• Move or Improve your Home, Which Option Should You Choose?
    Posted on 1 September 2022

    Move or Improve your Home, Which Option Should You Choose?


    The first thing to consider is how much money you’d ideally like to spend, both options are going to require a budget.

    When moving home, costs to take into account are stamp duty, conveyancing fees, solicitors fees, valuation costs and how much deposit you will need for the new property. Other costs involved are estate agent fees, moving costs and storage if you need it.

    Renovation costs widely depend on the scale of work taking place, and if you are planning on extending your property. According to Homebuilding & Renovating, the average cost of a house extension is £1350 to £2250 per square metre of new internal space. This means that a 30m² kitchen can cost anywhere between £40500 to £67500, plus VAT.

    The cost of the project can depend on several factors, such as how many storeys will be built, the size and shape of the extension, whether you are installing a new kitchen or bathroom and the standard of the work that will be carried out.

    If you are looking for an extra bedroom, you may consider converting your loft space, or if you would prefer a ground-floor bedroom then you could convert the garage space instead of extending which can lower the budget.

    Renovation Ideas

    If you love the area that you live in, you might be considering renovating your home instead of moving. Here are some options that can help you improve your home:

    • Loft Conversion - If you’re looking for an extra bedroom or a home office, the loft area could be the perfect space. Depending on the size of your loft, you could add an en-suite and you may choose to add a dormer to add more head-height space. Depending on the work being undertaken, you may not need planning permission as a loft conversion can fall under the Rights of Permitted Development, but always check with your local council beforehand.
    • Extension - The type of extension that you choose depends on what your budget is, the layout of your home and the space available around your property. Whether you need a single or a double storey extension, this is a great way to add space to your property but it can be costly.
    • Update the Kitchen - This could range from a lick of paint on the cupboard doors, or a complete new kitchen design and fitting. Even with your existing kitchen in place, it can feel brand new with new worktops, tiles and flooring.
    • Update the Bathroom - If your bathroom is feeling tired or dated, you might consider upgrading your bathroom suite. New bathrooms usually cost much less than a new kitchen, and it can upgrade the look of your home!
    • En-suite or WC - Are the family fighting over time in the bathroom every morning? It could be worth adding an en-suite bathroom or additional WC if you have the space and budget for it. Many people add in a small WC under the stairs or in their utility room, and it’s great for guests so they don’t need to go upstairs to use the bathroom.
    • Conservatory - A conservatory is a great option for adding space downstairs, and it can cost less than an extension. If you have a growing family, it is an extra space for the family to relax in and it can be a fantastic sanctuary in summer months.
    • Garden Landscaping - This is one of the most affordable options on the list, and it can be done even on the tightest budgets. If you are feeling up to the challenge, this is something that you could take on in your spare time, or enlist the help of professionals.
    Adding an outbuilding, such as a summer house, home office or a personal gym can bump up the cost, but it can also add value to the property.

    Moving House

    If you are leaning towards moving home, you might be wondering what your options are and if you can afford a larger property or one in a different location.

    In Northern Ireland, the average property price is £165k which is 41% lower than the average price of £281k in the rest of the UK.

    With house prices rising across the board, you may be able to sell your home for a higher price than you originally thought.

    Why not get in touch with our friendly and experienced team to value your property, or check out some of the properties we have for sale right now?
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  • How to Boost the Kerb Appeal of your Home
    Posted on 30 August 2022

    How to Boost the Kerb Appeal of your Home

    Make an Entrance

    As your front door is such a focal point for the exterior of your home, you’ll want to ensure it looks its best.

    You may decide to replace your door completely when you put your home up on the market if it is dated or damaged. If you have a plastic or composite door, consider cleaning them with specialist products. Wooden doors can be freshened up with a lick of paint, or why not change the colour of your front door completely.

    Check your doorbell is in working condition if you have one, as it doesn’t give the best first impression if it is broken. Polish up hardwares, and why not add a new knocker or letterbox to give the outside of your property a facelift?

    Plant Some Life

    Adding an array of beautiful flowers and plants can really enhance the look of your property. You could add hanging baskets to the entrance way, or potted flowers on the front doorstep.

    If you have a grass lawn, keep it neat and tidy along with any bushes or shrubbery. Keeping on top of your garden will instantly show prospective buyers how much you love living in the property.

    Clean, Clean, Clean

    Have your local window cleaning service keep on top of your windows so they are looking their best, and try to keep on top of the inside of your windows too by giving them a regular clean.

    Dirt can build up around the window frames too, so if you can, give them a wash to remove any grime. By keeping your windows clean, your property will let more light in and brighten up the rooms in your home.

