Thursday, 26 October 2017

Moving tips for Penicuik families with children


Moving home can be a stressful experience without a doubt. There may well be lots of excitement because of new opportunities over the horizon but there will also some major issues to consider. How do you get all your stuff packed up and moved safely? How are you going to make friends in your new location? Is it going to be okay?

Of course, the entire process is made a lot more challenging when you have children involved. Here are some of our top tips in making the trip from old home to new location go as smoothly as possible when you have children in tow.

Talk to your children

Adults can generally get their heads around, and cope with, change. For children, it will be more than just the challenge of packing up and moving from A to B. Not only could they be losing the friends they’ve made, there’s the prospect of starting in a new school and beginning over again.

Prior to moving, you need to make sure you talk as much as possible and get them used to the idea of moving. Of course, a lot will depend on the age of your children and how much they understand about this big change.

It can often be harder for teenagers because, for example, they have made long term friendships and have lived in the same place for a good while. Smaller children tend to have shorter attention spans but you might want to look out for tell-tale signs that they are stressed out and find a way to talk these through to put them at ease. Those under five still have a greater attachment to their parents and are usually the easiest to handle because they haven’t yet started to develop their own independence.

The good news is that social media and technology means that friends can remain in contact with each other a lot easier than in the past. It may not be the perfect solution but it can help, particularly older children, cope a lot better.


Getting the children involved

It’s important to get children involved with the moving process and packing up as much as possible. That could involve putting them in charge of their own room (nominally in the case of younger children!) and helping with the planning. It will make the feel part of the move and in control rather than simply having the change thrust upon them. Try to be as flexible as possible and don’t be too upset if your child suddenly loses interest and finds something else to do.

For much younger children, having them out of the way while you pack and prepare to move home can be a lot less stressful. That means you may need to call on friends and family to look after them while you get everything done. Even if your children are involved in the move, it’s a great idea to involve close relatives and family friends to help normalise the process as well as get that extra needed help.

Getting the children used to the new home and area

Where possible make sure the children have visited the new home a few times, point out their new room and ask their opinion on where things should go, what new items will be needed, should you decorate, by getting them involved they will develop a sense of ownership and hopefully excitement. 

Also, get the children especially the younger ones, used to the new area by, for example, driving past the new school and exploring the local amenities to show all the possibilities.
Visiting their new home and area before you move is one way to start getting your children used to the change.

Try the ‘is that a bird?’ approach once you have moved

Once you have moved, it is good to distract the children from the thought of having to move by, for example, getting them involved in activities in the new area or even getting them some new toys to play with. 


Finally, planning, understanding and accepting things not going right

Good planning and plenty of understanding go a long way to helping things run much smoother when moving home. Don’t expect everything to go like clockwork, though. That rarely happens with any move. Each child is different and they’ll react in their own unique way. For some it will be a worrying time, for others it can be a great adventure.



#penicuik #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector #housemoving #housemovingwithchildren

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Are ‘would be’ Penicuik homeowners warming to the idea of renting?


I was reading a report the other day produced by the Halifax, about the UK property market and why more and more of the younger generation seem to be renting rather than buying. I find it fascinating that over the last 10 - 15 years, the British obsession of buying a house almost as soon as you left school, and the fact that if you rented you were seen as a second class citizen, has turned on its head to a point where the hopes and dreams to own a nice home will be replaced by the ambition simply to live in one.

In the latter half of the 20th Century, you left school, got a job, bought a small house and kept buying and selling property, constantly upgrading until eventually they carried you out in a box. However, the perceived shame and stigma of renting is no longer the case, as it seems that the British are now beginning to accept a lifetime of renting. This is a very important consideration for both Penicuik homeowners and Penicuik landlords as it will transform the way the Penicuik property ladder looks in the future and I might ask whether or not it will exist at all for some people? The make up of households is one important factor, especially in the Penicuik property market. The normal stereotypical married couple, two kids and dog of the 1970’s and 80’s has changed. More and more we have the need for larger houses where two families come together after divorces (+ kids) and need a property to house everyone through to an increase in the number of one person households.

