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    photo-iconPhotograph taken in St. Margaret's Court, Angmering
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Preparing your home for sale

The tips below will help you to get the very best price for your home by maximising interest in it and also a faster sale. Of course, if you need more advice and information, we’re always on hand to answer your questions.

1. Give your home curb appeal make sure the front garden, path and fence are well-kept with attractive flowers and a neat front lawn. A newly painted front door can also make a huge difference to the way visitors perceive your home. First impressions really count!

2. Use an agent like us (Cooper Adams) who offers the best photography and floor plans.

3. De-clutter your rooms thoroughly. Selling a home is about marketing a lifestyle, and a disorganised home will prove hard to sell. The more your home looks like a brand new show house or a stylish hotel, the more appealing it will be to prospective buyers. Hide away as many of your belongings in the loft or storage as you can. A minimalist house always feels clean, light, airy and spacious compared to a dark, cluttered house, so create more space in your rooms.

4. Make sure all the estate agency staff see the property before they start marketing (like we do).

5. Clean your whole house thoroughly, not forgetting to wash down the paintwork and clean the windows.

6. If possible, redecorate your home in neutral, earthy light colours. Magnolia is the best colour for walls when selling your home. Don’t spend lots of money on decorating schemes that the new owners may want to change.

7. While it’s best to have mainly neutral décor, adding a splash of one or two colours is a good idea to bring your home alive. You can do this via well-chosen cushions and accessories.

8. Remove personal items such as children’s drawings and photographs, so buyers focus on your home and not your possessions.

9. Finish off small DIY jobs, such as touching up chipped woodwork and replacing washers on dripping taps.

10. Let the light in. Pull back the curtains, remove net curtains, clean the glass and open the windows. This will help your home feel fresh and airy.

11. Create a pleasant scent. While it may be a cliché to grind coffee beans or bake bread, scent plays an important part in creating the right impression. So don’t cook smelly food such as fish or curry before a viewing! Flowers and fruit bowls are a good way to brighten up rooms and give a pleasant aroma.

12. Take pets out during viewings. Some people are allergic to pets. You want viewers to feel relaxed, not on edge.

13. Organise your rooms logically, so each has a clear purpose and buyers need to use less imagination to see how they could live in your home. If a spare bedroom is dressed as a guest room it feels much nicer than a room full of junk.

14. Finally, major property upgrades are sometimes a good idea, but not always. There’s no point spending £20,000 on building work and redecoration if it will only add £10,000 to the value of your home. Overspending on a kitchen will not add to the price. If a buyer doesn’t like your new kitchen they’ll bear in mind the cost of putting in a new kitchen when making an offer. Do spend money on basic repairs to ensure your home is in good working order though.

To help ensure your home is presented at it’s very best, ask us for a brutally honest appraisal of what to get rid of or change and if there are any major flaws to address. You might be able to make some improvements with little effort and we’ll always advise you on the cheapest and easiest way to sell your home quickly at the highest price.

How to be a first-time buyer

While the first-time buyer has every reason to feel aggrieved with the perceived difficulties of getting on the property ladder, some rays of light have appeared recently.

It is important not to get sucked in to the “mortgages are not available” syndrome as the reality is very different.

There are more lenders and products available, especially at higher loan-to-values (LTVs) than there were last year, while mortgage rates are still at historically low levels.

Proper preparation

Preparing for a mortgage starts early so make sure your documentation is in order. Lenders like to see:

  • your last three years’ address history, with no gaps
  • your last three months’ payslips and your last P60 form or three years’ accounts
  • your last three months’ bank statements
  • full details of any loans or credit cards you have

Providing this information on day one can speed up the process no end.

All lenders want to make sure they are lending money to someone who is highly likely to pay it back.

So it may be worth checking your credit score with a company like Experian or Equifax.

Simple things like paying all your credit cards on time and making sure you are on the voters’ roll at your current address will help.


