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Blog 

Perseid Meteor Shower

Published: 03/09/2018

The annual Perseid Meteor shower hits our skies on the 12/13th of August. With the current clear skies you will see around 60-70 shooting stars per hour. For a bit more info click HERE

Solar Panel Auction

Published: 08/08/2018

Solar Panel Auction

Essex County Council have launched a new solar panel scheme for Essex residents and business in partnership with iChoosr.

Solar Together offers residents and business the opportunity to group together and take part in an online auction to buy high quality solar panels, saving money on both installation and future energy bills.  For more information click HERE

Perseid Meteor Shower

Published: 02/08/2018

The annual Perseid Meteor shower hits our skies on the 12th & 13th of August. Due to the current clear skies you can expect to see around 60-70 shooting stars per hour! For a bit more info click HERE

Thomas Comes To Essex

Published: 19/07/2018

Thomas Comes To Essex - A school holiday day out idea?

It is advised to book early - To buy tickets click HERE

How much is your property really worth?

Published: 26/06/2018

How much is your property really worth?

Whether you’re looking to sell your home, or you simply know how much of an asset you have on your hands, your property’s real value shouldn’t be ignored. By knowing the market and your place in it, you can ensure the best sale, or find ways to improve that value. So, how do you get the all-important information you need?

Getting a valuation

If you’re looking to sell and you want to really know how much your property is worth, then the most direct way of finding out is by having a valuator or an estate agent take a closer look. It’s important to make sure you start with realistic expectations. Most often it’s the size, layout, and the area of the property that a valuation will take into account. This valuation is most likely to be the most accurate, though it can be influenced by renovations, improving your curb appeal, and other upgrades you can make to the home.

Take a look around you

Looking at the market is another way to figure out not only what your property is worth, but what you’re likely to get out of it. You can look at estate agents and online home buying sites to see what homes around you have sold for, for instance. Bear in mind that the more similar to your property, the more accurate and reliable the information will be. Sharing a postcode matters, but it only makes sense that a five-bedroom house will, in most cases, be worth more than a two-bedroom in the exact same area.

Tracking the trends

You can see not only how much your property is worth, but how the market is doing, as well. Things like Rightmove & Zoopla show not only recent sale value but allow you to compare the data over the years. You can see whether the market is turning in your favour or away from it, which may influence whether you decide to sell just yet or to wait a while for the hopes that you will gain some value. However, these kinds of sources tend to generalise and cover very broad areas, so it might not give you the most specific details.

See what’s hot

Even if your property’s value has been determined, you might be able to ask for a little more if your home is in an area that’s high in demand. Estate agents will often take this into account. Take advantage of a hot market and you might have more say over the asking price if your area is particularly hot right now. If it’s bone cold, then you might have to stick more strictly to its baseline value.

A property’s value is far from fixed. Not only can it be influenced by changes to the property and the surrounding area, it shifts up and down with the market. It’s worth re-checking its value now and then to make sure you’re working off old and obsolete information.

We offer have a FREE instant valuation tool where you can find out the value of your property Click Here


 

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A look at the Colchester property market in 2016

Published: 08/02/2017

The UK property market experienced a lot of changes in 2016 and the market had to withstand a lot of issues throughout the year. Now that we are into 2017, there is an agreement that there is now a sense of stability about the property market and that while some areas suffered, things could have been a lot worse in the property market.


Of course, while we talk about the property market as a single entity, this is far from the case. There are often places that experience great changes or notable changes while others do not. Colchester is an area that is regarded as being on the up, even with the market as a whole experiencing some difficulty or pressure.


As of January 2017, the average property price for Colchester stood at £309,324 which presented a rise of 8% on the figure at the start of 2016. The value change stood at £22,905 so the average property price at that time was £286,419.


Over the past 12 months, the average price paid in Colchester has stood at £272,736 with close to 4,000 property sales being made in this period of time.


The Colchester property market is one that has been growing sharply for a while and there are a number of factors involved in this outcome.


Transport links
Quick transport links to Stratford and London Liverpool Street ensure that Colchester is highly regarded as a commuter location for the heart of London. There is also easy access to the A12 which ensures that Colchester is a destination that allows fast and simple transport.


Work in Colchester
The rise in the local economy has drawn a growing number of people and families to the area. With a greater chance of finding work or people looking to be located closer to their work, the Colchester property market has experienced a significant rise in demand.

One area where Colchester has developed is with respect to the creative industries. A report issued in the second half of 2016 has seen Colchester listed as the 8th best place in the entire country for drawing people to work in the creative industry. Affordable property is always important in reaching out to these professionals and this industry but there has been action over and above property pricing to make the area more attractive and hospitable to this sector.
The overall success of change in Colchester can be seen in the ranking of 20th spot, for the whole of the UK, with respect to high concentration and growth. Both of these findings were issued in a report called The Geography of Creativity in the UK, issued by Creative England and NESTA.


New build properties
There have been a number of property developments in Colchester in the past year, which is always going to have a positive impact on the property market. The west and north of the area have benefitted from a number of new developments, and these are handily located for commuters and people looking to travel to and from Colchester on a regular basis.


Colchester is an area that is going places for people who are going places and this can be seen in the local property market.

To see our available properties in Colchester clickHERE

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10 Secrets of Basildon you never knew

Published: 25/08/2016

While the history of Basildon isn’t as long or as illustrious as many areas in the south east of England, there is still a lot to learn and know about the area. Here are 10 secrets of Basildon you never knew or maybe forgot about, so why not have a read through and see what you know or don’t know.

1. Basildon was one of 8 new towns that were established in the south east of England in the aftermath of the Second World War. Basildon was created in 1949 due to lengthy waiting lists with soldiers returning from their wartime efforts and the aftermath of the damage London received during the war.

2. The first residents to move in to the area did so in 1951, moving into property at Redgrave Road, Vange.

3. While the creation of what is recognised as Basildon today dates back to the 1940s, the name dates back to Saxon times.

4. The 1,000th new home to be built in Basildon appeared in 1953 at Denys Drive in Fryvern. This indicates the volume of property that was added to the area in a short period of time, allowing Basildon to develop quickly in a short period of time.

5. The first area of parkland to appear in Basildon arrived in 1957 when Gloucester Park was officially opened. The park currently expands over 250 acres and is considered to be a key meeting point and place to socialise or relax in the local area.

6. The very first shops in the town centre of Basildon, and Basildon Market, opened in 1958.

7. 1962 was a landmark year for Basildon because this was the year that the tallest building in the area was finished. This accolade goes to Brooke House. The building stands at 162 feet tall and it is a Grade II listed building.

8. There were many different landmarks that were celebrated and noted in Basildon over the years but for many people in the local area, a notable event occurred in 1971. This is because this was the year that the very first Marks and Spencers opened in the local area.

9. For an area to flourish, it is vital that transport links are in place and in 1974, the residents of Basildon benefitted through the opening of Basildon Railway Station. This made the commute to London easier and also opened up the possibility of travel across the south east of England and beyond.

10. Basildon is twinned with a number of areas in Europe including Meaux in France and Heiligenhaus which is located in Germany. Basildon also holds international relationships with Gweru, which is a city in Zimbabwe.

These facts about Basildon help showcase the development of the area, which has come a very long way in just over 60 years. Basildon is no longer referred to as a new town, but it stands as a great example of what can be achieved with planning and a desire to grow.

If you are thinking of moving to Basildon and would like to see our current stock please click HERE

If you are thinking of selling in Basildon and would like a valuation please call 01268 207222 or find in the short form HERE
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10 Top attractions in Essex this summer

Published: 21/06/2016



If you are looking to make the most of Essex this summer, here are 10 top attractions to keep an eye on.

Chelmsford City Racecourse
If you love horse racing, there is no doubt that Chelmsford City Racecourse has been a great addition to the local attractions in Essex. While this can be a great way to spend a family fun day out, the venue is becoming a must-see location for many reasons. With an ever-changing line-up of gigs, comedy events and even murder mystery nights, you’ll not be short of attractions. Some big shows this summer include Simply Red, Katherine Jenkins, Rick Astley and many other big stars of yesteryear.
For more information about Chelmsford Racecourse click HERE

Audley End House and Gardens
When it comes to a stunning garden that lends itself perfectly to lazy and sunny days, Audley End House is an ideal option for you this summer. With a 17th century stable block and views of the glorious Essex countryside, this is a stopping point that can keep you enthralled all day.
For more information about Audley End House click HERE

Layer Marney Tower
When it comes to examples of local Tudor buildings, this is one of the best in Essex. It was so impressive that Henry VIII stayed for a while in 1522 and if you have a head for heights, make sure you climb the tower and enjoy the views of the Blackwater estuary.
For more information about Layer Marney Tower click HERE

Hedingham Castle
Summer days are made for exploring and Hedingham Castle remains one of the best preserved castles in England, making it the ideal place to stop off. Whether you seek fun, a sense of history or a touch of romance, Hedingham Castle is a great place to add to your list of sights to see in Essex in 2016.
For more information about Hedingham Castle click HERE

RHS Garden Hyde Hall / Beth Chatto Garden
Summer time should be spent in gardens and the RHS Garden Hyde Hall and the Beth Chatto Garden are two fantastic examples of gardening at its best. If you are looking to be inspired or just want to enjoy the best flowers in the county, these gardens are well worth a visit.
For more information about RHS Garden Hyde Hall click HERE

For more information about Beth Chatto Garden click HERE

Firstsite
If architecture rather than flowers interest you, this spectacular building is well worth seeing, but it also plays host to a wide range of exhibitions which run all of the year. However, the building and the backdrops are well worth seeing in the summer time.

