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April 2012

Supplement

Great buys under ÂŁ175k May Day

Open House special

rental properties Mortgage deposits explained Pick of the

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www.haart.co.uk


goes mobile haart has officially launched its next generation mobile website. The UK’s largest independent estate teamed up with Intelligent Mobile earlier this year to create a bespoke mobile website for its multi award-winning brand. The website, which can be found at www.haart.co.uk, has been optimised for use not just on Android, Blackberry and iPhone mobile phones but also mobile tablet devices such as the iPad. Although only a relatively recent innovation, some five per cent of customers already access the haart website using some form of tablet device (up from one per cent a year ago). Designed around an easy to navigate branded interface, browsers will be able to search for properties to buy or rent by location or postcode easily whilst on the move. Customers thinking of selling can also use the website to request a valuation. What’s more, they will be able to create their own text alerts service via the mobile websites based on preferences such as price and property type.

www.haart.co.uk Click here for a free property valuation

www.haart.co.uk


Text Appeal Thinking of moving to a new area but not quite sure where to start looking for a new home? Help is at hand from haart in the form of our text service. Just text ‘haart’ to 84840 and within seconds you’ll receive a text showing you details of the nearest properties to you for sale or rent from the UK’s leading independent estate agent. It also includes web links if you would like to view more details, photographs etc as well as the distance to the property from your current location. ‘Simples’ as Alexander the Meerkat would say!

Plus, for those who would prefer to use an app, help is also at hand from haart. The haart app, which was launched in October 2010, continues to prove a huge hit amongst house buyers in the UK – a year and a half after it went live. The app, available free of charge through the Apple Store is currently being downloaded at a rate of over 2,500 per month by applicants looking for property via their iPhone or iPads.

“Our next generation apps as well as our new mobile websites give customers the means to search for the latest properties, wherever they maybe in the country, day or night”

Not only does it show you the latest homes on the market but it also provides floorplans, downloadable brochures, maps, directions as well as a review of properties recently sold in a specific area, including the selling price. haart expects the app to be downloaded up to 50,000 times in 2012 (roughly five times an hour). Says Russell Jervis, Managing Director of haart: “In this age of modern technology, it is essential that estate agents move with the times and equip customers with the tools they require to find their next home. Our next generation apps as well as our new mobile websites enable them to do just that, giving customers the means to search for the latest properties, wherever they maybe in the country, day or night.”

Click here for a free property valuation

www.haart.co.uk


How to choose the right

estate agent Choosing the right estate agent doesn’t have to be a daunting task with the right advice With so many estate agents on the High Street choosing the right estate agent can appear to be a daunting task, especially when the difference between a good one and a bad one could mean weeks of stress and thousands of pounds. Don’t be fooled by appearances If you are going to put your property on the market it’s always advisable to choose two agents to value your home. Select these agents based on those that are selling homes within you property value or style not those that aren’t comparable. A good agent can see beyond minor need of decoration and ‘tidying up’ and, in fact should be your source of advice on what should be done and what isn’t important before marketing the property.

Read the signs When it comes to the valuation, look for signs of enthusiasm, professionalism and how the agent intends to market and sell your home. The estate agent’s team need to work together in the selling process and share the values of the person your meeting. Test this principle by calling the agent beforehand and seeing how they deal with your request for information. Selling your home is a ‘team’ effort. You therefore need to have confidence in and openness with them and be able to address any minor negative comments from feedback and help turn them into positive, trust them to be able to deal effectively with buyer’s issues or questions, particularly once you have a sale running.


Devils in the detail Bland descriptive selling or lifestyle selling? The later really does work because buyers really do want to ‘imagine living in your home’ and having the benefits that you enjoy, whether this is country walks, stunning views, location for schools, working from home etc. Lastly, who’s going to sell your home? Many agents are order takers, waiting for the phone to ring and book a viewing. The majority of properties do not sell themselves. An agent needs to ‘sell’ your home to buyers, by contacting active leads and their client

base, which may mean them buying something completely opposite to their initial choice or in a area they hadn’t considered. This also extends to the agent accompanying the viewing. Many buyers want to view at inconvenient times, say 7.30 at night or when you’re on holiday - can the estate agent provide this service if needed? You’re probably looking to sell your biggest financial asset, so choose an agent wisely and be comfortable with the choice you’ve made.