    Hide the Bins

    Wheelie bins lined up outside your home are never going to look appealing, especially if they are damaged. You can ask your local council to replace them, or consider adding a bin storage to the outside of your home.

    If you have the space, consider moving the wheelie bins to the side of your home where they won’t draw as much attention.

    Sweep Away the Debris

    Leaves and debris can build up outside the home, especially if you have a lot of plants and trees nearby.

    Before any viewings, try to take the time to sweep the outside of your home and pick up any rubbish that may have blown into your garden. When a viewing is booked in, it can be easy to forget the outside of the house, but it may be the first thing that catches their attention.

    Drives and Paths

    Depending on what type of driveway and paths you have, depends on how much upkeep they will need.
    If the outside of your home is mostly gravel, try to pull out any weeds that have appeared and sweep up any loose pieces. If you have a paved or concrete driveway, it will make a huge difference if you can spray the area with a powerful jet wash. Any patios or decking will benefit from being scrubbed down to remove moss and dirt.

    For more tips and tricks, head to our other blog articles or get in touch with our friendly and experienced staff here.

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  • How To Find Your Dream Home
    Posted on 26 August 2022

    How To Find Your Dream Home

    1. Check Out the Local Area

    We’ve all heard of the saying “location, location, location”, and it’s popular for a reason. You can’t change the location of your home, but you can always make changes to the home that you are in.
    If you are moving to a new area that you aren’t very familiar with, try to visit the area at different times of the day. Visit the high street, local pubs, parks and take a walk around the area. When you’re visiting these places, try to chat to people as much as possible to gain some insight into what it’s like to live and work there.
    It is also worth finding out what the upcoming plans are for the area, it could be that there are a lot of improvements being made and the location will only go from strength to strength.

    2. Chat with a Local Estate Agent

    This is the best way to find the home of your dreams, it's important to find an estate agent who knows the area well. Let the estate agent know what your budget is, what type of home you are looking for and what your situation is. If you are a young family looking for your next home, finding a house in the right location for the best schools will be a vital requirement. Whereas, if you are retired and looking to downsize, you might prefer a bungalow with easy access to scenic walks.
    A good estate agent will be able to help you choose the right property and guide you on the local areas with fantastic inside knowledge.

    3. Market Research

    If you have found some properties that you are interested in, it might be worth finding similar properties in the area that have sold over the last few years.
    You may find a house that you have fallen in love with, but needs a full renovation. By checking out similar properties that have sold in the last couple of years that have been at a high standard, you can get an idea of what that home will be worth once the work has been completed.

    4. Waiting List

    By registering with a local estate agency and advising them on the types of property you are looking for and the range of your budget, they can often advise you on upcoming properties before they are listed on the market.
    By doing this, you are more likely to find the home of your dreams because as soon as a property comes available that fits your criteria, the estate agent can book a viewing appointment.

    5. Check Out Upcoming Changes to the Area

    Unfortunately, you can’t own a view so if you have found a property that has an amazing sea view that you are willing to pay for, you will want to know if there are planned works to obstruct this.
    To avoid any nasty surprises, check out planning permissions made in the local area. This way you can make an informed decision and won’t be taken by surprise if there are building developments taking place around the area you live in.

    6. View at Different Times of the Day

    It’s much easier to view a property in daylight, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a drive around the area at different times of the day.
    If the property is located near a school and you are viewing the property late morning, you might not be aware of the cars lined up down the street at school pick up and drop off times. Or perhaps your property is in the bustling town centre with a great nightlife, the location may be handy but if you can hear music playing from the local bar until the early hours of the morning, you may have second thoughts about the property.

    7. Consider the Resale Desirability

    Unless this is your ‘forever home’, consider how easy or difficult it will be to sell your home when you decide to move.
    You may love everything about the property, but if the property has been on the market for some time, it is worth trying to work out why. Having this knowledge will ensure that you are more equipped when you decide to put your future home on the market, and between that time you can make the choice to make the house more marketable.

    8. Stay Motivated

    It can be frustrating when you fall in love with a house and your offer is not accepted, but don’t let it get you down. Follow these tips and keep looking, as one day soon you’ll have an offer accepted on the home of your dreams.
    If you’d like any more tips or information on buying your next home, why not get in touch with our friendly staff on 028 9065 3333, or get in touch here.

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  • 10 Interior Home Trends That Are Dominating 2022
    Posted on 18 August 2022

    10 Interior Home Trends That Are Dominating 2022

    1. Art Deco Details

    Embrace this popular trend with glamorous and sleek decor that will transport you back to the roaring twenties. Why not add a gold and mirrored home bar to your living area to create a hub for entertaining? Or how about adding luxe taps and fittings to your bathroom?

