Lucy Richardson Ltd appears on Telegraph Business Club website in ‘Secrets to Success’ series

A short film (6min-41sec), has been released on the Telegraph website about Lucy Richardson Ltd in their ‘Secrets to Success’ series.

The film demonstrates the secrets behind why Lucy Richardson Ltd have been successful in a difficult time in the industry when others have tried and failed.

To view the film, please click on one of the links below:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/business-club-video/consumer-and-retail-sector-vide/9671970/business-club-video-lucy-richardson.html

http://bit.ly/TEdZ7N

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Property Tips for Buyers, Sellers and Investors

Below is a list of Property Tips for Property Buyers, Property Investors, and for people selling property, in London and all over the UK.

It is a comprehensive list of all our Top Tips as seen on our Twitter page @BuyingAdvisor, which will be updated regularly.

Scroll down to the bottom for the latest tip.

  1. First thing you do when you complete contracts – CHANGE THE LOCKS!
  2. Vendors: Please remember to sign your deed of transfer before the day of completion.
  3. Sole Selling Rights in an estate agents contract is not Sole Agency.  You will still pay them if you sell privately.  Do you want that?
  4. Vendor: Not everyone loves your open plan bathroom in your bedroom – think first, cutting edge design or speed path to divorce.
  5. Daily Tip: Buyers : Practice your poker face – if you enthuse too much it will make negotiations harder, alternatively, hire us !!!!!!!!
  6. Daily Tip: Investors: Only buy furniture when a tenant asks NOT before as U may be stuck with profit eating storage costs. #propertyinvesting
  7. Completion in brand spanking #newdevelopment today. Always check appliances are wired in…#developers can be lazy!
  8. Should #buyers and #sellers meet?  Could be a match made in heaven or curdle like a homemade hollandaise!
  9. Daily Tip: #Buyers: Check the walls behind bookcases and sofas – it may not have been re-painted with the rest of the room!
  10. Daily Tip: #investors: Use the same carpet and fittings on all your #portfolio. It saves money and time when repairs are needed.
  11. All our overseas buyers are avoiding London during the #Olympics.  Need to sell, push your agent hard NOW.  There’s 35 days left….
  12. #Buyers PLEASE don’t pick your #solicitor because they are cheap. They are cheap for a reason.
  13. Sellers: you can only make one first impression, have the foxes attacked your bins?…clean it up NOW.
  14. #Buyers: If a #property seems too good to be true, it probably is. Get a thorough survey and have the lease scrutinized
  15. Daily Tip: #Investors: Works always costs more than you think – add a 15% contingency fund as a minimum!
  16. Daily Tip: INSIST on a Party Wall Agreement if ur neighbour is doing work.A sledgehammer can easily find its way thru ur smart kitchen wall
  17. Daily Tip: A damp guarantee is not worth the paper it’s written on unless the company is still in business. Take note
  18. Investors: as soon as you exchange, if the agent/vendor allows, get the property on to the rental market to reduce any void periods
  19. #Buyers: Buying above #commercial? Check the usage band in case there’s a chance a fried chicken shop may move in beneath you!
  20. U do not need a flood survey in #London unless U think La Palma is going to collapse. So far the #ThamesBarrier has done its job.
  21. #Buyers: A compass; so small, but can tell you if your garden and front windows will get any afternoon sun in an instant…useful.
  22. Find a #tradesman you can trust and hold on to him like glue, if you can find one in the first place that is! #wishfulthinking.
  23. #Buyers: Open up all the kitchen drawers and cupboards. Don’t be shy, you are buying the fixtures too.
  24. #Buyers: In Chelsea, watch out for the tube – it is Very CLOSE to the surface in places and can be teeth rattling.
  25. Top Tip: Buyers: Don’t move in to your new home on a Friday, the roads are busier and removal services often offer mid-week discounts.
  26. Top Tip: Buyers: Buy in a town where a Waitrose and/or Marks and Spencer is being built, it seems that’s what people look for in a town.
  27. Top Tip: #Buyers: Take your own photos and/or videos on a viewing, of the bad stuff and the good stuff to help you remember properties.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to follow us, Lucy Richardson Ltd, on Twitter @BuyingAdvsior or contact us on info@lucyrichardson.co.uk

