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More Women than Men Looking to Move Home

by Sarah Halloran

New research is showing that more women than men are currently looking to buy their first property.  Almost two million women are setting this trend and looking to get on the housing ladder in the immediate future.

The study, published by Post Office Mortgage, reveals that some 1.8 million young women between the ages of 18 and 24 are applying for mortgages and are on average a year younger than their male counterparts.  Also, there are significant regional differences in the data.  For example, women looking to buy a property in Sunderland are, on average, nine years younger than men buying in the same area.  Women buying in Hereford are seven years younger and in Slough and Leicester, they are six years younger.

Another question posed to these property hungry ladies was what they would be prepared to sacrifice in order to clamber onto the property ladder.  37% of women said they would be most happy to forego buying a property in a trendy area.  However, security was one area that they were least likely to compromise on with only 17% saying they would be happy to live in an area in which they felt less safe.

The men surveyed, on the other hand, said they would be more willing to sacrifice the availability of outside space or being in a family area.  23% of women said they would be happy to compromise on proximity to a city centre whilst 31% of men said the same.

And when it comes to the financial aspects of buying a property, 50% of women said investing in property now would ensure they were more financially secure.  Almost half of those surveyed said that mortgage repayments are a much better use of their money than if they were to rent a property.

‘Our research shows that female first time buyers are happy to compromise on the more superficial aspects of property ownership because they see buying a home as a financial investment in their future,’ said Mike Cook, Post Office head of Mortgages.

‘First time buyers, be they female or male, must make sure they choose the right mortgage to help them get their feet on the first rung of the property ladder. A 10% deposit is the minimum they should be aiming to save and they must look carefully at the long term value of the deal they sign up for to make sure they don’t get stung with any unexpected fees or rate hikes once the fixed period is over,’ he explained.

He went on to say that the Post Office has recently slashed many of its rates across its fixed rate, tracker, and buy to let mortgage products.  They have also launched a new range of fee assisted mortgage products.  The good news for first time buyers is that these products are best suited to those looking for a higher loan to value.  Good news whether you are male or female and looking to take that first step into the property market!

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Co-op gives sound advice re: Private Selling

by admin

Whilst researching mortgage options this morning I was surprised to find a page on the Co-operative Bank’s website discussing the pros and cons of selling your house without an estate agent.

Two of the critical ‘cons’ were:

  • one of the first places that buyers will look is a local estate agent and you may find it difficult to reach a sufficient number of potential buyers.
  • if you’re planning on selling your home yourself online, make sure that you check the website’s area coverage, user statistics, claims and other statistics before you commit yourself. Some websites are better than others.

Thats why we recommend marketing your house alongside your estate agent.  There will always be some contacts and clients that he has that you will not reach otherwise – just ensure that if you find the buyer you are not contractually obliged to pay his fees.

To the second point, we would always recommend using a ‘for Sale by Owner’ website that puts your advert on some of the mainstream property websites like, Globrix and Googlebase.  Many For Sale by Owner websites feature very few properties and are do not attract the visitor numbers that you need to find a buyer – on the other hand using them to get your advert onto a national property website gives you great exposure without the cost of the estate agents’ bill.

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Can Sarah Beeny sell my house?

by admin

The property section of the saturday’s Telegraph carried a raving review of Sarah Beeny’s private property sales website in which Sarah again set out her vision for the future of property sales. She believes that by 2015 50% of us will be selling our house without an estate agent and that our erstwhile highstreet based salesmen will be viewed along similar lines as insurance and travel agencies where they will be frequented only by people who are too lazy or busy to organise their house sale themselves.

Let’s hear it for Sarah!
is a private property sales portal where UK homeowners can list their property for rent or to sell in conjunction or instead of using an estate agent. The website is currently in the final stages of development and is due to launch in early 2010.

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Ask yourself: Can I sell my house myself?

by admin

When people ask what you ‘do’, what do you say?  It’s easy if you’ve got one of those jobs with a title everyone understands, like doctor, fireman or teacher but when you run a web business you could say a million different things – webmaster, publisher, business owner, entrepreneur, marketer, social media specialist, online something or other – like many small business people.

When I explain that I’m setting up a website to help people sell their own houses inevitably people have a few questions and almost always say ‘what a great idea!’ or a variation thereof.  Often they have a horror story of an estate agent lying/ stalling/ pressuring and other hijinks that estate agents are known for. 

This reaction is always heartening and backs up my research – that people can and will sell their own houses with a little help and guidance.  I feel for decent websites like mypropertyforsale, littlehousecompany and houseladder that have been plugging away for more than 8 years trying to save people thousands of pounds and still many people do not realise it’s even possible to sell your house without an agent.  People are becoming more aware, certainly since Sarah Beeny has launced her Tepilo service using her media profile built up through the channel 4 Property Ladder programme to reassure people that private selling is a viable option.

The kind of questions and doubts I come across often concern the legalities of selling a house and many people are surprised to hear that estate agents don’t have any part to play in the legal exchange of contracts other than introducing buyer and seller and keeping the sale process moving.

It is the solicitors that review all the surveys and searches, create, review and agree the contract.  Estate agents do add value to the process through marketing, sales skills, aiding the negotiation and quite often managing the chain to ensure the sale proceeds – but they are not absolutely necessary and anyone with the time and inclination can sell their house themselves. 

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