Saturday, 21 April 2018

Larkfleet experts on hand to advise new homebuyers at Lincolnshire residential property show

Lincolnshire Residential Property Show
We’re going to be attending the Lincolnshire Residential Property Show in May. The show has been devised to showcase the county's booming residential property sector.

If you are looking to buy, sell, move, rent, improve or renovate there will be an expert on hand to give you advice.

It's a free-to-attend exhibition, with stands ranging from estate agents, kitchen and bathroom suppliers, furniture and homeware retailers, interior designers, financial advisors, utility companies and solicitors, plus a series of seminars throughout the day.

The team from Larkfleet will be on hand to give you advice on buying a new home and what options are available to help you into the house of your dreams. We have developments across the county in Bourne and Pinchbeck and new developments on the way in Boston, Horncastle, Louth and Nettleham.

The Home Show is open from 10am - 4pm on Sunday 6 May at the Epic Exhibition Centre on the Lincolnshire Showground, just south of Lincoln on the A15.

Visit https://lincolnshireshowground.co.uk/whats-on/event/home-show for more information.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

ISAs for first time buyers

Larkfleet Homes ISAs for first time buyers
Let’s face it. It isn’t easy buying your first home. There are so many things to consider, not least of which is where the money is going to come from to cover the deposit. Many of us have turned to the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ for help. But for most of us, the only option is to save for it.

Saving for a deposit can take a while. Wouldn’t it be great if there was some help available to speed things up a bit? Well there is. It comes in the shape of the shape of the government’s Help to Buy ISA. If you are saving to buy your first home, save money into a Help to Buy: ISA and the government will boost your savings by 25 per cent. So, for every £200 you save, receive a government bonus of £50. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000. Click here for more information on Help to Buy ISAs.

To qualify for a Help to Buy ISA you need to be a first time buyer over the age of 16, resident in the UK and have a National Insurance number. To qualify for the government bonus, the property you are buying must be in the UK and have a purchase price of up to £250,000 (or up to £450,000 in London). You must buy the property with a mortgage and it must be the only home you will own and where you intend living.

Help to Buy ISAs for first time buyers are available from all the major high street banks and most major building societies.

Money Advice Service and Money Saving Expert provide more detailed information on what's available and from where.

At Larkfleet Homes we have many developments with homes for first time buyers. Help to Buy is available so please give us a call or visit our website and let us help you into your first home today.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Why buying new is a 'no brainer'

Moving or relocating? Buying a new-build home is a no brainer.

According to the Homebuilders’ Federation, over 90 per cent of new homebuyers said that they would buy a new build home again. More than 86 per cent said they would recommend their home builder to a friend - a two per cent year-on-year increase.

Customer satisfaction levels for new homes compare favourably with any other industry or product and help explain why demand for new homes continues to increase.

As part of our commitment to improving quality even further we are undertaking our own customer satisfaction survey. Click here to take the survey and help us to raise our customer service levels even higher.

But why buy new in the first place? A new Larkfleet home is fresh, bright, clean and untouched by previous owners’ choice of d├ęcor. It is a blank canvas on which you and your family can stamp your own style and personality. New homes are also much more energy efficient than older homes. This means they are better for the environment but can also save their owners hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills.

There are lots of ways to buy a new home! Sometimes, buying a house can seem like an impossible dream. But people looking to buy new have a range of options, such as Help to Buy or part exchange schemes. These can help make the goal of homeownership more affordable and completely achievable.

You can be sure that you will get a high build quality. New homes are built to a higher standard than ever before. From state-of-the-art kitchens to modern double and triple glazing, the quality of a new home compared to old is evident in many ways.

New homes are designed for modern living. They incorporate a range of modern designs and technologies to provide for the needs of today’s home owner. To upgrade an older house to the standards of a new build home could cost up to £45,000.

New homes are also more economical to manage. New homes built in the UK are roughly 50 per cent cheaper to run per year than the equivalent Victorian house. That could mean an annual saving of £440 for a 1-bed ground floor flat, and £1,410 for a 4-bed detached house.

