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Moving Home This Season

Whilst we are still very much enjoying some warm weather we all know what is around the corner…

The nights are getting darker, the children have returned back to school and the summer holidays are becoming a distant memory. We are heading into one of the most fruitful times for sellers with hope to be in their new home for Christmas. 

We have listed our top tips for helping you to make the most of this upcoming busy period. 

Freshen up – Pop away any summer holiday clutter and have a good clean and tidy up, it can make such a difference and it will look good for the photographs too. After a brilliant summer for the whole family, the running in and out into the garden with mucky boots can make your carpets look tired, if the carpets are worn or dirty we would suggest replacing them or getting them cleaned. 

Get the timing right – As it starts to get dark earlier now, if at all possible try and arrange your viewings during daylight hours so that they can see your home at its best. Your estate agent will co-ordinate your viewings with you. 

Remember the garden and kerb appeal – Properties with outdoor space are highly sought after, so if you have a garden sweep up the fallen leaves and give it a tidy up, de clutter the garden as much as you can so that your buyers can envisage the garden in the way they would like to have it. Try to make the most of the afternoon sun by placing a bench where the sun shines so that your buyers can see how the garden can be used all year round. 

Let some air in – A well ventilated property is always far more appealing, if the property that you are selling is not occupied or you have been away on holiday it is a good idea to open the windows before a viewing to let the air circulate and remove any musty smells. 

Pop the heating on – Although we are still having relatively mild days as we enter autumn it is only a matter of time before there is a chill in the air, a cold home can feel uninviting for your viewers and can leave them feeling uncomfortable. Prior to the viewing it is a good idea to turn the heating on to take the chill off any rooms before they arrive, if you have an open fireplace or a wood burner now is the time to have that roaring as its creates a warming environment for your potential buyers. 

Lighting – During the autumn and winter months’ natural light is at a premium. Without overdoing the brightness of artificial lighting it is a good idea to introduce some table lamps in certain parts of the home, such as bedrooms and living rooms where you want softer lighting and in other rooms like the kitchen and bathroom brighter lights can work, so change the light bulbs if you need to. Do remember though, natural light is always best so open the curtains, roll up the blinds and let the light flood in. 

We hope that you have found this helpful and we would be happy to assist with any further questions that you may have.

Just call us on, 01626 774629 or email info@cardinalestates.co.uk

Thank you for reading.

Cardinal Estates Team

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Preparing Your Home for Viewings – 5 Top Tips

  • De-Clutter

Be Brave! If you have not used it in the last 6 months or if you forgot that you even had it – let it go! De-cluttering is essential as you can open up space and create a fresh and breathable atmosphere. By clearing out all your clutter now, you will also save time when it comes to moving – a win, win situation!

  • Let the light shine through 

Be sure to open your curtains and let any natural light into your home throughout those summer months. This creates a comfortable and appealing environment and allows buyers to have a clear perspective of the property. 

  • Organise your beloved pets

As much as we love our darling pets a potential buyer might not, and could even be allergic. Perhaps ask a neighbour to the look after your dog for the viewing and when staging for photos remove all signs of your pet (don’t let your dog hear this) including feeding bowls, pet beds and toys. 

  • Exterior

A Garden is a top priority for many buyers, especially those with children and pets. Set the scene with your garden furniture, cut back any boisterous bushes, ensure the garden is maintained and show off the lifestyle it offers. Sprucing up your driveway and the outside of your building also creates a welcoming environment. 

  • Know your buyer 

Consider who your buyer is likely to be; Are you selling a substantial home? Is the layout of your property family friendly? Are you showing off the space that is offered? Or are you selling an apartment which may attract a young professional? – Is the interior contemporary and are you making the best use of any limited spaces?

We hope that this has helped you with your preparation and wish you every success; our advice comes from years of experience and knowing what helps to sell homes at the best possible price.

If you require more advice on how to prepare your property for marketing or a free valuation on your home please do not hesitate to call us on 01626 774629. We would love to help.

Thank you.

Cardinal Estates

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Kitchens, Bathrooms – Should you change them before making a move?

Now, this is a question that we get asked a lot and we completely understand why!

Of course, we would need to see your home before giving you a precise opinion but these guidelines should help you and if you have further questions please do let us know by emailing in your pictures and we can advise the best way forward. 