Looking at the data for Penicuik, of the 901 private rental properties in the Penicuik Locality, 27.62% of those rented properties are one person households (249 properties). However, when we compare the number of one person Penicuik households who have bought their own property with a mortgage (i.e. therefore they are still in work), of the 4,705 owner occupied households in the area, only 355 of those properties are a one person household (i.e. 7.54%). Compared to a decade ago, this explosion in demand for decent high quality rental properties that one person households require has not been met with an increase in supply of such properties.  More and more I believe Penicuik landlords need to consider this change in the make up of Penicuik households, as I believe this could be an opportunity.

It is true that the Government’s introduction in 2013 of the Help to Buy scheme, where first time buyers only needed a 5% deposit, changed the perception of peoples’ ability to buy without having to save ten’s of thousands of pounds for a deposit. However, it might surprise you, 95% mortgages were re-introduced within six months of the Credit Crunch in late 2009, so again it comes down to people’s own perception. Many youngsters think they won’t get a mortgage, so don’t even bother trying.

Coming back to the deposit, it’s still a fact that once you start renting it becomes that much harder to save for a deposit, regardless of the size. Interestingly, 7 out of 8 renters polled by the Halifax (86% to be exact) refuse to sacrifice the quality of accommodation they currently live in to reduce the amount of rent they pay in order to save for a deposit.  This is the crux and the real reason why people aren’t buying but renting... and why demand for renting will continue to grow in the future (i.e. good news for landlords). Penicuik tenants can upgrade the quality and size of the property they live in for a minimal rent increase. The average rent of a two bed property in Penicuik is £700pm, but a three bed is only £150pm more at £850pm, whilst the average four bed rent is £1,000pm. If you had to make that jump when buying, the monthly mortgage payments would be stratospherically more than that! Without any social pressure and better quality rental properties compared to a decade ago, we will become a nation of renters within the next generation, as the UK is becoming more like Europe, where renting is ‘the norm’.

Who is going to supply all these properties to rent? Landlords! Whether you are an existing landlord looking to grow your portfolio or looking to become a ‘first time landlord’, my thoughts are take advice from as many people as possible. However, as the majority of landlords buy their buy to let properties in the same town they live, you will need specific advice about Penicuik itself.

One place for such quality advice and opinion is the Penicuik Property Blog www.thepenicuikpropertyblog.co.uk.



#penicuik #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector #firsttimebuyers

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Opinion piece: The Key Place, Countrywide, Purplebricks and the changing lettings landscape in Penicuik


The lettings landscape is changing. 

It is changing as a result of the regulation of the sector being implemented by the Scottish Government.  It is changing because of the recent tax changes introduced by that historical figure, George Osbourne .... remember him?  It is changing because of the changing mortgage market.  And it is changing because of technology advancements.

Fundamentally, even with all this change, the lettings market is still a good place to be just now because current demand greatly exceeds current supply and this shows no sign of changing in the short, medium or long term as the obstacles to building more properties are so high that we will not be building enough properties to solve the problem for decades to come.

However, what will evolve is who manages letting properties and how they are managed.

At the moment there is great talk of national internet based letting agencies, like Purplebricks and Ewemove, being the next great thing and there is lots and lots of talk that large national office based letting agencies like Countrywide (called Slater Hogg & Howison in Scotland) being dinosaurs who will not survive (for what it worth, I personally suspect that Countrywide may well be more valuable if it is broken up .....). 

For me, technology will change the lettings market and the lettings industry must embrace technology so that it provides a continually improving service.  However, unlike selling tins of beans (which absolutely lend themselves to be sold by national and international businesses on the internet), ultimately lettings is about local knowledge and long-term relationships and personally I do not think that national letting agencies – whether internet based or not – can provide the same level of local knowledge, people skills and long-term relationships as local letting agencies like The Key Place.  The Key Place is a family run business with extensive local knowledge, people skills and long-term relationships with landlords, tenants, contractors, Councils, Penicuik etc which is invaluable in ensuring that lettings is done properly .... particularly when the ‘road bumps’ of lettings come along.

Keep it real, keep it local!



#penicuik #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector #firsttimebuyers