    Art Deco is often described as the pursuit of beauty, so this style reflects carefully selected homewares that adds decadence to your home.

    (Image Credit: Dunelm)

    2. Sustainable Swaps

    We have seen a change in consumer buying behaviour in the last few years, with customers opting for more sustainable materials and responsible manufacturing, and this shows no signs of slowing in 2022. In addition to this, buyers are also opting for second-hand furniture, or reusing items they own already in a different way.

    With a focus on conscious buying, we are seeing more reclaimed wood and recycled glass and metals in the interior design industry, with less meaningless furniture. A lot of buyers are opting to buy less, but buying higher quality products that will last.

    (Image Credit: Barker and Stonehouse)

    3. Create Curves

    In 2022, we’re seeing a lot more furniture with curved edges, smoother lines and architectural details. By replacing sharp-edged furniture it can make a space feel more fluid.

    Adding a curved sofa or table to your space can instantly elevate the room and make it feel more luxurious. This style of furniture works great in modern homes and can add to the contemporary look of the room.

    (Image Credit: Oliver Bonas)

    4. Mix Vintage and Modern

    Trends aside, your home should be a mixture of things that you love, so it makes sense to have a mix of modern and vintage decor in your home. It can be hard to strike the right balance in rooms when you are mixing new and reloved furniture, but by sticking to a colour palette you can make your pieces work harmoniously.

    Keeping similar shades of wood together, and mixing them with metals can create an industrial and modern look to your home. Whereas, if you are looking to create a cosier, traditional vibe to your home, combining painted wood furniture with plush sofas can work really well together.

    5. Shades of Green

    After spending much of two years stuck indoors, our connection to nature and the world around us has only become more important. This can be seen in home decor trends as Pinterest has seen a rise of 80% in searches for green interior inspiration.

    The home trend brings the outdoors inside, but if you don’t fancy taking the plunge and painting your walls green, why not add touches of rich-toned greens through cushions and prints? By adding pops of green to your home and the addition of plants, you can add earthy tones to your decor without committing to redecorating.

    (Image Credit: Farrow & Ball)

    6. Layering Textures

    2022 is the year of cosy layers of different textures, whether that is soft furnishings or even adding textures to your walls. We are seeing a lot of soft textures mixed with materials that have fringing or a decorative trim.

    Texture treatments are being applied to walls by using applications that mimic plaster finishes or by lime-washing walls. Whereas in furniture, we are seeing a variety of materials used in the same room such as natural stone, metal and wood layered with highly textured fabrics.

    (Image Credit: Dunelm)

    7. Cottagecore

    If you haven’t heard of Cottagecore yet, it’s one of the fastest-growing trends to emerge in 2021 and there are no signs of slowing down. With one of the highest search volumes of design trends on Google, Cottagecore owes its popularity to the idyllic content shared on Instagram and TikTok.

    Cottagecore, at its essence, is about living slowly and getting back in touch with nature, bringing the outdoors in at every opportunity. Inspiration is taken from wildlife and meadows, and you can add this look to your home by incorporating chalk-painted furniture and florals into your home.

    (Image Credit: Wayfair)

    8. DIY & Upcycling

    This trend has grown in popularity in recent years, and 2022 has continued to see a surge in DIY projects. Homeowners are becoming more confident in taking on tasks themselves, and it can be a way to cut costs when you are updating your home on a budget.

    Whether it is upcycling wooden pallets into garden furniture, painting an old piece of furniture or building a new desk, this is a trend that is dominating 2022.

    9. Colourful Kitchens

    Over recent years, we have seen bolder kitchen designs become more popular with many opting for darker hues of blues and greens rather than sticking to a neutral palette.

    In 2022, we are starting to see more pops of colour in this space, with colourful aga’s, painted walls, tiles, splashbacks and small appliances. This trend has extended to modern, retro and traditional designed kitchens showing that there's room for colour in all types of kitchens.

    (Image Credit: Country Living)

    10. Natural Elements

    Although more colour is starting to trend, there is still room for natural elements and tones, and this is continuing to grow in 2022. Browns, blues, greens and warm beiges provide a calming presence in homes, and we are seeing a lot of this at the moment.

    Paired with light, natural wood keeps spaces looking fresh and is in-keeping with the Scandinavian style. Pops of black home accessories add a modern touch to the home and can elevate the interior style.

    (Image Credit: Dunelm)
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  • What Should I Fix in my Home Before I Sell It?
    Posted on 1 August 2022

    What Should I Fix in my Home Before I Sell It?