Your Kitchen – Should you change it?

Old? Dated? Sorely in need of an update? – The answer is no. In fact usually, the older and more dated the better as the new owners will not feel as guilty when they replace or update it. You see, the viewers tend to bypass your units and imagine their own new fabulous replacement. A kitchen is a personal choice and the chances are your buyers will have their own idea of their dream kitchen. Save yourself the money! 

Handles, work surfaces looking tired – Should you change it?

If your kitchen is looking tired in places for example, some of the handles are missing and the work surfaces are looking worn out it is a good idea to replace/update them. This will also look better in the photographs. 

Bathroom – Should you change it?

Again, the answer here is usually – No. Keep that fabulous avocado suite in there. As long as its clean and functional it is not worth your expense. 

Other factors to consider. 

New curtains? – No, do not buy new ones. If you have any worn curtains or nets up, we would just suggest taking them down. 

New carpets? Neutral carpet is the safest bet, and usually even if slightly worn in places we wouldn’t recommend replacing it all, maybe just the areas that are tired. I am afraid that the bright coloured or crazy patterned carpets do not usually appeal to purchasers!

Upgrading your sofa, bed and furniture – No, unless you are taking it with you to your next home and you simply cannot resist the sale price of your dream sofa or bed. Again these are personal items that your buyers will be overlooking when they view, as they will just be imagining their own furniture in its place. A recommendation would be to use plain and light bedding as it always looks better and will look nicer in the photographs. 

These are a few of the questions that we get asked, but please pop over any other questions that you may have and we would love to help you. 

Thank you for reading and hopefully we have managed to save you a few pennies!

Cardinal Estates Team 

01626 774629

info@cardinalestates.co.uk

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Open Houses. The concept and advantages for sellers.

After a successful open event on a development of new homes that we have recently launched, we felt it was necessary to write a brief blog on what they are and how they work. 

An open house event replaces the need for a successive number of viewing levels. Instead of conducting several viewings, you and your estate agent will set aside a few hours on a particular day, to create a limited window of opportunity for potential buyers to view your home. 

This allows you time to prepare for such event and ensure that your home is looking its best, it is also extremely time efficient as instead of having to juggle personal commitments with sporadic viewings you have one set day and you can allow your estate agent to handle things whilst you escape. 

Cardinal Estates Director Jodie says. ‘Open houses are particularly beneficial to the seller; they really are a great way to create urgency for potential purchasers. Naturally, our competitive instincts prevail when we see that there are other people interested in what we are looking at, resulting in making an offer earlier than perhaps anticipated in order to clinch it’ 

Of course, whilst we would love every open house event to result in a sale this is not guaranteed however the event will give you lots of feedback to then progress forward with your marketing. 

If you would like more information on open houses or if you would like an up to date market appraisal of your home, please contact Cardinal Estates on 01626 774629. info@cardinalestates.co.uk

Thank you for reading.

Jodie Griffiths
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Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is an opportunity to show your mum that you truly care and how much you appreciate all that she does. It can be difficult to find the perfect gift for her which is why we have put together some ideas for you to help. Ideas that do not have to break the bank but that will create ever lasting memories for you both. 

Walk / Cycle 

There is no better way to welcome this slightly warmer weather than a walk or cycle through our unrivalled Devon countryside. 

Sunday Lunch 

Give your mum a day off cooking and head for a tasty Sunday lunch.  

Afternoon Tea 

On Mother’s Day calories do not count…Why not indulge in an afternoon tea at a cosy tea room near you. You could always follow this up with that cycle to burn those scones off if you so wish. 

Homemade Dinner 

Prepare a three-course dinner with her favourite dishes on offer. Washed down with a glass of wine if you desire of an elderflower fizz! 

Bake-Off 

Get those aprons on and have a bake-off with your mum. This will be fun and you will hopefully have extremely tasty cakes to enjoy with the whole family. 

‘Mums Go Free’ 

Have a look online at offers and deals that attraction parks and zoo’s are offering, for example Woodlands are offering a free entry for mothers and Pennywell Farm are offering cream tea’s included in entry. 

Spa

Why not treat your mum to a day of indulgence with a spa day, massage or nail treatment. 