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Curb appeal Most buyers will drive by your property before booking a viewing. Make sure the property sells from the outside as well as the inside. If you’ve got a garden, give it a spring clean. If you can, add a splash of colour with some wellplaced plants. The same applies to the windows. Clean them on the inside and out. If you’ve got blinds give them the once over as well. And last but not least, make sure the front door looks like a door people will want to walk through. Disassociate yourself with your home Every seller believes their home will sell very quickly; this is because it’s your home, your style and your taste. You may love them but potential buyers may not share your taste. Have a boot sale and clear all items you won’t be taking with you.

First impressions count. Once you’ve decided to put your property on the market, it’s always worth taking some time to make sure it is looking its best for prospective viewings

Make minor repairs Simple DIY jobs should be attended to before viewings take place. Think missing drawer fronts, loose toilet seats, stained tile grout. Ensure all lighting is working throughout the property. And finally…… Ask a friend to pop over and view with a critical eye, preferably someone who has not seen inside your house before, and act on their suggestions.

To find out how haart can help sell your property call

0845 899 9999

until 10pm weekdays


Pick of the Bunch Take a closer look at some of the finest properties currently available to buy through the haart branch network in the county. Trust us, you’ll love them!

Tatsfield

If you are thinking of escaping to the country, then you’ll absolutely love this spacious four-bedroom detached house set in an acre of land, situated at the end of a quiet road in Tatsfield which boasts for good measure an outdoor heated swimming pool with electric safety cover, a hot tub and last but not least, a basketball and tennis court. Price: £699,950 haart of Biggin Hill (01959 540870)

Swanley

Invest in a little history with this five-bedroom detached house set over three floors, which originally began life over 200 years ago as the village bakery in Swanley. On the ground floor you’ll find three reception rooms, bathroom, kitchen and access to the cellar. Climb to the first floor to find the lounge, diner and WC. Head to the second floor for the bedrooms and family bathroom. Price: £550,000 haart of Dartford (01322 229433)

Orpington

Step through the entrance into this secluded three-bedroom family home on the outskirts of Orpington and you’ll discover a property absolutely packed with character. Not only does it have a myriad of good-sized reception rooms, including a snooker room, but an ultra stylish kitchen complete with Rangemaster. The landscaped garden is also a find, stretching as it does over a third of an acre onto open farmland, thanks in part to its large feature fishpond with waterfall. Price: £580,000 haart of Orpington (01689 898899)


It’s a great time to view a house this May day weekend From Friday 4th - Monday 7th of May 2012 many of our homes will be open for you to come along and view.

Contact your local branch for more details


Finding the right

mortgage!

For independent expert advice on mortgages speak to haart

Buying a house is the biggest investment you’re ever likely to make, so it’s important to get all the information you need on mortgages before you start. Which is why haart Financial Services have come up with this useful little advice guide... Budget

Before you decide on a mortgage, work out how big your budget is and how much you’ll be able to repay each month, and not just now but also in the future. Make sure you don’t overstretch yourself because you could find making repayments difficult if interest rates increase or your situation changes.

Lending Limit

Different mortgage providers have different criteria for lending money, but in general the amount you can borrow depends on: • • • •

your income your employment status your other financial commitments the size of the deposit you put down

Types of Mortgages Fixed Rate

A fixed rate mortgage allows you to agree a rate of interest that stays fixed until a set date – ensuring monthly payments to remain the same throughout. It’s a great way to be able to budget as you always know how much is due to go out. You could pay more if general interest rates drop than you would if you’d been on the variable rate.

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Variable Rate

A variable rate mortgage means payments vary and can move up or down depending on the movement of the interest rates of the mortgage lender.