    Kitchen and Bathroom

    The kitchen and bathroom have the most mechanical and plumbing problems, so it is best to check that they are in working order before putting your home on the market.

    Leaking Taps & Blocked Drains

    Taps should be leak-free and water should flow freely through the drain without any blockages. This can be a quick fix depending on the issue at hand, otherwise it is advisable to hire a plumber to fix the root of the issue.


    In both the kitchen and bathroom, the cabinets should be free from water damage and rot. Fix the hinges and drawer tracks if they are stopping cupboards or drawers from opening smoothly. These issues can usually be fixed with a screwdriver, but if your cupboards are severely damaged, then it may be worth replacing some or all of the units.


    It is important that fitted appliances are in working order if they are being sold with the property. It may be worth replacing an appliance if it doesn’t work correctly or it is unsafe.



    Whether you have tiled, laminate or carpeted flooring, it should be in good condition. It is worth deep-cleaning your floors, especially if you have pets and, depending on the type of flooring that you have, fix any issues before a prospective buyer notices it.

    Walls and Ceiling

    Giving your walls a fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to uplift your property, and it can even help to increase the property value. Neutral paints are recommended when preparing your property for the housing market, these colours can make your space look bigger and help prospective buyers imagine themselves living in the property.

    Any scuffs or discolouration from water damage should be painted over, and small holes in the walls should be filled.

    Heating System

    Some buyers request that there you can provide a gas safety certificate and a certificate to say that your boiler has been serviced. Having these certificates on hand when selling your home will put buyers minds at ease and know that the property that they are buying is in good condition.


    Garage Door

    Whether you have an electric or a manual garage door, fix any issues that you have before putting your home on the market. An electric garage door can be a fantastic asset to your home, so don’t let it appear as a negative to prospective buyers by leaving issues that they will have to fix.

    Exterior Doors

    Take a look at your exterior door and check that they have sufficient weather seals in place and the door handles are in good condition. Sliding doors should be properly aligned on the tracks and the glass should be code compliant.

    If your door is badly damaged or has dents, it is worth considering replacing the door completely.


    The roof shouldn’t have any loose or missing roof tiles as it can lead to water damage in the home. It is important to check the roofing underlay to check that there is no damage that could also lead to a water leak.


    The drainage system is designed to carry water away from the property, when a blockage occurs it can lead to a build-up of standing water that causes issues to the roof. Most of the time, blockages can be a quick fix because it’s due to a combination of moss, leaves and debris that can build up in guttering.


    Signs of an unstable foundation are cracks in interior or exterior walls, horizontal cracks in the foundation or sagging floors. If you have any concerns, it is important to seek a professional opinion from an expert in this area.

    Outside Space


    Whether you have a love for gardening, or you prefer to keep it low maintenance, it’s worth keeping on top of your outside space if you’re planning to put your home on the market. You can hire a professional if you don’t fancy tackling it yourself, but tidying your garden up will make a huge difference for someone viewing your home.

    For a lot of buyers, the garden is a main attraction when it comes to finding their next property so trim those bushes back and pull the lawnmower out of the garage, because it could help prospective buyers envision themselves enjoying the outside space.


    Broken or rotting fencing should ideally be replaced or fixed before putting the house on the market if you can afford to. It may be that the fence just needs a fresh lick of paint, but doing so can enhance the kerb appeal of your property.

    Ready to sell? Give us a call on 028 9065 3333 to speak to our friendly and experienced team, or get in touch here. Alternatively, why not take a look at some of the properties we have on the market right now?
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  • 11 Ways to Add Value to Your Home
    Posted on 20 July 2022

    11 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

    There are various ways to add value to your property, and some are more cost-effective than others. Depending on the condition of your home and the budget you have set aside, depends on which ways you can add value to your property without being out of pocket.

    There are projects that are quick and easy that will add instant value to your home, and there are larger projects that will take more time and planning before you can make it a reality. The following options are a great way to ensure that your property sells for the right price on the housing market.

    1. Upgrading your Garage Door

    If your garage door is old or damaged, then it could be beneficial to replace it with a new one. The garage door can be one of the main focal points of the exterior of your home, so if it is broken or unsightly, this can affect the kerb appeal of your property. If your garage door doesn’t work properly, replacing it will be a benefit to prospective buyers and for yourself if you are not planning to sell immediately.

    2. The Addition of Granite Worktops to your Kitchen

    Adding granite or quality-stone worktops can make an impact on the value and desirability of your property. The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the home, and so spending extra on the details can make a huge difference.

    Granite and natural stone add to the luxury aesthetic and make your kitchen both feel and look more expensive. Providing effortless style and a timeless look to your kitchen, it is no surprise that granite has been in style for decades. With trends coming and going, this is one way of future proofing your kitchen long-term. In addition to this, granite is extremely durable and needs minimal maintenance.