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Conveyancing: A Step-By-Step Guide

Conveyancing

The actual legal process involved in transferring the ownership of a house from one person to another is called conveyancing. Though it is perfectly legal to do this yourself, most mortgage lenders and even sellers will prevent you from doing so, therefore it is advisable to contract the services of either a solicitor or a conveyancing firm. Before deciding on any one firm get a range of quotes and always check that conveyancing firms are licensed to practice with the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. There are three main steps to the conveyancing process:

  • 1. Pre-exchange of Contracts.
  • 2. Exchange of Contracts.
  • 3. Completion.

1. Pre-exchange of Contracts

1.1 Your solicitor and the seller exchange details, your solicitor receives a copy of the draft contract which they send to you, this outlines:

  • The seller’s and your details.
  • Details of prices.
  • Which specific fittings are included in the price.
  • Details of the sellers title deeds.

1.2 Your solicitor checks and negotiates the terms of the draft contract on your behalf.

1.3 Your solicitor applies for standard searches to be carried out. These are addressed to the Local Authority in order to check:

  • Upcoming changes to the locality that may affect the property.
  • If it is in a conservation area.
  • If the building is listed.
  • If there is a compulsory purchase order affecting the property.

Additional checks must then be made to the Land Registry and the Water Authority.

1.4. Your solicitor addresses a number of standard inquiries to the sellers solicitor such as:

  • Are there any ongoing disputes over the property?
  • What are the exact boundaries of the property? Who is responsible for specific fences, hedges etc.?
  • Does a public footpath or right of way cross the property?
  • Do the deeds contain any restrictive covenants?
  • Is the property under guarantee with an authority like the National House-Building Council (NHBC)?
  • Is the house under planning restrictions due to past extensions or for any other reasons?
  • Are rights of way, road access and/or access to utilities shared by any neighbours?
  • If the property is Leasehold, is ground rate up to date and who is the Freeholder?

1.5 Your solicitor will send you a mortgage deed to sign and make the contract formal (not just a mortgage agreement in principle).

Before the next stage (exchange of contracts), a completion date must be decided upon by both parties. On this date you are free to move in. It can take up to two weeks from exchange of contract to completion, or it can be done on the same day. In some cases it suits both parties to delay this stage for up to 6 months, possibly to give the sellers time to move on to another property. If you are both buying and selling or if the sellers are, making what is known as ‘a chain’, then this can vary.

2. Exchange of Contracts

2.1 After contracts are exchanged, you are legally bound to purchase the property. As such, before this stage, consider the following checklist:

  • You have the deposit ready.
  • Your mortgage offer is in place.
  • The surveys are satisfactory.
  • Life insurance and property insurance are set up.
  • The contract terms have been revised by all parties.
  • A completion date has been set.

2.2 You pay the non-refundable deposit to the seller.

2.3 Your solicitor prepares a transfer document which is sent to be signed by the buyer. This deed transfers the property to the buyer from the seller and, once it is agreed, it must be signed by both parties.

2.4 Your solicitor finalises your mortgage arrangements, readying the money for transfer to the buyer upon completion.

2.5 Final searches and inquiries are carried out by your solicitor.

2.6 Land Registry fees must be paid along with Stamp Duty.

3. Completion

3.1. On the date of completion, funds are sent by your solicitor to the seller and the sale of the house is completed.

3.2 You receive the transfer deeds and title deeds.

3.4 You receive the keys and may move in; the buyer must have vacated at a pre-arranged time. Welcome to your new home!

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Sealed Bids and The Investment Buyer

You eventually find a cracking buy to let after months of lack of stock.  The potential income is ideal, a real hot spot for tenants and you have chatted up the estate agent near to marriage proposal.  You walk down the communal stairs smiling sweetly at your new best friend, pretty Clara, the 26 year old estate agent.  You leave her with very clear instructions on your interest, position, offer and promising fervently that her letting department will get the rental. She assures you that she will do the best she can for you.

