Fisks Gateway issue 92

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The property & lifestyle magazine brought to you by FISKS / Issue 92

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Home Renovation 101 Protecting Your Home When You’re Away Property Surveys This Month’s Properties


CONTENTS HOME RENOVATION 101 Your step-by-step guide to renovating.

PROTECTING YOUR HOME WHEN YOU’RE AWAY We give you some helpful tips on how to protect your home when unoccupied.

PROPERTY SURVEYS Everything you need to know about property surveys.


Welcome to our

magazine I was prompted recently by Estate Agent Today to think about my first sale. With this in mind, Fisks created a video on the subject (available over on the Estate Agent Today website). As well as showing you the property in question - still standing and looking as good as ever - I reveal my commission for my first sale way back in 1965 earned me just £75. How times have changed. If you have a spare few minutes, please give it a watch. In this packed issue of Gateway, we give you a step-by-step guide on the renovating process, give you some tips on pretecting your home when you’re away, and help you understand property surveys better. Enjoy! And if you’re looking to buy or sell, please contact us. We’re always happy to help.

John Pring FNAEA(Honoured) & MARLA | Director


HOME RENOVATION 101 Your step-by-step guide to renovating.



Whether you’ve just bought yourself a ‘doer-upper’ or want to make your current home bigger and better, home renovation is perhaps one of the best ways to get the home of your dreams. And, if done right, it can also make you good money when it comes to selling too - that’s a win-win in our books. Our following step-by-step guide will get you started. THE STEPS Although no two renovation projects are the same, they will mostly all have certain tasks and requirements in common. After you’ve found a project (or have decided you want to improve on the property you already have) the running order is normally something like this... •

Assess the project’s potential

Come up with an affordable budgeting plan

Carry out surveys

Take out renovation insurance and a warranty to be on the safe side

Check whether you’re eligible for any Government grants

Find an architect

Apply for planning permission

Find a builder

Notify building control

Organise waste removal

Address access issues and assess existing drains

Look at measures to improve energy efficiency to cut future costs

Get the building weathertight

Protect and repair original features... if wanted

Update plumbing and electrics

Make internal structural changes

After the big complicated issues have been addressed above, you’ll then have the smaller jobs to do - like plastering, external updates (if needed), and then there’s the fun part... decorating.


ADDITIONAL FEES It’s easy to get excited about the prospect of renovating, especially when you don’t know the ins and outs of it all. The tips below will help you to not get ahead of yourself and plan for those additional fees. •

Reconnection fees - it may be necessary to connect or re-connect things like water and electricity supply.

Valuation fees

Council tax cost

Professional fees - don’t forget things like planning permission, Building Regulations approval, surveys, and structural engineer reports all add up.

Contingency fund - when doing anything big in life that revolves around money, make sure you have enough extra cash in hand just in case something goes wrong along the way.

That legal stuff - expect to pay anywhere between £500-2,000 for a solicitor or conveyancer to act on your behalf. Remember, expertise costs money, the cheaper option is not always the best option.


Meet the team...

John Pring Director

Simon Pring Director

Ian Carey Sales Manager

Harriet Plampton Sales & Lettings Consultant

Penny Ash Property Manager

Nicola Rattenberry Director’s P.A.

Leanne Wright Administration Manager

Albie Poole Property Consultant

Tina Webster Management Accountant

FISKS.CO.UK


We cover the whole of South Essex. Contact us for a free valuation on 01268 565555

Kerrie Watts Property Consultant

Ben Nelson Junior Estate Agent

Ebony Woods Office administrator

Our Vision & Strategy The residential estate agency market is increasingly populated by large corporations; nevertheless, our independent family-run estate agency continues to succeed and grow a loyal client base, due to our core values, ethos and flexible approach to clients’ requirements.


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PROTECTING YOUR HOME WHEN YOU’RE AWAY We give you some helpful tips on how to protect your home when unoccupied.



We all want to protect our home when we’re away from it - but sadly, most of us don’t take any safety measures to do it. The following tips are designed to help you keep your home safe when you’re away. SECURE THOSE DOORS AND WINDOWS We start these tips with an obvious one - many break-ins are carried out by simply smashing a weak door or window or forcing a vulnerable lock. If your doors and windows have seen better days, then it’s time for an upgrade. TIME TO GET AN ALARM If you already have an alarm system, make sure you properly activate it before you leave. If you don’t already have one, it’s time for you to make an investment. A good alarm system doesn’t cost the world and is one of the best deterrents money can buy. COMMUNITY CONNECTION It’s time to make use of your community. If you have a neighbour you trust, then it’s a good idea to tell them when you’re going away and coming back - this way, if they notice any suspicious activity around your home, they can call the police on your behalf.


