Waterside Living: Is it all plain sailing?

Waterside properties have always been high up on the property wish list. With picturesque views and a calming environment, there is a vast array of homes available – from traditional canal side cottages to contemporary townhouses and modern flats overlooking Milton Keynes lakes, rivers and canals.

Milton Keynes is famed for its man-made balancing lakes that are designed to provide open spaces for the town’s residents to enjoy in their free time and are cleverly engineered to prevent flooding. Lakes such as Furzton, Caldecotte and Willen provide beautiful waterfront homes for those longing for a stunning all-year-round view that brings an ever-evolving scene, with migratory wildlife and the changing of the seasons.

But what is the price you have to pay to enjoy this water life? Buyers and tenants are willing to pay a premium for a waterside property and prices can be between 20-50% more than countryside properties. They attract city-dwellers who need an escape from the hustle and bustle of a hectic, fast-paced working life. Milton Keynes creates the perfect balance of both urban and waterside living. You’re never too far away from civilisation and you can still enjoy those gorgeous sunrises over the water.

Let’s dive into the bonuses of waterside living a little deeper…

Boost your health

Living near water has added physical and mental health benefits, allowing for walking, cycling and relaxing with activities such as fishing and boating. Milton Keynes has various cycling and walking routes along its waterways such as the River Ouzel and the Grand Union Canal. Aside from building stamina and maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercising, you also reduce the risk of developing various illnesses and help to improve your mental health with the release of endorphins.

Lower pollution

If you’re concerned about pollution levels and their impact on your health, these tend to be lower by lakes and rivers as these areas are generally free from heavy traffic found in the more densely populated areas of town. By having a less polluted environment to live in, your general health can benefit from clearer airways, lower blood pressure and improved digestion.

Stimulate your mind

Do you work from home or work in a creative industry? If so, a waterfront property could be the ideal home to relocate to. Imagine having all that creative inspiration on your doorstep – just step outside into a watery scene and feel re-energised by your surroundings. A clear clean environment also helps for a clear mind, which benefits productivity.

Future investments

In terms of investment and value for money, waterside homes are in short supply meaning it is highly likely that your property will always be in demand, making them a sound investment for the future. If you’re considering purchasing a second home in a desirable waterfront location, your property could also provide the opportunity for a holiday let investment.

What are the drawbacks to living in waterside homes?

Home insurance premiums

With all the benefits of owning a beautiful home by the water, there may be an increased risk of flooding. Elevated homes and gardens provide some protection against this, but it can have an impact on insurance premiums if the location is known to flood. Always read the fine print and check you have flood insurance, this is something you can find out more about here. You can also check the risk of flooding with the Environment Agency.

Safety first

If you live in a waterside property with young children, it is advisable to invest in extra child-safety precautions such as securing the boundary of your property with sturdy fencing or gating. It is not only important for children to remain safe around water, but also for pets too. Any boundary fencing/gating will also help to keep pets safe within your property.

A price to pay

Despite the longer-term benefits on investing in these properties, it is inevitably more expensive to buy and rent these desirable properties. With high demand and short supply on the market, they can be difficult to get your hands on. Remember it’s all about location, location, location!

There are many benefits of living in waterfront homes, including personal benefits for your mind and soul. However, factors such as price, availability, safety and insurance should all be considered when deciding whether to invest in these properties.

 

 

 

 

 

The power of social media for sales and lettings.

Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale talks about the power and advantages of using social media to promote your sales and lettings business.

Social media is a powerful tool which can boost awareness of brands and help generate more customer leads. But how can social media specifically benefit property agents? There are actually more benefits than you’d probably realise…

By promoting your properties on social media, it allows your audience to share, tag others and react instantly to what you’re posting. This is a cost-effective way to advertise and promote your properties, all with the help of those interested in what you have to offer!

Whether you are buying your first property, the property you set to retire in or looking for a property to rent, the process of property searching is unique to every person. Therefore, having your own social media accounts for your property agency allows you to reach out to new audiences and adds a personal touch to your organisation by providing an opportunity to share what makes you stand out from your competition.