For more information about Firstsite click HERE

Colchester Zoo
Colchester Zoo has long been one of the best places to spend a summer in Essex and with over 270 species on show, with 50 displays taking place every day, there is a lot to keep you happy and occupied.

For more information about Colchester Zoo click HERE

Lee Valley White Water Centre
If you would rather spend your spare time to enjoy exciting pursuits, you’ll find that the Lee Valley White Water Centre is a must visit. This venue was utilised in the London 2012 games and you can challenge yourself in the same way that many of the leading athletes in the world were.

For more information about Lee Valley White Water Centre click HERE

Colchester Castle Museum
The award of Best Large Attraction at the Essex Tourism and Hospitality Awards in 2015 suggests that this is a museum that is well worth checking out. Don’t expect a dull or dry museum; this is a chance for you to get hands on with a wide range of activities.

For more information about Colchester Castle Museum click HERE

Boydells Dairy Farm
Anyone looking to ensure the kids have some fun while learning will find that the Boydells Dairy Farm, which is a working farm, will provide plenty of opportunities for entertainment and education.

For more information about Boydells Daisy Farm click HERE

 

If you would like to know the value of home please click HERE

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10 Tips for First Time Renters

Published: 25/04/2016

If you re renting for the first time, it is likely that you’ll be excited but here are ten tips to bear in mind.
Always read over the terms and conditions
It can be too easy to assume that everything is okay in a contract and then find yourself in trouble later. Before you sign a tenancy agreement, take the time to read over the terms and conditions to ensure that you are comfortable with everything associated with the tenancy.


Ensure your deposit is protected
This is something that the landlord should do and they should provide you with details of how the deposit is protected within 30 days of starting your tenancy. Feel free to ask about the chosen scheme and if the landlord doesn’t provide you with all details within 30 days, press the matter. The scheme not only keeps your money safe, it provides a dispute resolution service in the case of any disagreements over a deposit.


Ask for an independent inventory check
One of the most important documents you will have as a tenant is the document listing the items, and their condition, when you move into a property. You should receive a copy and agree on its findings. In the long term, an independent inventory check is often best for the tenant and landlord.


Is there a need for a guarantor?
You could say that the important step is to ensure that you know all of the terms and conditions of your agreement but it is often worth knowing, in advance, if your landlord is looking for a guarantor. If you have someone willing to act as a guarantor, this can be of benefit to you as it will save you money, but make sure that you are aware of whether this is a requirement or not.


Don’t forget about bills
It is one thing calculating that you have enough money to pay for the rent but what about all of the other bills you need to pay? Electricity, internet, TV licence and other utility bills are part of parcel of having a flat, so you need to sort out these aspects and make sure that you have enough income to pay for everything you need and use in the property.


Think about insurance
Your belongings will not be covered by the landlords insurance so look to take out your own home insurance policy to care for your belongings. Some landlords will insist on the tenant holding insurance so make sure you are aware of their requirements on insurance.


Have you considered safety?
Landlords should take care of all safety requirements in the home, they are legally obliged to carry out various tests, but knowing your own rights, what safety aspects you have at home and how to deal with certain dangers or problems will make your home safer.


Think about other tenants
If you are a first time tenant, it is likely that you will be sharing with other people, and this means you need to know your rights and responsibilities with other people. If a utility bill comes in to a property that is a joint tenancy, there is joint liability, and everyone will be responsible for the bill. If one person is named on a utility bill, that person is ultimately responsible for the bill. In an ideal setting, everyone would provide money to pay for this bill, but it is important to have agreements in writing and if you are the named customer, be aware that the utility provider considers you responsible.


Maintain records
Keep correspondence, agreements and everything that you have in writing. You never know when you may need it.
Leave on good terms


There will be terms and conditions in your agreement, if you can, leave by these terms. You’ll also find that leaving in a good manner, and leaving the home in good condition, will save money and ensure you don’t have to deal with a negative reference in the future.

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7 Tips to help sell your home this Spring

Published: 22/03/2016

While the winter months are becoming increasingly important for the property market, it is true to say that Spring is the season where the market becomes highly competitive. If you are looking to sell your home in Spring, you aren’t alone, and you will need to work hard to make sure your home stands out from the crowd. Here are 7 tips to help you sell your home this Spring.


Undertake a thorough spring clean
This is the time of year when many people decide to clean their home but you should view this as an opportunity to carry out an extensive clean of your property. If you lack the time, skills or experience to properly clean your home, hiring professional cleaners will pay off as the cleanliness and freshness of your property will play a huge role in creating the right impression for any potential buyers.


Upgrade and improve
Depending on the amount of time you have available and the budget at your disposal, you should look to carry out upgrades at your home. Taking the time and effort to make your home more attractive or increasing the functionality to a property will add value and it can give your home an advantage over similar homes in a local area. If you are unsure of what sort of improvements are best for your home, speak to a specialist building or home improvement firm for ideas that will offer value and sit within your budget.

Clean your windows
This is a very simple and obvious step but it is one that many property owners overlook or forget about. You should be looking to have the inside and outside of your windows cleaned and the outside of your windows has to be a priority. Your windows will be one of the first things that people see at your property and if they are in poor condition, a potential buyer may develop a bad impression of your home that is hard for them to overcome.


Provide a blank canvas
If you have any rooms that have a bold colour scheme, it is worthwhile toning this down to a more neutral palette. You should also look to remove the majority of personal items and photographs around the home. This is because these reinforce the identity of you in your home, so by providing viewers with a blank canvas, it is more likely that they will be able to see themselves in this home.


Pack up and declutter
One of the most important tips for anyone looking to sell their home revolves around the importance of decluttering property. Packing up non-essential items and storing them safely (even utilising storage facilities) will enhance the available room at your property. Making a home feel bigger is a positive aspect that too many property sellers overlook.


Give every room a purpose
While making space in every room is important, there is also a lot to be said for ensuring every room in your home has a clear and distinct purpose. Whether it is a bedroom, an office, a gym or a social room, ensuring that every room has a distinct purpose rather than a general storage room where items get left or dumped will allow potential buyers to realise the true potential of a home.


Don’t forget the outside of the home
Spring is the time of year when flowers start to bloom and garden areas start to show colour and vitality after the winter months. You may not have spent too much time in the garden in the months leading up to this stage but before visitors attend your property, be sure to view the garden and ensure that it looks at its best.

 

If you want to know the current value of your home click HERE

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10 Reasons why Wickford is a great place to live

Published: 12/03/2016

Located in South Essex and with a population of over 32,000 people, Wickford is a great location for people looking to combine working life in London with a more sedate pace of life in their leisure time. With train travel to the heart of the capital taking less than 40 minutes, Wickford is a location that helps people to enjoy the best of both worlds but if you are keen to learn more about Wickford, here are 10 reasons why Wickford is a great place to live.


 

Nevendon Manor
If you are looking for a party venue that has a fantastic track record in creating events that people remember for a very long time, you’ll find that Nevendon Manor is exactly what you are looking for. This isn’t a venue that has a wide array of events on, but the events that are found here are family-orientated, a lot of fun and sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.


Action Park
Anyone looking for a touch of excitement in their life should head to the Off-Road Action Park. This park is very aptly named and there is a wide range of high-adrenaline activities for people aged 6 and over. There are plenty of fully trained and qualified staff members on hand to ensure that safety is paramount alongside the high-octane action.


Wick Country Park
Spanning 50 acres of land that was formerly used for agricultural purposes, Wick Country Park is an ideal place to relax, wander and connect with past times. There are more than 2km of easy trails across the site and with lakes, ponds and even pillboxes dating back to World War II, there is more than enough to delight guests.


Transport links
Even though Wickford has plenty to offer to local residents, there is no doubt that the easy connections to Liverpool Street Station are of considerable benefit. The area is also well served by the A127 and the A130.


Wickford Memorial Park
With over 80 acres of parkland, this is the natural choice for people looking to engage in sporting activity or exercise. There are specialist areas and courts for football, bowling, tennis, basketball and even novelty golf.


The Battlesbridge Antiques Centre
Anyone looking to indulge in some antique shopping and viewing will find that the Battlesbridge Antique Centre is a delightful place to visit.


Wickford Market
Local market places remain the hub of modern life in many towns and Wickford Market, while simple, provides a great deal to enjoy and peruse. No matter what you are looking for, there is a great chance that it will be on offer at Wickford market.


Property prices
When it comes to finding a great home at a great price, Wickford has plenty to offer. As of November 2015, the average price of property in Wickford stood at £283,284 which compares very well to the average price of property in London, which stands at £548,538. The manageable commute time makes Wickford a great place for many people to stay without breaking their budget. The average property price in Wickford has risen by 5% in 12 months from November 2014, where the figure stood at £270,639.


Attractive rental yields
Another aspect of the property market that indicates Wickford is on an upwards trajectory is the positive rental yields. One bedroom properties offer a 5.82% rental yield and all property sizes offer more than 4%, which many property experts are considering a great starting point for landlords.