Jewellery 

If jewellery is her thing, a nice gift from you to her that she will cherish is a great idea. It doesn’t have to have a huge price tag and you could always get creative and make something yourself. The idea will be greatly received we are sure. 

Photo Book 

Photographs certainly make a great memory last forever; a lovely gift would be to create a collage of photos of the whole family that your mum can keep. 

Flowers 

Surpise and delight your mum with a bouquet of her favourites. 

Well, we hope that this has helped you, and we wish you a magical day. 

Cardinal Estates Team 

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Buyer’s Guide

We realise that buying a property can be exciting however often quite challenging, after all it is a big deal.  Whether you are a first time purchaser or you are an experienced property buyer we have put together a useful buyers guide that will hopefully help reduce the stress for you. 

What can you afford? 

Before you start looking at properties you need to know how much you can afford to spend, this will give you an indication of what type of property and price range you can look at. A mortgage adviser with access to a wide range of products is suitable to help as they will search the mortgage market for you. Once you have selected the best deal for you ensure that you receive a copy of your Agreement in Principle (AIP) which confirms that you have been approved to borrow a certain amount of money, this will put you in a strong buying position when you offer on the property that you find. We can recommend a mortgage adviser for you if required. Be mindful that you budget for additional costs such as a survey, Stamp Duty, Land Registry Fees, Searches and removal costs. Many of these costs will be organised and paid for through your solicitor.

Get registered

Now it gets exciting. You have probably already been browsing the internet sites such as Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation already which is great. You now know what you can afford to spend so you can go and find your next home. Think about the location that you would like to be in and what is important to you, e.g. schools, transport links, amenities and also think about what you would compromise for the right home. Register your details with the local estate agents in the areas of interest, this will prompt you to be notified of suitable properties that match your requirements, it is important to register with these agents so that you are in the know of new properties, as often the good ones go before they make it on the internet.

Choose a solicitor

It is a good idea to get a solicitor lined up before making an offer on a property, it saves time later. Your solicitor will carry out the ‘conveyancing’ which is the legal work that takes place when buying your property. We can recommend local solicitors for you but equally, it is a good idea to speak to your family and friends for their recommendations also. A good solicitor could be the difference in getting the home that you want and experiencing a stressful and expensive process.

Making an offer

Great, you have found the property that you like, now contact the estate agent selling the property and make an offer. The estate agent will require proof of funding which is your Agreement in Principle or if a cash buyer they will require a copy of this in a form of a statement. Ensure that the agent knows your position fully as this could help with your offer going forward in the best light possible, for example if you have nothing to sell and your funds are in place, this should be attractive to the owner selling the property as you are ready to go.

Survey

Once your offer has been accepted your mortgage company will arrange for a Mortgage Valuation survey to be carried out on the property. There are a few options of a survey with the most basic a Mortgage Valuation survey which confirms that the price you have agreed to pay for the property is consistent with the market value in the area. You can upgrade to a Homebuyers survey or a Full Structural survey if you wish and these are more detailed.

Exchange of contracts

There are a number of legalities to go through before exchange of contracts takes place, usually taking approximately 6-8 weeks. Exchange of contracts marks the point when the purchase becomes binding for both parties. A date for completion or moving day is arranged and agreed throughout the chain and your deposit funds are transferred which means you can relax a little. We would advise that until the point of exchange try not to get too committed or emotionally involved as there are a number of things that can affect the purchase of a property.

Completion of purchase

Your property purchase is now finalised and this usually comes a week or two after an exchange of contracts. Contact your estate agent once your solicitor has advised you of completion and the agent will advise of where to collect your keys from. Make sure you have arranged to get things connected in your new home, such as TV and internet.

Moving in

And relax…Pop the champagne if necessary! Now your good friends, family and removal company come in. Pack and label your boxes to make it easier when you get to your new home as each box can be placed in the correct room. Ensure that you have an essential box to hand full of tea and biscuits to keep your team satisfied.

We hope that this has helped you and please contact us on 01626 774629 should you have any questions at all. We would love to help.

Cardinal Estates

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Valentines Day At Home!

