Why flat pack houses should be the future

With the UK suffering from a chronic housing shortage, and the Government announcing its intention to build 1 million homes by 2020, time is not exactly on our side. Interestingly, just before Christmas, a housing association in Warrington, Cheshire made the news headlines when a £2.5 billion landmark contract was signed for the construction of 25,000 solar powered ‘flat pack’ houses. Here, property specialist and online blogger Sean Boscombe – working with Chartered Surveyors firm Cosey Homes, discusses whether ‘flat pack’ buildings could be the answer to the UK’s housing problem, and whether you would want to live in one… Why ‘flat pack’? Modular, or pre-fabricated homes aren’t new; they’ve been around since the end of World War II when a quick solution was needed for the UK’s postwar housing shortage. Unfortunately, the kit homes ‘thrown up’ at the time only served an immediate need. In terms of build quality,...
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The Autumn Statement

Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his Autumn Statement today and spending plans for the next four years in the Spending Review. Here are the main points for landlords: He told MPs that solving the housing "crisis" was his top priority. 400,000 Affordable New Homes The Housing budget has been doubled; Plans to hand billions to private developers to build 400,000 affordable new homes - to be built by the end of the decade – half of these will be starter homes, while 135,000 will be shared ownership. In a shift away from free market solutions, Mr Osborne announced plans to hand £2.3bn directly to developers to build "starter homes" for first-time buyers, in a fresh attempt to reverse the long-term decline in house building. Housing Associations A new pilot scheme to begin at five housing associations at midnight tonight to allow tenants to buy their own homes. In London: a new...
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Buying your main home without the resource of the "Bank of Mum & Dad"

How much will I need to save? Typically, you’ll need to save at least 5% of the cost of the home you want to buy to get a mortgage. So if you want to buy a home costing £125,000, you’ll need to save £6,250. The larger the deposit you can save, the cheaper the mortgage you can get.
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3-Years For BTL To Become Energy Efficient

The Telegraph reports 1-in-10 BTL properties will be unlettable in 5-years time! In 2018 it will be an offence to let out a property within the lowest energy efficiency ratings, and from 2016 tenants can legally make reasonable requests for energy improvement measures.
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BEATTIE PASSIVE SYSTEM FIRST TO WIN PASSIVHAUS CERTIFICATION

On 4th July, Beattie Passive Build System Limited became the first company in the UK to be presented with Passivhaus Institut certification for a complete build system. Dr. Wolfgang Feist, originator of the Passivhaus concept and founder of the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt, Germany, presented Ron Beattie, Managing and Technical Director of Beattie Passive, with the company’s certification for its continually insulated build system at the annual UK Passivhaus awards ceremony hosted by the Passivhaus Trust.
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LANDLORDS SHOULD BE FLEXIBLE FRIENDS

New poll reveals Nick Knowles and Kirsty Allsop as ideal landlords A survey from the National Landlords Association (NLA) has found that tenants rate flexibility (26.7%) and friendliness (24.1%) as the top personality traits and skills a landlord should have. The research, to mark the launch of the NLA Property Women Awards 2012, found that 80% of tenants were satisfied with their current landlord.
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The Benefits of Part Buy, Part Rent

Lenders aren’t willing to lend, house prices are high and the required deposits are growing as a result. Getting that first foot on the property ladder in the current climate is incredibly difficult, but with private rental rates increasing year on year, many feel the need to escape private housing and invest in their own property. Shared ownership (also know as Part Buy, Part Rent) gives first time buyers the opportunity to invest in a property by purchasing between 25 and 75 per cent of the market value of the property. The rest of the share is taken on by the housing association the property is bought from. Generally, the purchase will require a deposit of 5% of the share that is purchased, requiring a mortgage to be raised for the rest of the share. With the average price of a deposit sitting somewhere between the £20,000-£22,000 mark (at roughly...
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Will government plans to tackle the lack of affordable housing be enough?

The government has unveiled big new plans to get the housing sector back on track. A lack of affordable housing paired with a lack of substantial and sustained building and development has created a shortfall in availability whilst demand grows year on year. Under the plans, approximately 450,000 new homes will be built by 2015 and a great deal of these will be affordable housing. The plans aim to lend a much needed boost to an industry that has fallen to its lowest completion rate for decades, with investments and financial support for new schemes in the private and social housing sectors. New home project A £400m initial investment to build up to 16,000 new homes on previously stalled projects is earmarked to start by July 2012, but only 20% of this new stock will qualify as affordable housing. With up to 1.8 million households sitting on the waiting list...
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Another day another Squalor!

Have you ever wondered who really does the cleaning on TV shows like “How clean is your house?” or who cleans up after 999 have left a crime scene or an accident? Well a small and very specialised profession is starting to get noticed, that of the Crime Scene Cleaner.  Crime scene cleaners don’t just clean crime scenes. Sometimes called extreme cleaners they safely deal with body fluid spills from crimes, accidents, suicides, RTAs and decompositions. They also deal with cleaning up of gross filth, hoardings, drug dens, squats, discarded sharps and condoms, decommissioning of smoking rooms, foul odours, pigeon and seagull guano and other things that make most people shiver or turn their stomachs!. They don’t wear a pinny and whiz round with a duster and a vacuum. They wear protective suits and masks, use antimicrobials, digesters and air scrubbers. These are highly trained and qualified people who know...
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Be Aware and BEWARE When Viewing Auction Properties

  Looking to buy property is an exciting time. It is even more exciting when you think you may bag a potential bargain. However, you have to be aware and beware when it comes to buying property at auction as you don’t have a lot of time to do the necessary research – but once you’ve bought it, you will have a lot of time to reflect on any mistakes!   Typically auction catalogues are released 14 days prior to auction. That means you have just two weeks to view the property, check the legals, get a survey, raise the finance, research the area, assess demand, research the end value, cost any works, get quotes from trades people – it’s a lot of work to do in a short space of time!   Because there is so much to do – and so little time – and because you are...
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Government to reduce housing association rents

Government to reduce housing association rents Rent reductions for England’s five million housing association tenants could happen next year according to the BBC, though the government is expected to confirm soon. This will be their first ever rent reduction as a consequence of deflation. Read more from BBC news!
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