Naturism
A quirky reason to appreciate Wickford is the fact that it is the recognised birthplace of naturism in the United Kingdom. This may sound like a cheeky reason but you have to be pleased with an area that encourages so much personal freedom.

 

To see the available stock we currently have in Wickford click HERE

 

Are you looking to find out the value of your home in Wickford? Click HERE


 

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Benefits of selling your property with an Independent Estate Agent

Published: 10/02/2016

Benefits of selling your property with an Independent Estate Agent

Depending on your area and the quality of your home, you may find that there is already a high level of demand for your property. This can lead you to think that you don’t need to call on professional help when it comes to selling your home, but this isn’t the case. There are so many important elements and aspects involved with a property deal that it is always best to call on the services of a professional estate agent. The peace of mind and confidence that is provided by working with an estate agent is a great bonus for property owners and it will help you to sell your home in an effective manner.

You will likely find that you can choose between an estate agent from a major nationwide brand and an independent estate agent. Some people will instinctively plump for the corporate agent, rationalising that there is strength in numbers and depth but you may find that selling your property with an independent estate agent is the best option for you.

An independent estate agent will work with your best interests in mind

When you work with a corporate estate agent, they are likely to be working with a range of clients. This means that they may have a conflict of interest in certain areas or it may mean that they are unable to provide you with the time and attention your property needs and deserves. This isn’t the case when you work with an independent estate agent because they will be able to devote more time to your needs and selling your property. An independent estate agent is also much less likely to suffer from a conflict of interests, so you can rest assured you will receive the best possible service.

An independent estate agent will have a good level of local knowledge

Local knowledge is absolutely vital in selling a home. Knowing the local area means that an agent can promote to the right people, they can promote in the right places, they can talk about the benefits of the local area and they can help buyers find out the best information about the amenities and facilities on offer in a local area. An estate agent from a major firm will likely work from a factsheet that has been compiled by someone else, and they won’t have a feel for what the area can offer. If they are asked a question about the local area, they will likely have to get back to the potential buyer, which can make them seem unprofessional and which can place doubts in the mind of a potential buyer. If you want the best standard of service when selling your home, call on a local independent estate agent.

An independent estate agent works harder to build and retain their reputation

An independent estate agent knows that every job they do can have a big impact on how they are perceived or known in the local area. This is why they are likely to work harder and smarter for you. An agent from a major firm knows that the company reputation will still see work come their way, regardless of how they work on an individual job but an independent estate agent knows that a bad review or negative testimonial can seriously impact on their business. This means you get a better standard of work and service from an independent estate agent.

TO BOOK A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION WITH TEMME ENGLISH CLICK HERE
. . .

Why a Buy to Let property in Basildon is a sound investment

Published: 04/02/2016

Why a Buy to Let property in Basildon is a sound investment

 

Located just over 30 miles from central London, Basildon is ideally situated for people looking to commute and who want to be removed from the hustle and bustle of London life. Basildon is one of the new towns that emerged after the Second World War but it is an area that has continued to thrive and prosper since then and in the present day, it presents an attractive proposition for people looking to enter the buy to let market. Strong transport links to the capital and a close proximity to notable towns and areas means that there is a great deal on offer in Basildon and beyond for any young professional or family.

One of the strongest reasons you will have for investing in a buy to let property in Basildon is the fact that the rental yield looks very attractive. In the current climate, anything of a high 4% or above is enough for many property investors to appreciate what they have but if you look at the rental yields for a number of areas in Basildon, you will find that the rental yield is above this level.

The rental yield opportunities in Basildon are strong

This is definitely the case for 1 bedroom properties with the rental yield for the SS13 postcode standing at 6.97%, for the SS14 postcode standing at 6.34% and the rental yield for the SS15 postcode standing at 6.63%. The rental yields for 2 bedroom properties are just as attractive. For SS13 postcodes, the rental yield stands at 6.45%, for the SS14 postcode it stands at 6.76% and for the SS15 postcode, the rental yield stands at 5.98%. Three bedroom properties in all three postcode areas stand at over 5%, so if you are looking to buy property in an area where there seems to be a good return on your investment, Basildon is a strong option.

Another reason for buying to let in Basildon comes with the fact that property prices in the area are still rising. This isn’t 100% perfect because it means that buying now, as opposed to having bought last year, is more expensive but in the grand scheme of things, rising property prices are a positive factor for people looking to benefit from the buy to let market. Between September 2014 and September 2015, overall property selling prices in Basildon rose by 9%, from £209,887 to £229,578. The two properties that rose by most were flats and terraced properties, which correlates with the high level of rental yield in the local area. Yes these properties are becoming more expensive but the level of demand associated with these properties means that there will be a steady stream of potential tenants.

Given that there is a large level of demand for rental property in Basildon, it makes sense to work with the experts in order to find the best candidate. If you are interested in renting quickly, you’ll have no shortage of candidates but in order to maximise your return on investment and to minimise hassle or damage to your property, working with an agent to find the most suitable tenants for your property makes sense.
 
To see what available stock we have in Basildon click HERE
 
For landlords information click HERE

 

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6 Things a Landlord needs to do really well

Published: 21/01/2016

6 Things a Landlord needs to do really well


Being a landlord is a sensible way to generate regular income. Some people and personality types will find that being a landlord is a great way to utilise their skills and to use their time in an effective manner too.


However, being a landlord can be difficult and there are 6 things a landlord needs to do really well, which are:


Research
The research element should begin long before a landlord buys a home or starts looking for a tenant. If you are looking to invest in property, you should look at the best markets to buy for letting purposes and research what the rental yields are in certain areas. It may be that you are keen to buy in an area close to you, so you can be a “hands-on” landlord. This is a sensible idea but even with this in mind, you need to research different areas and determine what sort of property, in a particular area, is likely to offer the best return for your money. You should also research who the likely tenants are going to be for the area and what they are looking for from a landlord.


Being able to communicate makes a difference
It is important for a landlord to be able to communicate clearly and effectively. Whether this is communicating effectively to property managers, to companies where property advertisements are placed, to professionals carrying out work at home or to their tenants. It is best practice to have everything in writing and agreed upon from the outset, especially when dealing with tenants. Aspects like the details of how a tenancy should end and inventory reports can make life so much easier in the long run.


Negotiating
When it comes to getting the best possible rental yield for your investment, small margins can make a big difference. This is where the skills of an expert negotiator can make a big difference to your income levels in the long run. Money saved in the property price or even the price charged by a professional to carry out work or make improvements on your home can all positively impact on the overall rental yield a landlord receives. However it is important to note that in order to receive the best possible service from a professional it may be worthwhile paying a suitable going rate for their time and expertise.


Brush up on your networking skills
Networking may not seem like the most important task for a landlord but there are many ways in which you can engage with others, develop relationships and generally make life easier for youself. You may think that you are in competition against other landlords but it may be that working with landlords will help you find better professionals or allow you to find out which suppliers can help you save money in the long run.

Marketing and Promotion
You also need to know how to promote your property. Yes, there is a high level of demand for rental property at the moment but if you want the best income from the best tenants, you need to ‘sell’ your property to the right demographic. This means you need to understand the benefits of your property and where to reach out to the people who are most likely to benefit from what you offer. Well written descriptions and good quality images of your home looking attractive can make a noticeable difference to the level of income you receive as a landlord so don’t overlook the promotion and marketing aspect of the role.


Never stop learning
It is also important to never stop learning. You can always provide a better service and even if you make mistakes or don’t provide a good service at one point, think about why this was the case. If you can make improvements to your service, you will develop better relationships and be more likely to earn better income in the future.

. . .

Commuting Colchester

Published: 09/12/2015

With Colchester becoming a hotspot for commuters, it is no surprise that properties within reasonable walking distance of Colchester’s two stations are being snapped up. One perfect example of this is the Northfields development built by Lindon Homes, which is just off Turner Road. Located perfectly for Colchester General Hospital and Colchester’s North Station, additionally offering direct links to London Liverpool Street, homes here are very desirable. Currently, over 20% of the property sales we tie up have been to buyers from out of the area, mainly people moving up from South Essex and the Greater London areas.

 

We feel that our two South Essex branches in Basildon & Wickford complements our Colchester branch, therefore enabling us to tap into those ‘out of area’ buyers. The three properties pictured are all located on the Northfields Development. We secured buyers for all three within the last few weeks. If you are looking to sell or buy a property close to North Station; please call our sales team on   01206 578112.

 

Click HERE to find out how much your home is worth

 

Click HERE to see what we have for sale in Colchester

 


 

. . .

Butternut Squash Soup

Published: 05/10/2015

Recipe

As the summer warmth begins to fade and autumn brings its cooler temperatures, there is nothing better than a hearty, warming meal at the end of a long day to help stave off the cold.

This recipe for a delicious butternut squash soup uses chilli to add a little kick and burst of flavour, and is a simple meal to prepare in the evening. Serve alongside a big chunk of doorstep bread for dunking, then cuddle up and enjoy.