Oh yes, it is that time of the year again! If you are struggling with ideas about what to do with your loved one this Valentines Day, we have put together some fun and entertaining ideas that you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Home Spa  

Go on you deserve it, turn your home into your very own private spa. Run a hot bubble bath and add some rose petals, candles, relaxing music and enjoy a glass of your favourite tipple together. Maybe bring out the face masks and enjoy relaxing massage sessions.

Candle-Lit Dinner

Set the table, get the lighting right, music, candles and choose your favourite dishes to create a delicious and romantic three-course homemade meal. Your loved one should be impressed by this and the bonus is that you are in the comfort of your own home and enjoying quality time together.

Bake Off

If the idea of a three-course meal is not what you fancy, why not have a bake-off with your loved one. Make it fun and messy and bake some scrumptious treats for you both to enjoy! Cookies, cakes, muffins, whatever your heart desires. Any leftovers you could always hand out to your work colleague the next day!

Secret Notes

Whether you make a game of it and hunt for the notes or you wish to keep them completely quiet and a suprise, why not leave some romantic notes and messages around the house or in your loved ones work bag to make them smile when they see them. A lovely romantic gesture.

Games Night

Put some great music on and design your own couple quiz. Keep it fun, competitive and full of questions about you both, prepare a prize and maybe even make it interesting with the person that scores the most gets off cooking for a week.

Or, if you like the idea of a games night that is competitive and fun but without thinking of your own questions then why not get Monopoly or Cluedo out! Choose a board game that takes you both back to your younger years.

Propose!

Now, I hope you haven’t fallen off your chair at this point, but if popping the question to your loved one is on the horizon and something that you have had on your mind then why not do it on Valentines Days! How romantic. If you do decide to do it, we wish you the best of luck!

Movie Night

Draw the curtains, grab a blanket and some snacks, cuddle up and watch a movie that you both love or maybe even a series that you have been meaning to start, finish or re-watch. Warning – Do try to stay awake, you have your baking from earlier to eat!

Reminisce

A wood burner is great for this, throw some logs on and get comfy. If you have a box of memories, travel tickets and photographs now is the time to get this out and look back through it! The perfect way to reminisce, smile and laugh about all that you have been up to together. Relax and enjoy the cosy occasion.

Plan the Next Trip

Been meaning to get a holiday booked together and haven’t yet got around to doing it? Dedicate Valentines Day to getting something booked into those diaries. Whether its an event, a day trip or a summer or winter holiday planning is always very exciting with your loved one.

Valentines Day is not about what you are doing, it is about who you are spending it with that is important. We hope that you have a great day and if you do choose the ‘proposal’ option then we do expect an invite to the big day!

Thank you for reading!

Cardinal Estates Team

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Family Half-term Ideas

I know I know, we are all still trying to get over the Christmas break and we are already discussing the next holiday season, but it sure is coming around quickly.

Fortunately, we are lucky enough to live in such a fantastic part of the country and we all know that Devon has so much to offer. We have put together some fun ideas for you in case you get stuck with what to do. I will warn you though, the trips that we have chosen mainly include getting out and about in the great outdoors and breathing that fresh air into your lungs (what better way to tire the children out) Enjoy!

Haldon Forest

Whether you want a quiet gentle stroll, run or an exhilarating mountain biking experience, there’s something for you here with a range of walking and cycling trails to suit all abilities, as well as a pump loop, cycle skills area, orienteering courses, play equipment, Go Ape, Segway’s and so much more just waiting to be discovered.

Website: https://www.forestryengland.uk/haldon-forest-park 

Living Coasts, Torquay

Living Coasts promises a full-filled day out for the whole family. You can visit the penguins, otters, octopus and seals, as well as taking part in activities and games.

Website: https://www.livingcoasts.org.uk 

Crealy

A family theme park that boasts  over 60 rides and attractions, with live entertainment shows and animals galore. A full day out for the whole family. 

Website: https://www.crealy.co.uk 

River Dart Country Park 

Set in 90 acres of parkland within Dartmoor National Park, the River Dart Country Park is packed with attractions and adventures that are suitable for the whole family.

Website: https://www.riverdart.co.uk

http://riverdart.co.uk

Paignton Zoo

With over 2,500 animals across 80 acres – you’re in for a really wild time there. 

Website – https://www.paigntonzoo.org.uk 

Shaldon Wildlife Trust

Set in an acre of woodland garden above the attractive coastal village of Shaldon, looking after and helping preserve some of the rarest and most endangered animals in the world.

