• Donaghadee Golf Club celebrates 50th anniversary of RNLI lifeboat trophy competition
    Posted on 11 October 2023

    Donaghadee Golf Club celebrates 50th anniversary of RNLI lifeboat trophy competition

    Donaghadee Golf Club has recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its prestigious Lifeboat Perpetual Challenge Trophy competition in aid of Donaghadee RNLI.

    Originally presented to the Ladies' Branch Committee of the club in 1972 as a token of gratitude from the Coxswain and crew of Donaghadee Lifeboat, the trophy was contested for the very first time in 1973, marking the beginning of a tradition that continues to thrive today.

    Leading local estate agent John Minnis, who is a native of Donaghadee with over four generations of family history and has sponsored the tournament for over a decade, commented:

    “The Lifeboat Perpetual Challenge Trophy, or ‘wee lifeboatman’, holds a significant place in the heart of Donaghadee Golf Club, and John Minnis Estate Agents is honoured to sponsor this cherished annual competition.

    “As an avid sailor and member of one of Northern Ireland’s top racing teams, I recognise the significant role the RNLI plays in helping to save lives at sea and it is great to be able to support the work of this very important organisation.

    “Making a positive contribution to our local community is something which is hugely important to us, and it is wonderful to sponsor an event which represents the rich history of Donaghadee Golf Club.

    “On behalf of the John Minnis team, I would like to extend my congratulations to this year’s winner, Nicole Lyons - here’s to the next 50 years!”

    The Lifeboat Perpetual Challenge Trophy is presented to the top lady player at an annual open tournament hosted by Donaghadee Golf Club, with all funds raised donated to Donaghadee RNLI.

    This year’s event saw the ladies branch of Donaghadee Golf Club donate £460 to Donaghadee RNLI.

    The open competition format allows female golfers from various clubs to participate, provided they have a handicap from their respective clubs.

    This year's winner was Nicole Lyons, with Kerry Gooding as runner-up, both of whom are members of Donaghadee Golf Club.

    The best gross score was achieved by Nikki Currie from Clandeboye Golf Club.

    Lady Captain of Donaghadee Golf Club, Cynthia Smith added:

    "Donaghadee Golf Club is very grateful to John Minnis Estate Agents supporting this event over the past decade, ensuring that the Lifeboat Perpetual Challenge Trophy continues to be a tradition that attracts talented golfers from both our own club and others in the region.

    “Over the years, this trophy has become a symbol of our club, etched with the names of countless skilled golfers who have competed in the tournament over the 50 years since its inception.

    “With barely any room left for names on the trophy, it's evident that this occasion has made its mark on Donaghadee's history, and we look forward to many more years of celebrating this iconic tournament.”

    Chairperson of Fundraising at the Donaghadee Lifeboat Station, Evelyn Bennett, said:

    “We at Donaghadee RNLI are delighted to receive this cheque for £460 from the Ladies Branch of Donaghadee Golf Club.  

    “Since the “wee Lifeboatman” Trophy was presented to the Ladies Branch Committee of the Golf Club in 1972 there has been a close relationship between Donaghadee RNLI Lifeboat Station and the Club for which we are very grateful.  

    “We appreciate that each year the Ladies Branch of the Club kindly organize a competition, the proceeds of which are presented to our volunteer Fundraising Team.  We would also like to thank John Minnis for his sponsorship and support of this competition for the last 10 years.”

    John Minnis Estate Agents, which is the exclusive Guild of Property Professionals Member for Donaghadee, specialises in residential sales and lettings, property management, new developments, land consultations, and valuations.
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  • From Renting to Owning: A First-Time Buyer's Guide
    Posted on 13 September 2023

    From Renting to Owning: A First-Time Buyer's Guide

    In this guide, we will focus on the first-time buyer, and the unique experience of the property landscape in Northern Ireland.

    We'll explore the ins and outs of making that first home purchase and what is important to you in particular.

    An image of someone holding a key and small house with someone signing documents

    The First-Time Buyer Experience in Northern Ireland

    Starting on a journey to homeownership is always worked hard for and you want to make sure you are making the right decisions. Marked by several unique aspects that set Northern Ireland apart from other regions.

    In this section, we will look into the experience of buying your first home in Northern Ireland, and what sort of things you can expect in the process.

    Stamp Duty Relief

    In the United Kingdom, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is applied when you buy a freehold property, buy a new or existing leasehold, buy a property through a shared ownership scheme, or if you are transferred land or property in exchange for payment.

    However, the tax has thresholds, one of which is a relief for first-time buyers. This means that you can claim a discount or relief if the property you buy is your first home. This means you’ll pay no SDLT up to £425,000, and 5% SDLT on the portion from £425,001 to £625,000.

    Financial Considerations

    Understanding how much it takes to save up money for a deposit is a key responsibility that a first-time homeowner will always need to consider.

    Before making any commitments, firstly do thorough research on budget, specific but crucial areas of payment and a broader understanding of the Northern Ireland property landscape.

    This means that once you have a clear picture of your financial situation, set a budget for your home purchase. Remember to factor in not only the purchase price but also ongoing expenses like property taxes, maintenance, and utilities.