Recipe:
- A 1kg Butternut Squash, peeled and deseeded
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 2 Onions, diced
- 1 Garlic Clove, thinly sliced
- 2 Chillies, deseeded and finely chopped (use mild for a lower heat, hot for the opposite)
- 850ml Hot Vegetable Stock
- 4 tbsp Crème Fraiche (Plus more to serve)

Needed:
- Large Roasting Tin
- Large Saucepan
- A Stick Blender and/or Liquidiser

Method:
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut squash into large cubes, roughly 4-5cm, then place in roasting tin with half the olive oil. Roast for 30 mins, turning once, then remove then soft and golden.
While cooking the squash, melt the butter with the oil in a saucepan, adding garlic, onions and roughly three quarters of the chilli. Cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, until onions are soft.
Once cooked, tip squash into the saucepan then add stock and crème fraiche. Blitz with the stick bender until smooth. If looking for an even smoother finish then use the liquidizer in batches. Once smooth enough, return to the pan to reheat and then season. Serve in deep bowls with another spoonful of crème fraiche and a sprinkling of chilli.
. . .

Basildon - A town on the up!

Published: 22/09/2015

A recent study from property website giants Rightmove has placed Basildon as one of the Top Rental Hotspots in the country. When looking at areas outside of Greater London, the Essex town of Basildon, alongside neighbours Southend and Chelmsford, was rated just behind Stevenage in second place on the Top Ten Rental Hotspots list. A combination of the amount of searches and query emails each area received on Rightmove’s site, as well as how often a property description was viewed, helped Rightmove to rate each town in order of popularity.


Basildon’s high rating is likely attributed to a number of factors. It is a town that is able to meet the expectations of people who are struggling to enter the property market as buyers, supplying high quality rentals at a much lower rate than other towns across the country. The average rent in Basildon for example is £1,000 per month, almost half that of a Greater London equivalent. The commuting distance to the capital is another major plus point, with people moving out of London to take advantage of the cheaper rental rates, yet retaining a simple 35 minute train ride back in.
The positives for commuters don’t stop there either, with Basildon also boasting some of the cheapest rail travel of anywhere in the country too, leading to yet another title as the most affordable commuter hotspot in the UK. A London season ticket is an affordable £3,748, compared to the £5,000 UK average. One million commuters currently travel to London each day to ply their trade, with Basildon’s cheap, quick travel and inexpensive housing a huge incentive to them.


Although the financial benefits are an obvious pull, it isn’t the only reason why Basildon is such a highly sought after location. It is a town that is experiencing economic growth too. This is bringing extensive development to the town, with the Dry Street development currently under consideration proposing 725 new homes.


As far amenities are concerned, Basildon is not found wanting either. For leisure there is the Eastgate Shopping Centre, home to over 100 stores, including major brands Asda and Topshop. Basildon Hospital has been rated ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ in recent Care Quality Commission ratings, and in Basildon Park you have the benefit of 400 acres of parkland and the historical value of a Grade I listed Georgian Mansion.


Schools too are feeling the benefit of both the economic and population growth that Basildon is experiencing. With Essex as a whole suffering from a shortage of school places, £200 million has been pledged to deal with the issue, with a number of expansion projects underway. Three of Basildon’s Primary Schools; Whitmore, Abacus and Runwell, have each benefitted from the scheme. This has meant an additional 465 places already created as a result.
So at the moment Basildon has a lot to shout about. The second place finish in the Top Rental Hotspot table, and the title as the Most Affordable Commuter Town only tells half the story. The town is one on the rise, with investment meaning even more homes, additional school places, and even the commitment to develop internal transport links to deal with the increased population. So whether you are looking for a quick commute to London, or want to take advantage of exceptional hospital treatment and spectacular historic parkland, Basildon is certainly somewhere you should be exploring.

. . .

DIY Tip

Published: 29/07/2015

Squeaky Door Hinges


There’s nothing more annoying than a squeaky door hinge, especially during the summer time when doors and windows are thrown wide open wide.


To deal with the squeak, simply spray a little WD-40 onto the hinges, moving the door back and forward to ensure it seeps into the joint. Another fix is to use petroleum jelly, something easily found around the home.

Conveyancing Guide Part 2

Published: 17/06/2015

The Conveyancing Process – What Buyers Should Expect Part 2


In What Buyers Should Expect Part 1 we set the scene with an overview of what Conveyancing is, who can act on your behalf and what the first steps you need to take are. In Part 2 we look in more detail at what comes next. While the contracts are being reviewed and the property searches completed, it is a good time to look at getting your mortgage in place, before eventually signing on the dotted line.


Getting a Mortgage
With the process well underway it is important to get your mortgage sorted now, including the deposit payment. You need to understand which mortgage is right for you and the differences between the options. Do you choose repayment, interest only or a fixed rate mortgage? Each have pros and cons, but often it comes down to how big a risk you are willing to take and the current state of the market. You need to decide what term you should take too and how much are you able to borrow in relation to your annual income. All are vital questions to ask, with our team at Temme English more than happy to run through the options with you.
Once you have made a choice of which mortgage, and which lender, then comes the mortgage valuation. This is a security measure on behalf of the mortgage company that lends to you, to make sure that what you are borrowing is what the property is definitely worth. The valuation won’t be cheap, unless the lender is looking to drum up business and throws it in free of course, but are unfortunately a crucial part of the process.


The contract signing comes next, though not before you get building insurance. Most lenders will make this a requirement before you exchange contracts, as you are immediately responsible for the property as soon as paper changes hands.


Time to Sign the Contracts
With your shiny new mortgage agreement in place you should now have your draft contract back from the seller’s representative, with all enquiries answered and amended where applicable. It is yet another time that you will have to concentrate carefully on exactly what has been set out. Your solicitor will run through everything with you until you are happy. Common things that are covered include fixtures and fittings in the property and that you are getting what you expect for the money you are paying. At the end of the draft contract will be a completion date, which can be up to 12 weeks after the exchange.


What you will have to ensure is that your deposit is in your solicitors account before the exchange can take place. It is also a good move to visit the property and confirm that what is included in the contract is actually there, checking the house against the inventory list. It is a good opportunity to check for damage too and finally make sure that the house is worth the amount. Once you are sure then a signature seals the deal.


So the mortgage is finalised and the contract is signed. In What Buyers Should Expect Part 3 we look at the final pieces of the puzzle, explaining what happens once the contracts are exchanged and the processes between swapping and completing the sale.

. . .

Conveyancing Guide Part 1

Published: 09/06/2015

The Conveyancing Process – What Buyers Should Expect Part 1
This is the first of a three blog series looking at The Conveyancing Process. It is important when you are buying a property to understand exactly what is required of you, which is where our short Conveyancing series will hopefully be of assistance. In Part 1 we will outline exactly what Conveyancing is, who you need to perform the process and the first steps that you and they will need to take.

What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is legally transferring home ownership from a seller to a buyer. It will generally start with an offer being accepted on a property and will end when the key is in the buyers hand. A smooth transaction if you understand the process, it is important to find the right Solicitor or Conveyancer to conduct the conveyancing for you. A Solicitor is a qualified lawyer, highly trained in all aspects of law and therefore with more power. A Conveyancer is less well trained but specialises in property, with a better understanding of the protocol. A lot will be expected of your representative in terms of paperwork and deadlines, so make sure you choose a firm that is both easy to get hold of and that you feel comfortable with.


You can perform conveyancing yourself in some cases, though it isn’t something we would necessarily recommend. You will have to deal with mounds of paperwork, have an in-depth understanding of the industry from a legal perspective and be mortgage free. It may seem straightforward but there are risks involved, especially when it comes to missing deadlines or misplacing paperwork. Some mortgage lenders will even insist on a Lawyer or Conveyancer’s involvement to alleviate risk, hence why you need to be mortgage free.

The First Steps
Firstly shop around and get quotes from numerous suppliers. Combine the best the price with the best quality service and generally who you feel most comfortable with. At Temme English we can recommend Solicitors and Conveyancers that we trust locally to perform the service, but it is important that you are happy with any appointment.

Whoever you choose will initially need to draw up a ‘Draft Contract’, also known as a ‘Terms of Engagement’. This is the contract that will define the terms of your agreement, including their charges and any deposit needed, as well as what you are then entitled to. This is so that each party understands their legal standing.

Next they will look to get in touch with the sellers representative, requesting details on the property that they might not yet have and all of the standard forms needed to begin the process. They will also request the ‘Draft Contract’ between the seller and their Solicitor.

Dealing with Documents
Your Solicitor or Conveyancer will then examine the documents that they receive and raise any issues with the seller’s representative. You too will be involved in this process, reading through the documentation and instructing your conveyancer to raise any concerns. You must know everything about the property at this stage, for example if it is leasehold or freehold, and what the difference is. Knowing where you stand in incredibly important.


It is important to go beyond simply what you can see from your viewing and have your Solicitor perform a ‘Property Search’ too. This looks at the property’s legal standing and unearths any unexpected surprises. This could include whether the Local Authority have any plans to build around or even through your land, chasing up the ‘Title Register’ at the Land Registry and even whether the property is a flood risk. All could be crucial to your decision, but not easy to see at first.

So that’s all for Part 1. In What Buyers Should Expect Part 2 we look at what you need to do in terms of a mortgage and the process of finalising your contracts. Stay tuned!

. . .

