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'Carpe Diem'

September 2021 Estate Agency

My friends in the Midlands tell me that the housing market there has recently been all but frantic. Perfectly ordinary houses (their words, not mine!) attracted numerous viewings almost as…

'Carpe Diem'
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'Carpe Diem'

September 2021 Estate Agency

My friends in the Midlands tell me that the housing market there has recently been all but frantic. Perfectly ordinary houses (their words, not mine!) attracted numerous viewings almost as soon as they were listed. Was it the urge to benefit from the tail-end of the Chancellor’s reduction in stamp duty, even though it was already partially withdrawn.  Who knows?

Here in Keswick I’ve seen much the same. It is notoriously difficult to see into the future. That’s obvious, I hear you say, but many of us still act as if tomorrow will be similar to today (except where the weather’s concerned!).

Recently, two episodes reminded me just how fragile our anticipation of even the immediate future can be. One of my Aunts has recently moved into a rest home; nothing unusual in that except that only two months before she was leading a “normal” life with her husband. But now, without warning, she finds herself confined to a home in need of a high level of care.

At the other end of the age spectrum, my gorgeous son has just celebrated his third birthday. The clan gathered from far and wide; fortunately, the weather was good and we were able to spill out from my home into the back yard. But – he’s three!  It feels only a few days ago I was carrying an eight-pound bundle back from the Cumberland Infirmary. Where did those thousand days go?

So, if you’re thinking of moving home, my homespun advice is – it’s better to get on with it than wait for what you imagine will be the “ideal” moment. It’s all too easy to think of reasons why you should delay a week, or a month, or a year, until ….. well, until what? Before, you know it, a thousand days have passed, and you’ve three years less to enjoy the benefits of a decision you could have made earlier. Or, new circumstances have arisen which now prevent you from proceeding in the direction you knew you wanted to go.  So, Carpe Diem!

 

Hannah Sims, Branch Manager at PFK Keswick.

Making The Most Out Of Your Outside Living Area.

June 2021 Estate Agency

Who doesn’t love spending time in the great outdoors? Be it near or far, when the weather is good, there is nothing better than taking time to enjoy the…

Making The Most Out Of Your Outside Living Area.
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Making The Most Out Of Your Outside Living Area.

June 2021 Estate Agency

Who doesn’t love spending time in the great outdoors? Be it near or far, when the weather is good, there is nothing better than taking time to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle…

We visit hundreds of properties each year, and it is always a pleasure to see what is on offer in the gardens, big or small.

This got me thinking, how can these sometimes forgotten, yet important areas, be nursed into a haven for you to enjoy – it doesn’t have to be a daunting task…Trust me, let’s take a look at some simple tips.

Colour and Scent:

I am sure you have done it before, perhaps subconsciously, when you walk past/through a garden and you are drawn to the colours and smells emanating from the contents within.  Sometimes simple additions to a garden can prove to be effective, take, for example, a colourful scented rose.  Yes, it will need a preen come the winter time, however, throughout the summer months you will enjoy an abundance of colour and scent.  Depending on the scents you enjoy, other options can include lavender, herbs, lily and sweet peas, to name but a few.

Create zones:

How about a tranquil, calming space to sit back and read your favoruite book, enjoy lunch or spend time with friends and family.  Simple tricks like cleaning up the patio flags, weeding the flower beds and sprucing up your furniture with cushions and a lick of paint, can breathe new life into an area that may be a little unloved.   To those who enjoy the company of four-legged friends, let’s not forget to provide them with a tidy, calm, shaded space so they too can relax and enjoy the balmy weather we do occasionally enjoy!  Why not also mix up flowers and shrubs so that you have different experiences throughout the seasons, with different zones within your garden providing new surprises throughout the year.  Separate an area for any kiddies you have within your family/visiting your home, giving them a space to enjoy being young and satisfy their needs to explore and be messy by including a mud garden, insect hideaways and perhaps room for a lovely paddling pool.  This also means they will leave your ‘adult’ area alone for you to enjoy…maybe!