The popular belief is that unless you have a massive deposit you will struggle to get a mortgage.

The amount you can borrow depends largely on your individual circumstances”

However, according to the financial information service Moneyfacts, there are now 49 mortgages requiring a deposit of at least 5% of the property value, compared with just 24 last year.

Meanwhile the number of 90% mortgages has increased from 214 to 343 in the past year.

These products are often cheaper than they were several years ago, and work out similar to average rental payments – if not less for those in major cities.
How much to borrow?

Many lenders now work on affordability models, which means they will look at all your income, outgoings, age, number of dependants and other factors.
Mortgage form Obtaining a mortgage is much more difficult than it used to be before the onset of the banking crisis

Therefore the amount you can borrow depends largely on your individual circumstances.

In some instances you can borrow a maximum of five times your single or joint income, but if you have a family or large outgoings, this could be considerably less.

The standard amount tends to be about four times your income.

A simple monthly budget planner detailing all your monthly spending now, and what you expect to pay when a property owner, is worth its weight in gold.

Work out what you really are prepared to “sacrifice” in order to own your own home so there are no surprises, and stick to the budget you are comfortable with.


When buying a property to live in, the primary concern is that it is within your budget and will be a suitable home for you.

You should only consider an interest-only loan if you have a viable way of repaying the loan”

The view that buying a property is as much an investment as a home looks outdated.

House prices are unlikely to rise much in the near future, which is actually a good thing as it makes climbing that tricky housing ladder all the more practical.

Lenders’ foremost concern when looking at the security they are lending against is: “Would this be easy to re-sell?”

That means, is there good demand in the area and is the property in a good condition?

It is a good principle for you to apply when looking at buying your first time.

Agreement in principle

To make sure you have the best chance of buying a home, securing a mortgage “agreement in principle” (AIP) first is a good start.

This confirms in writing how much a lender will be prepared to lend you, subject to them checking the information given to them.

This AIP can then be used to confirm to the vendor your creditworthiness, and that you are a serious bidder.

Spending some time researching the different mortgages is time well spent.

Information can be obtained by visiting your bank or online comparison websites, but remember these avenues rarely give you advice unless you specifically ask for it.

A visit to an independent mortgage broker can help make sense of the vast array of choices and help avoid costly mistakes.

Repayment or interest-only?

Perhaps the biggest change in recent weeks is the way that lenders view interest-only mortgages.

For those looking to borrow more than 75% of the value of the property, this is now no longer an option for almost all lenders.

Therefore a repayment mortgage will be the only way to proceed.

You should only consider an interest-only loan if you have a viable way of repaying the loan, such as savings, ISAs, investments or the ability to trade down to a cheaper property in the future.

Sharing the cost

For those who are unable to borrow the amount they need or are struggling with deposits, you may need to turn to the “Bank of Mum and Dad”.

There are schemes available which allow parents to act as guarantors on the loan, or to deposit savings with a lender which act as an “insurance” against higher loan-to-value borrowings.

Alternatively, purchasing with a friend or two may let you pool your resources and initially can work very well.

The issue comes if one of the parties then wishes to move on at a different time to the others.

It is important to take legal advice before you enter into such a transaction.

Shared ownership

There are also schemes and initiatives involving shared ownership.

This involves housing associations allowing you to buy a percentage share of the property, say 50%, while paying rent on the balance.

This brings the deposit required down dramatically.

The remaining share can be bought later, when affordable, in stages known as staircasing.

For those looking at purchasing a newly built property, there is also the government Homebuy scheme.

Under this, if you qualify, there are two options:

Receive an equity loan – you get a loan towards the home’s purchase price that has no fees for five years

Shared ownership – you buy a share of your home and pay rent on the remaining share

You will need to take out a mortgage to pay for your share of the home’s purchase price.

In summary, while lenders are undoubtedly being choosy at present, for the average buyer there is still a lot of choice, especially for the buyer who takes a little advice and time to prepare.

