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Christmas Approaches

christmas wreath

christmas wreathYet again I cannot quite believe how quickly Christmas approaches, it only seems yesterday that I was struggling to write 2018 on the cheques, and now I am looking at welcoming in 2019. Where did the year go? For me Christmas is a time for quiet reflection, a celebration of life, and a time to remember loved ones who are no longer here. This past year has been especially poignant because on the 1st August 2018, Sheldon Bosley Knight merged with Timothy Lea & Griffiths Estate Agents Limited, a move which has worked particularly well for all involved, including our customers.

For many youngsters, Christmas is a time of great anticipation, will Santa Claus bring all the presents requested? How does Santa get the presents down the chimney? If there isn’t a chimney, how does he make the delivery? Does he really drink all the glasses of refreshment left out for him and do the reindeer eat all the carrots left out for them? There is still a quintessential charm relating to the story of Santa Claus, a certain magical mystery that even grownups still believe, hoping that they get the present they really want from their loved ones. I still wonder on Christmas night what is happening in the Heavens.

child at christmasWe must always remember that a lot of people have to work over the festive period, whether it be power generation, utility supplies, entertainment, health workers, police and the armed forces. For them it is business as normal. I always find it comforting to think that there are still people looking after us, allowing us the trappings of modern life to continue without disruption. The churches are also open for business, allowing worshippers to celebrate the nativity whilst enjoying company and friendship with the rest of the parish. Singing Christmas Carols is always fun, generating provocative memories of happy times.

In property terms, December is probably the quietest part of the year. The construction industry closes down for a fortnight, to take a well-earned break. The most active part of the industry will be DIY enthusiasts, who take the opportunity to complete tasks at home, relying on the big DIY sheds to supply all the requisite components needed to complete the task. Please take care while doing these jobs, make sure you are working well within your competency levels, and be safe while you are doing it. The classic problems are dust in the eye, breathing dust because you don’t have a proper face mask on and lifting loads which are far too heavy. With proper planning, these problems are easily avoided.

DIYMany people go away for the festive period. At the moment, the weather is benign, temperatures are un-seasonally high, and we are starting to receive our share of the winter rain. The weather can change quickly at this time of the year. If you are leaving your house for a few days, keep the central heating system running, but lower the temperature. If you are leaving for a longer period, then it might be better to consider draining down the water systems, pour salt into the WC’s so that if there is a prolonged period of cold the house will not be damaged by burst water pipes. There is no worse homecoming, to find water pouring out from under the front door, and inside the ceilings collapsed under a deluge of water.

Thank you for reading my articles, I hope you have found them an interesting read. On behalf of both Sheldon Bosley Knight and Timothy Lea & Griffiths Estate Agents Limited, may I take the opportunity to wish you all a happy Christmas, and a peaceful prosperous new year.

Tony Rowland SBK TLGTony Rowland BSc(Hons) MSc MRICS

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The Great Downsizing Dilemma


grandparentsIt has become something of a 21st Century phenomenon – massive increases in house values over previous decades, combined with the ever-changing pressures of personal and family circumstances, mean that many homeowners in the 50+ age bracket are selling substantial properties which would once have been ‘forever’ homes, and moving to smaller, more manageable alternatives.

Some use the proceeds to fund an active retirement, some to assist younger family members to set up their own homes – and in many cases downsizing is simply the ‘sensible’ thing to do, often combined with a relocation to be nearer loved ones or in a more attractive area with more accessible amenities.

Faced with various options, and often feeling some emotional conflict, how do you decide whether or not the time has come to put your house on the market – and how do you ensure that if you do so, you don’t sacrifice your own needs or quality of life in the process?

Financial considerations are key, and it’s essential to do your homework; seek advice from experts and do your sums. In working out what you can expect to gain from selling/buying property, take into account Stamp Duty and other tax implications, fees, and the sometimes significant ‘incidental’ costs of moving home including any improvements, furnishing and redecoration, and the actual removal process.

If one of your objectives is to help other family members to get a start on the housing ladder or improve their own situation in some other way, check that whatever you do is both tax efficient (for both parties) and safe in terms of any future liability you may be taking on.

More importantly, think about the implications for family dynamics and good relationships. If you help one child or grandchild, will you be able to help the others to the same extent? If other family members have an emotional attachment to the house you are selling, have you discussed your plans and allowed them to express their views?

Above all, however willing you may be to sacrifice your own preferences for the sake of loved ones, do think seriously about your own needs and interests. Use the flowchart below to clarify your situation, and talk to friends and family members who will be understanding and supportive. Look to your own future, and weigh up the pros and cons of the various options open to you. Don’t make hasty decisions which you may come to regret – but equally, don’t be afraid to embrace the potential for a new and better life ahead.

Downsizing graphicIf you decide that downsizing is the way forward for you, come and talk to us about how we can help with an honest valuation of your property and free advice on how best to market it. We understand what a big step you’re taking, and we want to ensure the best possible outcome with the minimum of disruption and stress. We’re here to help!

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Matthew Payne – Gains full qualifications

Matt Payne has now become a full member of the RICS

The Partners at Sheldon Bosley are delighted to announce that after a lengthy and extremely rigorous training and examination programme, Matthew Payne has been recently accepted as a full member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, specialising in Residential Surveys and Valuations.

Simon Wilkinson, the Partner in charge of the Survey and Valuation Department has welcomed Matthew enthusiastically, saying that “Matthew is a very valuable asset to the team, applying his natural eye for detail and methodical approach to provide a first class service.”

New RICS Member
New RICS Member

Buying a New Home……..

The purchase of a new home is likely to be the most expensive investment you will ever make, and yet many people give less consideration to condition than they would for a used car. Indicative figures published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggest that only 1 in 5 of us will have any form of independent home survey carried out prior to purchasing property, and yet the average cost of remedying unexpected defects approaches on average £6,000. When buying a home, clearly money is always tight, however a home survey conducted by an RICS member offers peace of mind, and the relevant information with which to negotiate the fairest deal.

Let us help

So if you are considering purchasing property, or want to ensure that yours is in the best possible condition prior to sale, Simon and Matthew are ideally placed to advise you. For more details please contact 01789 292310 /