    Some tips for saving for a deposit should include the following:

    Open a Dedicated Savings Account: Consider opening a separate savings account specifically for your home deposit. This will help you keep your savings organised and separate from your day-to-day expenses.

    Automate Personal Savings: Set up automatic transfers from your main account to your savings account on payday. This "pay yourself first" approach ensures that you consistently save a portion of your income.

    Cut Unnecessary Expenses: Review your monthly spending habits and identify areas where you can cut back. Redirect the money you save into your deposit fund.

    Explore Government Assistance: In addition to stamp duty relief, Northern Ireland offers various government schemes and grants to assist first-time buyers. Research these programs to see if you qualify for any financial support

    Consider Help-to-Buy ISAs: Look into Help-to-Buy Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), which can provide a boost to your savings by offering a government bonus on your contributions.

    Mortgages for First Time Buyers

    An image of monthly break down costs for mortgage and other expenses

    As part of your research, you should look at what different types of mortgages there are. Let's explore the different types of options that are available, followed by some crucial tips to help you negotiate this next step.

    1. Fixed-Rate Mortgages: With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate remains constant for a set period, typically two to five years. This offers stability and predictability on your monthly payments.
    2. Variable-Rate Mortgages: Variable-rate mortgages have interest rates that can fluctuate based on market conditions. While initial rates are often lower, they can rise over time, making your payments less predictable.
    3. Help-to-Buy Equity Loan: This government scheme provides an equity loan to first-time buyers in Northern Ireland, allowing you to purchase a newly built home with a deposit as low as 5%.

    Tips for finding the right mortgage:
    • Compare Lenders: Shop around and compare mortgage offers from various lenders, including banks, building societies, and mortgage brokers. Look beyond interest rates and consider factors like fees and flexibility.
    • Understand the Total Cost: Don't focus solely on the interest rate. Calculate the total cost of the mortgage, including fees and any additional charges. This will give you a clearer picture of the long-term affordability.
    • Check Eligibility Criteria: Different mortgages have different eligibility criteria. Ensure you meet the lender's requirements before applying, and be prepared to provide necessary documentation.
    • Seek Professional Advice: Consider consulting a mortgage advisor who specialises in the Northern Irish market. They can provide expert guidance on suitable mortgage options based on your financial situation and goals.
    • Factor in Future Plans: Think about your long-term plans. If you anticipate changes in your circumstances, such as starting a family or career shifts, choose a mortgage that offers flexibility in terms of repayments and early repayment options.
    • Read the Fine Print: Carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of your mortgage contract. Pay attention to details like early repayment penalties and what happens if you fall behind on payments.
    • Get Pre-Approved: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can give you an advantage when making an offer on a property. It shows sellers that you are a serious and qualified buyer.
    • Consider Mortgage Insurance: Explore mortgage insurance options to protect yourself and your family in case of unforeseen circumstances that impact your ability to repay the mortgage.
    Remember, take your time to research, compare and seek professional advice to make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals and circumstances.

    Our Estate Agent Role

    We appreciate what a big a step it is to buy your first home. That is why we understand our role and duty in helping your first experience of buying a house as smooth as possible, with the risk of mistakes being mitigated.

    As your estate agent, we will provide local expertise. A knowledgeable estate agent brings a deep understanding of the Northern Irish property market.

    The team in any of our five different offices can provide you with insights into different areas, property values, and market trends.

    We give our customers access to a wide range of properties and various budgets, helping you find the perfect home. Additionally, as experienced estate agents excel in negotiations, our highly trained and experienced team can help you secure the best possible deal.

    The process of buying a home involves significant paperwork and legalities. As your estate agent, we will guide you through these steps, ensuring that everything is in order.

    Having us by your side can provide peace of mind. At any point during your journey, we can offer support to any queries or questions you may have.

    Once you have completed the purchase of your house, we are still here for you. We can help you with post-purchase matters and provide recommendations for local services.

    For further information on how we can help you in your move to your first home, get in contact with us today.
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  • Property Investment Pitfalls - What to Look Out For
    Posted on 25 August 2023

    Property Investment Pitfalls - What to Look Out For

    Investing in a property can hold the promise of comfortable living, financial growth, but it's not without its challenges.

    Real estate markets can be tricky, and a misstep can lead to financial setbacks.

    In this blog, we'll explore common pitfalls that people looking for a property encounter, whether it's their first home or moving from one to another, and provide practical advice on how to avoid them.

    Do Your Research


    An image of someone ready to work at their laptop

    One common pitfall in real estate investment is the lack of thorough research. Rushing into a property without understanding the market can lead to costly mistakes:

    Financial Projections: Create detailed financial projections that include expenses, expected rental income, and potential for property appreciation.

    Y
    our Priorities and Needs: Not just what you financially need, but what you need to live in a comfortable home. Considerations include if you have a young family, pets or other living arrangements that need specific attributes in a home.

    Insurance Costs: Research insurance costs for houses in the area to help with future budgeting. Ensure you can afford the necessary coverage.

    Don’t Ignore Financial Planning

    An image of someone calculating their finances

    Inadequate financial planning is another pitfall for real estate investors. Going over budget or underestimating expenses can lead to financial strain. Here's how to avoid this pitfall:

    Set a Budget: Determine your budget before starting your property search. This includes the purchase price, renovation costs, and ongoing expenses.