Perseid Meteor Shower

Published: 03/09/2018

The annual Perseid Meteor shower hits our skies on the 12/13th of August. With the current clear skies you will see around 60-70 shooting stars per hour. For a bit more info click HERE
. . .

Solar Panel Auction

Published: 08/08/2018

Solar Panel Auction

Essex County Council have launched a new solar panel scheme for Essex residents and business in partnership with iChoosr.

Solar Together offers residents and business the opportunity to group together and take part in an online auction to buy high quality solar panels, saving money on both installation and future energy bills.  For more information click HERE
. . .

Perseid Meteor Shower

Published: 02/08/2018

The annual Perseid Meteor shower hits our skies on the 12th & 13th of August. Due to the current clear skies you can expect to see around 60-70 shooting stars per hour! For a bit more info click HERE
. . .

Thomas Comes To Essex

Published: 19/07/2018

Thomas Comes To Essex - A school holiday day out idea?

It is advised to book early - To buy tickets click HERE
. . .

How much is your property really worth?

Published: 26/06/2018

How much is your property really worth?

Whether you’re looking to sell your home, or you simply know how much of an asset you have on your hands, your property’s real value shouldn’t be ignored. By knowing the market and your place in it, you can ensure the best sale, or find ways to improve that value. So, how do you get the all-important information you need?

Getting a valuation

If you’re looking to sell and you want to really know how much your property is worth, then the most direct way of finding out is by having a valuator or an estate agent take a closer look. It’s important to make sure you start with realistic expectations. Most often it’s the size, layout, and the area of the property that a valuation will take into account. This valuation is most likely to be the most accurate, though it can be influenced by renovations, improving your curb appeal, and other upgrades you can make to the home.

Take a look around you

Looking at the market is another way to figure out not only what your property is worth, but what you’re likely to get out of it. You can look at estate agents and online home buying sites to see what homes around you have sold for, for instance. Bear in mind that the more similar to your property, the more accurate and reliable the information will be. Sharing a postcode matters, but it only makes sense that a five-bedroom house will, in most cases, be worth more than a two-bedroom in the exact same area.

Tracking the trends

You can see not only how much your property is worth, but how the market is doing, as well. Things like Rightmove & Zoopla show not only recent sale value but allow you to compare the data over the years. You can see whether the market is turning in your favour or away from it, which may influence whether you decide to sell just yet or to wait a while for the hopes that you will gain some value. However, these kinds of sources tend to generalise and cover very broad areas, so it might not give you the most specific details.

See what’s hot

Even if your property’s value has been determined, you might be able to ask for a little more if your home is in an area that’s high in demand. Estate agents will often take this into account. Take advantage of a hot market and you might have more say over the asking price if your area is particularly hot right now. If it’s bone cold, then you might have to stick more strictly to its baseline value.

A property’s value is far from fixed. Not only can it be influenced by changes to the property and the surrounding area, it shifts up and down with the market. It’s worth re-checking its value now and then to make sure you’re working off old and obsolete information.

We offer have a FREE instant valuation tool where you can find out the value of your property Click Here


 

. . .

A look at the Colchester property market in 2016

Published: 08/02/2017

The UK property market experienced a lot of changes in 2016 and the market had to withstand a lot of issues throughout the year. Now that we are into 2017, there is an agreement that there is now a sense of stability about the property market and that while some areas suffered, things could have been a lot worse in the property market.


Of course, while we talk about the property market as a single entity, this is far from the case. There are often places that experience great changes or notable changes while others do not. Colchester is an area that is regarded as being on the up, even with the market as a whole experiencing some difficulty or pressure.


As of January 2017, the average property price for Colchester stood at £309,324 which presented a rise of 8% on the figure at the start of 2016. The value change stood at £22,905 so the average property price at that time was £286,419.


Over the past 12 months, the average price paid in Colchester has stood at £272,736 with close to 4,000 property sales being made in this period of time.


The Colchester property market is one that has been growing sharply for a while and there are a number of factors involved in this outcome.


Transport links
Quick transport links to Stratford and London Liverpool Street ensure that Colchester is highly regarded as a commuter location for the heart of London. There is also easy access to the A12 which ensures that Colchester is a destination that allows fast and simple transport.


Work in Colchester
The rise in the local economy has drawn a growing number of people and families to the area. With a greater chance of finding work or people looking to be located closer to their work, the Colchester property market has experienced a significant rise in demand.

One area where Colchester has developed is with respect to the creative industries. A report issued in the second half of 2016 has seen Colchester listed as the 8th best place in the entire country for drawing people to work in the creative industry. Affordable property is always important in reaching out to these professionals and this industry but there has been action over and above property pricing to make the area more attractive and hospitable to this sector.
The overall success of change in Colchester can be seen in the ranking of 20th spot, for the whole of the UK, with respect to high concentration and growth. Both of these findings were issued in a report called The Geography of Creativity in the UK, issued by Creative England and NESTA.


New build properties
There have been a number of property developments in Colchester in the past year, which is always going to have a positive impact on the property market. The west and north of the area have benefitted from a number of new developments, and these are handily located for commuters and people looking to travel to and from Colchester on a regular basis.


Colchester is an area that is going places for people who are going places and this can be seen in the local property market.

To see our available properties in Colchester clickHERE

. . .

10 Secrets of Basildon you never knew

Published: 25/08/2016

While the history of Basildon isn’t as long or as illustrious as many areas in the south east of England, there is still a lot to learn and know about the area. Here are 10 secrets of Basildon you never knew or maybe forgot about, so why not have a read through and see what you know or don’t know.

1. Basildon was one of 8 new towns that were established in the south east of England in the aftermath of the Second World War. Basildon was created in 1949 due to lengthy waiting lists with soldiers returning from their wartime efforts and the aftermath of the damage London received during the war.

2. The first residents to move in to the area did so in 1951, moving into property at Redgrave Road, Vange.

3. While the creation of what is recognised as Basildon today dates back to the 1940s, the name dates back to Saxon times.

4. The 1,000th new home to be built in Basildon appeared in 1953 at Denys Drive in Fryvern. This indicates the volume of property that was added to the area in a short period of time, allowing Basildon to develop quickly in a short period of time.

5. The first area of parkland to appear in Basildon arrived in 1957 when Gloucester Park was officially opened. The park currently expands over 250 acres and is considered to be a key meeting point and place to socialise or relax in the local area.

6. The very first shops in the town centre of Basildon, and Basildon Market, opened in 1958.

7. 1962 was a landmark year for Basildon because this was the year that the tallest building in the area was finished. This accolade goes to Brooke House. The building stands at 162 feet tall and it is a Grade II listed building.

8. There were many different landmarks that were celebrated and noted in Basildon over the years but for many people in the local area, a notable event occurred in 1971. This is because this was the year that the very first Marks and Spencers opened in the local area.

9. For an area to flourish, it is vital that transport links are in place and in 1974, the residents of Basildon benefitted through the opening of Basildon Railway Station. This made the commute to London easier and also opened up the possibility of travel across the south east of England and beyond.

10. Basildon is twinned with a number of areas in Europe including Meaux in France and Heiligenhaus which is located in Germany. Basildon also holds international relationships with Gweru, which is a city in Zimbabwe.

These facts about Basildon help showcase the development of the area, which has come a very long way in just over 60 years. Basildon is no longer referred to as a new town, but it stands as a great example of what can be achieved with planning and a desire to grow.

If you are thinking of moving to Basildon and would like to see our current stock please click HERE

If you are thinking of selling in Basildon and would like a valuation please call 01268 207222 or find in the short form HERE
. . .

10 Top attractions in Essex this summer

Published: 21/06/2016



If you are looking to make the most of Essex this summer, here are 10 top attractions to keep an eye on.

Chelmsford City Racecourse
If you love horse racing, there is no doubt that Chelmsford City Racecourse has been a great addition to the local attractions in Essex. While this can be a great way to spend a family fun day out, the venue is becoming a must-see location for many reasons. With an ever-changing line-up of gigs, comedy events and even murder mystery nights, you’ll not be short of attractions. Some big shows this summer include Simply Red, Katherine Jenkins, Rick Astley and many other big stars of yesteryear.
For more information about Chelmsford Racecourse click HERE

Audley End House and Gardens
When it comes to a stunning garden that lends itself perfectly to lazy and sunny days, Audley End House is an ideal option for you this summer. With a 17th century stable block and views of the glorious Essex countryside, this is a stopping point that can keep you enthralled all day.
For more information about Audley End House click HERE

Layer Marney Tower
When it comes to examples of local Tudor buildings, this is one of the best in Essex. It was so impressive that Henry VIII stayed for a while in 1522 and if you have a head for heights, make sure you climb the tower and enjoy the views of the Blackwater estuary.
For more information about Layer Marney Tower click HERE

Hedingham Castle
Summer days are made for exploring and Hedingham Castle remains one of the best preserved castles in England, making it the ideal place to stop off. Whether you seek fun, a sense of history or a touch of romance, Hedingham Castle is a great place to add to your list of sights to see in Essex in 2016.
For more information about Hedingham Castle click HERE

RHS Garden Hyde Hall / Beth Chatto Garden
Summer time should be spent in gardens and the RHS Garden Hyde Hall and the Beth Chatto Garden are two fantastic examples of gardening at its best. If you are looking to be inspired or just want to enjoy the best flowers in the county, these gardens are well worth a visit.
For more information about RHS Garden Hyde Hall click HERE

For more information about Beth Chatto Garden click HERE

Firstsite
If architecture rather than flowers interest you, this spectacular building is well worth seeing, but it also plays host to a wide range of exhibitions which run all of the year. However, the building and the backdrops are well worth seeing in the summer time.