By buying a new home you will be doing your bit for the environment. New homes are environmentally friendly. Energy efficiency standards and CO2 emissions in new homes are some of the best in the world. On average, this equates to them being roughly 65 per cent more energy efficient than an equivalent Victorian house.

Lastly, the peace of mind you get with a new home is more than just knowing you’re buying quality and getting excellent value for money. It’s also about being confident in the product you’re buying and knowing that you’re protected should anything happen. New homebuyers are protected by their builder’s guarantee as well an independent 10-year warranty. Customers also benefit from the peace of mind given by Consumer Codes.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Home security on a budget

home security on budget
The basis of home security is a good set of locks on doors and windows. Starting with the front door here are some of the kinds of locks you should consider fitting to ensure your home is secure. Or if you have locks fitted already, use this guide to take a look at them and see whether they are good enough.

Locks are your 'first line of defence' and it is important that they look strong (to deter burglars) and are actually strong (to stop burglars if they are not deterred).
  • The mortice deadlock is one of the most common types of door lock. It needs a key to lock it and to open it. Mortice denotes that the lock is set into the door. The levers inside the lock are pushed up in relation to the shape of the key to allow the bolt to move. The more levers the better but five is the maximum for residential locks currently. The deadlock is the bolt which slides into the doorframe to secure the door.
  • Mortice sash locks have a deadlock, but they also have a latch bolt. This means that the door can be opened from the inside with a latch when the deadlock is not engaged. It is still secure from the outside.
  • Rim locks are like mortice deadbolts but are surface-mounted rather than recessed into the door. The box contains a lock and a latch. Rim locks are usually fitted where the door is too thin to admit a mortice but they are less secure.
  • Key operated multi-point locking systems are found on modern uPVC and composite doors. They bolt the door into the frame and lock it at various points.
  • Night latches secure the door as soon as it’s closed. They can be opened from the outside by a key and can be deadlocked from the inside by sliding a ‘snib’ button into place. This type of lock is fitted to the surface of the door.

All these types of locks can be found in DIY chains like B&Q, Homebase or Wickes.

Securing doors

Fit a five-lever mortice dead lock which conforms to British Standard 3621 or European Standard EN 12209.

Avoid glazed panels if you can but if you do have them make sure they are laminated or toughened glass.

Fit a spy hole and a chain limiter.

Fit a five-lever sash lock half way up the back door and make sure it conforms to the appropriate British or European standard. Supplement the lock with mortice sash bolts at the top and bottom of the door.

Use extra locks on French windows and patio doors, such as multi-locking system. These kinds of doors are a burglar’s favourite way to get into your home.

Securing windows

Modern windows will probably have latches that are already fitted with locks. Older windows may not so you may need to retro-fit locks. Sash locks are fine, but you will need to keep the keys to hand in case of emergency.

Fit window alarms which are much cheaper than a full-on alarm system. They are triggered by vibrations on the window glass and have sirens which emit 100 decibels. You could also install exterior dummy alarm boxes. You need to make them look as authentic as possible. Make sure they have LED lights.

CCTV systems fitted in a visible location make a great deterrent. There are many budget systems available. You could also consider fitting dummy cameras which can be had for as little as £10 online.

It is not all locks, bolts and cameras when it comes to security. Your garden can help you make the house secure.

Plant spiny shrubs like pyracantha, berberis or holly on boundaries. Don’t plant them so that they can be used to shield an intruder trying to break in.

Gravel drives making a satisfying crunching sound as they are walked on. Things that create noise deter intruders. You could also fit some external lighting for added peace of mind.

Finally, when you’re out at night or away for a while fit a timer so that your interior lights come on at various times and in different rooms.

Stay safe!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

10k in the woods a run away success for Bourne Rotary

The Larkfleet Group of Companies sponsors Bourne Run in the Wood
If you went down to the woods on Sunday morning you would have been surprised by the runners in the annual Bourne Run in the Woods event.

Organised by the Rotary Club of Bourne, our parent company The Larkfleet Group of Companies was again delighted to be one of the event’s sponsors.

