Walton on Thames



Helpful tips for buying a property via an auction


While most people buy their property via the more traditional method of using an estate agent, there are of course alternatives. One of the more intriguing options is to buy a home at auction, but of course this method isn’t for everyone. However, if you like the idea of doing so, here are a few tips to make the process simpler and more effective.


Pay the property a visit


It’s possible to find out a great many details about your desired property in the post, over the phone and online, but nothing beats seeing a place up close and personal. While floor plans, photographs and written descriptions can be useful, you need to see houses or flats in the flesh to know exactly what you’re buying.


Make sure you know the legalities


Buying a property represents the largest purchase most people will ever make, so it needs to be done properly. If you buy through an estate agent like most purchasers, you’ll need to have legal advice from the start, and buying at auction should be no exception. Without a law expert on your side, all sorts of problems could occur.


Set yourself a maximum spend limit


A property auction can offer something of an exhilarating environment, and for some it’s easy to end up getting caught up in all the excitement. To avoid spending too much, it’s a good idea to set a maximum limit for yourself and, just as important, to avoid going over it.


Make sure you have the initial funds


In many property auctions, you’ll be expected to pay a deposit (often 10%) at the end of the auction process. Therefore, you’ll need to have this money available even if you are yet to arrange a mortgage. This is another good reason for setting a spending limit and sticking to it.


James Neave the Estate Agent are based in Walton-on-Thames. We offer access to a wonderful selection of flats and houses for sale and for rent.



When celebrities cross the line – planning applications of the rich and famous


Hugely popular singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran may find it easy to succeed in the pop charts, but he’s been finding it more difficult to top the popularity charts with his neighbours. Sheeran is the subject of the latest in a long line of celebrity planning application stories, having been accused of building what could be used as a swimming pool, having originally specified it as a pool for wildlife. The local council in Suffolk is yet to issue a final decision in the matter, but it’s caused plenty of disquiet within the local community.


Celebrity chef Alain Roux fell foul of his neighbours in 2016 when a house he owned in Bray was fitted with replacement windows made from uPVC. The property was mainly used for accommodation for staff members who worked in his nearby restaurant, and the windows that replaced a previous set of traditional wooden sash windows really didn’t go down well.


Actress Anna Friel faced similar levels of wrath from her neighbours and her local council in 2017. Her Georgian home is in a conservation area close to Windsor Castle, and a major renovation project involving the addition of a single storey extension brought with it a host of problems.


When neighbours don’t become good friends


There has been a very public row in recent years between former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and one-time Take That heart-throb Robbie Williams, and it was all due to a planning application. These two superstars live next door to each other in London’s Holland Park, and the arguments began when Williams wanted to have a basement swimming pool installed in his home. After five years of wrangling, Williams won.


It’s interesting to note that one planning row occurred in relation to a property that’s perhaps even more famous than the superstars who spent time inside it. The property used for both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother was the subject of applications in 2018 that allowed it to continue being used for future series. In the end, permission was duly granted by Hertsmere Borough Council, although the programme makers have since said no further series would be made.


Here at James Neave, we know about all things property in Walton-on-Thames, and we’re always happy to discuss planning needs with our customers. If you’d like to speak to us, why not pop in for a chat or call 01932 221 331 today?


James Neave the Estate Agents are based in Surrey and we offer a great selection of houses for sale in Walton-on-Thames and the surrounding area.




Brexit uncertainty continuing to influence house prices


The ongoing uncertainty over breakfast is continuing to have an effect on the housing market in the UK, according to figures released recently. The Halifax have issued a report that has again highlighted slow growth, in fact the slowest growth in average house prices for more than six years.


It should be noted that many experts had predicted an overall drop in house prices, but in fact there has been a small increase of 1.1%. Whether this is set to continue remains to be seen, of course, even if the whole Brexit situation is about to be reaching something approaching an endgame.


While we may indeed be set to leave the EU in a few days, there’s no reason to assume that the economy will immediately stabilise. Uncertainty among both buyers and sellers in the housing sector could carry on for months or perhaps even years, although there are some experts who think the market will improve as soon as we know one way or the other how the future will look.


Good news for first-time buyers throughout the UK


In September 2019, the average home in the UK cost £232,574, a slight drop on the price in August but still an improvement on September 2018. While such slow growth won’t be good for those looking to sell, buyers – and especially first-time buyers – will be encouraged by it.