Before you start looking for a new home or decide to increase your mortgage, it makes sense to know how much you can borrow. You may start off with a low rate Lender’s attitudes vary, but they will usually lend you between 3 and 4.5 times your annual income before tax if you’re applying You are not guaranteed that this rate will not go up for a mortgage on your own. If you’re applying with somebody later on, costing you more else, they will usually lend either between 3 and 4.5 times the main income plus the second income or 2.5 and 4 times the two incomes added together. Lenders will normally ask for anything up to six pay slips. If you’re self-employed you will need three years of accounts to verify your income. They may also ask for bank statements and references.

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Tracker Rate

A tracker rate mortgage is a bit like a variable rate in that they can vary. The main difference is that they are linked to the rate set by the Bank of England

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You may start off with a low rate You are not guaranteed that this rate will not go up later on, costing you more

Discount Rate Discount rate mortgages have the interest rate set below the standard variable rate for a limited time period. For example, if you have a one per cent discount and the standard variable rate is five per cent; your rate would be four per cent.

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As with the variable rate, you could benefit from initial low payments

Offset Rate An offset mortgage allows you to save on the interest you will pay on your mortgage debt by ‘offsetting’ any savings you (or perhaps family / friends) have linked to your mortgage. For example if you have a mortgage of £120,000 and put savings of £20,000 with your lender, in this type of mortgage you would only pay interest on £100,000. This means you save on the interest you have been paying on your mortgage However you don’t get any interest on your savings

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How Do you Want to Pay There are three main options...

Interest Only

With interest only you only pay the interest on what you Bear in mind that at the end of your discounted term have borrowed, which usually means lower monthly your mortgage repayments will increase back to the repayments. However, at the end of the agreed ‘mortgage standard rate term’ you still owe the whole amount borrowed and you have to find a way to pay that back. You will need to be paying into another investment to accumulate the money needed to repay the mortgage at the end of the term, such as an endowment policy, ISA, or pension and be confident that you have in place the means to repay the full loan amount at the end of the term.

Repayment (Capital and Interest)

With repayment you pay off part of the ‘capital’ (amount borrowed) as well as interest. This usually means that everything (capital and interest) will have been fully paid off by the end of the agreed term.

Part and Part Mortgage

A Part and Part Mortgage is a combination of the payment options explained above - you repay part ‘Interest Only’ and part ‘Repayment’ each month. Although the ‘Interest Only’ option may cost you less each month than the ‘Repayment’ option, remember to include in your budget the additional monthly cost of the investment you will need to pay the ‘capital’ off at the end of the term.

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Our typical fee for arranging a mortgage is £495. The actual amount payable will depend on your circumstances.


Explaining mortgages Question Time In the latest in a regular series, haart’s Financial Services Managing Director David Miles answers some of the most frequently asked financial questions raised by our customers

Can you explain more to me about mortgages which require only 5% deposits?

There was a time when the number of mortgage deals which required a deposit of 5% or less was plentiful. In more recent years these have become far and few between. However, in welcome news for first time buyers in particular, a few more options have found there way onto the market of late, mostly with smaller Building Societies. We will be expanding on some of these options in future editions of “Question Time” Believe it or not there are also a couple of options available out there if you have no deposit at all. There is always a ‘but’ though and in this instance the ‘but’ is that these will involve some financial assistance from a close relative, such as a parent or grandparent. These are commonly known as Parental Assistance Schemes. I’ll give you two examples of how they work: Example 1 • 20% of your purchase price is provided by a close relative in a savings account with the lender • The lender takes security over this account against your mortgage, and no access is allowed to this account • You are only then required to borrow 80% of the purchase price, and your monthly payments are based on this

David Miles Financial Services Managing Director Example 2 • The lender takes a “guarantee” against the property of a close relative to the value of 20% of your purchase price • You can then borrow 100% of the purchase price, and your monthly payment are based on this • You do not have to provide any additional deposit yourself • The maximum guarantee period will be 10 years. The guarantee against the relatives property will not be released until the property has reached 70% LTV. If the borrower struggles to keep up repayments or the property is repossessed the family members property is at risk.

• You do not have to provide any additional deposit yourself • The money will not be released until the LTV of the property has reached 80% which may take a long time. If the borrower struggles to keep up repayments or the property is repossessed the family members savings are at risk.

“Believe it or not there are also a couple of options available out there if you have no deposit at all.”