    Emergency Fund: Allocate a portion of your budget for unexpected expenses. Having an emergency fund can prevent financial stress.

    Cash Flow Analysis: Calculate your expected cash flow, factoring in mortgage payments, property management fees, and maintenance costs. Ensure your rental income covers these expenses.

    Navigating the Home Buying Process


    An image of someone explaining the home buying process

    Navigating the home buying process can feel like embarking on a complex journey, but with the right guidance, it becomes a rewarding adventure. In this section, we'll cover crucial steps from financing your purchase to successfully making an offer and more.

    Financing Your Home:

    Mortgage Types: Understand the various mortgage options available, such as fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, FHA, VA, and more.

    Credit Considerations: Learn about credit scores and how they impact your mortgage eligibility. Discover strategies to improve your credit profile.

    Saving for a Down Payment: Explore practical tips and savings strategies to accumulate the necessary down payment.

    Making an Informed Offer

    Offer Process Overview: Gain insights into crafting a compelling offer. Learn how to navigate negotiations and contingencies.

    Earnest Money: Understand the role of earnest money in making offers and securing a property.

    Contingencies: Discover the significance of contingencies in safeguarding your interests during the offer process.

    Navigating Closure

    Closing Costs: Explore the types of closing costs and how they fit into your budget. Discover negotiation strategies for closing cost coverage.

    Closing Process: Get a clear picture of the final steps leading to the closing day, including the paperwork involved.

    Final Walkthrough: Learn the importance of the final walkthrough to ensure the property matches your expectations.

    Rushing the Buying Process

    Rushing the buying process is a common pitfall that both first-time buyers and experienced ones should avoid.

    At John Minnis, our mission is to guide you through a well-paced journey toward homeownership.

    Rushing into a property purchase without due diligence can lead to several negative consequences:

    Overlooking Better Options: Hasty decisions might cause you to miss out on properties that better match your needs and budget.

    Hidden Issues: Skipping important inspections and assessments can result in unforeseen problems post-purchase.

    Buyer's Remorse: Rushed decisions often lead to buyer's remorse when you realise you didn't thoroughly evaluate your choices.

    Taking your time in the buying process is essential for several reasons:

    Comprehensive Evaluation: It allows you to thoroughly evaluate properties, assessing their condition, location, and fit for your lifestyle.

    Informed Decision-Making: Taking time provides the opportunity to gather all necessary information, empowering you to make informed choices.

    Negotiation Leverage: A well-paced process gives you negotiation leverage, enabling you to secure favourable terms.

    An image of someone handing over the key to their new home

    How John Minnis Can Help:

    • Market Expertise: We have an in-depth understanding of the local Northern Irish property market. We can help you identify suitable properties that meet your criteria without rushing the process.

    • Property Access: As professionals, we have access to listings, including off-market properties, giving you more options to explore.

    • Negotiation Skills: Our experienced agents excel in negotiations, ensuring you get the best possible deal without compromising your interests.
    By working with us, you'll benefit from our expertise, access to valuable resources, and a commitment to ensuring you make a confident and informed choice.

    Don't rush into one of the most significant decisions of your life; let us help you navigate the process smoothly and successfully.

    Key Takeaways

    • Thorough Research Matters: Whether you're a seasoned investor or a first-time buyer, in-depth research is the foundation of successful real estate venture. Understand the market, property values, and your own needs before diving in.
    • Financial Planning is Crucial: Avoid financial pitfalls by setting a clear budget, establishing an emergency fund, and analysing cash flow. These steps ensure your investment remains financially viable.
    • Navigating the Home Buying Process: Navigating the complex journey of buying a home requires patience and knowledge. Seek expert guidance to make informed decisions at every stage, from financing to closing.
    • Rushing is Risky: Rushing the buying process can lead to missed opportunities and hidden issues. Take your time to comprehensively evaluate properties and negotiate favourable terms.
    • Leverage Professional Help: Engaging the services of experienced real estate professionals, like John Minnis, can significantly ease your journey. Market expertise, property access, and negotiation skills are invaluable assets.
    • Confident, Informed Choices: Ultimately, your goal is to make confident and informed choices that align with your financial goals and lifestyle. With the right guidance, you can navigate the property market successfully and secure a promising future in real estate.

    If you need any more advice when approaching property investments do get in touch with our team of experts, who will be more than happy to help.

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  • The Art of Home Staging
    Posted on 23 August 2023

    The Art of Home Staging

    With the main goal of making private residences attractive and appealing to a high percentage of potential buyers, home staging could increase the value of your home by thousands of pounds.

    Various staging techniques create a welcoming product that can immediately be recognised and as a result, would normally increase the desirability of the property.

    Sometimes known as property presentation or property styling, the techniques range from small changes making use of what you already have to bigger sums of monetary investment – it isn’t just a quick redecoration of a room.

    The overall goal of this is a return on investment of these tasks, and in this article, we will look at a few of the best techniques that you can pick and choose from.

