Monthly Archives :

December 2016

The Beauty Of Appointing An Interior Designer

Each space is unique and, as such, should be treated that way. Visualising the optimal design and layout of a room requires creativity, logic and experience, amongst other things. The best interiors are not only pleasing on the eye. The space is optimized, revolving around the key purpose and functionality of the room. A cleverly designed space can improve productivity, happiness and even your health. Here are 8 key benefits of appointing an interior designer on your quest to design that perfect space.

1. A quality interior designer will have training and experience designing rooms of all shapes, sizes and styles. Therefore, they won’t be overwhelmed by the task at hand and know exactly where to begin.

2. Visualising an end-product before you begin can be difficult. Experienced interior designers are trained over many years to be able to do this. This ability allows for things to come to fruition a lot sooner as any apprehension is removed from the process.

3. They will get to know you, understand what you want and what you like. They will advise you and work around your initial ideas, refining them where necessary. They will be aware of the best solutions for specific rooms and their various functions. Their creativity and innovation will maximise the liveable space.

4. Seeing things from a fresh perspective can be very helpful. Good interior designers will often make suggestions that you haven’t thought of.

5. An experienced interior designer will have refined a process, honed over many years in the game. They will be aware of common mistakes/issues to avoid and have experience dealing with problems that arise during the implementation phase.

6. They will have a network of trusted contractors and suppliers, with whom they have worked on previous projects alongside. This will bring with it a smoother process, coordinated by the interior designer themselves, an understanding of the quality of finish/materials to be expected and potential preferential rates due to their on-going relationship (which can also financially benefit you).

7. Being able to fully understand your aims and objectives, whilst considering the prime solution for the space, means they will be able to accurately cost and advise on the size of budget required to successfully create your new space.

8. Appointing the right interior designer will prove value for money. They will conjure up concepts that hadn’t even crossed your mind, alleviate the stresses of implementing a design, avoid common costly mistakes that occur from trial-and-error, and invest your money in an intelligent manner to help deliver both a beautiful and cleverly thought out space. Refined processes mean project timelines will be shorter and their wealth of trusted contacts will also help keep costs under control.

luxe-property-group-residential-block-management-services-london1About Luxe Property Group:

At Luxe Property Group, we offer our clients the very best in property development, property investment and property management solutions. With extensive experience and an unrivalled success rate, we’re always keen to explore new opportunities. Call us on 020 7383 8042 or email us at info@luxepropertygroup.co to find out how we can strengthen your portfolio.

Sign up to our newsletter via the form below to stay up-to-date with the latest property insights.

London: Where To Invest In 2017?

The past 12 months have been turbulent for London’s residential property market and, although the general outlook for 2017 remains largely gloomy, from crisis comes opportunity. Various factors are resulting in a movement outwards from Central London to Zone 2 and beyond. Flourishing areas provide good local amenities (retail, eateries, educational facilities, etc…), show promise of development/regeneration and offer acceptable commutes into central London.

Transaction levels are a key indication of the health of localised property markets; with high activity resulting in an increase in value. Data recently released by Savills in relation to transaction levels in 2016 across London indicate several key areas where house prices are expected to rise next year.

1. Cathedrals

Borough: Southwark

Average Price: £804,498

Increase: 114%

The astonishing upturn in transaction levels in Cathedrals is widely believed to be the result of many new build developments planned/completed in 2016, meaning a greater availability of property for purchase than in 2015. Due to location, it is unsurprising that the average house price is significantly higher than our other top listed areas.

CamberwellGreen-luxe-property-group

2. Camberwell Green

Borough: Southwark

Average Price: £417,192

Increase in 2016: 57%

Camberwell Green is fast becoming a hotspot for younger couples, unable to afford to purchase properties in trending areas such as Brixton. Again, the strong increase in sales in 2016 is in part due to the new ‘Camberwell on the Green’ development, however, there are several other key factors involved in its growing reputation including a 25-minute commute to Victoria, whilst Brixton is an easy 10-minute cycle away.

3. Whalebone

Borough: Barking & Dagenham

Average Price: £274,311

Increase in 2016: 43%

Several North-East London locations, as highlighted in my earlier article 8 buy-to-let locations to consider in London right now, are eagerly anticipating the imminent arrival of the new Crossrail transport links in 2017/18. People have been snapping up properties in proximity to Crossrail stations throughout 2016. It is, therefore, unsurprising that the number of sales in Whalebone have increased by 43% in the past 12 months. Average house prices remain low, at £274,311, making this an attractive investment opportunity for 2017.