Before you do anything though I would always urge you to speak to one our financial advisors as they are well equipped to give you advice on which schemes are best for your circumstances, as there will be a number of terms of conditions with each scheme that will need to be considered.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Our typical fee for arranging a mortgage is £495. The actual amount payable will depend on your circumstances.

To find out more about haart Financial Services call your local haart branch or visit www.haart.co.uk


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Mortgage Deal Available Call in to branch for more details Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Our typical fee for arranging a mortgage is ÂŁ495. The actual amount payable will depend on your circumstances.


Learn to Love Surveys Over 40% of people surveyed by Which? negotiated a price reduction on the back of a house survey. But what is a house survey and what is involved? Simon Davies, Technical Director with Valunation explains all Recent research conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors indicates that only 20% of purchasers of residential properties obtain an independent survey. This suggests that a fair proportion of the remaining 80% rely on the lenders mortgage valuation report. Bearing in mind the limited nature of the mortgage valuation, the fact that it is being prepared in accordance with the lender’s requirements only and the cost of the asset being purchased, these are bewildering statistics. The consumer organisation Which? completed their own research a few years ago which found that where an independent condition survey had been commissioned and a problem uncovered, 44% of respondents negotiated a price reduction, and a further 10% ensured the problem was rectified before completing the purchase.

The three types of house survey

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RICS Home Buyers Survey This is an intermediate level survey with all the features of the RICS Condition Report, but including a more detailed inspection. It includes a market valuation and insurance reinstatement figure, and lists the problems the surveyor considers will affect value. Advice is given on repair and maintenance issues. Plus, a summary of the main risks and legal matters for further investigation are listed.

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RICS Condition Report This is an entry-level survey focusing on the condition of the property. It includes a clear traffic light system for the main building elements and a summary of the main risks and issues for legal advisers. It does not include a valuation or building insurance reinstatement figure so is an ideal companion to a mortgage valuation.

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Building survey This is a comprehensive report suited to older or individual properties. It comprises a detailed reporting format covering information on construction and performance of materials. Not only that but the report can be tailored to the client’s specific requirements.

The message coming through loud and clear is independent professional survey advice can save you money. What’s more, an independent survey conducted by a chartered surveyor is prepared only for the purchaser under separate terms of engagement. The surveyor will talk to you wherever possible before the survey and afterwards will be happy to explain any matters noted in the report. Valunation has a team of over 70 qualified chartered surveyors throughout the UK. If you are interested in finding out more why not give us a call on 0800 083 4004 or visit www.valunation.co.uk


During the biggest financial decision of your life, you can rely on our professional surveying services.

• Condition Report • Homebuyers Report • Building Survey

Call 0800 083 4004 and quote ‘val1’ for a £50 discount against our normal fee scale. www.valunation.co.uk

www.haart.co.uk


much more than just an estate agent haart is more than just one of the best known estate agents in Kent. These days, it is also earning an enviable reputation as one of the county’s foremost residential lettings agents. Our branches throughout Kent work with a wide range of clients to find the ideal managed property to rent, using their many years of experience in the industry to ensure all their requirements are met and their move runs as smoothly as possible. haart prides itself on having its tenants best interests at hearts at all times, working in partnership with them to ensure they get the most from their tenancy axgreements. For instance, haart is a founding member of SAFE Agent, a scheme launched by the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) to help signpost people to those firms, such as haart, that protect landlords and tenants money through Client Money Protection schemes.

What’s more, with an extensive selection of property to rent including houses, flats and studio apartments, haart believes it has a choice of properties and choice of budgets to fulfil even the most demanding of client requirements. And, as members of ARLA (the Association of Residential Lettings Agents), we pride ourselves on managing all of the paperwork on behalf of our tenants, and once they have moved in, make sure that we are always available at the end of a telephone to resolve any future issues. haart works equally hard for its landlords, whether they are a homeowner looking to rent out their home, a seller who can’t sell and needs to move or a Buy to Let landlord with an extensive property portfolio. Our dedicated property management team will be on hand to provide total peace of mind to landlords that their property is being looked after professionally at all times, and in the process ensure they are maximising the return on their investment. This includes conducting reference checks on tenants, producing regular inspection reports and providing additional services such as rent protection, building and contents insurance and safety certificates. haart can also oversee any maintenance issues. So, if you are looking for a home to rent or considering renting out your home, contact your local haart branch and discover why we haart is far more than just your typical letting agent.