    Declutter and Depersonalise


    One of the fundamental principles of effective home staging is creating a blank canvas that allows potential buyers to envision their own lives in the space. This means decluttering and depersonalising your home. Here's how to tackle this crucial step:

    Decluttering:


    An image of a decluttered living room

    Decluttering involves removing excess items and creating a sense of space. Follow these tips:

    Start Early: Begin the decluttering process well in advance of listing your property. This gives you time to methodically go through each room.

    Room-by-Room Approach: Take one room at a time. Begin with common areas like the living room and kitchen, then move to bedrooms and bathrooms.

    Keep, Donate, Discard: As you go through your belongings, categorise items into three groups: keep, donate, and discard. Be ruthless and try to keep only what is necessary.

    Storage Solutions: Invest in temporary storage solutions, such as bins or boxes, to keep your items organised during the selling process.

    Clear Countertops: In the kitchen and bathroom, clear countertops of appliances, personal products, and clutter. This creates a clean and spacious look.

    Depersonalising:

    Depersonalising your home means removing personal touches that make it uniquely yours. Here's how to achieve a depersonalised look:

    Family Photos: Take down personal photographs and replace them with neutral artwork or mirrors. This allows buyers to imagine their own family in the space.

    Personal Decor: If you have strong personal decor themes, consider toning them down. For instance, if you're an avid collector of a particular item, it's a good idea to pack most of them away.

    Neutral Colour Palette: If your walls are painted in bold or highly personalised colours, consider repainting in neutral tones. Neutral colours provide a clean slate for buyers.

    Personal Items: Remove personal items such as religious or political artefacts, and items that may be considered unusual or off-putting to some buyers.

    Minimise Personal Memorabilia: While your personal memorabilia and collections may hold sentimental value, it's best to store them away during the selling process.

    Furniture Arrangements

    Another quick and often free, in that it makes use of your existing possessions is furniture arranging.

    Effective furniture arrangement not only creates a comfortable living environment but also helps potential buyers visualise how they might utilise the space. Here's how to go about it:

    An image of a living room/kitchen showing the furniture arranements

    Assess Your Furniture: Before you start rearranging, take stock of your furniture pieces. Consider what's essential for each room and what could be temporarily stored elsewhere. This will help you create a more open and inviting atmosphere.

    Create a Focal Point: In each room, identify a focal point. It could be a fireplace, a large window with a view, or a striking piece of furniture. Arrange your furniture around this focal point to draw attention to it.

    Consider Traffic Flow: Think about how people naturally move through space. Ensure that there are clear pathways from one area to another. Avoid blocking doors, windows, or walkways with furniture.

    Scale Matters: Pay attention to the scale of your furniture in relation to the room. Oversized furniture can make a room feel cramped, while undersized furniture can make it look sparse. Aim for a balanced and proportional arrangement.

    Neutralise the Layout: Your goal is to create a neutral and universally appealing layout. Symmetry often works well, but it's not the only option. Experiment with different arrangements until you find one that showcases the space effectively.

    Kerb Appeal

    Kerb appeal is the first impression your home makes on potential buyers, and it can greatly influence their decision to explore further or move on to the next property.

    We have written another blog recently that goes into more detail about kerb appeal, but here are a few strategies that you can take to enhance the kerb appeal of your home:

    An image of a house with a well kept lawn and garden

    Landscaping and Lawn Care

    A well-maintained landscape immediately catches the eye and communicates that your property is cared for. If you have a lawn, or front garden areas follow these landscaping tips:

    Lawn Maintenance: Keep the lawn neatly mowed and edged. Remove any weeds or bare patches.

    Flower Beds: Plant colourful flowers and fresh mulch in flower beds to add vibrancy and freshness.

    Trimmed Shrubs and Trees: Trim overgrown shrubs and trees to create a manicured look.

    Container Gardens: Use potted plants near the entrance or on the porch for a welcoming touch.

    Exterior Cleaning 

    A thorough cleaning of the exterior can do wonders for your home's kerb appeal:

    Pressure Wash: Use a pressure washer to clean the exterior of the house, including siding, sidewalks, and the driveway.

    Windows and Gutters: Clean windows inside and out to let natural light shine through. Make sure gutters are clean and free of debris.

    Front Door: Polish or repaint the front door, and consider adding a stylish new handle or knocker.

    Entrance Appeal:

    The front entrance is a focal point, so make it inviting:

    Wreath or Decor: A seasonal wreath or other appropriate decor on the front door can add charm.

    Clean Doormat: Invest in a clean, new doormat that welcomes guests.

    Symmetry: If space allows, consider symmetrical arrangements, such as matching potted plants on either side of the door.

    Repairs and Maintenance:

    Attend to any needed repairs or maintenance:

    Roof and Gutters: Replace damaged shingles and repair any gutter issues.

    Exterior Paint: If your home's exterior needs a fresh coat of paint, consider doing so before listing.

    Postbox: Ensure your postbox is in good condition and freshly painted.

    Repair Work and Upgrades


    An image of someone repairing the roof

    Repairs and upgrades are key elements in the home staging process, as they can significantly impact the perceived value and appeal of your property.

    With repairs, this is of more importance, as it is crucial to address these ahead of any property surveys, however, upgrades should be judged on their cost and potential to improve house value.