Website https://www.shaldonwildlifetrust.org.uk

The Donkey Sanctuary (Sidmouth)

Hundreds of donkeys and mules waiting to steal your hearts and meet you. 

Website: https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/visit-us/sidmouth

South Devon Railway

A seven-mile former Great Western Railway branch line, built in 1872, which runs along the stunning valley of the River Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes.

Website: https://www.southdevonrailway.co.uk

Powderham Castle

Packed with medieval intrigue, cute creatures and play all day, every day! Just outside Exeter on the banks of the Exe estuary, you can see blacksmiths in the forge, take a tractor ride in the deer park, be king of your own castle in the wooden fort, and explore the centuries of history inside the ancient home.

Website: https://www.powderham.co.uk

The National Marine Aquarium

Visit the UK’s largest aquarium attraction and be amazed by the fascinating underwater world.

Website:http://www.national-aquarium.co.uk

Pennywell Farm

Bottle feed baby animals and meet hedgehogs. Here you can treat your family to a full day of fun and animal action. With plenty of different activities, shows and displays you won’t waste a single minute.

Website: https://www.pennywellfarm.co.uk

We hope that this has helped you and your family and we hope that you have a wonderful time this winter holiday!

Thank you for reading

Cardinal Estates

www.cardinalestates.co.uk

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Ready, Set, Go!

You may be wondering whether or not to put your home on the market at this chilly time of the year and you are thinking of waiting until the spring/summer months to do this, our advice is to get going now. Below are some reasons why we think this.

Now that the festive season is over, and we have all made our New Years resolutions to get fitter, eat better and move home, solicitors and estate agents are back at their desks and buyers who might have struggled to secure a deal at the end of last year are lying in wait.

Beat the rush – The property market can become saturated in the spring and summer months dominated by high supply and high demand, this can mean that your property gets lost and that you are simply one of many houses on the market, by launching earlier in the year you are one of a few meaning that your home will stand out from the crowd. 

Serious and motivated buyers – The spring/summer months are traditionally a busy time for the property market and in turn, can often attract less serious buyers and often people that are ‘tyre kickers’ or simply looking for something to do, this is not the case in the wintertime. If someone is arranging to view your property at this time of the year, they usually hold a genuine interest in your home.

We hope that this has helped and we wish you all the very best of luck with your plans for 2019!

If you are thinking of selling please contact us on 01626 774629 or email info@cardinalestates.co.uk and we would be happy to help you.

Thank you for reading.

Jodie

www.cardinalestates.co.uk

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Why Overpricing Your Home Can Cost You In The Long Run.

When it comes to setting the marketing price of your home, it is important to get this right. Cardinal Estates Director, Jodie has explained how overpricing your home may cost you money and time in the long run. She says ‘Be realistic and be competitive, I believe that the approach of being both accurate and optimistic is the key to achieving a successful outcome’.

Please be careful. A tactic, albeit somewhat unethical that a small minority of agents do is overvalue your home to try to secure your business, this will do you more harm than good.

One chance to make a first impression! When launching your home, I am sure you would like to make the biggest possible impact, reducing your property price over time reduces this impact as it is no longer a new listing and buyer activity is highest when the property is new on the market. If your price prevents buyers from seeing your home, you will have missed this opportunity and may have to wait sometime before a suitable buyer is found. Competition between buyers drives your price up, whereas time on the market drives it down.

Buyers do their research, now more than ever buyers have access to local property sold prices and current market condition evidence and have a basic understanding of what their money can buy, pitching your home too high could result in a lack of viewings and without viewings you cannot sell your home, if your property is left on the market for too long, buyers will start to question why and wonder if there is something wrong with the property?

“But we can always take an offer!”The problem here is that if fewer buyers see your home, the chance of an offer being received is significantly reduced. The wrong price also attracts the wrong buyers. People tend to purchase a property at the top of their price range; so your likely buyer pool is people looking in a lower price range than your property, not a higher one. So don’t scare away the right buyers! You are far better off being the best property in your price category.

At Cardinal Estates we are always here to help you achieve your goal. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 01626 774629.

Thank you for reading.

www.cardinalestates.co.uk