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Convert your empty office block into residential apartments? Now you can!

The Government are going to introduce new permitted development rights for owners of commercial office blocks to convert them to residential apartments. Sounds like a good idea. They should extend it to High Street shops as the blight of empty shops needs a solution and it’s not going to come from more reatil outlets!

http://propertydrum.briefyourmarket.com/Newsletters/JUNGLEdrum—the-newsbeat-from-PROPERTYdrum41/New-office-to-residential-changes-announced.aspx

Housing market recovery underway say Council or Mortgage Lenders

More positive news, this time from the Council of Mortgage Lenders who cite the fiollowing reasons for optimism in the housing market:

1. The availability of 90%-plus LTV mortgages has more than doubled in the past two years
2. There is ‘much more’ lending at higher LTV levels
3. More first-time buyers are entering the market without assistance
4. Lenders expect to offer more high LTV mortgages this year
5. NewBuy – the controversial taxpayer-backed scheme whereby purchasers of new-build properties only are able to get 95% mortgages – is being extended
6. Lenders are innovating responsibly – the CML cites Lloyds lend-a-hand mortgage, Nationwide’s save-to-buy scheme and Barclays’ new Family Springboard mortgage
7. There is ‘constructive’ forward planning going on within the mortgage industry
8. The outside world is beginning to notice the improvement in lending conditions. The CML says that people are beginning to notice that lenders are open for business.

Read the full article here:

BNI networking could help you grow your business – as it has done for BigBlackHen.com

I thought it would be useful to tell local businesses a short history of my involvement with BNI networking and why it works for my business in generating quality leads.

When I opened an office in Hertfordshire, having previously been down in Somerset, I was invited to various networking events but I found them to be too informal to really benefit a business such as mine. All anyone seemed to want to do was to sell to me! Then I got invited to BNI in St Albans which was a very different proposition with its focus on accountability and results.

I decided to give it a go and joined the Chariots Chapter in March 2011. As recommendations have always been my biggest source of new clients I felt it was right for my business model. I had a good year learning the ropes of network marketing and getting a lot of…

Thwarted by the dreaded written notice period in a competitor’s contract

I’ve just been asked to help a rather nice lady from Ware sell her buy to let terraced house in Hertford. The property has been on the market for a good few months but she has had no luck selling the property and she’s not very happy with the current agents. She has instructed me and I have got the details ready to put on the internet – within a couple of hours of meeting her (we don’t hand around!) – but she has just called to say that when she called her agent to terminate the contract she was told that she has to give them two week’s notice. The result is that my new client wants me to start marketing straight away but has to wait for two weeks before I can begin. That’s why I’m so against the restrictive contracts so prevalent in our industry. As…

Signs of life in the 2013 property market.

It is only two weeks since this year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations and while it is early days yet there definitely seems to be a bit of a spring in the property market in Hertfordshire. The RICS have reported that house sales are on the rise and another study has shown that mortgage lending is improving, albeit from a low base. This chimes with what we have found in the last 2 weeks with three sales in the last 10 days, two of which had multiple offers and one which sold in under a week from coming to market. The third house had been on the market for over a year as it had come to market with another agent for around £70,000 too high a price and which we have just sold to a London Buyer for £645,000. The market started well in 2012 but petered out. Let’s…