WestHendon-luxe-property-group

4. West Hendon

Borough: Barnet

Average Price: £500,913

Increase in 2016: 40%

Located on the border of London’s travel zones 3 and 4, West Hendon offers a variety of family homes and modern new build apartments. A short walk/cycle to Hendon Station and you can reach St. Pancras International in just 16 minutes. A little further to Hendon Central underground station and theNorthern Line. All the above make this an attractive proposition for young couples looking for an up-an-coming neighborhood with easy access to central London locations.

5. Gooshays

Borough: Havering

Average Price: £272,181

Increase in 2016: 35%

Situated in the outskirts of Romford, transaction levels in Gooshays increased dramatically in 2016, once again, due to the impending arrival of Crossrail next year. Harold Wood station is less than 1 mile away, which will offer frequent and rapid transport links into central London from 2017. Relatively low average property prices are attracting a variety of people looking to get their foot on the ladder but lacking the budget to cope with the increasingly expensive central and trending areas of London.

About Luxe Property Group:

At Luxe Property Group, we offer our clients the very best in property development, property investment and property management solutions. With extensive experience and an unrivalled success rate, we’re always keen to explore new opportunities. Call us on 020 7383 8042 or email us at info@luxepropertygroup.co to find out how we can strengthen your portfolio.

Sign up to our newsletter via the form below to stay up-to-date with the latest property insights.

How To Make The Most Of Smaller Living Spaces

The requirement to efficiently optimise living space is more essential than ever. With property prices continuing to rise across the UK, particularly in central urban areas, people find themselves having to compromise on space or relocate outwards to more affordable but less convenient locations. Whilst the prospect of downsizing may not be particularly attractive, with a little creativity, it is possible to create more from less.

Layouts:

Apartments in period properties, originally designed as single houses prior to being carved into multiple units, can often feature inefficient layouts with antiquated wall structures. Although costly, it is possible to significantly increase the liveable square footage of an apartment in such a property by upgrading to modern wall structures, such as steel load-bearing supports. These consume much less space and offer the opportunity to go back to the drawing board, so to speak, and design more efficient layouts.

luxe-property-group-Load-bearing-shelves

Creative walls, seats & storage:

Mastering efficient storage solutions in small rooms is crucial to maximising liveable space. Think outside the box. There are a vast array of approaches and techniques that can be implemented, each with their own merits. Choosing the right one for you depends on your space, however, you can search social sites such as Pinterest and Instagram for potentially suitable, unique storage concepts and general inspiration.

Consider integrated wall storage as it removes the requirement for standalone furniture such as drawers. Leaving the shelves open-fronted can increase the feeling of space, adding depth and character, however, avoid cramming every shelf otherwise it will appear cluttered and cramped. Every item requires careful consideration and purpose within the room. If it doesn’t add anything in a positive way, it shouldn’t be there.

Clever seating is another approach that is becoming increasingly popular amongst interior designers. By positioning a dining table near a wall, you can install a fitted bench with integrated storage against the wall; much more efficient use of space than traditional chairs and visually keeps things looking a lot tidier. This is a great option for smaller open plan kitchen/living rooms as it avoids the dining table straying across the room.

You could also explore more ‘out there’ ideas, such as surrounding doorframes with shelves. The trick is to highlight areas of ‘dead space’ and bring them to life with a little creativity.

In general, use of clever multipurpose furniture and fitted storage units removes the requirement for storage-specific furniture, which traditionally consumes a significant amount of floor space.

luxe-property-group-small-space-white

Light & Mirrors:

Maximise natural light and use neutral tones and light colours where possible to create a more spacious feel. Consider swing-arm sconces or wall-mounted uplighters. The former removes the requirement for table lamps (or even having side tables altogether) whilst the latter reflect lights off the ceiling, appearing to expand the space.

There are endless ways in which mirrors can be used to increase the perception of the size of a room. For example, installing a mirror the same size and shape as a door against a wall can give the impression of a doorway into an entirely different room. In small bathrooms, mirrored tiles can similarly dramatically increase the apparent size of the room. As with storage, there are plenty of online resources offering inspiration, so do some research and don’t be afraid to get creative.

