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Blog entry by Doorsteps

House Insulation Tips for Families

House Insulation Tips for Families

Did you know proper insulation can be a great selling point when you’re trying to sell your property online. If you’re a new buyer, it’s a good idea to seek homes with updated insulation, or you can simply update it yourself.

This unseen detail isn’t talked about too often. But according to Britain’s Energy Saving Trust (EST), hundreds of pounds are wasted every year to heat uninsulated homes. This is not a great thing for your wallet or the environment.

However, this oversight can be fixed easily. Take a look at these house insulation tips put together by the Doorsteps.co.uk team and start saving today.

1. Roof and Loft
Did you know that a quarter of your home’s heat disappears through the roof? Insulating the attic or loft is an easy way to reduce heating bills.

If you can get into the area easily, you can do the insulation yourself. Simply use rolls of mineral wool insulation. However, make sure that it isn’t damp and that the roof is flat. If you have dampness in the loft or attic, it’s better to hire professional help.

2. Walls
If you have a house built in the 1990s, there’s good news. You probably have wall insulation already.

In the case of older homes, you need to find out if you have solid or cavity walls. Both types require different insulation techniques. Selling a house online may be daunting but taking these steps can increase its value.

3. Floors
You can use various DIY methods to seal flooring and keep the heat from escaping in that direction. Just remember that upstairs room floors don’t need to be insulated.

4. Draught-proofing
Don’t forget to guard against draughts. Blocking unwanted gaps may be one of the cheapest ways to save energy and heat up your home.

The Takeaway

Before you sell property online in the UK, make sure you have the insulation fixed. Give buyers something to look forward to and help them save money during the chilly winter months.

Fortunately, you can do a lot of the installation yourself. But whether you do it yourself or work with a professional, make sure there is cushioning around the pipes. This can save your plumbing and also help lower water heating bills.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

What Is the Stamp Duty Land Tax?

If you’re planning on buying property in England and Northern Ireland, expect to pay a tax for it. The Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) applies for residential properties over £125,000. There’s also a tax for non-residential properties and land that cost at least £150,000.
If you want to sell your property online, it’s a good idea to find out how these taxes may apply to your potential buyers. Find out more about SDLT payments and the different rules around this tax.

Who Has to Pay?

In general, anyone who buys properties over the current threshold has to pay the tax. That includes:
• buyers for freehold properties
• shared ownership scheme property buyers
• buyers of a leasehold (new or existing)
• anyone who is taking on a mortgage or buying a share in a house
Exceptions apply if you’re buying your first home. You may pay less or no tax if any of the following apply:
• the property purchase price is £500,00 or less
• property purchase was completed on or after November 22, 2017
• you or any of your co-owners are first-time buyers

How Much Is Your SDLT?

Your potential payments depend on many factors, such as whether the property is residential or non-residential. If you’re buying a mixed-use property or you’re a first-time buyer, it will affect the final cost. But you can use the SDLT calculator from HM Revenue and Customs here.

You may also need to pay considerations for:

• Works or services
• Release from a debt
• Goods
• A transfer of debt, like in the case of outstanding mortgages

When and How to Pay SDLT

The SDLT return and payment is due to HMRC within 14 days of the completion of the sale. If you have a solicitor or conveyancer, they’ll typically file this return and tax payment on your behalf. They’ll also claim reliefs if you’re eligible for any.
The SDLT form and payment aren’t required for certain situations, such as:
• The property is left to you in a will
• The property is transferred to you as a result of divorce or civil partnership dissolution
• No payment or money changed hands for the property or land transfer
You can check out the full list of exemptions on the official UK SDLT webpage. However, most online property sales will involve paying this tax. So it’s a good idea to be aware the potential fees, even from a seller’s standpoint.

Final Note About the Tax

Failure to file the return and remit payment for the SDLT tax can result in penalties and interests. Remember, buyers only have 14 days to complete this. So if you’re planning to buy property, know in advance if your agent or solicitor will take care of this for you.
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Blog entry by Doorsteps

The Best Cities in the Midlands to Buy a Property in 2019

The investment property market is going through some changes at the moment, and sales have dropped in some parts of the country. But for many areas in the UK, it’s business as usual. Outside of the capital, there are cities that are experiencing more growth than they have in years.

So if you’re looking into online property sales, the Midlands is a great place to look. Experts forecast that growth in these towns and cities will continue regardless of the UK’s shaky financial situation. And this can only mean good news for first-time buyers and those looking to build their investment portfolios.

The Current Housing Market in the UK

The uncertain economic and political climate has a part of the UK’s property market frozen, but that doesn’t apply across the board. Properties in the Midlands and the northern regions of England are doing well, and this trend is expected to continue.

Why are these areas popular at the moment? As a response to Brexit, many online retailers are building huge warehouses and stockpiling goods. That means that jobs are being created in locations with large areas of development land. This is one of the few unexpected benefits of the current situation.

Property investment in the UK is going through a unique period of strong returns from capital appreciation markets as well as buy-to-let (BTL) properties. In addition to this, the government continues its commitment to new housing development, as well as assistance for first-time buyers. This bodes well for both buyers as well as sellers.

Now, let’s look at some cities that are of interest to investors.

Northampton

One Midlands town that’s enjoying good job growth in Northampton. This is due to the heavy investment in warehouse and industrial units. As retail shifts to online options, this central location for big distribution is slated to grow in popularity. 

It is a nice place to live too, with 170 parks and other green areas, as well as an attractive town centre. 

Additionally, it’s a popular commuter destination, with 96 trains a day between the town and London Euston.

In 2017, the average home in Northampton was selling at the quickest rate in the country. The average time on the market was only 27 days. Furthermore, housing prices in the town rose by 5.3% from 2017 to 2018. With such quick rising property values, it is a great option for property investment.

Leicester

Next, Leicester is another good city to invest in the Midlands. Research by the London School of Economics in 2016 showed that this city has the most multicultural high street in England. It welcomes shopkeepers from many different countries, and it also boasts of a proud 2000-year old history.

Leicester certainly isn’t suffering from the Brexit backlash. In fact, property prices in this city have soared over 250% percent since 2000. And with its relatively close proximity to London and Birmingham, property values are expected to increase.

Birmingham

Lastly, Birmingham is another Midlands city to take into consideration. It’s always been a strong area for property investment. Nowadays, this city is near the top of the list for UK hotspots.

Birmingham has a relatively large population and many of its residents are students. Because the young population is more likely to stay in Birmingham and commute, the city continues to grow in order to support these young professionals.

Furthermore, many head offices and corporations have chosen to move out of London to Birmingham. This change will also contribute to the continued growth of the city, as the demand for housing rises among employees and job seekers.

Should You Buy in the Midlands?

If you’re going to buy property anywhere in the UK, the Midlands should be near the top of your list. Why? Economic growth and the demand for housing will continue into the foreseeable future.

That growth isn’t tied to the economic and political climate as much as in other areas in the UK. This means that buying property in these areas is a safe investment. 

You can learn more about your options by getting into contact with online property agents in the UK. They can let you know how the market is doing and whether there’s anything in these areas that fit your needs. 
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