Renting blog: Are you the one who always changes the loo roll?

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

In my experience of living with other people (family and exes included), there’s always one person who ends up taking the rubbish out, changing the loo roll, and in our rented house, making sure our abode stays clean.

While I’m in charge of the  house account, I don’t see my role (house “prefect” – as one of  my housemates calls me) as being the one to mop the kitchen floor or vacuum the lounge. So after an unsuccessful cleaning rota system, the “prefect” decided to get in a cleaner.

I’ve had a bit of bad luck with cleaners – they disappear to France, get ill, cancel on me (on sunny days, usually), so I thought I’d go through an agency who’d promised reliability.

After an initial meeting, our new cleaner Yordanka arrived on Saturday morning. I was excited that she’d actually pitched up, and leaving her with a bucketful of cleaning materials, I let her get on with the task.

Two hours later Yordanka finds me to say the vacuum cleaner isn’t working. We inspect it, pull out a Christmas ribbon tangled in the brush, a coffee receipt and a mangled hairband. Still no luck. We empty it, clean the filter and still it refuses to come on.

Giving up, I say I’ll get hold of the letting agent who hopefully will fix it or replace it. Poor Yordanka does her best with a broom and calls it a day.

As I take out the bin bags she’s piled outside the front door and head out to stock up on toilet paper, I muse that it seems there’s always going to be that one person to fix a vacuum cleaner too.

August 17, 2011 at 9:30 AM Leave a comment

Properties with a partner: advice and experience

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Love and property. You might not immediately put the two together, but a new show from the folks at Channel 4 are planning a new documentary that does just that.

The BAFTA award-winning team behind One Born Every Minute and 24 Hours in A&E  are working on a new seven part show about love and living together.

Details are a bit sparse at the moment, but what we do know is that the doco will delve into the lives of one couple who’re living together and feature a further six couples in love (of all ages):  from first kiss to final farewell. No doubt they’ll be laughs, tears and possibly even a few tense moments over some tricky DIY projects!

Best of all, Channel 4 are on the hunt for a couple to feature in the documentary. If you and your partner are on the cusp of moving in together, then it could be you. Email Anna Dangoor at anna.dangoor@thegardenproductions.tv or call 020 3465 9060 to find out more.

August 16, 2011 at 9:23 AM Leave a comment

Property asking prices reduced to highest level in over a year

Bolton four bedroom family home reduced by 18.7%

Our latest analysis of current asking prices is showing that those selling continue to have to lower prices due to weak buyer demand. We’re also seeing the north-south divide continuing to widen – sellers in the north are being forced to reduce property asking prices by much more than their counterparts in the south. Northern towns and cities dominate the list of places with the highest average price reductions.

Sluggish economic growth has hit buyer confidence and tight-fisted lenders are currently making it impossible for swathes of would-be buyers to benefit from the price reductions.

The good news for those who can get mortgages, is that now is as good a time as there has been in over a year to bag a property bargain.

Key findings:

  • 2 in 5 properties on the market today have had price lowered at least once
  • Average price reduction by sellers is over £18,500, 7.1% off original price
  • North seeing more asking prices reduced and by higher % than in South

More current sellers have reduced the asking price of their home than at any time in the last year. Two in five (38.6%) of all properties currently for sale in Britain have had their asking prices reduced at least once since coming onto the market, up from 37% three months ago, and well ahead of the 32% one year ago.

Even properties over £1 million, where the market has been most resilient, have seen more asking price reductions. Of all £1 million+ properties on the market, 27% have had their price reduced at least once, up from 25% three months ago and significantly higher than the 22% one year ago.

Sellers in Bolton are suffering the most, having been forced to reduce the original asking price by 8.6% on average. Glasgow (8.2%) and Newcastle-upon-Tyne (8.2%) complete the top three, while other major northern cities like Liverpool are also in the top ten. Conversely, prices in the south-east have remained more immune to reductions where properties in Chelmsford (5.5%) have the lowest average discount and the list also includes other prominent south-east areas like London (6.3%) and Croydon (5.6%).

London has the lowest proportion of price-reduced homes in the UK (32.4%), serving to emphasise its detachment from the rest of the market. Meanwhile, in Stockport, nearly half (47.8%) of all properties for sale have been reduced in price since coming onto the market, closely followed by Huddersfield (46.3%) and Chesterfield (45.8%).