However, as you leave, bidding goodbye to Clara, she appears to be hanging around and not skipping back into her smart little Mini?  “Oh, I have back-to-back viewings here all day!” she mumbled not quite looking you in the eye. Dread fills your heart as you have recently lost out in sealed bids on two other properties and feel another one slipping through your fingers.

Being an investor, purchase price is crucial.  A small 5% rise can mean the difference between a perfect investment or a costly chain around your neck.

But how do you win against cashed-up owner occupiers who buy with emotion and are happy to pay more to get their dream home?

Stephen, an expat investment client of ours living in Shanghai, recently lost out in three sealed bids in Islington last month. He wanted a period conversion flat up to £850,000 in Central London which would provide him with strong capital growth over the next few years until he return home from abroad.  Historically, this type of flat has provided excellent capital growth for our past clients but this was prime owner occupier territory and competition was hot.

So why had we lost out in so many sealed bids?  Did we not offer high enough? No, on one occasion Stephen’s bid was the highest by £3,000.  Was our relationship with the agent poor?  No again, clients of ours had bought three times this year with this agent and had automatically given them the rental instruction – they loved us!  So what was going wrong?

The simple answer is that we were bidding against cash-wielding owner occupiers and vendors were very nervous hearing stories about mortgage applications being rejected at the 11th hour.

So we had a fed up client sitting at his desk in China instructing us to offer whatever was needed to secure the flat. This is a typical mistake made by virgin investors pushed into positions like this when it becomes personal, and it is so difficult for it to not become personal.

Expats like Stephen’s primary investment motive is capital growth.  They need to ensure that when they return home, they have not been priced out of the market in London whilst it continues to rise as it has been doing against all odds and the ‘double-dip recession’.

The market has shown time and time again that period homes are the best long-term investment for capital growth. This is simply because owner occupiers prefer this type of home.

An owner occupier, who is making an emotional purchase, is more likely to pay over the odds for a property and less so with their head unlike savvy seasoned investors.

Going back to Stephen, last week he exchanged contracts on a cracking Georgian conversion.  Yes, we had to go into sealed bids again but this time we won and were not even the highest bid!  A very strong agent relationship (good property finders are worth their weight in gold at times like these), complete flexibility on timescales, and a professionally considered, smartly written bid, backed up with enough paperwork to convince even a sceptic on his mortgage ability, was submitted. All this eventually won over a vendor.

So keep your spirits up if you have lost out a few times, your property finder (if you are sensible enough to employ one) will battle on, and like Stephen, the right investment will be secured.

Lucy Richardson Limited is a privately owned completely independent Property Search Company with an extensive client list who have successfully invested very profitably in Central London.  Contact us for further information on

Phone : +44 7795 242300

E-Mail : info@lucyrichardson.co.uk 

Website : www.lucyrichardson.co.uk

Follow us on twitter : @BuyingAdvisor

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Burglary Prevention Tips

So you have settled into your fantastic new home, redecorated perfectly and bought top end new furniture to suit the house all costing you a fair penny but did you spend a little of your budget wisely to ensure you do not have an unwelcomed visitor?

While the Metropolitan Police are taking action to target and arrest those responsible for burglary, they would like to remind home owners to take some simple measures which can further reduce the chance of them becoming a victim of burglary.

Most burglaries tend to be opportunistic rather than planned. So if your home does not look secure, seems unlived in, or provides unobserved access, it could be at risk. Understanding what burglars look for when choosing their target will help you identify weak spots in your home’s security.

The Met’s 10 Top Tips:

  • Mark or etch your property with your postcode, house or flat number or the first three letters of your house name.
  • Register items with a serial number at: www.immobilise.com
  • Do not leave your car keys or ID documents near doors, letterbox or windows.
  • Always check who’s at the door and don’t open it if you feel anxious.
  • Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight.
  • Leave some lights on if it will be dark before you get home.
  • Install a visible burglar alarm.
  • Always keep sheds and outbuildings locked.
  • Cancel milk or other deliveries if you will be away for days or weeks at a time.