Love interior design? Check out our recent article on the Top Interior Design Trends to Expect in 2017.

luxe-property-group-diningAbout Luxe Property Group:

At Luxe Property Group, we offer our clients the very best in property development, property investment and property management solutions. With extensive experience and an unrivalled success rate, we’re always keen to explore new opportunities. Call us on 020 7383 8042 or email us at info@luxepropertygroup.co to find out how we can strengthen your portfolio.

Sign up to our newsletter via the form below to stay up-to-date with the latest property insights.

short-term-serviced-apartments-in-london-luxe-property-group-apartment-block

The Benefits Of Appointing A Quality Property Manager

The advantages of appointing a quality property manager should not be underestimated. It is widely acknowledged amongst experienced property investors that good management adds significant value to an investment. So, how exactly can appointing the right property manager be of help?

Quality Tenants:

If you have ever been unfortunate enough to experience a bad tenant, you will already see the value in this. Whilst evicting a bad tenant is possible, it can be a hugely inconvenient, complex and costly process. Therefore, everything should be done to avoid this situation in the first place. Appointing an experienced and reputable property manager can help hugely. Having reviewed thousands of previous candidates and applications, they will know exactly what to look for and where to find it, meaning that they can quickly ‘weed out’ any bad tenants and potential rental scammers targeting landlords. The consistency in their screening process, something that they will have refined over many years, will help to find the best candidates whilst avoiding discrimination claims.

Retention of Existing Tenants:

Keeping a tenant happy can save you time, money and numerous headaches. A happy tenant is more likely to renew, avoiding the requirement to clean and repair the unit at the end of the lease, market the premise and screen subsequent applicants, all whilst losing money on a vacant unit. A good property management company will have a strong track record when it comes to tenant retention and a well-refined process consisting of good communication and responsiveness. All maintenance and repair work, including late night emergency calls, will be handled professionally by the property manager; a major plus to the landlord.

Rental Collection Process:

Maintaining tight control over finances is crucial to your success as a landlord and timely collection of rent plays a significant part in this. A good property management company will assume full responsibility for this; collecting rent, chasing late payments and, when necessary, evicting tenants who consistently miss payments, failing to adhere to the terms the lease. With years of experience, they will have an array of structured processes that can be called upon; each one engineered to reach an optimal outcome in any given situation. In the event of eviction, the property manager will manage this process from start to finish; an attractive proposition to any landlord who’s found themselves in that situation before.

Extensive Knowledge of Legislation:

Legislation around leasing is complex and constantly changing. It can, therefore, be tricky for landlords to stay up to speed and, as such, they can find themselves at risk of legal action. Quality property managers will possess an extensive knowledge of national and local legislation, which can prove useful, for example, if you inadvertently find yourself in dispute with a difficult tenant. They can ensure that legislation surrounding tenant screening, healthy & safety, inspections, security deposits, rental collection, etc… are adhered to and protect your position as landlord. The potential cost savings here alone can make appointing a good property manager a very worthwhile investment.

Reduced Vacancy Periods:

A good property management company can significantly reduce the vacancy period of your unit(s) between leases. They can contribute to this in the following ways. Firstly, they will be able to efficiently and cost-effectively prepare a property for rent. They will have an extensive network of reliable contractors offering preferential rates, allowing for efficient implementation of quality repairs and upgrades. Secondly, they will be able to accurately gauge the current rental value at which the property should be marketed by use of recent comparables and various rental calculation tools. Finally, they will know how best to market your property for maximum exposure to the correct audience. They will have connections in local media as well as with online property portals such as RightMove, Zoopla& Gumtree.

Overview:

Appointing the right property manager or management company can alleviate most of the day-to-day stresses of landlord life. In fact, it can do even more. The level of expertise acquired will dramatically streamline and structure processes, impart knowledge and provide protection from bad tenants, legal issues and scams, to name but a few. They will be able to negotiate better deals and leverage relationships to your advantage whilst freeing you up to focus on your next investment opportunity.

About Luxe Property Group:

At Luxe Property Group, we offer our clients the very best in property development, property investment and property management solutions. With extensive experience and an unrivalled success rate, we’re always keen to explore new opportunities. Call us on 020 7383 8042 or email us at info@luxepropertygroup.co to find out how we can strengthen your portfolio.

Sign up to our newsletter via the form below to stay up-to-date with the latest property insights.

5-tips-luxe-property-group-short-term-furnished-apartments-london-uk-

5 Tips To Successfully Invest In UK Buy-To-Let Property

Entering the world of property investment can be a daunting task. Whilst many people aspire to make their fortunes through investment in bricks and mortar, first they must have a full understanding of what’s involved whilst clearly defining their objectives before they begin.