Perhaps the main reason for the uncertainty is the fact that no-one really knows how the economy will fare after Brexit. This is a situation that we as a nation have never been in before, so even the politicians are struggling to make sense of what may or may not happen.


Here in the south-east of England, house prices are higher than almost everywhere else in the UK, and the market remains relatively vibrant when compared to some locations. James Neave the Estate Agents continue to offer an excellent range of flats and houses for sale in Surrey, all of which enjoy excellent commuter links to Central London.


James Neave the Estate Agents specialise in property in Walton-on-Thames. Call 01932 221 331 to find out more.





Find out more about renovations to increase the value of your home


There are a number of ways to enhance the value of your home, from simple processes such as adding a lick of paint here and there to commissioning a major extension project. The issue for many home-owners, however, is knowing whether the required investment in terms of money, time and effort is actually worth it.


Many people will tell you that doing this or doing that will make your house or flat more valuable, but can you be sure that the returns you hope for will materialise? Thanks to Sainsbury’s Bank, there’s a handy online tool that will help you understand more about renovations and improvements for your home.


It’s easy to use. You simply enter the value of your home and the budget that you have available, then click on the various dots on the picture of the home. Each click will tell you how much you’re likely to spend and how it will affect the value of the property when you come to sell it.


Valuable information for any home owner


Needless to say, the figures included are general and won’t necessarily pertain specifically to your home, but they still offer a fascinating insight into how you could add value to your property with just one single project. If you decide on a particular course of action, it’s worth asking a few questions of our team about property values and how they can alter.


Returns on your investment differ from project to project, of course, but it was interesting to see that perhaps the largest profits could be made by converting your garage or loft into another room. In effect, you’ll be expanding your living area, and for that potential buyers will be happy to pay the extra cost.


Extending a property has always been a good way to increase profitability, but it’s worth noting of course that the initial outlay for many extension projects is significant. Renovating individual rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms doesn’t cost a fortune, but it returns a sizable profit for the vendor at some point in the future.


The online tool can be found at https://www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/money-matters/home-renovations-calculator, so if you’re thinking of any home improvements feel free to take a look. It could just inspire you to do something that will add value to your home in the near future.



James Neave the Estate Agents are based in Surrey and we offer an extensive selection of flats and houses for sale in Walton-on-Thames and the surrounding area. Call 01932 221 331 to find out more about property values, home renovations and more.


First-time Buyers are on the Rise Once Again


In recent times, house prices have slowed considerably in comparison to previous years. While there are a number of reasons for this slow-down, the two main factors have been the continuing recovery from the credit crunch and the increasing uncertainty in regard to if and how the UK will cope with Brexit. As we’ve seen many times in the past, economic uncertainty isn’t good for the property market.


Here in our lovely little corner of Surrey, prices have still increased, unlike many other regions, but not as quickly as in the past. James Neave handle a great many houses for sale in Walton-on-Thames, and although the market isn’t as buoyant as it once was, there is still a discernible buzz here. A location that makes it easy to commute into London certainly helps with this.


One of the more interesting aspects of a slow-down has been the increase in the number of first-time buyers who have been able to finally get on the property ladder. When house prices were rising quickly, it became almost impossible for first-timers to make a purchase at all, but this seems to have changed over the last year or so. The market always offers good news for some and not so good news for others.


New properties constantly coming onto the market


In Surrey and in many other UK counties, there’s been a steady increase in the number of new properties that have been built. While governments and local authorities are still telling us more and more will need to be built, it’s refreshing to know that some new flats and houses have been constructed and put onto the market with the specific intention of attracting first-time buyers.


This development has been helped by the availability of cheaper, more affordable mortgages, some of which again are aimed exclusively at first-timers. While the economic future of the UK isn’t as settled and predictable as we might like, it’s refreshing to know that conditions are right at the moment for those who want to get into property purchase.


Once the dust has settled on what exactly will happen after Brexit is or isn’t introduced, it’s reassuring to know that the market may be in a good position to recover, even if it’s a slow process. Time will tell what happens, we at James Neave the Estate Agents eagerly await the next chapter!


James Neave the Estate Agents are based in Surrey, and we sell a number of houses and flats in Walton-on-Thames which are suitable for first-time buyers. Call 01932 221 331 to find out more.


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