Ambience:

It is amazing what a little lighting can do to any space, it doesn’t take a lot for some feature garden lighting, be it in the form of solar lights, fairy lights, permanent fittings set along flower borders to enhance the ambience of your outside areas.  With the summer nights upon us, why not add a little lighting along your fences, wall, shed and around tables etc and see just what effect it can have!

Bubbling water features are a wonderful way of creating a relaxing area within your garden, doubling up as a cooling bath for those little birds that may frequent your garden.

Kitchen Gardens:

With more and more people becoming increasingly self-sufficient, there is a fondness for being able to grown your own herbs, vegetable and fruits.  A kitchen garden doesn’t have to be large scale, it can comprise of a raised bed with useful herbs within.  Herbs are easy to grow and great for spicing up you’re cooking (or drinks!). Keeping them on the patio means you’ll always have them to hand when you’re entertaining. Grow thyme, oregano, chives, mint and parsley in little pots or put everything together in one herbal container. This is something that can involve and be fun for all the family and with the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your labor at the end.

I could go on and on about different ways those outdoor spaces and gardens can be enhanced and enjoyed, however I will leave it here for now and look to take on board these tips for my own garden!

We would love to hear about and see your gardens and how you have created a space perfect for your and your family!  Get in touch and send those pictures in!

Nina Robinson, Penrith Valuer.

New Estate Agency Manager appointed at PFK Penrith

June 2021 Estate Agency

Penrith Farmers and Kidd’s PLC are pleased to announce the appointment of the new Penrith Estate Agency Manager, Daniel Brown. Daniel began his career in Estate Agency at Countrywide…

New Estate Agency Manager appointed at PFK Penrith
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New Estate Agency Manager appointed at PFK Penrith

June 2021 Estate Agency

Penrith Farmers and Kidd’s PLC are pleased to announce the appointment of the new Penrith Estate Agency Manager, Daniel Brown.

Daniel began his career in Estate Agency at Countrywide in Cornwall and has worked in the business for several years. Daniel and his partner Kate moved to Cumbria after falling in love with the area after visiting numerous times.

Daniel has a passion for all things property and believes customer service is key. Daniel commented, “I am so excited to join the team here at PFK Penrith. I look forward to contributing to PFK’s excellent success and help people buy, sell and rent.”

Outside of work Daniel enjoys, hiking up the fells, gardening and trying out all the restaurants and cafés Cumbria has to offer.

PFK’s Head of Estate Agency, Lynne Lancaster, says: “I am very pleased to welcome Daniel to the PFK team and he joins us as Branch Manager of the Penrith office.  Daniel brings years of experience in estate agency and a wealth of knowledge which will enable him to add significant value.  I look forward to working with Daniel as he helps our business grow and the team progress”.

Daniel would love to help you on your property journey, contact him for your free property valuation on 01768 862135 | penrith@pfk.co.uk

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New Estate Agency Manager appointed at PFK Carlisle

June 2021 Estate Agency

Penrith Farmers and Kidd’s PLC are pleased to announce the appointment of the new Carlisle Estate Agency Manager, Tessa Milner. Tessa lives in Greysouthen with her son, Harrison. She…

New Estate Agency Manager appointed at PFK Carlisle
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New Estate Agency Manager appointed at PFK Carlisle

June 2021 Estate Agency

Penrith Farmers and Kidd’s PLC are pleased to announce the appointment of the new Carlisle Estate Agency Manager, Tessa Milner.

Tessa lives in Greysouthen with her son, Harrison. She began her career in Estate Agency in 2007 at Cumbrian Properties in Carlisle then went on to be Branch Manager at Grisdales in Workington. In 2013 Tessa opened her own company which specialised in vintage jewellery and had that for seven successful years. After the pandemic hit, Tessa realised she missed doing what she loved which was Estate Agency. She enjoys the variation it has to offer and meeting new people and hearing their stories.