    Necessary Repairs:

    Before listing your home, it's crucial to address any needed repairs. These repairs not only enhance the overall condition of your property but also provide assurance to potential buyers that they won't be faced with immediate maintenance issues. Consider the following:

    Structural Integrity: Inspect the home for structural issues, such as roof leaks, foundation cracks, or plumbing problems. These should be repaired by qualified professionals.

    Electrical and Plumbing: Ensure all electrical and plumbing systems are in good working order. Replace any faulty outlets, switches, or fixtures, and fix leaks or plumbing issues.

    Cosmetic Fixes: Repair minor cosmetic issues like chipped paint, cracked tiles, or damaged drywall. Small repairs can greatly improve the overall appearance of your home.

    Upgrades for Value:

    While not every home will require major upgrades, strategic improvements can increase both the appeal and value of your property. Consider these upgrades:

    Kitchen: The kitchen is often a focal point for buyers. Consider upgrading appliances, countertops, or cabinets if they are outdated. A fresh coat of paint or new hardware can also make a significant difference.

    Bathrooms: Modernising bathrooms with new fixtures, vanities, and tiling can make a strong impression. Ensure that all plumbing is in excellent condition.

    Energy Efficiency: Upgrading to energy-efficient features, such as LED lighting, a programmable thermostat, or energy-efficient windows and insulation, can appeal to eco-conscious buyers and potentially lower utility bills.

    Kerb Appeal: As mentioned earlier, enhancing kerb appeal is an upgrade in itself. Invest in landscaping, outdoor lighting, and exterior improvements that boost your home's overall desirability.

    Flooring: If your home has outdated or worn-out flooring, consider replacing it with a more contemporary option. Hardwood floors or quality laminate are popular choices.

    An image of someone laying floorboards

    The Finishing Touches

    The finishing touches are what turn a staged house into a warm and inviting home. These subtle details can make a significant difference in how potential buyers perceive your property. Let's explore how to add those final, essential elements:

    Fresh Flowers and Greenery:


    An image of fresh flowers on a living room table

    The simple beauty of fresh flowers and indoor plants can instantly breathe life into any space. Consider the following:

    Table Centrepieces: Place fresh flower arrangements on dining tables or coffee tables. Opt for seasonal flowers to add colour and vibrancy.

    Indoor Plants: Strategically position indoor plants in well-lit areas to add a touch of nature and freshness to your home.

    Artwork and Decor:

    Artwork and decor should be tastefully chosen to complement your staged spaces:

    Wall Art: Hang artwork that complements the style of each room. Avoid controversial or overly personal pieces.

    Decorative Accents: Use decorative cushions, throws, and rugs to add texture and warmth to living areas.

    Mirrors: As mentioned earlier, mirrors not only reflect light but can also add a decorative element to walls.

    Soft Lighting:

    Soft and inviting lighting can create a cosy atmosphere in your staged home:

    Lamps: Add table lamps with warm-toned bulbs to living spaces and bedrooms.

    Candles: Consider scented candles in the bathroom or on dining tables for a soothing ambience.

    Set the Table:

    If your home has a dining area, setting the table can help buyers envision themselves sharing meals in the space:

    Table Settings: Arrange place settings with stylish dinnerware, flatware, and glassware.

    Centrepiece: Create an appealing centrepiece using fresh flowers or a decorative bowl.

    Towels and Linens:

    In bathrooms and bedrooms, fresh towels and linens contribute to a sense of cleanliness and comfort:

    Folded Towels: Display neatly folded towels in the bathroom. Consider using a coordinated colour scheme.

    Bed Linens: Make beds with fresh, well-pressed linens in neutral or calming colours.

    An image of a bedroom with a fresh made bed

    Aromatherapy:

    Appeal to the senses with subtle scents that evoke a feeling of home:

    Air Fresheners: Use natural and subtle air fresheners to create a pleasant fragrance throughout the home.

    Baking or Fresh Coffee: If you have a showing, consider baking cookies or brewing fresh coffee for a welcoming aroma.

    Personalised Touches:

    While depersonalising is important, subtle personalised touches can create a sense of home without overwhelming potential buyers:

    Books and Magazines: Arrange a small selection of books or magazines on coffee tables or bookshelves.

    Cosy Throws: Drape a cosy throw over a chair or sofa to evoke a sense of comfort.

    Conclusion

    Home staging is not just about making your property look nice; it's about strategically preparing it for sale to maximise its appeal and value.

    Whether you're selling a family home or an investment property, the techniques discussed in this article can help you create an environment that resonates with potential buyers and encourages them to make an offer.

    Key Takeaways:

    • First Impressions Matter: Kerb appeal sets the stage for a positive first impression. Invest in landscaping, exterior cleaning, and small upgrades to make your property inviting from the moment buyers arrive.
    • Declutter and Depersonalise: Create a neutral and spacious canvas for potential buyers by decluttering and depersonalising your home. Remove personal items and leave only what's necessary to showcase each room's potential.
    • Make Effective Furniture Arrangement: Arrange your furniture to maximise space and flow. Create clear pathways and highlight focal points in each room to help buyers visualise the space.
    • Repairs and Make Upgrades: Address necessary repairs to ensure your home is in top condition. Consider strategic upgrades that can enhance value and appeal, but be mindful of your budget and return on investment.
    • Add the Finishing Touches: Add finishing touches like fresh flowers, artwork, soft lighting, and tasteful decor to make your home feel warm and inviting. These small details can create an emotional connection with potential buyers.

