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Expat Investor : November 2007
Fool.co.uk provides these 12 tips for sellers with a property that just won't sell. 1. Tidy up! This may sound obvious, but clearing the clutter can make a big difference. Over half (55%) of potential buyers say they find an untidy house a major turn- off. 2. Be polite. Nearly seven in ten buyers (70%) are likely to be put off by a rude seller or estate agent. 3. Stamp out smells. Three- quarters of people (75%) are put off by strong household smells, such as those made by pets or cigarettes. 4. Deal with DIY disasters. Poor building work or DIY is a big switch-off for nine-tenths (90%) of potential homebuyers. 5. Fix faulty fence panels. Four in five viewers (80%) would think twice about making an offer for a house with a garden that lacks privacy. With storms lashing the UK right now, this is a crucial tip. 6. Go 'green'. Given the choice of two properties of a similar size and value, more than eight in ten homebuyers (82%) claim a house with environmentally friendly features (such as solar panels) has more of an influence on their decision to buy than an attic room (68%), period features (63%) or walk-in wardrobes (62%). 7. Be keen in the kitchen. When making a buying decision, the kitchen is the most influential room for over half (54%) of potential buyers. 8. Dump the decking. Together with Jacuzzis, decking is one of the features least likely to tempt a potential buyer into making an offer. 9. Choose your time to sell carefully. Some periods are 'hotter' than others; for instance, there is normally a summer 'drought' for selling houses, because people take off on holiday. 10. Santa stops sales. Another PROPERTY INVESTMENT expatinvestor.com 22 EXPAT INVESTOR November 2007 We make life simple for you. 5.29% fixed until 28/08/09 for a personal service Expat BTL Mortgages www.irishpermanentintl.com +44(0)1624 641641 email@example.com Terms & conditions apply. Irish Permanent International is a registered business name of Irish Permanent (IOM) Limited which is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission for Banking & Investment business. from Fast Facts 99016 Lender Notes Barclays Bank Rate linked to Barclays Bank 3 month LIBOR rate applicable for a 90 day interest period. For house purchase Fast Facts 99500 only. On an interest only basis, max 65% LTV, advance £500k, term 5 to 20 yrs and fee 0.5%. Redemption charge applies. Barclays Euro Current Account required. Rates also available on same terms in dollars, Yen, Swiss Francs and Hong Kong dollars. HSBC International Rate is based on euro refinancing rate + 1.25%. Max 70% for house purchase and remor tgage if on repayment Fast Facts 99503 basis, or 65% for purchase and remtg on interest only basis. Max term -- 25 years on repayment basis or 15 years on interest only basis. Advance 100,000 -- 1m, fee 1,250. Income multiples 3.25 x 1st plus 1.25 x 2nd or 2.5 x joint. Applicant must have euro income. No redemption penalty payable. Investec Private Bank Rate is based on EURIBOR +1% to 1.75%. Max 70% LTV. Upfront fee of up to 1%. Fast Facts 99517 Min adv of £500k in euro equivalent. Also available on same basis in US$, Swiss Franc Japanese Yen, Australian $, Canadian $, Hong Kong $. Irish Permanent International Rate is based on EURIBOR + 1.24%. Max 75% purchase & remor tgage. No redemption fee payable. Fee 1% Fast Facts 99504 (min 1,500) Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Rate is based on Euro LIBOR + 1.00% to 1.75% with option to set rate for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months. Fast Facts 99511 Max 70% for house purchase or remor tgages. Term 5 years interest only - minimum advance £500k, fee varies. NatWest International Rate is based on 3mth LIBOR + margin. Max 60% purchase & remor tgage, on repayment or endowment Fast Facts 99507 basis, max term 30 years. Income multiples 3.75 x joint plus 1 x 2nd or 2.75 joint. Minimum advance £100k in euro equivalent. No redemption penalty payable. Fee -- refer. Mortgages for borrowers who are paid in euros to purchase or remortgage their main UK property Source: MoneyFacts Lender Location Currency Fast Facts Banco Halifax Hispania Spain Euro 99520 HSBC France, Spain, Malta Euro, Maltese lira or selected major currency 99503 Investec Private Bank France, Italy, Spain, Por tugal, Switzerland, Sterling, euro, US$, Swiss Franc, Japanese yen, 99517 Monaco, Germany, Guernsey & Australia