Helen is Nick’s sister and she successfully set up and established our Lettings Department back in 2013. Having spent much of her career prior to DY working in marketing, Helen now heads up our Marketing & Operations department. This suits her organisational skills, creativity and keen eye for detail perfectly! She loves taking long walks with her Labrador Finn and when time permits, travelling and visiting new places around the globe.
Top of my bucket list is…
To visit more new countries and ultimately, travel round Europe in a camper van.
My guilty pleasure…
Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream – I’ve got a very sweet tooth, for my sins.
When I was younger, I wanted to be…
If I were a superhero, my superpower would be…
To find a cure for cancer and dementia. Here’s hoping.
On Sunday morning, you can usually find me…
Up bright and early for a dog walk!
You might be surprised to know that…
One of my earliest qualifications as a teenager was as a Clarks trained shoe fitter. Ohh, all those back to school shoes!
The bad news is that moving home can be expensive. The good news is there are plenty of ways to keep costs under control.
Here are just 5 ideas for keeping your costs of buying & moving home to a minimum.
1: Get organised! Plan the sale and moving dates and allow for some slippage. That way you can book your removal company in advance and negotiate the best deal with movers and save storage costs. Make sure you employ people with a good reputation and sufficient insurance for your needs. Use Ebay and other effective media to get rid of clutter and unwanted items. Now is a great chance to declutter. Why pay to move stuff from one garage or spare room wardrobe to another? Make sure your estate agent is on top of the legal process so that you don’t get costly delays or broken chains causing abortive costs on deals that fall through.
2: Experience counts! If buying a ‘secondhand’ home consider paying the extra for a Home Survey rather than just a valuation survey, especially if the home is older. This could save you many times the extra fee if problems are identified before purchase. Also, use an experienced estate agent with detailed, local knowledge to sell your home. OK, OK.. so you might expect us to say this, after all, we’ve been in Bracknell for over 30 years! However, when it comes to getting the best possible sale price for your home shouldn’t you really be asking ‘why would I not employ the best people for the job?’ Don’t trust the sale of your most valuable asset to what might seem (initially) like the cheapest bidder, only to undersell it or lose a sale due to less post-sale deal management. It could cost you thousands or lose you your dream home. In the end, you get what you pay for.
3: Compare Costs! This goes for everything from new utility suppliers to estate agents and solicitors. In the same way you would include costs of borrowing when choosing a mortgage, make sure you properly consider the value of the services you are buying. Try to get at least two quotes and take up references where available. The best value is unlikely to be the cheapest price, but without detailed quotes how can you compare?
4: Ask for Help! Rather than employing removals companies you might decide to rope in friends and family. If you do this make sure everyone is well organised and take control / possession of your most valued assets yourself – after all, you may not be insured for breakages. You might also rope in a handyman friend to help unplug washing machines rather than employ a plumber for example. Have friends look after pets or kids for the day and maybe have a moving-in party if you need to get the garden sorted or a few rooms decorated. Just save the wine until afterwards!
5: Put down a bigger deposit. If you can put down a deposit of between 10% – 40% of your new home’s value you’ll likely get a much cheaper mortgage deal. This will probably save you thousands or even tens-of-thousands over a full mortgage term.
Other ways to save money might be to beg and borrow old cardboard boxes from supermarkets or retailers. Make sure to take meter readings on the day you move and report them to the utility company. If buying from a housebuilder try negotiating for the inclusion of carpets and curtains and if your home is close to a stamp duty band try to get the price below the band to save money.