    3. Make a Grand Entrance

    First impressions count, and it is the first thing that prospective buyers will see upon entering your home. It is human nature to make quick judgements, and if your front door is scuffed, falling off the hinges or unsightly then buyers will immediately start to look for other faults in your home.

    Investing in a new entranceway that is in keeping with the style of your home can boost the value and desirability of your home. There are so many ranges to choose from, whether it is a timeless timber door or an ultra-modern aluminium door.

    4. Light Fixtures

    A well-lit room makes the space feel larger and more inviting, so if your light fixtures are outdated or dimly-lit, this can affect the feel of your home. Upgrading your light fittings is a cost-effective way of adding value to your home. It’s not just your light fixtures that you have to consider, harsh lighting from your lightbulbs can also cause an effect.

    If you do opt to change the lightbulbs in your home, LED lightbulbs are best in a warm or bright white. However, natural light in your home is always the best so make sure your curtains are drawn and you have opened up the blinds before your next appointment with a prospective buyer.

    5. Paint Your Home in Neutral Tones

    When putting your house on the market, it is worth giving your home a fresh lick of paint to brighten up your home. The colour you decide to paint your rooms can really affect the tone and feel of your home, so choose wisely. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to colours and decorating, and by going too bold, it could be off-putting to some buyers.

    By opting for a neutral palette for your home, you can elevate the style of your home and make it look more inviting. White, cream and pale grey tones can make your space appear larger, and it’s easier for buyers to picture your property being their new home.

    6. Remodel the Kitchen

    Now, this depends on the condition of your kitchen to begin with, as the cost of a new kitchen has to be factored into how much your home will increase by. If you are in desperate need of a new kitchen though, by presenting prospective buyers with a beautiful, up-to-date kitchen, it could dramatically increase the value and desirability of your home.

    If you are replacing your kitchen to make your home more sellable, be careful not to overspend. It can also be possible to update your kitchen on a budget by only replacing what is old and worn. Many kitchens can be updated on a budget by only replacing the floor, worktops and kitchen cupboards.

    7. Fit Hardwood Floors

    Although this option won’t necessarily add value on its own, it can contribute to the overall look and feel of your home and attract prospective buyers. Hardwood flooring is a great investment as it is universally appealing to buyers and if chosen well, it can last a long time. Hardwood floors are low maintenance and easy to clean, so they are perfect for family homes.

    8. Convert the Loft Area into an Extra Bedroom

    Depending on the location and size of your home, a loft conversion can offer some well needed space. The maximum value that a loft conversion can add to your home is determined by where your property is located, if larger homes are hard to come by, and if the loft conversion is a self-contained sleeping space that has an en-suite bathroom.

    The extra bedroom that the loft conversion provides can be a huge bonus to larger families, and in more recent years, the demand for home office space has increased so this can be a fantastic option for home buyers who aren’t necessarily looking for an extra bedroom.

    9. Add More Downstairs Space with a Conservatory

    Adding a conservatory to your home can be a cost-effective option for increasing the floor space of your home and it can be a truly flexible space, used as either a dining room, additional living space or even a playroom.

    To increase the value to its maximum capacity, make sure you plan your conservatory well and keep to the style of your home. A conservatory that looks as though it is just added to the side of your home can be unsightly to some buyers, but if you blend it with your home it can look stylish and transform your living space.

    10. Fit a New Bathroom

    This is another popular option for adding value to your home, but again, assess whether a full bathroom is necessary or whether it just needs an uplift. It also depends on the size of your bathroom and where the bathroom is located within the house. It is one of the main things that prospective buyers look out for, and the addition of an en-suite bathroom can drive prices even higher.

    11. Create an Open-Plan Living Area

    Open-plan living is extremely desirable and can make your space look bigger compared to separated rooms. It is a more communal way of living, and stops family members from being separated by different rooms. It is important to plan the space efficiently, depending on what you want from the space. For open-plan living to work, two or even three spaces have to work together harmoniously.

    For more advice and guidance on selling your home, get in touch with our friendly and experienced team at John Minnis, or call us on 028 9065 3333. Or, why not check out what houses we have for sale at the moment.
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  • 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home
    Posted on 8 July 2022

    10 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

    You may have a good idea already on how you can boost the value of your home, perhaps you've added an extra bedroom over the recent years, or added in a downstairs bathroom.

    However, don't let your efforts be in vain and make one of the common mistakes many people make when placing their home on the market.

    1. Underpricing or Overpricing Your Home

    It is important to have your property valued at a correct market price depending on the type of property, condition and location.