Social media does not only help you to promote the properties you have on offer, but also the services you provide – which is what we also promote! This allows our customers to get direct links to services they may need from us on our website. By keeping your customers in the know of what you have to offer as a company is just as important (if not more) as promoting what properties you have available to buy or rent. Having your customers know that you can be a helping hand from a buyer and sellers’ perspective is a massive bonus for your company.

 

 

When promoting properties via social media, give potential customers snippets of useful information. High – quality images are also a powerful asset that can immediately connect a user with a property. If you’ve also had a property on your site for a while, you can always add an alternative perspective on promoting the property by remarketing it on your social media.

 

Hashtags are also another great way to promote your services and properties. As you can see, we have used #property #rent and #MK, short and simple tags that relate to the tweet. These can help you massively with boosting the awareness of your property.

If a user who has never heard of your company is currently looking at the hashtag #rent and spots the property you had posted and clicks the link-result!

 

Another way to gain a trusted relationship with your customers and followers is by posting content other than things to do just with your own company. At Limestone we like to post top tips, latest news and useful articles to help inform our customers and share best practice. Another good content tip is to keep up with the seasons and post content related to the season you’re in help to stay relatable and relevant to your following. For example, we recently posted this on our twitter:

Not only is it relevant to something that a lot of people face in the New Year/Christmas, but it is also a third-party post, giving our customers the best advice and guidance to tackling moving out before the New Year.

Showing your customers that you have got advice for them from your own expertise and sourcing others helps to make you build a better sense of trust and a better relationship with them.

Overall, if you invest the time in social media it can become a powerful marketing tool for property agents. From boosting the awareness of your new properties to helping to build a better relationship with your customers, the opportunities and power that social media can give you are endless, so why not give it a try?

 

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at info@limestonemk.co.uk

 

How to dress your home ready for sales photos

Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale shares his photography tips for selling your property.

So, you have made the decision to sell your property and now face the task of achieving the best possible price. A lot of factors will determine the valuation and final sum you can realistically expect to achieve, but one thing entirely in your hands is the effort you put into presenting your home. Wowing would-be buyers as they tour your home is one thing, but first you will need to convince someone to come and see it!

From the moment you list your property as for sale you are in competition with other sellers, and the first thing anyone is going to do is see how your home stacks up in comparison to others in the local area. The best way to make it onto someone’s shortlist in this scenario is through top quality photography. They say a picture says a thousand words, but you only need yours to say two, BUY ME!

Working with an established agency will mean you gain access to sales representatives who are experienced in taking optimum house selling photography. They will show your home in its best light and showcase its appeal, but so will many of your competitors. So, what can you do to help your agent ensure somebody puts your home on the must-see list, and avoid the dreaded maybe pile?

Firstly, time when your photos are taken well.  Choose the time of day when the front of the house is shown in a good natural light, as this will likely be the first image most will see and if it is not looking bright and attractive you risk losing interest before anyone sees the inside. Move any cars, bins or other clutter from outside the front of property, cut the grass and clean all the windows.

Once that is done, it is time to set the scene inside. Open all curtains and blinds before photography commences indoors and replace any light bulbs that may have gone out. Moving furniture around may help to make a room look more spacious but keep in mind the overall aesthetics. A common mistake is to give your imagery a show-home feel. Whilst this approach is understandable, you do not want to make the property seem cold or business like. The idea is to create a mental picture for potential buyers where they can imagine enjoying living in your home themselves, so the careful balance to be achieved is a mixture of lived in, but clean, tidy and welcoming.

Ideally, remove rugs and throws from sofas, arrange cushions neatly, set dining room tables and put away any toys, magazines or DVDs on show in living areas. Moving upstairs, ensure all beds are made and that any visible drawers and wardrobe doors are fully closed. Kitchen and bathrooms are naturally associated with hygiene, so it is imperative that these areas are spotless.

Keep toilet lids down and ensure any towels on display are neatly folded and compliment the décor. Clear all kitchen work tops and make sure there are no chopping boards on show. It is best to move bins out sight and keep all cupboards closed with appliances inside of them – dirty dishes in the sink are an absolute no-no!

For a final touch, maybe consider adding flowers around the home or a full fruit bowl in kitchen shots, it seems a moot point, but the connotations of fresh and vibrant colours could sway someone towards your property and make all the difference!

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at info@limestonemk.co.uk