So, if you’re currently researching the market and looking to buy, make sure you use our unique feature allowing you to hunt for bargains by sorting properties for sale on Zoopla by those that have been most-reduced in price.

Here’s some more info on our most-reduced in price feature.

Zoopla.co.uk list of 50 key British cities/towns with property price reductions

Areas with Highest Level of Discounted Homes on Market

Rank Area % of Homes on Market Reduced Av. Price Reduction (%) Avg. Price Reduction (£)

1

Stockport

47.80%

-7.33%

-£15,737

2

Huddersfield

46.26%

-7.95%

-£12,910

3

Chesterfield

45.83%

-6.91%

-£10,657

4

Doncaster

45.02%

-7.91%

-£13,313

5

Wigan

45.01%

-7.56%

-£10,617

6

Norwich

44.68%

-6.59%

-£15,164

7

Derby

44.67%

-6.77%

-£11,643

8

Ipswich

44.66%

-6.98%

-£13,077

9

Bradford

44.02%

-7.47%

-£11,548

10

Lincoln

43.98%

-6.59%

-£12,836

Source: Zoopla.co.uk (August 2011)

Areas with Highest Average Asking Price Reductions

Rank Area % of Homes on Market Reduced Av. Price Reduction (%) Avg. Price Reduction (£)

1

Bolton

-8.59%

-£12,418

35.21%

2

Glasgow

-8.24%

-£11,255

39.11%

3

Newcastle

-8.18%

-£21,090

39.56%

4

Liverpool

-8.12%

-£13,285

39.45%

5

Rotherham

-8.11%

-£12,002

43.79%

6

Huddersfield

-7.95%

-£12,910

46.26%

7

Doncaster

-7.91%

-£13,313

45.02%

8

Ashford

-7.85%

-£19,381

41.27%

9

Maidstone

-7.84%

-£17,960

42.62%

10

Warrington

-7.75%

-£15,671

41.57%

Source: Zoopla.co.uk (August 2011)

Areas with Lowest Level of Discounted Homes on Market

Rank Area % of Homes on Market Reduced Av. Price Reduction (%) Avg. Price Reduction (£)

1

London

32.39%

-6.29%

-£37,159

2

Bolton

35.21%

-8.59%

-£12,418

3

York

35.71%

-5.92%

-£16,505

4

Peterborough

35.96%

-6.95%

-£12,359

5

Bristol

35.99%

-6.32%

-£14,570

6

Milton Keynes

36.04%

-7.33%

-£14,840

7

Hull

37.20%

-7.50%

-£8,642

8

Croydon

37.21%

-5.58%

-£13,496

9

Bedford

37.74%

-5.89%

-£15,151

10

Manchester

38.07%

-7.74%

-£12,543

Source: Zoopla.co.uk (August 2011)

Areas with Lowest Average Asking Price Reductions

Rank Area % of Homes on Market Reduced Av. Price Reduction (%) Avg. Price Reduction (£)

1

Chelmsford

-5.55%

-£17,754

41.60%

2

Croydon

-5.58%

-£13,496

37.21%

3

Swindon

-5.72%

-£11,547

40.36%

4

Bedford

-5.89%

-£15,151

37.74%

5

York

-5.92%

-£16,505

35.71%

6

Luton

-5.92%

-£11,894

40.81%

7

Northampton

-6.09%

-£11,547

41.91%

8

Cardiff

-6.13%

-£16,208

39.57%

9

Plymouth

-6.20%

-£11,068

42.99%

10

London

-6.29%

-£37,159

32.39%

Source: Zoopla.co.uk (August 2011)

As always, please feel free to share and use this information, all we ask is that you credit the source as Zoopla.co.uk and link to Zoopla.co.uk. Thank you.

Follow Zoopla on Twitter

Like Zoopla on Facebook

August 16, 2011 at 9:23 AM 5 comments

How much is a bathroom really worth?

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

You’ve tried everything: renovating the kitchen, re-inventing the living room and re-organising the bedrooms, but nothing seems to give your home that extra value it deserves. Never fear, a survey by a UK bathroom retailer has discovered that renovating your bathroom may be the best investment you ever make when it comes to selling your property.