Courtesy of Money Talk by Andrew Montlake Coreco mortgage brokers and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17193609

Acquiring an investment property


When choosing your investment the most important factor is yield. Gross yield is the annual rent divided by the purchase price. So if a property lets for £850pcm and you buy it for £170,000 your yield is 6% per annum. To work out your net Yield you need to take off the rent any costs (fees, tax, maintenance etc). Also some landlords (airing on the side of caution) feel 10 months paid rent per year could be more prudential for their figures.



Location is so important to appeal to a wider range of tenants. Walking distance of shops, buses and stations are big pluses.


Freehold vs Leasehold

Ideally freehold – as maintenance costs are usually lower than leasehold.


Modern vs Older Property

Buying a more modern property should also reflect in lower maintenance costs over the long term with cheaper fuel running costs for the tenant.

For more detailed local information please call Lettings at Cooper Adams 01903 770055

East Preston Food and Craft Market

Wednesday 7 March 2012 – 09:00 to 12:00

East Preston Food and Craft Market (Conservative Hall, Sea Road, East Preston)

This is a local food and craft market with many independent stall holders. There is the egg man, Debbie’s Cakes, Chrissy’s Chutney, Sea Berries Gifts, embroidered goods, dolls house furniture, hand made knitted goods, cards, a children’s book stall and much much more. There is of course Jennie’s Jams as well as the R.N.L.I. Refreshments are available.

Event organiser: The N.S.P.C.C.

East Preston Film Night sponsored by Cooper Adams Estate Agents presents – The Artist

Showing: Friday 27th April 2012

Tickets on Sale from 12th March 2012

The Artist

Venue will be the Conservative Hall, Sea Road.
Tickets remain at £5.00.
Doors open 7pm, with film starting at 7.30pm.
Ticket sales outlets Sea View Stores & Hedgers Newsagents, both in Sea Road. ‎

‎Running time: 100 mins

Director: Michel Hazanavicius

Starring: James Cromwell, John Goodman, Penelope Ann Miller, Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo

One of the year’s most original films – a charming tale of two actors set during the silent movie era.

It’s 1927, and suave, moustachioed matinee idol George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. He’s dashing, he’s just a little arrogant, and his romantic swashbucklers have women swooning. But silent movies are about to be washed away by new-fangled talkies. When studio boss Zimmer (John Goodman) offers him a chance to steal a march on his rivals in this exciting new format, Valentin rejects it out of hand in favour of his own epic silent project. Alas, this proves to be a flop. But as Valentin’s life falls apart and his star wanes, the young actress whose career he nurtured, Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), finds hers in the ascendant. A heartfelt love letter to Hollywood’s silent era, writer/director Michel Hazanavicius’s lovely film is even filmed in black and white without dialogue!

Screenplay: Michel Hazanavicius

You should see it because: It’s a beautifully crafted, playful and romantic drama, immersed in nostalgia for Hollywood’s early years.

Popcorn, snacks, soft drinks & wine on sale. Raffle prizes kindly donated by local traders

All profits will be used to part fund the East Preston Festival which raises money for local ventures. (Donated to in the past – Littlehampton Sea Cadets. Wonder girls, Village Hall, Poppy Appeal British Legion, Royal British Legion, Voice of Progress, Patient Link, Martletts, 1st East Preston Scouts, Girl Guiding East Preston, East Preston Youth Club, East Preston After School Club, Our Lady of the Sea ARK, Happy Days Pre School, East Preston Village Pre School, Baytree Club, East Preston Infant School, East Preston Junior School, Huntington’s Disease, Spotlight Children’s Theatre, East Preston Cricket Club Colts, East Preston W.I., Rascals of East Preston, Angmering on Sea Tennis Club, RNLI, St Marys Church, Arun Young Musicians, Sussex Air Ambulance, Silver Surfers, EP Football Club Youth to name but a few)

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