Tessa joins PFK with a wealth of estate agency experience and has a passion for the business. Tessa commented, “I am excited to be joining PFK as Carlisle Branch Manager. I join a fantastic team of people who have been extremely welcoming. I look forward to helping people buy, sell and rent in and around Carlisle.”

Outside of work Tessa enjoys, running, traveling and all things music such as festivals.

PFK’s Head of Estate Agency, Lynne Lancaster, says: “I am very pleased that Tessa is joining PFK as Branch Manager of the Carlisle office. Her many years of experience and wealth of knowledge in Estate Agency will enable Tessa to add significant value and I look forward to working with her as she helps the business grow and the team progress.

Tessa would love to help you on your property journey, contact her for your free property valuation on 01228 558666 | carlisle@pfk.co.uk

What Goes Up - Goes Up Further

June 2021 Estate Agency

Lesley from our Whitehaven team looks to a genius to make some sense of a property market, the like of which we haven’t seen since the 1980s. What Isaac…

What Goes Up - Goes Up Further
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What Goes Up - Goes Up Further

June 2021 Estate Agency

Lesley from our Whitehaven team looks to a genius to make some sense of a property market, the like of which we haven’t seen since the 1980s.

What Isaac Newton, who formulated the laws of gravity in the middle of the 17th century, would have made of the current gravity-defying property market is anyone’s guess. But no doubt, like most people, he would have been flummoxed.

Even a genius like Newton, who worked from home during the plague of 1665/6, might have had difficulty making any sense of this mad market. Despite a global killer pandemic, millions of people out of work, the nation in lockdown, pubs shut, travel halted and the Treasury handing out billions in support of businesses, jobs and mortgages, the property market boomed – and it continues to do so. It should, by any calculation, have plummeted like an apple from a tree. Instead, the market didn’t fall; it held itself in suspended animation for a while before surging upwards.

By any estimation the market should at least have mirrored the slowdown experienced after the great recession of 2008. Yet prices are rising.

But perhaps we can learn something from Newton, whose third law stated that to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Homeowners and homebuyers reacted to Covid by moving from large urban centres and buying bigger properties in less crowded areas where they could work from home at least a few days a week. At the same time historically low interest rates kept mortgage repayments manageable, and the amazing vaccine programme has generated confidence.

It wasn’t long ago that property professionals were preparing for the worst. Now the market, which is experiencing very low levels of stock, is seeing increasing values with selling prices in some areas often exceeding their asking prices.

Growing numbers of sight-unseen sales, ultra-competitive bidding through all price ranges and the ugly re-emergence of gazumping are sure signs of people who are panic buying and a crazy property market in boom mode.

Lesley Waugh | Whitehaven

A Year On

April 2021 Blog Estate Agency

Harriet Simpson, manager of our Penrith office, looks at how property buyers’ interests and demands have changed over the past twelve months. Covid19 has changed many things in our lives.…

A Year On
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A Year On

April 2021 Estate Agency

Harriet Simpson, manager of our Penrith office, looks at how property buyers’ interests and demands have changed over the past twelve months.

Covid19 has changed many things in our lives. It has altered our outlook, our expectations and our ambitions, and it has changed the way we live or want to live.

Over the past year we have experienced this in an evolving list of property buyers’ aspirations. Oh, the usual essentials are still there – right price, enough room and attractive location – but now a secondary list of important requirements has appeared as buyers seek to change their lifestyles in the light of the pandemic.

Here are some of the important features being sought by post-Covid buyers today.

1. Zoom Room

Homebuyers are attracted by a dedicated office space for home working.

2. Homecation Facilities

Not everyone wants a pool, but room for some little luxuries is proving popular.

3. Multigenerational Living

With more millennials and GenZs moving back home, and room needed for housing elderly family members, the hunt is on for adaptable properties and those with space to extend.