For more advice and information please visit: www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention/burglary or contact your local Safer Neighbourhoods team by visiting www.met.police.uk or by calling 101.

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Expat Property Investor

Two years ago a potential buyer, Andrew, a virgin expat property investor contacted the team at Lucy Richardson Ltd.  Andrew was in his early thirties, single, handsome, a first-time buyer and successfully worked in finance for a large corporation in Singapore. His concerns were that when he eventually returned to the UK, he wouldn’t be able to afford even a one bedroom flat in Central London as he had been watching property prices rise, even during the recession. For 3 years, the ‘Andrews’ of this world have been a constant recurring client type on our books, the expat first-time investor living in Asia. These are not the buyers from Asia you hear about who unwisely buy off-plan at property fairs,  “Oh yes Sir, Whitechapel is Prime Central London” but expats forging their careers in Singapore, Manilla and Hong Kong.

So why do they want two bed period conversions in Islington?  Living a 12 hour flight away, they always have an end date in mind and return home at some point.  While anxiously watching the London property market without even a little toe in the London market, they worry that they could be completely priced out when they return with their new family.

Our first questions to potential clients of this nature are usually:

  • Can you be totally commercial about the purchase and not be influenced by personal emotions?
  • Are you willing to consider a location out of your comfort zone?
  • Will you accept our professional advice over friends/family who ‘always know better’?
  • Yields are low in London, with more than a 50% mortgage, the income will probably only just cover the yearly overall costs so capital growth therefore has to be your main barometer
  • Have you considered all your tax implications when you come to sell?

.

Property investment is a very sensible option for expats with no home in the UK. They normally aren’t familiar with the calculations involved or care required when choosing a property investment. They need guidance.

Andrew put his trust in our expertise as property advisors and invested without viewing. From our perspective when acting for a virgin expat property investor, it is always a little tricky, as they inevitably cannot remain completely unemotional about their purchase.

A two-bedroom, 850 square foot Georgian conversion in Clerkenwell was sourced and secured at sealed bids for £605,000. Sealed Bids – another challenge! Trying to win the bid while not overpaying – they are not owner occupiers that have to have it whatever the cost.

We organised a quick re-spruce of the flat and lined up furniture for purchase if requested by a tenant. A local agent let it quickly at £500 per week, unfurnished, which kept costs down. Although by national standards not a brilliant yield, this was a fair market rent at that time in Clerkenwell. The investment covered its yearly costs.

Two years later, following our advice, the tenants have accepted the rent increase to £650 per week. The flat is now worth over £800,000 – 33% capital growth. Not bad for a first-time buyer who didn’t even view the flat before purchase!

Now Andrew plans to return home with a pretty young wife and they have an eye on something quaint in the Home-Counties. But there are tax implications on selling this flat. So for non-UK residents professional tax advice is always recommended.  In some cases the property must be your main home before you sell it, or you could be liable to high capital gains tax.

For a virgin expat property investor, using a property finder with expertise in this field ought to be one of their first considerations. It is a huge investment with many consequences and if chosen unwisely could become a rather expensive experience.

But choose your property finder wisely.  Unfortunately our industry attracts many who have no or very little experience in order to ethically advise their clients properly.

The ARP, our governing body, is a great starting point when searching for a professional property finder.  All members must abide by their Rules of Conduct, have full professional indemnity insurance, never act as an estate agent and never take on clashing clients which would be a conflict of interest. The Property Ombudsman also ensures that all members are properly accountable.

However, we can save you that phone call!  We have a long list of very happy repeat clients, are FULL members of the ARP and have 15 years experience in buying great property investments in London.