For more information about Firstsite click HERE

Colchester Zoo
Colchester Zoo has long been one of the best places to spend a summer in Essex and with over 270 species on show, with 50 displays taking place every day, there is a lot to keep you happy and occupied.

For more information about Colchester Zoo click HERE

Lee Valley White Water Centre
If you would rather spend your spare time to enjoy exciting pursuits, you’ll find that the Lee Valley White Water Centre is a must visit. This venue was utilised in the London 2012 games and you can challenge yourself in the same way that many of the leading athletes in the world were.

For more information about Lee Valley White Water Centre click HERE

Colchester Castle Museum
The award of Best Large Attraction at the Essex Tourism and Hospitality Awards in 2015 suggests that this is a museum that is well worth checking out. Don’t expect a dull or dry museum; this is a chance for you to get hands on with a wide range of activities.

For more information about Colchester Castle Museum click HERE

Boydells Dairy Farm
Anyone looking to ensure the kids have some fun while learning will find that the Boydells Dairy Farm, which is a working farm, will provide plenty of opportunities for entertainment and education.

For more information about Boydells Daisy Farm click HERE

 

If you would like to know the value of home please click HERE

. . .

10 Tips for First Time Renters

Published: 25/04/2016

If you re renting for the first time, it is likely that you’ll be excited but here are ten tips to bear in mind.
Always read over the terms and conditions
It can be too easy to assume that everything is okay in a contract and then find yourself in trouble later. Before you sign a tenancy agreement, take the time to read over the terms and conditions to ensure that you are comfortable with everything associated with the tenancy.


Ensure your deposit is protected
This is something that the landlord should do and they should provide you with details of how the deposit is protected within 30 days of starting your tenancy. Feel free to ask about the chosen scheme and if the landlord doesn’t provide you with all details within 30 days, press the matter. The scheme not only keeps your money safe, it provides a dispute resolution service in the case of any disagreements over a deposit.


Ask for an independent inventory check
One of the most important documents you will have as a tenant is the document listing the items, and their condition, when you move into a property. You should receive a copy and agree on its findings. In the long term, an independent inventory check is often best for the tenant and landlord.


Is there a need for a guarantor?
You could say that the important step is to ensure that you know all of the terms and conditions of your agreement but it is often worth knowing, in advance, if your landlord is looking for a guarantor. If you have someone willing to act as a guarantor, this can be of benefit to you as it will save you money, but make sure that you are aware of whether this is a requirement or not.


Don’t forget about bills
It is one thing calculating that you have enough money to pay for the rent but what about all of the other bills you need to pay? Electricity, internet, TV licence and other utility bills are part of parcel of having a flat, so you need to sort out these aspects and make sure that you have enough income to pay for everything you need and use in the property.


Think about insurance
Your belongings will not be covered by the landlords insurance so look to take out your own home insurance policy to care for your belongings. Some landlords will insist on the tenant holding insurance so make sure you are aware of their requirements on insurance.


Have you considered safety?
Landlords should take care of all safety requirements in the home, they are legally obliged to carry out various tests, but knowing your own rights, what safety aspects you have at home and how to deal with certain dangers or problems will make your home safer.


Think about other tenants
If you are a first time tenant, it is likely that you will be sharing with other people, and this means you need to know your rights and responsibilities with other people. If a utility bill comes in to a property that is a joint tenancy, there is joint liability, and everyone will be responsible for the bill. If one person is named on a utility bill, that person is ultimately responsible for the bill. In an ideal setting, everyone would provide money to pay for this bill, but it is important to have agreements in writing and if you are the named customer, be aware that the utility provider considers you responsible.


Maintain records
Keep correspondence, agreements and everything that you have in writing. You never know when you may need it.
Leave on good terms


There will be terms and conditions in your agreement, if you can, leave by these terms. You’ll also find that leaving in a good manner, and leaving the home in good condition, will save money and ensure you don’t have to deal with a negative reference in the future.

. . .

7 Tips to help sell your home this Spring

Published: 22/03/2016

While the winter months are becoming increasingly important for the property market, it is true to say that Spring is the season where the market becomes highly competitive. If you are looking to sell your home in Spring, you aren’t alone, and you will need to work hard to make sure your home stands out from the crowd. Here are 7 tips to help you sell your home this Spring.


Undertake a thorough spring clean
This is the time of year when many people decide to clean their home but you should view this as an opportunity to carry out an extensive clean of your property. If you lack the time, skills or experience to properly clean your home, hiring professional cleaners will pay off as the cleanliness and freshness of your property will play a huge role in creating the right impression for any potential buyers.


Upgrade and improve
Depending on the amount of time you have available and the budget at your disposal, you should look to carry out upgrades at your home. Taking the time and effort to make your home more attractive or increasing the functionality to a property will add value and it can give your home an advantage over similar homes in a local area. If you are unsure of what sort of improvements are best for your home, speak to a specialist building or home improvement firm for ideas that will offer value and sit within your budget.

Clean your windows
This is a very simple and obvious step but it is one that many property owners overlook or forget about. You should be looking to have the inside and outside of your windows cleaned and the outside of your windows has to be a priority. Your windows will be one of the first things that people see at your property and if they are in poor condition, a potential buyer may develop a bad impression of your home that is hard for them to overcome.


Provide a blank canvas
If you have any rooms that have a bold colour scheme, it is worthwhile toning this down to a more neutral palette. You should also look to remove the majority of personal items and photographs around the home. This is because these reinforce the identity of you in your home, so by providing viewers with a blank canvas, it is more likely that they will be able to see themselves in this home.


Pack up and declutter
One of the most important tips for anyone looking to sell their home revolves around the importance of decluttering property. Packing up non-essential items and storing them safely (even utilising storage facilities) will enhance the available room at your property. Making a home feel bigger is a positive aspect that too many property sellers overlook.


Give every room a purpose
While making space in every room is important, there is also a lot to be said for ensuring every room in your home has a clear and distinct purpose. Whether it is a bedroom, an office, a gym or a social room, ensuring that every room has a distinct purpose rather than a general storage room where items get left or dumped will allow potential buyers to realise the true potential of a home.


Don’t forget the outside of the home
Spring is the time of year when flowers start to bloom and garden areas start to show colour and vitality after the winter months. You may not have spent too much time in the garden in the months leading up to this stage but before visitors attend your property, be sure to view the garden and ensure that it looks at its best.

 

If you want to know the current value of your home click HERE

. . .

10 Reasons why Wickford is a great place to live

Published: 12/03/2016

Located in South Essex and with a population of over 32,000 people, Wickford is a great location for people looking to combine working life in London with a more sedate pace of life in their leisure time. With train travel to the heart of the capital taking less than 40 minutes, Wickford is a location that helps people to enjoy the best of both worlds but if you are keen to learn more about Wickford, here are 10 reasons why Wickford is a great place to live.


 

Nevendon Manor
If you are looking for a party venue that has a fantastic track record in creating events that people remember for a very long time, you’ll find that Nevendon Manor is exactly what you are looking for. This isn’t a venue that has a wide array of events on, but the events that are found here are family-orientated, a lot of fun and sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.


Action Park
Anyone looking for a touch of excitement in their life should head to the Off-Road Action Park. This park is very aptly named and there is a wide range of high-adrenaline activities for people aged 6 and over. There are plenty of fully trained and qualified staff members on hand to ensure that safety is paramount alongside the high-octane action.


Wick Country Park
Spanning 50 acres of land that was formerly used for agricultural purposes, Wick Country Park is an ideal place to relax, wander and connect with past times. There are more than 2km of easy trails across the site and with lakes, ponds and even pillboxes dating back to World War II, there is more than enough to delight guests.


Transport links
Even though Wickford has plenty to offer to local residents, there is no doubt that the easy connections to Liverpool Street Station are of considerable benefit. The area is also well served by the A127 and the A130.


Wickford Memorial Park
With over 80 acres of parkland, this is the natural choice for people looking to engage in sporting activity or exercise. There are specialist areas and courts for football, bowling, tennis, basketball and even novelty golf.


The Battlesbridge Antiques Centre
Anyone looking to indulge in some antique shopping and viewing will find that the Battlesbridge Antique Centre is a delightful place to visit.


Wickford Market
Local market places remain the hub of modern life in many towns and Wickford Market, while simple, provides a great deal to enjoy and peruse. No matter what you are looking for, there is a great chance that it will be on offer at Wickford market.


Property prices
When it comes to finding a great home at a great price, Wickford has plenty to offer. As of November 2015, the average price of property in Wickford stood at £283,284 which compares very well to the average price of property in London, which stands at £548,538. The manageable commute time makes Wickford a great place for many people to stay without breaking their budget. The average property price in Wickford has risen by 5% in 12 months from November 2014, where the figure stood at £270,639.