    If you are looking to sell your house and need any more tips to help boost the appeal of your home, contact our experienced team who can help offer practical advice, tips and guidance.
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  • WE ARE HIRING: Residential Sales & Lettings Staff
    Posted on 9 August 2023

    WE ARE HIRING: Residential Sales & Lettings Staff

    Of vital importance will be your ability to make and maintain positive and professional relationships with clients, this includes viewers, vendors, landlords and contractors. You will be an excellent communicator and be very organised and efficient.

    Responsibilities of the role:
    - Ability to work in an extremely busy office environment whilst maintaining a positive outlook
    - Dealing with day to day general enquiries face to face / telephone and administration
    - Registering clients to mailing list
    - Organising, booking and confirming viewings
    - Dealing with and actioning website enquiries
    - Booking viewings and valuations
    - Landlord and vendor updates
    - Conducting viewings out of the office
    - Identifying opportunities for new business
    - Recording maintenance issues reported by tenants and reporting these to the landlord before assigning a contractor to the job.
    - Ensuring properties comply with key lettings legislation and safety regulations
    - Being proactive in maintaining landlord and tenant relationships

    Requirements:
    - Customer service experience
    - Previous experience of hitting and exceeding targets
    - High levels of energy and drive to achieve goals and targets
    - Can do attitude
    - Knowledge of all aspects of our business
    - Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
    - Knowledge of Microsoft Office Software and ICT proficiency
    - Excellent organisational and time management skills
    - Clean, current UK Driving Licence 

    To apply, please send your CV to Naomi Adams-English at nadams@johnminnis.co.uk
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  • WE ARE HIRING - Valuer
    Posted on 9 August 2023

    WE ARE HIRING - Valuer

    We have an exciting opportunity for a Valuer to join our dynamic team.

    A minimum of 2 years' experience along with a proven track record, positive, energetic, professional approach and and self-starter attitude is essential.

    Responsibilities of the role:
    · Working within a team to achieve the branch revenue targets
    · Offering first-class service to customers to improve market share
    · Liaising between buyers and sellers to negotiate prices by utilising marketing abilities and knowledge
    ·  Identifying the vendors needs and matching these to the proposition to help win new business
    ·Hands on day-to-day support with the branch operations including conducting viewings, valuations and negotiating a sales or sales progression
    · Identifying opportunities to increase revenue streams through maximising opportunities
    · Reporting to senior management

    Required Experience / Skills:
    · At least 2 years' experience
    · Strong communication and excellent interpersonal skills
    · Natural sales ability
    · Ability to identify business opportunities and put them in to practice
    · Full driving licence

    Benefits
    · Industry leading salary
    · Generous holiday allowance
    · Long-service rewards
    · Competitive commission structure

    This is a great opportunity for a passionate Valuer eager to join a fantastic team with a senior role within the company.

    Please send your CV to jsmith@johnminnis.co.uk
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  • Top 10 Tips for Selling Your Home
    Posted on 27 July 2023

    Top 10 Tips for Selling Your Home

    Making the choice to sell your home can be a daunting one, but the process doesn’t have to be a hassle!

    Ross McKnight, Senior Valuer at John Minnis Belfast, outlines his top 10 tips and insights to help make your home stand out and sell.

    1. Set the right price: Determining the right price for your home is essential. If the price is too high you risk deterring potential buyers, but if it’s too low you risk financial losses – this is why we take market analysis and local pricing seriously, ensuring you get the fairest (and most realistic) price.

    2. Enhance curb appeal: First impressions are everything! Make sure that prospective buyers are attracted to your home by tidying up the exterior – this could mean mowing the lawn, adding some bright plants or giving the front door a fresh lick of paint.

    3. Declutter: Possessions add character but try to avoid too much clutter as this can make it difficult for buyers to visualize themselves living in the property. Decluttering and organising each room can go a long way towards creating a clean and spacious environment that allows buyers to envision their own style within the space.  

    4. Make those home improvements: Got some DIY projects you’re avoiding? From chipped paint to cracked tiles, what may seem like minor issues can have a detrimental impact on how buyers perceive your property’s condition. Avoid these concerns by making sure to address any home improvement tasks prior to listing your home for sale.

    5. Highlight standout features: Every home has unique features that truly set it apart. Identify these standout qualities and make sure they are highlighted during viewings and in your property marketing
    materials. Whether it's a stunning view, a refurbished kitchen, or impressive outdoor spaces, emphasising these features can attract the right buyer.

    6. Comfort is key: Creating a cosy and welcoming atmosphere for viewings and make prospective buyers feel at home. Invite the light in by opening all blinds and curtains, consider turning the heating on, or add some bright and eye-catching flowers – there are a number of small touches that can make a big difference.