According to the survey of 2,000 people by Bathstore,  a £1,560 bathroom added £8,010 to the price someone would be willing to pay for a home. This delivers over five times return on investment –  which, if our maths is correct, would be £5.10 for every £1 spent.

Despite our reservations about this figure – there’s no doubt that improving your property can make it more desirable to potential buyers. And while Bathstore might be ever-so-slightly simplifying the way improvements interact with pricing, they are making a valid point.

The survey also found that 35% of homeowners said they had put off doing home improvement in the past year, with nearly half of them worried about the costs involved. And maybe that’s not such bad news as the survey also found that 21% of spousal-spats were caused by DIY.

The bathroom might add value to your home, but will it help your relationship?

August 16, 2011 at 9:10 AM Leave a comment

Amy Winehouse home to become charity HQ

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

As news emerges that the former home of Amy Winehouse  will be used as the headquarters for a rehab charity in her memory, it’s reminded us of other houses once touched by fame which are no longer lived in, but offer something special to the public.

Since Winehouse’s tragic death last month, speculation has been mounting about what the star’s parents will do with their late daughter’s £2.5 million three-storey Camden home (pictured below).

Amy Winehouse's Camden home could be used as a Rehab centre

It turns out the home is now to become the HQ for a new rehab charity called The Amy Winehouse Foundation being launched by her parents and funded by profits from a new single Winehouse recorded with legendary crooner Tony Bennett in March.

The Back to Black singer’s father Mitch hopes the foundation will teach kids about the dangers of taking drugs and also support causes close to his daughter’s heart such as helping troubled children and those in hospices.

The Winehouse family’s decision to use the home for the good of the community follows a long tradition. Here are some other homes of famous figures that now have alternative uses, many of which play an important role in capturing history or giving something back.

Charles Dickens

Dickens lived in Bloomsbury, London, between 1837 – 1839, where he penned Oliver Twist. His former home is now the Charles Dickens Museum and has beautifully restored rooms, letters, pictures, first editions and memorabilia.

William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire is awash with thespian followers. The two most famous homes – both open to the public – are the house he was born in and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (pictured below), where Shakespeare courted his future bride..

Anne Hathaway's cottage - Shakespeare's wife's home

Elvis Presley

Fans of the rock n’ roll experience can visit Presley’s famous Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee and indulge in all things Elvis – from the costumes – to the cars.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Schwarzenegger has only recently agreed for his childhood flat in Austria to be opened as a memorabilia museum to the actor turned politician.

John Keats

The country’s favourite romantic poet lived in his Hampstead home (pictured below) between 1818 – 1820. It’s now a museum and open to the public who can see paintings, prints and relics belonging to the poet.

John Keet's Hamshire home

 

The Bronte Sisters

The Bronte sisters grew up at the Parsonage in Haworth, West Yorkshire which is now open to the public and a shrine to the literary family and houses their original furniture and possessions.

Charles Darwin

Visitors to Darwin’s house in Downe, Kent, can enjoy rare collections of animals, see where he wrote the Origin of Species and meander the extensive gardens which the naturalist called his “outdoor laboratory”.

Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank records the tragic experiences of a young Jewish girl and her family during World War II who hid from the Nazis in a secret annex in the house in Amsterdam (below). The home was restored to its original form in he 1950s and is now a popular museum in Amsterdam where it commemorates Frank’s  indominatable spirit.

Anne Frank's House in Amsterdam

Mark Twain

The timber house that American author Twain and his wife designed and built in Hartford, Connecticut is now a museum for people to learn more about the writer. He wrote some of his best work from this house including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Michael Jackson

Another talented pop star who had an untimely death, the King of Pop’s famous Neverland Ranch in California is rumoured to be eventually opened to the public.

August 8, 2011 at 4:55 PM Leave a comment

Older Posts Newer Posts


Zoopla Mobile & Tablet Apps

Grab the App

Zoopla.co.uk

Search over 1 million properties for sale or to rent on our site from more than 18,000 agents and developers, including all of the UK's leading names.

Posts delivered hot and fresh to your inbox. Signup for free to subscribe, (No spam... ever) and join over 16,000 others.

Enter your email address below:

Recent Posts

Follow Zoopla

Archives

About the Zoopla blog

The Zoopla property blog is maintained and edited by the Web Content Editor @ Zoopla Property Group Ltd Myra Butterworth.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 532 other followers

%d bloggers like this: