remembrances of cherished memories will likely be difficult, even if you are storing them for just a little while.  Depersonalising your home can be difficult for you.  That’s why you need to make yourself emotionally ready to go through the process.

Pack Up Prized Collections

Many people collect various things and they are proud of their prized possessions in these collections.  However, they need to be packed away because they too often are a distraction for potential buyers.  Whether you collect coins, books, dolls, antique plates, or figurines, they should all be packed up and put out of sight before prospective homebuyers come to call.

Put Away Toys or Exercise Equipment

While it can be difficult if you have young children to corral every toy, that is what you must do when getting your home ready to receive potential homebuyers.  People don’t want to see toys or even exercise equipment sitting around.  These items are considered personal and they can also often resemble clutter.  Another important viewing concept for prospective buyers to your home is that each room be set to function as is its basic nature (i.e., even if you have exercise equipment in your bedroom, it isn’t wise to showcase it there because that’s not what the room was, initially, meant for – as a basic concept).

Depersonalising your home before prospective buyers call to look it over is a very important first step in making the right impression to potential homebuyers.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Four Ways to Eliminate Pet Odours

Bad odours can put a prospective homebuyer on alert.  Smells in a home can come from a variety of sources, one of which may be the family pet(s).  While pets are an included as family members in many households and dearly loved, they can contribute odours to a home.  Over time, homeowners may become accustomed to pet odours and not notice smells as much as someone new to the home might.  If you go on holiday for a week or two, upon your return you may be able to notice smells in your home more readily as opposed to living with them day in and day out.  The following tips can help rid your home of odours that potential buyers may find offensive.

Get Carpets Cleaned

If you are a good DIY-er and on a budget, you can try cleaning the carpets yourself by purchasing or renting a carpet cleaning machine plus cleaning liquids that go along with it to give your carpet a thorough scrubbing.  If you have the funds, however, it might be better to hire a carpet cleaning service to ensure that your carpet is fully and professionally cleaned, leaving you to take care of other needed tasks.

Scrub Floors

Floors and surfaces that aren’t carpeted should be scrubbed, not necessarily with an abrasive cleanser but with a cleaner that will remove dirt, dander, and possible odours.  Many pet shops have cleaners that are especially designed for removing pet odours and that are still safe to use around animals.  Floors, counters, molding, and window sills should all be scrubbed and cleaned before showing your home to potential buyers.

Wash Fabrics

Fabrics or blankets covering furniture in your home that provide your pet a comfortable place to lay should all be laundered.  Wash curtains and clean shades to get rid of any odours that may have accumulated on them.

Ozone Machine

Ozone machines can be a wonderful asset to getting rid of home smells, including not only pet odours but cigarette odours as well.  Ozone machines can work wonders in as little as two days by destroying the bacteria and spores that can cause bad odours.

Odours that potential homebuyers can find offensive are a definite turn-off when trying to sell your home.  Do everything possible to insure your home is clean and smells clean.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Painting Before You Sell? These Colour Tips May Help

A fresh coat of paint is always one of the first tips homeowners should consider when planning to put their home up for sale.  While a fresh coat of paint can always bring a fresh appeal to your home, the colours you choose to paint your home can also be an important factor.  It has been said that specific colours can either increase or decrease the value of a home.  Which colours should you choose if you want to boost the value of your home?

White Vs. Colours

Trends change, certainly, over time, but colours are said to make a much bigger impact than white paint.  Colours are typically lighter and not dark colours.  While one year, yellow was a big “in” colour for kitchens, the next year, yellow was “out.”  Those colours desirable to future homeowners are universal ones that can help them envision their own furniture and living accessories in the spaces.  Since front doors play such an important role in the introduction of your home to prospective homebuyers, the colour choice for the door is often showcased in a contrasting and complementary colour to the rest of the home’s exterior.

In a recent survey, the colours of navy blue, charcoal, or dark grey were touted as popular.  Complementary shades of grey and beige are popular for home exteriors.  Kitchens in a blue-grey colour are considered fashionable, while living rooms in light taupe, oatmeal, or beige seem to be selling well.  Blue is known as a calming colour and, therefore, considered restful and relaxing in bedrooms.  Dining rooms in slate blue and bathrooms in shades of blue-grey or purple hues have found favour with prospective homebuyers.

Colours Not To Use

Colours that can have a negative impact on potential homebuyers are those painted with “deep” or “bold” colours.  No colour at all is also often seen negatively.  Today it would be wise to stay away from yellow kitchens, medium brown or taupe exteriors, red dining rooms, pink bedrooms, and white bathrooms.  Colours can have a definite impact on one’s mood and, therefore, our vision of future use that can be imagined when desiring to purchase a new home.