Top rentals in the region

of ch ck n Pi Bu e th

Loose, Maidstone

Broadstairs

Frindsbury, Strood

This month’s Pick of the Bunch has to be this gorgeous four-bedroom detached 18th century home, loaded with elegance and charm, in the village of Loose, south of Maidstone. The house features the usual suspects like living room, dining room, family bathroom and kitchen plus, wait for it, a ‘secret’ room, behind which you’ll find a wine cellar. There are also ample gardens plus a garage (together with off-road parking). £2,200 per month

If you like your sea views then you’ll love this split level two-double bedroom penthouse apartment in Broadstairs which comes with its lift from the underground parking area, video phone entrance, spiral staircase to first floor sun room and substantial timber decked terrace. There is also the added bonus of an onsite communal gym. £1,400 per month

Spacious four-bedroom detached family home on modern development in Frindsbury within easy striking distance of A2/M2. The house includes en-suite to master bedroom, lounge/diner, kitchen/ breakfast room, conservatory and off-road parking.

Call haart of Broadstairs (01843 861 770)

£1,300 per month Call haart of Strood (01634 730 694)

Call haart of Maidstone (01622 755 860)

Maidstone

St Mary’s Hoo

Broadstairs

Great looking executive-style detached home in the leafy suburbs of Maidstone – ideal for commuter with family. Located in a quiet cul-de-sac, the property comes with entrance hall, cloakroom, lounge/diner, modern fitted kitchen and very large utility area or study. The three main bedrooms are upstairs with the fourth bedroom located over the double garage. £1,295 per month

Another unusual property, this time a one-bedroom detached bungalow in St Mary’s Hoo, set within beautiful grounds and accessed via a gated driveway. Comes with a private garden and parking for two cars. £750 per month

Totally unique detached cottage set within the Reading Street Conservation Area of Broadstairs. The totally refurbished accommodation is situated over two floors with two double bedrooms, en-suite to the master and further family bathroom. There is also a private garden backing onto a picturesque park £775 per month

Call haart of Maidstone (01622 755 860)

Call haart of Strood (01634 730 694)

Call haart of Broadstairs (01843 861 770)

Take a look at just some of the hundreds of properties to let with haart throughout Kent. From just £500 per month upwards, there is something to suit all tastes and all budgets The UK’s Largest Independent Estate Agent www.haart.co.uk


DOES YOUR HOME NEED EXTENSIVE REFURBISHMENT OR OCCUPY JUST A SMALL PORTION OF ITS PLOT? As part of Europe’s largest independent provider of property related services, we have a significant number of retained clients and private individuals looking for land or property suitable for redevelopment. If you think that your home may hold development potential, we’d like to hear from you. C

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Please contact Julie Carver Regional Sales Manager 07802 465 938 julie.carver@spicerhaart.co.uk or call into your local haart branch

Steve Donnelly Consultant Land Director 07739 514 350 steve.donnelly@spicerhaart.co.uk.


Exclusive new development

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Sunningvale Heights Biggin Hill, Kent An exclusive new development of 6 semi detached and 3 terraced houses all with fully fitted kitchens, flooring throughout, front and rear gardens and off road parking.

• 6 x 3 bedroom semi detached with Office/playroom • 3 x 3 bedroom terraced • Quality fully fitted kitchens • Flooring throughout • Front and rear gardens • Off road parking

Prices from £250,000

SHOW HOME OPEN TO VIEW BY APPOINTMENT

A fantastic opportunity to buy a bran d new property

For more information call haart Biggin Hill 01959 540870


Text haart to 84840 and we’ll use GPS to text your 5 nearest properties for sale. Go on, give it a try. For Sale For Sale

For Sale For Sale

Coming Soon


Coming Soon Check out these properties in Kent – all of them coming very soon to your local haart branch Nicely presented one-bedroom apartment in modern development on Silver Three-bedroom mid-terrace house on Sheerness with off-road parking and good sized rear garden. Plus no onward chain. £135,000 (guide price). haart of Sheerness – 01795 663011