    It may be tempting to put your house on the market with the Estate Agent that has valued your home the highest, but if the house is too overpriced then it can delay your home being sold for longer. In addition to this, pricing your home too low may be off-putting to prospective buyers as they may worry that it has underlying issues.

    2. Ignoring Minor Repairs

    An issue that may seem small in the grand scheme of things, might be the reason your home has lower or fewer offers. When you are thinking about selling your home, make a note of all the repairs that need to be done. It may be a leaking tap or a broken floor tile that is the difference between getting the price for your home that you are hoping for.

    When prospective buyers are having their first or second viewing, they will be looking at your home closely and any remaining issues may result in buyers putting in lower offers.

    3. Bad Photography

    They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so it is important to ensure that your home is photographed well.

    It may be tempting to save money with an Estate Agent and take the photographs yourself, but the images are often the first thing that a prospective buyer will see so it is crucial to make a good first impression.

    The photographs should really highlight your home, and show it from the best angles. When choosing an Estate Agent, have a look through their current listings and ask yourself whether you would be happy if those listings were your own property.

    4. Hiding Issues with the Property

    Although it may be tempting to keep property issues hidden from prospective buyers, this could cause problems later down the sales process.

    When the house survey is conducted, it may bring to light some issues with the property that no one was aware of, unfortunately, this can sometimes be the case.

    However, if you are already aware of a problem with your property, it is always best to deal with it from the beginning. This could be fixing the issue before listing your property, or being truthful with prospective buyers so they understand what work would need to be done.

    This will help to avoid buyers pulling out from the sale, delays or re-negotiating the property sale price.

    5. Not Securing the Finance for a New Property

    You may have seen a property that you love and need to act on quickly, or perhaps you have seen similar properties to your own being sold and decide to list yours too, but it is important that you have secured a line of finance for your next property.

    You may decide to look for a new mortgage, or decide to port your existing mortgage to a new property but it is always best to speak to your lender and a mortgage broker first. Sometimes lenders change their affordability criteria and a new mortgage may not be available through that lender, or if you have changed from being in permanent employment to self-employed.

    6. Not Highlighting Key Features

    Your property will have a ton of great features, so ensure that these are emphasised. If you have a garage, downstairs WC, large garden or perhaps an en-suite, highlight these features in the sales brochure.

    It is always worth showing off the potential that the property might have too, if there is scope for an extension or the space to build another property, this could make your property even more attractive to buyers.

    7. Forgetting to Sell More than Just Your Home

    When showing house buyers around your property, remember that people are buying into more than just the bricks and mortar. If the house is a popular school catchment area, or there is a good restaurant nearby, talk about it to the people who are viewing the property.

    When buyers are searching for a property, they are looking for a place where they can make home. If they are a young family, excellent schools will be high on the agenda so show off the area that you live in and highlight all the benefits of where your home is located.

    8. Leaving Clutter Around

    Try to make your home look its best for prospective buyers as much as you can, by ensuring that your home is clean and tidy, and free from clutter. Let fresh air circulate the property, especially if there are pets that live in your home. By doing this, you are creating a blank canvas for buyers and they can get a better impression of how they could create a home in the property.

    9. Selecting the Highest Bidder

    This might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes the highest bidder is not always the best buyer. If you receive multiple offers, it is worth taking into consideration the position that the buyers are in.

    You may receive a high bid, but the buyer still has a property on the market, so it is worth assessing how reliable the buyers are. Many times, chain-free, cash-buyers are the safest bet because they have the guaranteed finance in place and do not have to worry about having their mortgage approved.

    10. Choosing the Wrong Estate Agent

    Choose an estate agent that you can trust, and look at their website to gather as much information as you can. It is important to find an established estate agent that knows the local area so they can give you the most realistic valuation and be able to attract the right buyers.

    Ask your potential estate agents questions such as, how will my property be advertised? Who will conduct viewings on the property? How much did houses in my area sell for? Do you have any prospective buyers looking to buy a property like mine?

    These questions will help you understand if the estate agent is right for you and how much knowledge and experience they have in selling homes in the area.

    For further advice and tips on selling your home, get in touch with our friendly and experienced team at John Minnis, or call us on 028 9065 3333.

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  • Does a Driveway Add Value To Your House?
    Posted on 28 June 2022

    Does a Driveway Add Value To Your House?

    A recent survey from Ideal Homes has found that a driveway is the 8th most important factor to house buyers when searching for their new home, and even 84% said it could be a deal-breaker. The demand for parking spaces can depend on location, with some parking spaces being in such high demand that they can be sold or rented separately from a property. Recently a parking space in London was up for sale with an eye-watering price tag of £350k, and even outside of London a parking space on the coast of Cornwall was on the market for a whopping £100k.