    7. Be flexible!: To maximise your chances of selling, it pays to be accommodating when it comes to viewings. Offering flexible viewing times – including weekends and evenings - can ensure that as many interested parties as possible have the opportunity to see your home.

    8. Get your paperwork in order: Having your paperwork sorted out early in the selling process including title register and plan documents, proof of ownership and energy performance certificate (EPC) will help things move along more quickly and reduce the potential for any legal mishaps or hold-ups.

    9. Communication is key: Planning a holiday? Making any major design changes? Let the right people know! Maintaining frequent communication with your estate agent, conveyancer, and the buyer ensures that everyone is on the same page throughout the selling process and any concerns or issues are addressed quickly.

    10. Choose the right agent: When it comes to selling property, your estate agent should be there to make your life easier. It’s important to look for an agent with experience, in-depth local knowledge and a confident sales approach. As an exclusive member of The Guild of Property Professionals for Bangor, Comber, Donaghadee, East Belfast, and Holywood, the John Minnis team is on hand to help you sell your home.

    To speak to our expert team about selling your home, or to book a free, no-obligation valuation, contact us today. 
    Read more
  • Boosting Kerb Appeal for Summer Property Sales
    Posted on 25 July 2023

    Boosting Kerb Appeal for Summer Property Sales

    By definition, kerb appeal is the attractiveness of a property and its surroundings when viewed from the street.

    In our latest blog, we delve into the art of creating irresistible kerb appeal to boost your property's allure during the vibrant summer months.

    As the sun shines brighter and house hunters hit the market, the exterior of your home plays a pivotal role in captivating potential buyers and making a lasting impression.

    In this guide, we'll explore effective tips and tricks to transform your property's facade into an attractive spectacle that gains attention and draws in prospective buyers.

    The Power of Kerb Appeal

    An image of a house with a well kept lawn and garden

    They say first impressions last, and in the world of property sales, that rings true.

    Kerb appeal is the secret ingredient that can elevate your property above the rest, enticing buyers to explore further and envision themselves living in your home.

    A beautifully landscaped garden, a well-maintained entrance, and a welcoming exterior can leave a lasting impact on potential buyers, setting the stage for a
    positive experience right from the outset.

    Landscaping and Gardening
    An image of a beautiful garden

    Step one in enhancing your property's kerb appeal is to breathe life into your garden.

    Trim overgrown shrubs, mow your lawn to perfection, and add pops of colour with seasonal flowers to create a welcoming vibe.

    Don't forget the magic of potted plants and hanging baskets, which effortlessly elevate your property's charm and freshness.

    Sprucing up the Entrance

    An image of a clear house entrance inside

    Your front entrance is the gateway to your home's personality.

    Give it the attention it deserves by doing things like giving the front door a fresh lick of paint in a bold, eye-catching hue that complements the exterior.

    Quick wins to also spruce up the entrance area include getting a clean doormat, decorative elements, and tasteful outdoor lighting that warmly greets visitors day or night.

    Exterior Repairs and Upgrades

    An image of someone repairing the roof

    A well-maintained exterior signals to potential buyers that your property has been cared for, but this can be hard to maintain with weather damage causing regular issues.

    Address any visible repairs, such as chipped paint, broken tiles, window frames and any cracks.

    A fresh coat of paint or a thorough power wash can work wonders in reviving tired walls and leaving a striking impression.

    Enhancing Outdoor Living Spaces

    An image of a garden with furniture

    Summertime beckons for outdoor living, and showcasing inviting outdoor spaces can be a game-changer.

    Stage your patio or deck with stylish furniture, plush cushions, and elegant decor to illustrate the potential for a summer sanctuary.

    Maximising Natural Light and Views

    An image of a room showing natural light

    Embrace natural light as a critical feature to highlight your property's best attributes.

    Clean windows to let the sun's rays pour in, removing heavy drapes or curtains to allow the space to breathe.

    Position furniture strategically to frame stunning outdoor views and create an alluring connection between indoor and outdoor living.

    Adding Finishing Touches

    An image of fresh flowers on a living room table

    Small details make a big difference. Set the stage with charming doormats, add a splash of colour with outdoor cushions, and consider seasonal decorations.

    These thoughtful touches can create an inviting atmosphere and make your property feel like home.

    In Conclusion

    With the sun shining and buyers on the hunt, now is the time to elevate your property's curb appeal and maximise its potential.

    Implementing these tips will make your home a summer standout, attracting interested buyers and leaving a lasting impression.

    Embrace the power of kerb appeal and watch your property bloom with potential.

    Contact our experienced team to discover more ways to make your property an attractive prospect for buyers.
    Read more
  • Ready, Set, Go! Registrations now open for Bangor 10K in association with John Minnis
    Posted on 19 July 2023

    Ready, Set, Go! Registrations now open for Bangor 10K in association with John Minnis

    The highly anticipated Bangor 10K is set to make a return for 2023, with registrations now open until Thursday 28th September.

    This year’s race, sponsored by leading local estate agent John Minnis, will take place on Saturday 30th September and is open to runners of all abilities, with early registration recommended.

    Participants will have the opportunity to traverse a stunning coastal route, soaking in breath-taking scenery and an unbeatable atmosphere as they strive to achieve their personal bests.