Attractive rental yields
Another aspect of the property market that indicates Wickford is on an upwards trajectory is the positive rental yields. One bedroom properties offer a 5.82% rental yield and all property sizes offer more than 4%, which many property experts are considering a great starting point for landlords.


Naturism
A quirky reason to appreciate Wickford is the fact that it is the recognised birthplace of naturism in the United Kingdom. This may sound like a cheeky reason but you have to be pleased with an area that encourages so much personal freedom.

 

To see the available stock we currently have in Wickford click HERE

 

Are you looking to find out the value of your home in Wickford? Click HERE


 

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Benefits of selling your property with an Independent Estate Agent

Published: 10/02/2016

Benefits of selling your property with an Independent Estate Agent

Depending on your area and the quality of your home, you may find that there is already a high level of demand for your property. This can lead you to think that you don’t need to call on professional help when it comes to selling your home, but this isn’t the case. There are so many important elements and aspects involved with a property deal that it is always best to call on the services of a professional estate agent. The peace of mind and confidence that is provided by working with an estate agent is a great bonus for property owners and it will help you to sell your home in an effective manner.

You will likely find that you can choose between an estate agent from a major nationwide brand and an independent estate agent. Some people will instinctively plump for the corporate agent, rationalising that there is strength in numbers and depth but you may find that selling your property with an independent estate agent is the best option for you.

An independent estate agent will work with your best interests in mind

When you work with a corporate estate agent, they are likely to be working with a range of clients. This means that they may have a conflict of interest in certain areas or it may mean that they are unable to provide you with the time and attention your property needs and deserves. This isn’t the case when you work with an independent estate agent because they will be able to devote more time to your needs and selling your property. An independent estate agent is also much less likely to suffer from a conflict of interests, so you can rest assured you will receive the best possible service.

An independent estate agent will have a good level of local knowledge

Local knowledge is absolutely vital in selling a home. Knowing the local area means that an agent can promote to the right people, they can promote in the right places, they can talk about the benefits of the local area and they can help buyers find out the best information about the amenities and facilities on offer in a local area. An estate agent from a major firm will likely work from a factsheet that has been compiled by someone else, and they won’t have a feel for what the area can offer. If they are asked a question about the local area, they will likely have to get back to the potential buyer, which can make them seem unprofessional and which can place doubts in the mind of a potential buyer. If you want the best standard of service when selling your home, call on a local independent estate agent.

An independent estate agent works harder to build and retain their reputation

An independent estate agent knows that every job they do can have a big impact on how they are perceived or known in the local area. This is why they are likely to work harder and smarter for you. An agent from a major firm knows that the company reputation will still see work come their way, regardless of how they work on an individual job but an independent estate agent knows that a bad review or negative testimonial can seriously impact on their business. This means you get a better standard of work and service from an independent estate agent.

TO BOOK A FREE NO OBLIGATION VALUATION WITH TEMME ENGLISH CLICK HERE
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Why a Buy to Let property in Basildon is a sound investment

Published: 04/02/2016

Why a Buy to Let property in Basildon is a sound investment

 

Located just over 30 miles from central London, Basildon is ideally situated for people looking to commute and who want to be removed from the hustle and bustle of London life. Basildon is one of the new towns that emerged after the Second World War but it is an area that has continued to thrive and prosper since then and in the present day, it presents an attractive proposition for people looking to enter the buy to let market. Strong transport links to the capital and a close proximity to notable towns and areas means that there is a great deal on offer in Basildon and beyond for any young professional or family.

One of the strongest reasons you will have for investing in a buy to let property in Basildon is the fact that the rental yield looks very attractive. In the current climate, anything of a high 4% or above is enough for many property investors to appreciate what they have but if you look at the rental yields for a number of areas in Basildon, you will find that the rental yield is above this level.

The rental yield opportunities in Basildon are strong

This is definitely the case for 1 bedroom properties with the rental yield for the SS13 postcode standing at 6.97%, for the SS14 postcode standing at 6.34% and the rental yield for the SS15 postcode standing at 6.63%. The rental yields for 2 bedroom properties are just as attractive. For SS13 postcodes, the rental yield stands at 6.45%, for the SS14 postcode it stands at 6.76% and for the SS15 postcode, the rental yield stands at 5.98%. Three bedroom properties in all three postcode areas stand at over 5%, so if you are looking to buy property in an area where there seems to be a good return on your investment, Basildon is a strong option.

Another reason for buying to let in Basildon comes with the fact that property prices in the area are still rising. This isn’t 100% perfect because it means that buying now, as opposed to having bought last year, is more expensive but in the grand scheme of things, rising property prices are a positive factor for people looking to benefit from the buy to let market. Between September 2014 and September 2015, overall property selling prices in Basildon rose by 9%, from £209,887 to £229,578. The two properties that rose by most were flats and terraced properties, which correlates with the high level of rental yield in the local area. Yes these properties are becoming more expensive but the level of demand associated with these properties means that there will be a steady stream of potential tenants.

Given that there is a large level of demand for rental property in Basildon, it makes sense to work with the experts in order to find the best candidate. If you are interested in renting quickly, you’ll have no shortage of candidates but in order to maximise your return on investment and to minimise hassle or damage to your property, working with an agent to find the most suitable tenants for your property makes sense.
 
To see what available stock we have in Basildon click HERE
 
For landlords information click HERE

 

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6 Things a Landlord needs to do really well

Published: 21/01/2016

6 Things a Landlord needs to do really well


Being a landlord is a sensible way to generate regular income. Some people and personality types will find that being a landlord is a great way to utilise their skills and to use their time in an effective manner too.


However, being a landlord can be difficult and there are 6 things a landlord needs to do really well, which are:


Research
The research element should begin long before a landlord buys a home or starts looking for a tenant. If you are looking to invest in property, you should look at the best markets to buy for letting purposes and research what the rental yields are in certain areas. It may be that you are keen to buy in an area close to you, so you can be a “hands-on” landlord. This is a sensible idea but even with this in mind, you need to research different areas and determine what sort of property, in a particular area, is likely to offer the best return for your money. You should also research who the likely tenants are going to be for the area and what they are looking for from a landlord.


Being able to communicate makes a difference
It is important for a landlord to be able to communicate clearly and effectively. Whether this is communicating effectively to property managers, to companies where property advertisements are placed, to professionals carrying out work at home or to their tenants. It is best practice to have everything in writing and agreed upon from the outset, especially when dealing with tenants. Aspects like the details of how a tenancy should end and inventory reports can make life so much easier in the long run.


Negotiating
When it comes to getting the best possible rental yield for your investment, small margins can make a big difference. This is where the skills of an expert negotiator can make a big difference to your income levels in the long run. Money saved in the property price or even the price charged by a professional to carry out work or make improvements on your home can all positively impact on the overall rental yield a landlord receives. However it is important to note that in order to receive the best possible service from a professional it may be worthwhile paying a suitable going rate for their time and expertise.


Brush up on your networking skills
Networking may not seem like the most important task for a landlord but there are many ways in which you can engage with others, develop relationships and generally make life easier for youself. You may think that you are in competition against other landlords but it may be that working with landlords will help you find better professionals or allow you to find out which suppliers can help you save money in the long run.

Marketing and Promotion
You also need to know how to promote your property. Yes, there is a high level of demand for rental property at the moment but if you want the best income from the best tenants, you need to ‘sell’ your property to the right demographic. This means you need to understand the benefits of your property and where to reach out to the people who are most likely to benefit from what you offer. Well written descriptions and good quality images of your home looking attractive can make a noticeable difference to the level of income you receive as a landlord so don’t overlook the promotion and marketing aspect of the role.


Never stop learning
It is also important to never stop learning. You can always provide a better service and even if you make mistakes or don’t provide a good service at one point, think about why this was the case. If you can make improvements to your service, you will develop better relationships and be more likely to earn better income in the future.

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Commuting Colchester

Published: 09/12/2015

With Colchester becoming a hotspot for commuters, it is no surprise that properties within reasonable walking distance of Colchester’s two stations are being snapped up. One perfect example of this is the Northfields development built by Lindon Homes, which is just off Turner Road. Located perfectly for Colchester General Hospital and Colchester’s North Station, additionally offering direct links to London Liverpool Street, homes here are very desirable. Currently, over 20% of the property sales we tie up have been to buyers from out of the area, mainly people moving up from South Essex and the Greater London areas.

 

We feel that our two South Essex branches in Basildon & Wickford complements our Colchester branch, therefore enabling us to tap into those ‘out of area’ buyers. The three properties pictured are all located on the Northfields Development. We secured buyers for all three within the last few weeks. If you are looking to sell or buy a property close to North Station; please call our sales team on   01206 578112.

 

Click HERE to find out how much your home is worth

 

Click HERE to see what we have for sale in Colchester

 


 

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Butternut Squash Soup

Published: 05/10/2015

Recipe

As the summer warmth begins to fade and autumn brings its cooler temperatures, there is nothing better than a hearty, warming meal at the end of a long day to help stave off the cold.

This recipe for a delicious butternut squash soup uses chilli to add a little kick and burst of flavour, and is a simple meal to prepare in the evening. Serve alongside a big chunk of doorstep bread for dunking, then cuddle up and enjoy.