DON’T TELL THE WORLD As good as social media is, you should never post when you’re going away anywhere online. It’s easy for criminals to monitor social media, especially if your account is public. Keep the holiday photos off social media until you’re back. CHECK YOUR HOME INSURANCE POLICY Just because you have home insurance, doesn’t mean you’re always covered if the worst happens. Many home insurance policies state a limit on how many days you can leave your home unoccupied before your claim is rejected. It’s always worth taking a look at your policy to make sure you’re still covered. KEEPING UP APPEARANCES Opportunistic burglars will always look for an easy target, so keeping your home looking lived-in while you’re away should always be a priority. The best way to achieve this lived-in look is by buying plug timers - this way, lights will turn on and off when you’re away.


Why use FISKS? The industry has changed hugely with the development of digital technology - this has created two different styles of agency, the traditional high street agency, and the modern online agency. At Fisks, we believe that the best solution is to be both.

Fisks still do the traditional marketing

Our Ethos & Values

methods that you are comfortable with, such as high street shop locations with

We focus on our clients’ requirements

window displays, applicant mailing lists,

and instructions rather than just doing

text and email facilities, linked offices,

what’s quickest and easiest for us.

portals such as Rightmove, leaflet drops, floor plans, boards and branded cars.

Our comprehensive training program ensures that our staff channels their

These marketing tools have been tried

entrepreneurial spirit and enthusiasm

and tested for many years, but with the

for the benefit of our clients, whilst

ongoing digital revolution we have also

maintaining the professionalism and

embraced change. These new marketing

customer service associated with our

methods come in the form of a digital

brand.

property lifestyle magazine that’s produced in house and emailed to over eight thousand people a month, targeted social media campaigns across all the major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, 4k video tours of your property for our successful YouTube channel, enhanced portal marketing, and from a customer service point of view, we have vendor log-ins so you can see viewers feedback and offers on your home at any time.

FISKS.CO.UK

At Fisks, we believe we have all your marketing needs covered to get you SOLD!


Landlords: Protect your investment with our full property management and marketing... Protecting your investment should not be taken lightly, with our full management service you can be sure to get the support you deserve...

Don’t just take our word for it, we have many happy customers...

ARLA - the gold standard professional industry body. Audited and insured client accounts to protect your money. Rent guarantee and legal cover - protect yourself with insurance and the increased costs of evicting (subject to status). Legal hotline - specialised property lawyers helping to answer your questions.

“Happy customer. Very professional service. We had no problems with the sale of our house or the purchase of our new home through Fisks. Staff very pleasant, would definitely recommend.” - Mr and Mrs Hall

Inventories - protect your deposit with a professional inventory, including time stamped photographs. Inspection - allay your fears that your asset is being looked after.

“Fantastic team that pulled out all the stops and helped every step of the way. Friendly pleasant staff.”

Section notices - fully trained and experienced staff can advise and serve the appropriate notice.

- Mrs S Sheavyn

Accurate accounting - from monthly statements to overseas landlords, to expenditure and income, we hold all the information the accountant will need.

... come and put us to the test!

Gas certificates and EPCs - keep your property complying with the law.



PROPERTY SURVEYS Everything you need to know about property surveys.


You might be asking yourself, do I need a property survey? The short answer is ‘no’. But, and there is a big BUT - although arranging a property survey is not a legal requirement, it will give you a detailed report on the property’s actual condition, and therefore, make sure you don’t run into any costly repairs in the immediate future. WHAT DOES A PROPERTY SURVEYOR INSPECT? Depending on the type of survey you’ve chosen, a property surveyor will normally inspect all visible parts of the building’s interior and exterior. The interior survey will look at things such as ceilings, walls, floors, fireplaces, fixtures, and fittings, while the exterior checks will inspect the roof, windows, doors, chimneys, doors, and walls. While making sure the property you’re about to purchase is worth the asking price, the property survey will also look for any dangerous materials used in the building - materials such as asbestos and fibreglass insulation should be corrected before moving in. You will also get valuable information regarding the condition of the heating, drainage, water, electricity, and gas supplies too.


HOW MANY TYPES OF SURVEYS ARE THERE? There are three types of surveys normally available, all with different levels of detail. The more cash-friendly surveys often use a traffic light system to highlight areas of concern, while the more expensive surveys give a detailed inspection with repair advice and cost too. Level 1 - Costs between £400-£850 Level 1 is the most cash-friendly survey you can get and, as mentioned, will often use a traffic light system to highlight areas of concern. This type of survey will give you the most basic overall idea of the property’s condition and is best suited for newer properties and those in good condition. Level 2 - Costs between £450-£1,000 This is the most popular choice for homebuyers in the UK. Not only does this type of survey give a more detailed look at the property, but it also reports things like building regulations and dampness that could affect the property’s value - and if it does, then the survey pretty much pays for itself. This type of survey is best for homes that are in reasonable condition. Level 3 - Costs between £600 to £1,500 This is the most expensive survey and also the most detailed too. The report will contain information on all aspects of the property and will include the cost of repairs (if any) and potential renovations. This type of survey is best suited for older buildings or if you plan on renovating after you’ve moved in.


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