    There are plenty of benefits to adding a driveway to your property, firstly there is less maintenance than with a front garden, there’s one less lawn to cut and it is easier to keep a tidy appearance. Secondly, it will mean easier access to your property and you will not have to worry about where you park your car, and parking on your drive could even reduce the insurance premium! Lastly, a driveway could increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to future buyers.

    Will a driveway increase your home's value?

    According to Price Your Job, a house can increase in value anywhere from 2-10% with the addition of a driveway. The value that a driveway can add to your home will depend on the location, size and quality, and also how well it matches with your home and the surrounding neighbourhood.

    It is important to determine which factors will help increase your home's value so this may help to calculate how much value your home will increase by. Is there ample on-street parking available? If there is, it may not be a deciding factor for a house buyer, but if parking is an issue on your street then having a driveway could make your home far more desirable.

    Another factor to consider is the type of driveway you opt for, there are many options out there that range widely in cost and upkeep. If you are choosing to add a driveway to purely increase the value of your home, it is important to keep in mind the initial cost and desirability of the type of driveway you pick.

    The last thing to consider is how many cars can fit on the driveway, many households have multiple cars and, if you have the space, it may be beneficial to add a driveway with space for more than one car. Again, the cost of a larger driveway will be more but it could make your home far more desirable to prospective house buyers and be subject to a higher market price.

    Can a driveway devalue your home?

    Unfortunately, there are times, that even with the best efforts, a driveway can decrease the value of your home. For obvious reasons, house buyers will have to consider any extra costs that they incur when buying a new home, and this includes fixing any issues left by the previous owner. If a driveway has not been installed correctly and legally, then it can devalue your home when your house is placed on the property market.

    It is illegal to drive over a footpath without a dropped kerb, so if this is not in place, then it is an issue that could deter house buyers. If a driveway is in need of serious repairs, this can also be off-putting because it is unsightly and buyers may feel like they would have to undertake too much work or may negotiate the price lower. Another thing to consider is drainage, driveways are at risk of flooding if sufficient drainage is not in place which again, may be something that can affect the value of your property.

    How much can it increase the value of your home by?

    By adding a driveway to your property, you can add as much as 2-10% value to your property, but with careful consideration of the above factors, it is much more likely that it will increase by 5-10%. If you live in a busy location with offices, the coast or a busy high street, you can make extra money by renting out your driveway on sites such as Your Parking Space if you have no use for it. This is also something that can be highlighted to buyers, it can be a great way to supplement your income with another stream of finance.

    There are plenty of different options that vary in price depending on what type of driveway you decide to choose, and it can be a low-cost way to add value to your home. Opting for a gravel driveway is one of the cheapest options and it is also easy to change if the new buyers wish to install a different style of driveway later on, or would simply prefer a lawn instead.

    Which type of driveway should you opt for?

    There are a few different types of driveways depending on your budget and style but with the right design, a driveway can completely transform the look of your home.

    Resin Bound - A resin driveway can immediately modernise the outside of your home and there are a lot of different colour options to choose from. The resin is water permeable, so depending on your local council, you may not have to apply for planning permission which will make your driveway much more affordable. Resin is quite low maintenance, it is recommended that you give your driveway the occasional jet wash though! As fantastic as this style of driveway is, unfortunately, it is not suitable for all properties as it can only be applied to a flat surface.

    Gravel - A gravel driveway is a great option for a traditional look, and you can add a personal touch with paving borders and hand-picking a colour. It is also one of the more affordable ways to add a driveway to your home, so it’s a great option if you are on a budget. This style of driveway does require a little more maintenance though by keeping on top of weeds and occasionally topping up the gravel as it starts to thin.

    Tarmac - Another affordable option for a driveway, it is a great choice if you have a small front garden and a limited budget. Tarmac driveways are low maintenance and quick to install but, depending on the style you are looking for, they do not tend to have the same kerb appeal that other driveways offer.
    Block Paving - This is one of the most popular types of driveway due to the various options in style, colour and design that homeowners can choose from. Block-paved driveways are hard-wearing and will last for years to come, a bonus with this type of paving is that if one part of the driveway becomes damaged, only that part of it needs to be replaced. This style of driveway can be more expensive and time-consuming due to bricks being cut to fit and certain patterns can be more labour intensive than others.

    It is necessary to do your own research into which styles you like best and speak to a professional regarding which type would best suit your property.