Buy-to-let investments are one aspect of property investment that are currently performing very well across the UK. Due to a tough and unpredictable market plus the increasing cost of living, more and more people are essentially being forced to live in rental property. By highlighting the right property in the right area, you can capitalise on this opportunity but be prepared to invest more than just capital.

Here are 5 essential tips that will help those looking to make their first foray into buy-to-let property investment and hopefully move them one step closer to building a successful portfolio.

1. Time:

Whilst having the capital to invest in the first place is probably the key factor in being able to purchase a new property, it is important to appreciate that you will also have to invest a significant amount of time. Being a landlord is a completely different kettle of fish to being a homeowner. Upon purchase, you will need to invest time in preparing the unit for lease, finding suitable tenants, processing paperwork, maintaining the property and being on hand to field the inevitable midnight emergency repair calls – these are all part and parcel of being a landlord. By preparing yourself for this level of time commitment in advance, you will be one step further in the right direction.

There are alternatives, such as appointing a property manager/management company, who will take all of the above off your hands but you will need to be prepared to pay them a commission for their assistance. I recommend my article from last week, entitled ‘The Benefits of Appointing a Quality Property Manager’, for exactly what services you can expect from a competent property manager and the importance of finding the right one for you.

2. Seek advice and guidance when needed:

If this is your first foray into property investment, remember that you’re not alone. Trying to find your feet without any support or guidance will inevitably seem like an incredibly daunting task. There are an abundance of tools, resources, workshops, webinars and individuals out there who will be able to advise on all facets of investment. It’s important to ensure that advice given is legitimate and not a scam, however, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

3. Have a clearly defined strategy before you buy:

It is important to define your objective right from the start. For example, do you want to implement a quick, cost effective renovation followed by an equally quick sale i.e. a fast turnaround for a relatively low ROI. Alternatively, are you looking for a longer term buy-to-let investment? As we’re discussing buy-to-let specifically in this article, there are various objectives/criteria to be defined prior to an investment. Define the mortgage costs and all other anticipated expenses including the cost of preparing the unit for lease. Will all of the outgoings be more than covered by the income generated by the property over time? Be meticulous and realistic. Costs soon add up, so be careful not to overlook things. All these questions will help you to establish your goal and therefore your strategy.

4. Identify an area of potential:

Identifying a specific area in which to invest may seem tricky, however, there are tell-tale signs to look out for that can help you spot a location set to flourish. I recently wrote an article on ‘How to spot the next up-and-coming urban area’ which looked in depth at how it is possible to identify these locations in their fledgling states and maximise your opportunity for a strong ROI.

Some investors shy away from properties that require considerable work, largely due to the amount of time and money required to renovate them. However, if you can commit to such a project and finish the unit to a high standard, you will generate higher capital gains and stronger rental increases than those taking on more simple projects. This approach is obviously dependent on finding the correct property in the right location. I would highly recommend reading the article referenced above to gain a clearer understanding of the ‘right location’.

5. Think outside the box:

You don’t always have to go down the standard estate agency route. There are numerous other approaches that could lead you to the ‘perfect’ property investment opportunity. You don’t necessarily need the best property in a prime location. Instead, think outside the box, look to surrounding areas with good amenities, educational facilities, etc… Keep an eye out for the best deal that aligns with your clearly defined investment objectives and look for ways of reducing your costs. Check out auctions (including repossession auctions), advertise yourself as an investor looking for opportunities, or contact an investment and management specialist who may be able to work with you to fulfil your first investment.

Overview:

If you are seriously looking to get into property investment, be prepared to invest both time and money. Take the time to establish exactly what your objectives are, what your costs will be and the income you will need to make for your investment to be worthwhile. If you need help doing this, remember that there is a wealth of information available both online and via individual specialists to guide you along the way. Don’t forget to explore all avenues when seeking your investment and only make your move when you have found the right property in the right location for the right price to ensure maximum profitability.

About Luxe Property Group:

At Luxe Property Group, we offer our clients the very best in property development, property investment and property management solutions. With extensive experience and an unrivalled success rate, we’re always keen to explore new opportunities. Call us on 020 7383 8042 or email us at info@luxepropertygroup.co to find out how we can strengthen your portfolio.

Sign up to our newsletter via the form below to stay up-to-date with the latest property insights.