Distinctive one-bedroom character cottage in the village of Ringwould on the outski rts of Deal that has bee n refurbished to a high standard. £130 ,000 (guide price). haart of Deal – 01304 382277 Streak Way, Strood. Close to the town’s amen ities and comes with added bonus of no onward chain. £100,000. haart of Strood – 01634 719955

Three-bedroom apartment in Gravesend within a mile of Ebbsfleet International Station and its highspeed commuter links to London. £100,000. haart of Dartford – 01332 229 433

Three-bedroom end of terrace family home on the outskirts of Sheerness town centre. £99,995. haart of Sheerness – 01795 663011 Spacious two double-bedroom ground floor maisonette in Grain with drive for two vehicles, private garden and no onward chain. £75,000. haart of Strood – 01634 719955

Ideal starter home in Ramsgate – two-bedroom ground floor converted apartment on one of the seaside town’s premier roads. £74,950. haart of Broadstairs – 01843 447001

To find out more about properties coming onto the market near you shortly contact your local haart branch


Buys

Bargain

Everyone loves a bargain

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So take a look at these great properties in Kent, all of them well under £175,000, and all available from your local haart branch

Rochester Fantastic 1930’s style three-bedroom midterrace family home in Rochester with gas central heating, no forward chain and off-road parking. Price: £175,000 (guide price).

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Swanley Two-bedroom Victorian mid-terrace house with front and rear gardens and easy access to local train station as well as amenities. Price: 175,000 (OIEO). Peneden Heath, Maidstone A first time buyers dream. This three-bedroom mid-terrace character home, which comes with two reception rooms, requires some TLC and it won’t be long before it’s back to its former glory. Price: £174,950

Bishops Square, Rochester A great looking two-bedroom terrace house in the sought after area of Bishops Square in Rochester. Comes with lounge, dining room, kitchen, four-piece bathroom and low maintenance 20’ rear garden. £170,000 (guide price)

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Snodland A really spacious three-bedroom end of terrace property that includes a 24’ lounge/ diner, modern fitted kitchen, off-road parking, landscaped rear gardens and no onward chain. Price: £170,000.

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Hoo An impressively extended two-bedroom semi-detached house in the village of Hoo with open plan lounge/diner leading to extended kitchen with separate study and upstairs a recently fitted new bathroom. Price: £170,000.

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Broadstairs You won’t fail but be impressed by this three-storey flint fronted cottage in a beautiful square off the High Street in Broadstairs which includes two bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor. Price: £165,000

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Deal 8 This delightful two-bedroom cottage in a conservation area in Deal epitomises the perfect seaside home. Comes with lounge, kitchen and courtyard style kitchen. Price: £160,000.

Barming

9 You’ll be quickly converted once you see this two-bedroom

apartment situated within the former Oakwood Hospital in Barming. Overlooking St.Andrews Park, it comes with a fitted kitchen, communal gardens and allocated parking. Price: £150,000

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St.Peters 10 A unique character filled three-storey period property in the village of St. Peters – ideal for first time buyers. Includes three bedrooms, lounge, dining room and courtyard garden. Price: £145,000

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1000’s of properties for sale in Kent

Biggin Hill 01959 540 870 biggin.hill@haart.co.uk

Maidstone 01622 751 222 maidstone@haart.co.uk

Strood 01634 719 955 strood@haart.co.uk

Broadstairs 01843 860 180 broadstairs@haart.co.uk

Orpington 01689 898 899 orpington@haart.co.uk

Walderslade 01634 685 869 walderslade@haart.co.uk

Dartford 01322 229 433 dartford@haart.co.uk

Rochester 01634 400 755 rochester@haart.co.uk

Deal 01304 382 277 deal@haart.co.uk

Sheerness 01795 663 011 sheerness@haart.co.uk

We have local expertise, nationwide coverage and we market worldwide

Now, can we help you in 2012?Go online to book your valuation at or phone 0845 899 9999 until 10pm weekdays


haart Sunday Supplement April 2012 Kent