If you are an expat property investor, or need any help with buying property in London or the home counties please contact us below:

Lucy Richardson Limited

Property Search Consultancy

2 Eaton Gate, London, SW1W 9BJ

Mobile: + 44 7795 242 300

Email: lucy@lucyrichardson.co.uk

Follow us on Twitter: @BuyingAdvisor

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London Property Buyer to Appear on US TV Programme ‘Selling London’ – 5 July

London Property Buying Agent Lucy Richardson will feature in the TV programme ‘Selling London’. In the thrilling episode scheduled for 5 July on Cable TV network HGTV, Lucy helps explain the role and advantages of appointing a Buying Agent in the UK.

Lucy Richardson, Director of her eponymous London Property Buying Consultancy, will soon appear on the US cable TV programme ‘Selling London’. Richardson will make a major contribution in the episode scheduled for 5 July.

The top rated cable TV network HGTV, has commissioned the ‘Selling London’ series after its enormously successful ‘Selling LA’ and Selling New York’ programmes grew into multiple series. A number of elite buying and selling property experts are filmed giving their respective views on certain properties that they are managing either from a selling or buying perspective. Lucy Richardson’s 15 years experience of buying prime properties in Central London, on behalf of clients, is much sought after.

 

In the episode, Lucy Richardson is seen working for her new clients who desire that their ideal home is located in a very tight area of London. The discerning clients also have clear views on layout and budget. A compromise is required, setting the buying advisor a unique challenge to overcome in order to clinch the best deal for the client and find them their perfect home – what happened next will be revealed on the programme.

Richardson says

“This is the first time that I had been filmed since launching my company in January 2009. I found the production company, directors and film crew fantastic to work with. They had recently come from working on Top Gear, The Biggest Loser with Davina McCall and were off to film TOWIE. We managed to get permission to film in some fabulously historic homes in Central London so rarely seen by the general public. This should give the American audience a much more authentic insight into how a Buying Advisor operates in the UK. In particular the prime London properties that they can find.”

The London property buying consultancy has a prestigious list of clients who owing to confidentiality Richardson will not reveal. The programme underlines why clients retain Lucy Richardson for their next purchase. ‘Selling London’ gives some insight into Richardson’s fierce independence to use her knowledge and discretion to always to ensure the best outcome for her clients.

About HGTV

Receivable by 98 Million Households in the USA. The company that owns HGTV recently acquired Virgin Media’s 50% share in UKTV. It is anticipated that the series could be screened in the UK in future.

About Lucy Richardson Limited

The company purely acts as a buying agent on behalf of the client searching for properties in prime Central London. Lucy Richardson has a transparent fees policy with no hidden costs or add-ons to the client when providing their services.

The company is a full member of The Association of Relocation Professionals (ARP) and abides by their rules of conduct alongside with her own strict Client Service Level Agreement. Lucy Richardson Limited also has full membership to The Property Ombudsman Scheme which provides a free, fair and independent service for dealing with unresolved disputes.

For Press Requests for Further Information/ including London Property Market Comment, Interviews or Images:- please contact Lucy Richardson’ through her PR advisors/Press Office: JT Marketing PR Limited

Visit http://www.lucyrichardson.co.uk  for more details about Lucy Richardson.

Visit http://www.jtmarketingpr.co.uk  for more details about JT Marketing PR

JT Marketing PR is a very creative, hardworking UK strategic marketing consultancy and lifestyle PR agency. The company works across a broad range of market sectors including: online consumer, designer and lifestyle market including home interiors, accessories and gifts, retail, as well as corporate and b2b.

Established in Feb 2007, the strategic marketing consultancy and PR Agency works with clients in London, Herts, Essex and the South East. JT Marketing PR provides strategic marketing, branding and PR advice to established and new companies.

What sets the company apart is that the company’s founder, Joseph Tirelli (JT), offers each client his undivided personal attention. This ensures that every penny of their client’s budget works as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Clients really value JT Marketing PR’s straight-forward marketing help and advice, as it is always focussed at having a direct positive effect on their bottom line.

Link http://prlog.org/11915297

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