    John Minnis, Company Director at John Minnis Estate Agents said:

    “As a dedicated supporter of local initiatives, we are thrilled to partner with North Down Athletic Club to back this exciting community event and promote positive health and well-being.

    “The Bangor 10K has been a staple in the sports calendar for many years now, attracting both seasoned runners and beginners eager to challenge themselves, and we look forward to welcoming athletes and spectators to the wonderful city of Bangor in September.”

    As an exclusive member of The Guild of Property Professionals for Bangor, Holywood, Comber, Belfast and Donaghadee, John Minnis Estate Agents offers a comprehensive range of property services, including residential sales, lettings, and property management.

    Clare Russell, Chair of North Down Athletic Club, added:

    “The Bangor 10K is a testament to the power of sports to bring people together. The race has grown in popularity over the past number of years, and we are confident that 2023 will be no different!

    “It is wonderful to welcome world class runners to beautiful North Down each year to compete in what is recognised as one of the most scenic local races.

    “We are very grateful for the support of John Minnis Estate Agents and look forward to working in partnership to deliver a memorable experience for all competitors.”

    The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Jennifer Gilmour, said:

    “I am delighted to see this event return to the City of Bangor. Enabling people to take part in sport is one of the priorities for Ards and North Down Borough Council and I am sure that many competitors will be able to make use of our Borough’s first-class sport and leisure facilities to help them prepare.

    “It will be a challenging event that will take runners through some of our beautiful coastal areas and I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable event.”

    The 2023 Bangor 10K prize fund is in excess of £3,400.

    A full entry fee of £24.50/affiliated and £26.50/unaffiliated is available until 31st July.

    The closing date for online entries is 28th September, however late/paper entries will be offered until the morning of the race, subject to availability.

    For more information or to register for the Bangor 10k, please visit www.northdownac.co.uk/bangor-10k-2/
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  • Local estate agent John Minnis hails resilience of Northern Ireland property market amid economic challenges
    Posted on 13 July 2023

    Local estate agent John Minnis hails resilience of Northern Ireland property market amid economic challenges

    Despite economic uncertainty and interest rate hikes affecting the property market in the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland has emerged as a beacon of stability with property prices showcasing resilience and minimal impact, according to leading local estate agent John Minnis.

    Recent data from the Nationwide House Price Index (HPI) and Halifax HPI has reaffirmed Northern Ireland's position as a secure and attractive investment destination, with all UK regions except Northern Ireland recording annual price falls in Q2.

    John Minnis, Company Director at John Minnis Estate Agents, commented:

    “While the data revealed that all other regions showed annual prices declines, Northern Ireland saw a 0.7% year-on-year price rise, making it the best performing region according to the index.

    “Although 0.7% is a modest increase, it shows the Northern Ireland property market’s remarkable strength despite the current economic environment. The region has experienced only marginal fluctuations, demonstrating a market that remains steady and resistant to the challenges faced by other regions in the UK.

    “This stability has made Northern Ireland an appealing choice for both homebuyers and investors alike.”

    As the exclusive member of The Guild of Property Professionals for Bangor, East Belfast, Comber, Holywood, and Donaghadee, John Minnis Estate Agents specialises in residential sales and lettings, property management, new developments, land consultations, and valuations.

    Established in 2005, the business recently celebrated its 18th anniversary and a strong record of success across its Holywood, Bangor, Comber, Donaghadee and Belfast branches.

    John continued:

    “The Halifax HPI identifies Northern Ireland as one of three regions across the UK that has seen marginal gains in average house price figures, increasing by 0.2% to £186,856.

    “Not only has the region managed to weather the storm of the wider UK market but has also continued to display minimal but consistent growth.  

    “While other regions experienced a slowdown due to economic pressures and interest rate hikes, Northern Ireland's property market has shown resilience by maintaining an upward trajectory.

    “This remarkable performance positions Northern Ireland as a standout performer in the UK's property landscape.

    “Experts attribute this exceptional performance to several factors. First and foremost, Northern Ireland boasts an attractive cost of living and a robust local economy, which has contributed to
    sustained demand for properties in the region.

    “Additionally, the number of resale and new properties remains limited meaning the supply-demand dynamics in Northern Ireland have remained relatively balanced. This has supported the stable property prices despite external economic challenges.”

    “Furthermore, Northern Ireland's unique geographical location provides a distinct advantage.

    “Its proximity to both the UK mainland and the Republic of Ireland offers access to a broader range of markets and opportunities, making it an appealing destination for international investors seeking a secure and prosperous property market.

    “The current economic climate, including interest rate hikes, has undoubtedly impacted the UK property market. However, Northern Ireland stands out as a shining example of resilience and stability in the face of adversity.

    “The region's property market continues to offer homeowners and investors a safe haven for their assets, with steady growth and a solid foundation.”

    Summarising these developments, John concluded that as the property market continues to evolve, Northern Ireland's resilience provides a ray of hope for those seeking stability and growth in uncertain
    times.

    Investors and homeowners alike can find solace in the fact that Northern Ireland's property market remains somewhat unaffected by the prevailing economic challenges that have affected other parts of the UK.
    Read more
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