Investors and house hunters want the best deals. But in 2009, that increasingly means looking further a field. Tailored Home explains why its free property finding service is winner with clients.
THE UK property scene may be suffering a slump.
But the downturn has founded a new type of service that caters for a small, thriving sector of the market.
Property Finding Consultancies are for those looking to relocate - whether you are a Brit going abroad, a foreigner setting up home in the UK, or simply a UK resident hoping to relocate to another part of the country.
Bespoke property finders provide prospective buyers with a package deal that matches them with their perfect home – much like an all inclusive dating agency for people and homes, without the need for multiple visits.
Once the service has selected homes that meet the buyer’s criteria, the client can then decide on the best deal.
The ‘property guide’ can step in again to help manage the process with estate agent, helping to appoint a solicitor or other experts if required to oversee the sale to completion.
But here’s the best bit. The entire service is free.
London-based Tailored Home is one of the largest Property Finding Services on the market, acting for both domestic and overseas clients.
“It’s such a simple concept and represents genuine value for money for both the seller and the buyer in the current market,” says Julian Constance.
Tailored Home is completely free to the client because, just like using a financial advisor, the company makes its money through commissions from the developers or estate agents.
Most developers pay commissions to agents or third-party who sell their property. And these commissions are usually a fixed industry percentage, so they don’t favour any developer or development.
Property finding services originally spread around the UK at the turn of the century as Brits were increasingly attracted to second homes overseas, particularly in France and Spain. But they were sometimes expensive because the businesses were linked to estate agents and developers.
The strength of the pound and the cheap cost of property, particularly in the Mediterranean region, saw millions of deals signed in a short space of time, with many pensioners taking up the opportunity of a new life in the sun.
An estimated one million British expatriates have made their home on the Spanish Costas in the last decades tempted by the warm climate.
But as the pound has weakened, costs on the coasts have risen. As the economic crisis worsens, more and more are returning to the UK.
Those relying on fixed incomes, such as state pensions, have seen their income drop by up to 25 per cent over the last year.
Once converted into euros, the British state pension has dropped by almost €30-a-week since January, 2008.
“A good deal of our work involves Brits returning to the UK,” explains Julian, of Tailored Home.
“Whether coming home or moving away the list of requirements for a new home can be endless. That’s why it’s so important to have someone on the ground doing the leg work for you, liaising with agents and identifying prospective properties.”
Tailored Home works to find properties that accommodate personal priorities such as prices range, views, proximity to schools, availability of budget flights, established tourism market, beachfront, close to amenities, jobs markets, secluded, not overlooked, proximity to airport, value for money, emerging market, language, similarity to UK, internal fixtures and fittings, facilities, furniture pack available, rental guarantee, off-plan, new home, restoration project and rental management services can be taken care of by someone else before you even set foot from the door.
“The concept is simply this,” says Julian, of Tailored Home. “Let us know where in the UK or world you want to buy and what your budget is.
“If you have a preference for brand new or resale property, if you require legal, mortgage, foreign currency, insurance and tax advice. We even use a panel of independent financial advisors.
“We will take your brief and source the property to your requirements. But that's not all - we will be with you every step of the way.
“We act as your intermediary between the developer and agent to make the purchasing process as smooth as possible.”
If the returning Brit is growing part of the UK sales market, so to are European and other overseas investors keen to capitalise on the weakened pound and falling house prices.
Some analysts have described foreign buyers as ‘flooding’ sectors of the market during January, particularly in London.
Prices have fallen by about 15 per cent since the market peaked 18 months ago, according to Savills, the property consultancy.
But overseas purchasers can achieve discounts of 35-50 per cent because of the strong Euro.
Ian Bailey of Savills research comments, "When a € was worth 70p as it towards the end of 2007 an overseas buyer in the euro zone needed to spend €6,200 to buy land at £5,000 per acre, whereas now, with sterling much weaker at around 90p/€ today, land is significantly discounted. A shift from 70p/€ to 90p/€ will give a 22% improvement, and at parity the saving will be considerable at 30% giving around a 10% saving for each 10p weakening of the pound."
Those using US, Singaporean and Taiwanese dollars have even greater buying power, according to Savills, while Japanese yen investors can buy a UK property at half the price of a year ago.
Type in UK or Overseas Property in any search engine and you will be presented with thousands of websites, some good some bad. Most will supply you with a list of properties and after that you're on your own.
The Property Finding Service offers something different.
“We remember that you, the customer come first,” says Julian. “The team behind Tailored Home have several years in experience in UK and Overseas property and have excellent relationships with house builders of new homes and estate agents worldwide.”
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