    What to take into consideration

    Think about the kerb appeal that your driveway will provide, first-impressions count and a driveway can be more than a place to store your vehicles, it can drastically improve the look of your home. If your driveway is going to have a lot of vehicles on it and cars come and go throughout the day, you may want to consider something more practical than gravel and install paving that will be a lot more durable.

    The width of your driveway is another important thing to consider and how wide the dropped kerb will be. If your driveway is not easily accessible, this may be off-putting to potential buyers. There may be trees or shrubbery that you need to consider, talk to a professional about ways to avoid damage to existing roots, and also any cables or wiring.

    It is important to check with your local council about planning laws and whether you need to apply for planning permission. The council may also have a designated list of contractors that you are allowed to use for a dropped kerb, finding this information out early into the process could save you a lot of time and money. The style and type of driveway you choose can also affect drainage, to avoid pooling areas of water, speak to a professional about the best option for you and your home.

    Is it worth it?

    Ultimately, yes it is worth installing a driveway if you have the option to do so.
    There are several options to choose from and the cost is relatively low in comparison to what you can increase the value of your home by, in addition to the benefits you can enjoy from having your own driveway. It may not be the right option for every scenario, so it is worth looking into the factors and receiving quotes from local paving companies.
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    Posted on 10 June 2022


    John Minnis Estate Agents has opened its Fifth Branch in June 2022
    This is in addition to their four very successful offices located in Belfast, Holywood, Donaghadee and Comber.
    Joining forces with Mortgage IQ, following a successful five year relationship, this is now a one stop shop for those looking to get onto the property ladder, invest, relocate, downsize or simply seek some financial advice.
    Following on from the announcement of Bangor being awarded City status as part of the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, John Minnis is a welcome addition to Bangor Main street. The latest office of the award-winning estate agency enjoys a prime position at  84 Main Street, and is set to join the  resurgence of independent businesses in the city centre. “We are so excited to be opening our new branch in the heart of Bangor” said John Minnis, “we can’t wait to see what the future holds, especially now it has been named as Northern Ireland’s newest city”. “Bangor is a hugely desirable location with great  infrastructure and beautiful coastline, with its great schools, restaurants, shopping and leisure facilities, and NI's largest marina. We are thrilled to be a part of the community.”
    John Minnis is a multi-award winning estate agency with over 30 staff members and is currently recruiting  new team members from the local area. The estate agent specialises in residential sales and lettings, property management, new developments, land consultation and valuations. Earlier this year, John Minnis won two prestigious awards at the highly coveted Guild Property Professional Awards, a ceremony that was attended by over 400 of the UK’s top estate and letting agents. John Minnis is a member of The Guild Property of Professionals, giving JMEA clients and properties direct exposure to the English market. The network consists of 800 independent estate agents that show professional excellence and it assures clients that they will work with integrity and knowledge to achieve results.

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    Posted on 2 June 2022


    John Minnis Estate Agents Announces the Opening of its Fifth Branch

    Going from strength-to-strength, John Minnis Estate Agents announces their fifth branch to open in Bangor this June. 
    John Minnis will be opening its doors in their new Bangor location  on 8th June 2022, this is in addition to their four very successful offices located in Belfast, Holywood, Donaghadee and Comber. 

    Joining forces with Mortgage IQ, following a successful five year relationship, this will become a one stop shop for those looking to get onto the property ladder, invest, relocate, downsize or simply seek some financial advice. 

    Following on from the announcement of Bangor being awarded City status as part of the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, John Minnis is a welcome addition to Bangor Main street. The latest office of the award-winning estate agency enjoys a prime position at  84 Main Street, and is set to join the  resurgence of independent businesses in the city centre. “We are so excited to be opening our new branch in the heart of Bangor” said John Minnis, “we can’t wait to see what the future holds, especially now it has been named as Northern Ireland’s newest city”. “Bangor is a hugely desirable location with great  infrastructure and beautiful coastline, with its great schools, restaurants, shopping and leisure facilities, and NI's largest marina. We are thrilled to be a part of the community.”

    John Minnis is a multi-award winning estate agency with over 30 staff members and is currently recruiting  new team members from the local area. The estate agent specialises in residential sales and lettings, property management, new developments, land consultation and valuations. Earlier this year, John Minnis won two prestigious awards at the highly coveted Guild Property Professional Awards, a ceremony that was attended by over 400 of the UK’s top estate and letting agents. John Minnis is a member of The Guild Property of Professionals, giving JMEA clients and properties direct exposure to the English market. The network consists of 800 independent estate agents that show professional excellence and it assures clients that they will work with integrity and knowledge to achieve results.

    Contact the office on 028 9131 3833

    Credit: Megan Hayward, Brand Ambition
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