Colours can play an important role in how prospective homebuyers see your home and whether they can see themselves living happily there.  Choose paint colours wisely.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

How to Declutter a Home

Some of us get in a comfortable habit of discarding items in convenient places that aren’t necessarily attractive or the best places to put things.  Your house is your home where you should be able to be comfortable, but when trying to sell your home, convenience needs to take a backseat to propriety.  Decluttering a home is essential before prospective homebuyers ring to take a look about the place.  Decluttering needs to take place outside the home as well as inside.

Front Porch.

The front door of your home will be a focal point of any potential homebuyer as they arrive at your home.  The colour as well as the upkeep of the front door, surrounding porch, and any front farden landscaping will make the first noticeable impression.  If the front door has a knob, doorbell, or door knocker, ensure all are replaced if worn and in good working order.  Any handrails or stairs leading up to the front porch should be in good shape and repairs made if needed.  If the property has a fence or gate, ensure they are all working properly.  Rake any leaves, clean any snow, etc., from the sidewalks according to the season, to ensure the front garden is tidy and presentable.  Decorations, according to season, can be used sparingly to add an attractive air of festiveness.  You can even buy a new welcome mat.

Decluttering Inside

Most likely, you will still be living in your home while getting it ready to show to potential homebuyers.  It can be tough to find new and out-of-sight places for many of the essentials you still need and will be using.  The kitchen, for example, is a room you will still need to use on a daily basis.  Some tips for decluttering your kitchen include:

Remove small kitchen appliances from countertops
Towels, dishcloths, and potholders should be kept in drawers
Dish detergent, sponges, and cleansers should be kept in a cabinet under the sink
Roasters, and pots and pans should be kept in cabinets (or packed if you don’t use them very often)

Go through every room in your house as you have the kitchen, picking up small items and items not often used.  Either confine them to a cabinet, shelf, or drawer, or do some early packing, getting ready for your eventual move.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

The Secret to Making Photos That Will Help Sell Your Property Online

There are many things to keep in mind if you have property for sale. UK homeowners have a lot of uncertainty to deal with these days, and selling real estate has never been more confusing. While online property sales are the easiest way to go about it, there are some pitfalls to them.

For example, real estate photography is an extremely important consideration when you are hoping to sell your house online. If you use unappealing photos, it’s impossible to sell your property for a good price. People will simply scroll past your offer without thinking about it.

But what makes a photo truly excellent? Let’s look at some real estate photography tips.

1. Lighting Is Important

External photos of your property should make the best possible use of natural light. Taking snapshots early in the day or late in the afternoon is a good way to create the right lighting conditions. Dusk photos can be effective, but this is a risky choice to go for. You don’t want the backdrop of the photo to distract from your property. Some homeowners like the dusk/dark technique, which means that you wait for almost sunset and then photograph the building with light radiating from all the windows. But in most cases, the resulting photos may not be eye-catching enough for online sales.

What about indoor photos?
If your property has great natural lighting, the photos should reflect that. When that’s not the case, turning on all the lights in a room is enough.

2. Make the Rooms Seem as Spacious as Possible

Here’s another important tip for interior photos. Simply repositioning the furniture can create an illusion of additional space. This doesn’t mean removing all the furniture from the room. You want a homey but simple interior that has very little clutter. It’s also important to clear all the clutter from the floor to avoid a cramped look.

Some decorations can be a good idea, especially in rooms with low lighting. In particular, you can create a welcoming effect by adding a single dash of colour, such as a bouquet or a bowl of fruit. Remember to remove from view anything that is too personal, such as photos on walls or fridge decorations.

3. Draw Attention to the Best Aspects of the Property

The photo used in an online ad or auction needs to showcase all the best things about your property. For example, if the property is surrounded by trees, the photo should emphasise that. In the case of indoor photos, make sure to display the nooks and crannies that make your house unique.

4. Get Quality Equipment

One of the worst mistakes you can make is to rely on nothing but your phone camera. The quality of the photos reflects the quality of your property. It’s best to use a wide-angle lens. In some cases, Photoshop is necessary to smooth out any distortions.

You Don’t Have to Do This Yourself


Some of the above advice is easy enough to follow. But when you don’t have the experience and the equipment, real estate photography becomes difficult or even impossible. One option would be to hire a professional photographer. If you choose the right person for the job, the results will wow you and your prospective buyers. However, this is both time-consuming and pricey.

Another solution is to contact Doorsteps. One of our Local Property Consultants will inspect the property and immediately take appealing photos. After some editing, the images will be ready to present your property in the best light for our online auction. That way, you can sell your house online faster.

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