4. Gourmet Kitchen

During lockdown many people brushed up on their cooking skills or even learned from scratch. Now the demand is for better-equipped kitchens.

5. A Garden Oasis

Lots of us have discovered gardening during the lockdown while others want room to play and exercise. More people than ever are seeking good outside space following the strict social distancing rules.

6. The Suburbs are Back

A little more space, lower prices and happy communities are driving buyers out from big cities. But some buyers aren’t quite reaching the countryside.

7. The Health Conscious Home

Zoom fitness classes and networked exercise machines mean areas for wellness are a top priority.

8. Space for the Pets

Pet adoptions increased in 2020. Many homebuyers are looking for pet-friendly features. Most are thinking about cats and dogs, but some are thinking about horses.

9. Seating for Eating

Increased cooking expertise and a desire to spend more time with family and friends has meant a stronger focus on larger dining spaces.

10. New Homes

A home with the patina of age is important to many. But to others a new start often means a brand new home where a clean slate and customised fittings can help to begin things afresh.

If you are thinking of selling your property and it has one or more of these features, please call us for a chat, our friendly team would love to assist you.

Harriet Simpson | Penrith Estate Agency Manager 

 

Something old, something new...

March 2021 Estate Agency

Admiral Nelson is revered for winning the naval battle of Trafalgar more than 200 years ago but he is also famous for disobeying his orders!  He once put his telescope…

Something old, something new...
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Something old, something new...

March 2021 Estate Agency

Admiral Nelson is revered for winning the naval battle of Trafalgar more than 200 years ago but he is also famous for disobeying his orders!  He once put his telescope to his blind eye so he could “accidentally” ignore the signal flags from his Commander and do his own thing.

This ability to choose what to look at, and what to pretend isn’t there, is something we all occasionally do, even if we’re unaware of it.  Don’t we all turn a ‘blind eye’ to the things we don’t really want to see?  Of course, it is tricky to strike the balance between the pro’s and con’s of significant decisions facing us and that’s never truer than now, as hopefully we begin to emerge from a period dominated by the Covid pandemic.  Nevertheless, we at PFK have been making plans (yes, really!), trying to strike that balance to provide a service which is safe and productive and even, if I dare say it, enjoyable!

What many of us have missed most is contact with people, face-to-face encounters not reliant on a Zoom meeting, amazingly useful though that technology has been.  So, we are refurbishing my office on Keswick high street to create a safe and welcoming space for you to discuss your requirements with us in person.  Almost nothing is more stressful than buying or selling a property (although I’d argue that a day spent with my 2-year-old comes pretty close!) and I believe it’s crucial to provide the opportunity for your requirements and concerns to be properly talked over face-to-face.

Call me old-fashioned?  Since when did a high standard of personal customer service become obsolete?  We at PFK remain as committed to it as ever, supported of course by the latest technology, and combining the advantages of both.

People from all over the country will continue to view the Lake District as a wonderful place to live as well as a superb holiday destination, perhaps even more so now since the word ‘staycation’ has entered the English dictionary.  So, if you’re thinking of buying as a home or as an investment, or wish to discuss placing your property on the market, please do get in touch.  Perhaps I’ll get a bag of Friars best chocolates (hygienically wrapped) to share with the first 2 human contacts in the office!!

Looking forward to seeing you once again…

Hannah Sims – Manager – Keswick office 

Property Market Update

March 2021 Estate Agency

We know there’s a property boom when adverse events that might otherwise have knocked the market off course fail to do so. Whilst we entered into Lockdown 3 at…

Property Market Update
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Property Market Update

March 2021 Estate Agency

We know there’s a property boom when adverse events that might otherwise have knocked the market off course fail to do so. Whilst we entered into Lockdown 3 at the beginning of the year it did not dent the enthusiasm for property purchase, nor did the threatened end of the stamp duty holiday or the potential post-furlough unemployment spike.

