Q.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â How much difference will the recent
Budget make to the housing market?Â
A.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In practice, of course, it’s much too
soon to tell, but in the immortal words of the late great Eric Morecambe, I
think the short answer is probably â€œNot a lot!â€Â
understandably made by the Government of their new £250million FirstBuy shared
equity scheme, designed to help hard-pressed first time buyers get onto the
property ladder. However, since it only applies to new-build properties, it will
do nothing at all to help boost sales of â€œsecond handâ€ or resale homes. Besides,
it is calculated that it will probably only help a maximum of 10,000 first time
buyers, before the funds run out – which is little more than a drop in the
Of course, new build can
still represent an exciting opportunity – but only at the right price. So, my
advice to all buyers – be they first-timers or not – is to do your homework
thoroughly before making an offer and look at the second hand equivalent house
to give you some evidence. Nevertheless, you should still expect the new one to
be a little dearer, because like a car you will have to pay a â€œnew premiumâ€ –
often around 5%.
As for other Budget measures…the
decision to keep Stamp Duty at zero for first time buyers on properties up to
£250,000 for a further year is to be welcomed – although any feelgood factor
generated by this will to an extent be offset at the other end of the scale by
the new 5% rate on properties over £1million.
In summary then, plenty of people will argue
that the Chancellor could have done a lot more to support the property market. And
in theory, he could have done – for example, by embarking on a long-overdue
revision of the entire Stamp Duty system. Whether he ought to have done,
however, is a very different question – after all, the housing market doesn’t
exist in a vacuum. In fact, all in all, given the wider economic realities, I
suspect he did as much as he prudently could. Which, as I said at the start,
was not a lot!
Chapplins of Havant first opened its doors in 1996 and quickly became a market leading Independent Estate Agency. Our staff has over 200 years of experience between them and are proud winners of the excellent award in the Best Agent Guide for 2018 which puts us in the top 10% of agents nationally.
I have worked in the estate agency business since 1988 and have worked for most of the corporate companies since. I have managed a variety of different branches across Hampshire and have enjoyed good success in all of them.
The industry has always had its critics and in an effort to differentiate me from others I joined the National Association of Estate Agents in the 1990’s imagining that licensing would soon become necessary.
In 2002 I opened my own branch of Chapplins Estate Agents in Fareham where the business has grown quickly to become a market leading agency in a relatively short period of time. The Chapplins brand has become one of the largest Independent Estate Agencies in the Portsmouth region and we have been members of Team since our inception. Chapplins is not a franchise just a friendly group of similarly minded estate agents with many years experience.
I was elected as South Hampshire Team Chairman in 2005 and held this post for 7 years.
In May 2011 I was elected as The National Marketing Director for Team Association representing the interests of Independent Estate agents across the country.
Specialties: I am regularly involved in negotiating National contracts and have wide experience in representing members interests across a broad spectrum of providers.
Q. Â Â Â Â Â Â My
buyer has been let down by the person who was going to buy his house. Should I
stick with him, or should I/can I remarket my own property – and if so, will it
cost me more in fees?
A.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â You won’t be surprised to learn that
this is quite a common dilemma, particularly in the current market. With buyers
relatively few and far between, do you hang on to the one you’ve already got, who
sounds pretty committed, in the hope that he finds another purchaser for his
own place quickly, or do you take a chance on finding another one and starting
from scratch again?
On the surface, it
looks like a tough call. Either way, of course, you could theoretically miss
out. You might lose your existing buyer, and get no more takers. After all, you
know what they say about a bird in the hand. But then again, there could be a
whole flock of other equally suitable birds out there in the bushes, just
waiting for the chance to swoop!
In reality, however,
this isn’t that much of a problem. Basically, you need to look after number
one, so I would advise you to put your property back on the market. You are of
course perfectly entitled to do so, since under the English system nothing is
legally binding on either party until exchange of contracts. Don’t forget, your
buyer would probably have no hesitation in pulling out if he saw something else
That said, of
course, he certainly needs to be informed of your decision – for three very
good reasons (which you can put in your own order of importance). First, your
agent is actually legally obliged to do so, in writing. Second, it’s the only
decent way to behave. And third, in all probability he will still want to buy
your house, so it makes sense to keep him onside, because heÂ might still come up trumps before anyone else.
As for whether
remarketing will involve any extra fees, the answer should be a resounding
â€œNo.â€ After all, your agent is probably working on the usual no sale, no fee
basis – and hopefully you will have chosen a solicitor who does the same. The
only other cost to you so far on the sale of your property is presumably the
EPC – and that is valid for 10 years anyway.
Founding director of Chapplins and responsible for the strategic growth and success of the business, Kerry still enjoys the cut and thrust of front line agency. He is married, with five children, and is heavily involved locally with many choirs and theatre groups in his spare time. He has run a number of marathons for charity and supports charity work for adults with learning disabilities.
Kerry can be contact by email: email@example.com or telephone: 02392 482261.
Q. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â My
property has private drainage in the form of a septic tank. I have lived with
it perfectly happily for over 20 years, but someone recently told me that I now
have to register the system. Is this true?
A.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â In
a word, yes – unless you already hold a Consent to Discharge, or an
The fact is that under the snappily-titled
Environmental Permitting (England
Regulations 2010, all septic tanks and other private sewage treatment plants, no
matter how long they have been in use, must now be properly authorised – either
by an environmental permit, or through an exemption. Domestic systems, such as
your septic tank, will generally qualify for an exemption, as long as the
amount of discharge is less than 2 cubic metres a day (roughly the amount of
sewage generated by up to 11 people).
If your system discharges into a river or stream,
then you must register immediately. If, on the other hand, it discharges into
the ground – for example, via a drainage field, reed bed or straightforward
soakaway – then you have until 31st December this year to do so. Bear
in mind, however, that if you leave it until the very last possible date to
register, and the discharge from your system is in an environmentally sensitive
area, then you may face a delay of up to 4 months – which means that in the
meantime you will urgently need an environmental permit in order to stay on the
right side of the law. And this is no joke. After 1st January 2012,
any discharge from an unregistered system will be treated as a case of illegal
pollution – a serious offence which could result in a fine of up to £20,000.
Thankfully, registration is a relatively simple
process, which can be completed free of charge online by visiting the
Environment Agency website, www.environment-agency.gov.uk.
However, it doesn’t end there. Once registered, you
will also have to ensure that your system is regularly inspected and maintained
– and that proper records are kept. This will be important if and when you come
to sell your property, since your buyer’s solicitor will want to confirm that
the system is fully compliant with the regulations.
Richard Hookway is the Domestic Energy Assessor for Chapplins Estate Agents based in Havant. Richard covers a wide area including Chichester to Southampton Winchester to Alton and since 2007 has completed several thousand reports. Richard can also supply floor plans virtual tours and professional photos . Contact him at our Havant office.