Australian $, Canadian $, Hong Kong $ Leeds BS Gibraltar & Spain Sterling 99505 Lloyds TSB France, Spain, Por tugal, Australia, NZ, Canada, US, Dubai, Currency of choice 99516 Hong Kong, Singapore & UK Newcastle Building Society Gibraltar Sterling 99509 Norwich & Peterborough BS Gibraltar & Southern Spain Sterling 99509 Royal Bank of Scotland International Spain Euro or sterling 99510 Conti Financial Ser vices Can arrange finance in over 40 countries 99519 Source: MoneyFacts Lender Rate % Max. % Fee Notes Fast Facts Barclays Bank 7.89 95 Varies Fixed, tracker and SVR 99500 Derbyshire 7.75 90 Varies Tracker rate only 99501 Halifax 6.69 75 £499 Fixed and tracker rates 99502 HSBC International 6.44 90 Varies Fixed, discounted and tracker rates 99503 Irish Permanent International 6.5 80 1 % (min £750) Tracker rates available 99504 Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander (IOM) 6.75 80 Varies Min £500k 99511 Leeds BS 7.75 95 Varies Fixed, tracker, discount and variable rates. 99505 Leeds BS 7.75 70 Varies Fixed, tracker, and variable rates. 99505 NatWest Int 7.94 85 0.5 Fixed and tracker rates. Min £50k 99507 NatWest Mtg Ser vice 7.94 90 0.5 All products available 99507 Norwich & P'boro 6.64 75 - Tracker rates 99509 Royal Bank of Scotland 7.94 85 0.5 Discount, fixed and flexible rates 99510 Royal Bank of Scotland Int 7.94 85 0.5 Fixed, tracker and flexible rates 99510 Scarborough Building Society 7.99 95 Varies All products available 99513 Woolwich 7.89 80 Varies Specific variable, tracker & fixed rates 99512 Figures compiled: 1/10/07. Source: MoneyFacts www.moneyfacts.co.uk Expatriate = UK residents working abroad shor t-term and buying a property in the UK. Lender may allow property to be let. EXPATRIATE MORTGAGES EURO MORTGAGES OVERSEAS PROPERTIES Top tips for house sellers Void periods on private rented properties (the average number of weeks that they remain empty in a year) have been falling steadily, according to the latest research by Paragon Mortgages.The annual average time for which a private rented property stands vacant has hit its lowest level in over a year -- at 2.8% -- underpinned by strong tenant demand. Voids have remained broadly stable between 2.6 and 3.0 weeks for the majority of the last four years. But, having hit a high at the end of Lender Location Fast Facts Barclays Bank UK proper ty 99500 HSBC Bank International UK proper ty 99503 Investec Private Bank UK & international proper ty 99517 Irish Permanent International UK proper ty 99504 Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander UK proper ty 99511 NatWest International UK proper ty 99507 Royal Bank of Scotland International UK proper ty 99510 Currency switching allowed on all major currencies Source: MoneyFacts FOREIGN CURRENCY LOANS All the information on interest rates published in Expat Investor is checked regularly and to the best of our ability. However, rates do change on all accounts sometimes frequently and we advise readers to double check those interest rates which they find appealing before beginning any transactions with the deposit-takers concerned. MOVING RATES 'dead zone' for sellers is November and December, when potential buyers are usually too busy preparing for Christmas to think seriously about moving home. Conversely, sales pick up in January, thanks to the 'New Year' effect. 11. Get HIP. Now a legal obligation for sellers of larger homes to prepare a home information pack. 12. Ask around. If your house isn't selling, then perhaps you can't see the wood for the trees. To get an honest opinion on the pros and cons of your property, ask your neighbours for their advice -- and be prepared for some plain speaking. Finally, rising interest rates and falling affordability has caused a recent drop in the number of buyers visiting estate agents, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. This will intensify competition among sellers, so be sure to stay one step ahead of the competition if you want to achieve the best possible price. Fast Facts 99170 2006, they have steadily declined over the first half of this year. Rising numbers of students, immigrants and single person households are all underpinning the long-term growth of tenant demand and the buy-to-let market. However, the recent rises in the cost of borrowing further stretched affordability for first time buyers since last summer, creating downward pressure on void periods on rented properties. Void periods follow favourable trend