In fact, we are now seeing a property buying demand reminiscent of the 1980s boom.  It’s clear that the public is back in love with home ownership and demand does not appear to be subsiding!

The extension of the tiered stamp duty holiday, which will now finish at the end of September, gives buyers who had put things on hold the opportunity to save money and still have the move of their dreams. The budget also included a mortgage guarantee scheme to help people get on the property ladder by offering incentives to lenders to provide 95% mortgages.

We all look forward to the stepping stone retreat from lockdown and as many people continue to plan new ways of working between office and home, there are compelling new opportunities for buyers looking for their first homes or for buyers looking for homes with more space in different surroundings.

Whilst we may see holiday home and investor buyers in the market, we also see strong activity from local buyers. We have property experts on hand to help you with your house move, so if you need any help and assistance, please call your nearest PFK office.

Lynne Lancaster – Head of Estate Agency 

Stamp Duty Holiday Extended

March 2021 News Estate Agency

Properties up to £500,000 will benefit with stamp duty holiday being extended until 30th June and then from 1st July until end of September stamp duty holiday will only continue…

Stamp Duty Holiday Extended
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Stamp Duty Holiday Extended

March 2021 Estate Agency
Properties up to £500,000 will benefit with stamp duty holiday being extended until 30th June and then from 1st July until end of September stamp duty holiday will only continue on properties up to £250,000. On 1st October 2021 we will revert to pre covid stamp duty thresholds. Whilst the level of saving will reduce July – September, the average saving of £2,500 will still benefit certain buyers.
 
In other news, the Chancellor also confirmed the government will incentivise lenders to provide mortgages to first-time buyers with just 5% deposits.

Estate Agency Update From Lynne Lancaster

February 2021 News Estate Agency

According to the Nationwide, January 2021 saw a house price growth of 1.8%, the highest growth since November 2018.  Mortgage lenders are also saying they saw an increase in…

Estate Agency Update From Lynne Lancaster
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Estate Agency Update From Lynne Lancaster

February 2021 Estate Agency

According to the Nationwide, January 2021 saw a house price growth of 1.8%, the highest growth since November 2018.  Mortgage lenders are also saying they saw an increase in mortgage applications and approvals, all of which is encouraging and it doesn’t end there.  PFK continue to see new instructions gain an enormous amount of interest and therefore buyer confidence appears to be back!  In fact, it would be fair to say that demand is currently outweighing supply as we see people want to move and therefore certainty is definitely replacing uncertainty. The news of the extended Stamp Duty Holiday to 30th June 2021 should also encourage home movers.

PFK are a team of local people who are property experts and our aim is to help our customers on their property journey from beginning to end.  We have our own in-house marketing team who are able to provide professional drone videos, photographs and targeted social media campaigns in order to put your property in front of a specific audience and achieve the best results.  Quite often our marketing campaigns on social media and to our registered buyers provide us with a list of buyers/tenants before going live to the wider market!  However, it is not about selling your property quickly it is about marketing your property right, finding a buyer that suits you and achieving the best price – that is the most important factor!  When PFK agree a sale or a rental, we are there with our customers until we achieve signed contracts and this has been especially important within the last year.  It was suggested in the last 3rd quarter of 2020 half (52%) of house sales in England and Wales fell through before completion.  So, having an agent who is keen to find you the best price and then progress the sale after it is agreed is essential and an important tool in the PFK package.  We use our experience, enthusiasm and customer service to make sure there is an end result – we don’t just leave it with the property lawyers, we actively help and assist where we can.

If you are considering selling, renting or buying and you want an agent who is proactive and works for you, then contact your local PFK expert who will be able to assist you in relation to your property journey.

PFK continue to be here to support our customers safely in a way that’s convenient for them.  That can be in person, over the phone, by email or via video appointment.  We will continue to make sure we protect our staff and customers.

Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estates. 

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