The Run in the Woods is an established highlight of the local sporting calendar. It is a popular and very competitive 10k run with a record time of 34.18 minutes.

This year’s race was won by 19-year-old Bourne Town Harriers runner Scott Taylor in a time of 36.51. John Herbert finished in 2nd place and Stamford Strider Jonathan Taylor finished in 3rd.

The winner of the ladies’ race was Katie Arnold of Stamford Striders in 43.07. Joanne Mark of Colchester Harriers was in 2nd spot and 3rd place went to Sally Hart.

The organisers told us: “It was a very successful event which we hope will continue in future years. We do acknowledge the importance of the support which we receive from local sponsors such as The Larkfleet Group, without whom the charitable work which we in Rotary carry out would not be possible”.

Congratulations and well done to all the runners and organisers. We hope you can do it all again next year!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

First-time buyers better off than renters

first time buyer cheaper to buy than rent
Thinking of buying your new first new home? You’ve been around a few Larkfleet Homes’ developments, you’ve picked out your dream home. You’ve checked your finances but you’re still not 100 per cent sure you’re ready to take the plunge. Perhaps renting is cheaper?

Well think again. According to research from the Halifax Building Society, buying a home is £900 a year cheaper than renting. The research also found that first-time buyers can save £27,000 over the term of their mortgage. That’s almost as much as the average deposit (currently £31,751).

The latest Halifax Buying versus Renting Review found that the average cost of buying a three-bed home in the UK, including mortgage payments, was £679 a month in December 2017, compared to the average monthly rent of £754 for the same property type.

The gap between the cost of buying and renting is now at its highest in four years, up 44 per cent from last year’s £623 saving to £900 a year.

Buying is consistently more financially attractive than renting across the UK. In the region where Larkfleet is building, the average monthly saving is £94.

Nationally, the average monthly cost of buying has dropped 22 per cent (£192) since 2008, while rental payments have jumped by the same amount (22 per cent or £138).

Russell Galley, Halifax managing director, told us: “The gap between buying and renting has widened significantly, primarily driven by a reduction in mortgage rates and a more competitive market pushing down monthly payments. Meanwhile, the cost of rent, household
maintenance and average deposits have remained broadly flat.

“Despite having to put down a sizeable deposit up front, homeowners are overall better off than renters in all parts of the UK. But those who are unable to get onto the property ladder because they can’t raise enough cash are paying more by renting.

“The good news is that record numbers of first-time buyers are still taking their first step on to the ladder and helping to bridge this gap thanks to a continued low-rate environment and government schemes including Help to Buy.”

Financially it’s a no-brainer. So, first time buyer but thinking of renting? Take a look at our developments to find the house of your dreams today.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

First time buyers pay no Stamp Duty on properties under £300,000

stamp duty first time buyer Larkfleet Homes
It’s never been a better time to be a first-time buyer in the UK – especially when it comes to Stamp Duty.

Stamp Duty (officially known as Stamp Duty Land Tax or SDLT) is a fee that house buyers have to pay on properties over a particular value.  It is calculated as a percentage of the price of the property.

Are you a first-time buyer - someone who is buying their only or main residence and has never owned a freehold or had a leasehold interest in a residential property in the UK or abroad? If so, we can let you into a little secret. The government has recently slashed the amount of Stamp Duty you have to pay.

In the Autumn 2017 Budget, Philip Hammond axed Stamp Duty on homes costing up to £300,000. Since the average cost of a house in the UK stood at £225,621 in January according to the latest government figures, and assuming you would otherwise have had to pay Stamp Duty at two per cent, you could save over £4,000 under the new system.

Think what you could do with that extra cash. You could put it towards new furniture, re-decoration, improving your garden – the list goes on.

It also means that you can afford that new build home you have been dreaming of. For example, Larkfleet Homes has an array of options perfectly suited for first-time buyers. And because there is no Stamp Duty on properties under £300,000 there is a wide choice of new homes to suit any budget.

Not only that, there are schemes available to assist you including Help to Buy. So, what’s stopping you making the move? Visit one of our developments and find out how Larkfleet Homes can help you into your dream home.