Recipe:
- A 1kg Butternut Squash, peeled and deseeded
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 2 Onions, diced
- 1 Garlic Clove, thinly sliced
- 2 Chillies, deseeded and finely chopped (use mild for a lower heat, hot for the opposite)
- 850ml Hot Vegetable Stock
- 4 tbsp Crème Fraiche (Plus more to serve)

Needed:
- Large Roasting Tin
- Large Saucepan
- A Stick Blender and/or Liquidiser

Method:
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut squash into large cubes, roughly 4-5cm, then place in roasting tin with half the olive oil. Roast for 30 mins, turning once, then remove then soft and golden.
While cooking the squash, melt the butter with the oil in a saucepan, adding garlic, onions and roughly three quarters of the chilli. Cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, until onions are soft.
Once cooked, tip squash into the saucepan then add stock and crème fraiche. Blitz with the stick bender until smooth. If looking for an even smoother finish then use the liquidizer in batches. Once smooth enough, return to the pan to reheat and then season. Serve in deep bowls with another spoonful of crème fraiche and a sprinkling of chilli.
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Basildon - A town on the up!

Published: 22/09/2015

A recent study from property website giants Rightmove has placed Basildon as one of the Top Rental Hotspots in the country. When looking at areas outside of Greater London, the Essex town of Basildon, alongside neighbours Southend and Chelmsford, was rated just behind Stevenage in second place on the Top Ten Rental Hotspots list. A combination of the amount of searches and query emails each area received on Rightmove’s site, as well as how often a property description was viewed, helped Rightmove to rate each town in order of popularity.


Basildon’s high rating is likely attributed to a number of factors. It is a town that is able to meet the expectations of people who are struggling to enter the property market as buyers, supplying high quality rentals at a much lower rate than other towns across the country. The average rent in Basildon for example is £1,000 per month, almost half that of a Greater London equivalent. The commuting distance to the capital is another major plus point, with people moving out of London to take advantage of the cheaper rental rates, yet retaining a simple 35 minute train ride back in.
The positives for commuters don’t stop there either, with Basildon also boasting some of the cheapest rail travel of anywhere in the country too, leading to yet another title as the most affordable commuter hotspot in the UK. A London season ticket is an affordable £3,748, compared to the £5,000 UK average. One million commuters currently travel to London each day to ply their trade, with Basildon’s cheap, quick travel and inexpensive housing a huge incentive to them.


Although the financial benefits are an obvious pull, it isn’t the only reason why Basildon is such a highly sought after location. It is a town that is experiencing economic growth too. This is bringing extensive development to the town, with the Dry Street development currently under consideration proposing 725 new homes.


As far amenities are concerned, Basildon is not found wanting either. For leisure there is the Eastgate Shopping Centre, home to over 100 stores, including major brands Asda and Topshop. Basildon Hospital has been rated ‘Outstanding’ and ‘Good’ in recent Care Quality Commission ratings, and in Basildon Park you have the benefit of 400 acres of parkland and the historical value of a Grade I listed Georgian Mansion.


Schools too are feeling the benefit of both the economic and population growth that Basildon is experiencing. With Essex as a whole suffering from a shortage of school places, £200 million has been pledged to deal with the issue, with a number of expansion projects underway. Three of Basildon’s Primary Schools; Whitmore, Abacus and Runwell, have each benefitted from the scheme. This has meant an additional 465 places already created as a result.
So at the moment Basildon has a lot to shout about. The second place finish in the Top Rental Hotspot table, and the title as the Most Affordable Commuter Town only tells half the story. The town is one on the rise, with investment meaning even more homes, additional school places, and even the commitment to develop internal transport links to deal with the increased population. So whether you are looking for a quick commute to London, or want to take advantage of exceptional hospital treatment and spectacular historic parkland, Basildon is certainly somewhere you should be exploring.

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DIY Tip

Published: 29/07/2015

Squeaky Door Hinges


There’s nothing more annoying than a squeaky door hinge, especially during the summer time when doors and windows are thrown wide open wide.


To deal with the squeak, simply spray a little WD-40 onto the hinges, moving the door back and forward to ensure it seeps into the joint. Another fix is to use petroleum jelly, something easily found around the home.

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Conveyancing Guide Part 2

Published: 17/06/2015

The Conveyancing Process – What Buyers Should Expect Part 2


In What Buyers Should Expect Part 1 we set the scene with an overview of what Conveyancing is, who can act on your behalf and what the first steps you need to take are. In Part 2 we look in more detail at what comes next. While the contracts are being reviewed and the property searches completed, it is a good time to look at getting your mortgage in place, before eventually signing on the dotted line.


Getting a Mortgage
With the process well underway it is important to get your mortgage sorted now, including the deposit payment. You need to understand which mortgage is right for you and the differences between the options. Do you choose repayment, interest only or a fixed rate mortgage? Each have pros and cons, but often it comes down to how big a risk you are willing to take and the current state of the market. You need to decide what term you should take too and how much are you able to borrow in relation to your annual income. All are vital questions to ask, with our team at Temme English more than happy to run through the options with you.
Once you have made a choice of which mortgage, and which lender, then comes the mortgage valuation. This is a security measure on behalf of the mortgage company that lends to you, to make sure that what you are borrowing is what the property is definitely worth. The valuation won’t be cheap, unless the lender is looking to drum up business and throws it in free of course, but are unfortunately a crucial part of the process.


The contract signing comes next, though not before you get building insurance. Most lenders will make this a requirement before you exchange contracts, as you are immediately responsible for the property as soon as paper changes hands.


Time to Sign the Contracts
With your shiny new mortgage agreement in place you should now have your draft contract back from the seller’s representative, with all enquiries answered and amended where applicable. It is yet another time that you will have to concentrate carefully on exactly what has been set out. Your solicitor will run through everything with you until you are happy. Common things that are covered include fixtures and fittings in the property and that you are getting what you expect for the money you are paying. At the end of the draft contract will be a completion date, which can be up to 12 weeks after the exchange.


What you will have to ensure is that your deposit is in your solicitors account before the exchange can take place. It is also a good move to visit the property and confirm that what is included in the contract is actually there, checking the house against the inventory list. It is a good opportunity to check for damage too and finally make sure that the house is worth the amount. Once you are sure then a signature seals the deal.


So the mortgage is finalised and the contract is signed. In What Buyers Should Expect Part 3 we look at the final pieces of the puzzle, explaining what happens once the contracts are exchanged and the processes between swapping and completing the sale.

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Conveyancing Guide Part 1

Published: 09/06/2015

The Conveyancing Process – What Buyers Should Expect Part 1
This is the first of a three blog series looking at The Conveyancing Process. It is important when you are buying a property to understand exactly what is required of you, which is where our short Conveyancing series will hopefully be of assistance. In Part 1 we will outline exactly what Conveyancing is, who you need to perform the process and the first steps that you and they will need to take.

What is Conveyancing?
Conveyancing is legally transferring home ownership from a seller to a buyer. It will generally start with an offer being accepted on a property and will end when the key is in the buyers hand. A smooth transaction if you understand the process, it is important to find the right Solicitor or Conveyancer to conduct the conveyancing for you. A Solicitor is a qualified lawyer, highly trained in all aspects of law and therefore with more power. A Conveyancer is less well trained but specialises in property, with a better understanding of the protocol. A lot will be expected of your representative in terms of paperwork and deadlines, so make sure you choose a firm that is both easy to get hold of and that you feel comfortable with.


You can perform conveyancing yourself in some cases, though it isn’t something we would necessarily recommend. You will have to deal with mounds of paperwork, have an in-depth understanding of the industry from a legal perspective and be mortgage free. It may seem straightforward but there are risks involved, especially when it comes to missing deadlines or misplacing paperwork. Some mortgage lenders will even insist on a Lawyer or Conveyancer’s involvement to alleviate risk, hence why you need to be mortgage free.

The First Steps
Firstly shop around and get quotes from numerous suppliers. Combine the best the price with the best quality service and generally who you feel most comfortable with. At Temme English we can recommend Solicitors and Conveyancers that we trust locally to perform the service, but it is important that you are happy with any appointment.

Whoever you choose will initially need to draw up a ‘Draft Contract’, also known as a ‘Terms of Engagement’. This is the contract that will define the terms of your agreement, including their charges and any deposit needed, as well as what you are then entitled to. This is so that each party understands their legal standing.

Next they will look to get in touch with the sellers representative, requesting details on the property that they might not yet have and all of the standard forms needed to begin the process. They will also request the ‘Draft Contract’ between the seller and their Solicitor.

Dealing with Documents
Your Solicitor or Conveyancer will then examine the documents that they receive and raise any issues with the seller’s representative. You too will be involved in this process, reading through the documentation and instructing your conveyancer to raise any concerns. You must know everything about the property at this stage, for example if it is leasehold or freehold, and what the difference is. Knowing where you stand in incredibly important.


It is important to go beyond simply what you can see from your viewing and have your Solicitor perform a ‘Property Search’ too. This looks at the property’s legal standing and unearths any unexpected surprises. This could include whether the Local Authority have any plans to build around or even through your land, chasing up the ‘Title Register’ at the Land Registry and even whether the property is a flood risk. All could be crucial to your decision, but not easy to see at first.

So that’s all for Part 1. In What Buyers Should Expect Part 2 we look at what you need to do in terms of a mortgage and the process of finalising your contracts. Stay tuned!

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