Entries by Gareth Cheshire

It seemed like a good idea…

I accept that occasionally people do things and undertake crusades for the right reasons: the greater good, the benefit of the put upon, the downtrodden and all those who would qualify for a minor role in a Charles Dickens novel (adapted for the prime Sunday night TV audience), but more often than not I do […]

The alleged housing bubble gets a prick…

“The Mortgage Inquisition” Daily Mail Tuesday 22April 2014  This was the headline screaming from the pages of every newspaper, of every political hue alongside the world shattering news that David Moyes had been given the heave-ho.  (I don’t think that with a £10 million pound payoff the ‘mortgage inquisition’ is going to have much effect […]

How the other half live…

and think.  Today, which is for many the most holy of holy days – celebrating the resurrection of Jesus who gave his life for us – a parable may be drawn with life in general.  Whilst millions the world over celebrate the very essence of their faith, that of God sending a saviour to redeem […]

“Achmet, our janissary, calculating from the decay of their empire…

…have come to a conclusion that the end of the world is nigh at hand.” James Emerson Tennent’s Letters from the Aegean, 1829.  The Celtic theme is rather timely as this week we see Alex Salmond a hopping and a trotting at the SNP Spring Conference in Aberdeen.  Closer to home (for Mr Salmond at least), would be Private […]

Panda watch, House of Fraser and bulk-buying in London…

Those of you who have followed the blog for a length of time will know that here at Cheshire and Co we have an avid interest in the possible pitter pattering of tiny panda feet.  If you are raising an eyebrow, look at some of last year’s blog posts. Giant panda Tian Tian, who resides […]

Unidos na diversidade….Forenet i mangfoldighed…

…Jednota v rozmanitosti… Not quite up to speed on your Spanish, Portuguese or Dutch?  Perhaps if I quote the motto of the European Union in English, it may help; “United in diversity” or if you have a particular affinity for the Indo-European mother language, ” In varietate Concordia“.  Rather like naming the Blue Peter dog/cat/tortoise/presenter to replace […]

What’s it all about…..

…Alfie? (Give me the Dionne Warwick version any day over Cilla ‘I’m a professional Scouser’ Black).  Actually, with this week’s Budget having come to pass, the question should really be being asked of George Osborne; or in the interest of Coalition politics, the ultimate dog-in-a-manger, meddlesome old woman Vince Cable should perhaps be being courted for […]

“A man is his own easiest dupe…

…for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true.” Demosthenes.  Now I would like to think that I share many characteristics with the 4th century BC Greek statesman and orator; a patrician air, an ability to express contemporary society’s political and cultural proclivities, (ok, Pontnewyyd Social Club may not have absolute […]

Professional professionals or make a quick buck profiteers?

Monday’s Daily Mail headline about an estate agent attempting to fleece a dying gentleman out of  the thick end of a million pounds did nothing to enhance the professional reputation of our industry.  London-based Bargets had written to Mr Owen Hill who owned a property in St John’s Wood, claiming that their agency had a ‘genuine buyer’ interested in […]

“I sometimes think that God in creating man…

…somewhat overestimated His ability.” Oscar Wilde  After events of the past week, I have to admit that I am with the fop-haired, syphilitic aesthete.  To celebrate Valentine’s Day last week, I extended Mrs Cheshire’s contract and as a reward for her endeavours bought her a brand new 2004 Mondeo diesel, (well she believes the descriptor…).  […]

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change….

… the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  Reinhold Niebuhr.  I don’t think that the eminent American theologian, ethicist and public intellectual was possibly contemplating the whims of a capricious tenant when he said this; but I have on occasion recently had to find the mental fortitude […]

Year of the Horse…

The lunar year has begun and 2014 is the Chinese Year of the Horse.  The horse is part of the 12 year cycle that makes up the Chinese zodiac (as well as the 3.40 median auction stakes over 6f at Wolverhampton).  These interact with the five elements; wood, metal, fire, water and earth.  To give […]

Balls…of steel, or a balls-up of epic proportions?

In the interests of impartiality, (I know, I know, Ladbrokes have stopped taking bets on my succession to Ban Ki-Moon), I have tried to look dispassionately at the Shadow Chancellor’s pledge to raise the top tax rate to 50p if/when Labour retrieve the keys to No’s 10 and 11 Downing Street.  This notably coincided with the announcement […]

This was the week that…

… saw two teenage lovers re-enact their own modern day version of Romeo and Juliet, swapping the balconies of Verona for the poolside of a five star hotel in the Dominican Republic, special parking badges being issued to people too fat to walk any distance from their car, (and before the indignant start screeching about medical […]

“Coming together is a beginning….

..Keeping together is progress.  Working together is success.” The words of none other than Henry Ford.  (Even if you don’t know of him, you must recognise the surname? No-one is that insular are they?)  It is a belief that perhaps should have been heeded by some of our political figures during the past week.  When […]

“Those who have knowledge don’t predict….

…Those who predict don’t have knowledge.”  Wise words from the 6th Century Chinese poet, Lao Tzu.  But rarely heeded over a millennia later.  Just as every year has its in thing to be doing/wearing/following, (in 2013 it was the year of the ‘selfie’, an obsession with Royal babies and Miley Cyrus’s heroic efforts to make […]

O.ther B.ugxers. E.fforts…

….As the O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire; established on June 4 1917 by King George V for all you anoraks out there) is more commonly known. By some blip in the postal system and/or a typing error on the list that was prepared for the Honours and Awards Committee, my name did not appear […]

Farewell 2013. Welcome 2014. I suppose.

As the season of goodwill staggers to the finish line – not that ‘goodwill’ would have been the sentiment that first came to the fore if one had had to suffer another enfilade attack (consult your military manual if you don’t know what it means), from the screaming hoards in the aisles of a well-known supermarket – […]

All I want for Christmas…

As a certain S Claus Esq makes the final preparations for tonight’s journey – go faster stripes on the sleigh, go faster juice given to the reindeer, (no way that they would pass a British Horseracing Authority dope test; unless of course they belonged to the rulers of an oil-rich country…), elves careering around like workers […]

Tis the season….

…of  The Strictly Come Prancing Grand Final, dodgy jumpers, realisation of why one never sees certain members of one’s family the rest of the year, people photocopying their nether regions at the office Christmas party and lists.  For some reason yet to be determined by medical research, the final death throes of the current year (working […]

There is no proof…

It was announced this week by the Metropolitan Police that there is, “no credible evidence”, that the SAS were involved in the death of Princess Diana in the Pont de l’Ama road tunnel in Paris in 1997.  However many times Mohammed Al Fayed and the Daily Express keep printing that elements of the British monarchy (that would […]

The certainties of life…

…death and taxes.  George’s Autumn Statement last week contained some interesting estimates from the Office of Budget Responsibility (I wonder how you get the gig in there?).  The general consensus in their figures was that house prices will increase by a fifth over the next three years.  This has led to the usual chorus of […]

If you are not going to play with it…

In keeping with the current festive theme – including mince pies being out of date by the 1 December – the recent decision by the Bank of England to stop Funding For Lending will resonate with every parent who is being blackmailed at every given opportunity by their offspring to purchase the latest must-have gizmo […]

“True intuitive expertise….

…is learned from prolonged experience…” [sic].  So writes the 2002 Nobel Prize winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman.  For those of you who may not quite be up to speed in their identification of those in the pantheon of psychology and its study, (putting the world to rights with Dave in The Dog And Duck, after ten pints […]

The end is nigh…..again…..

Today’s announcement that the Yorkshire Building Society is launching its own range of 95% loan-to value mortgages has been met with a mixture of opprobrium, hysteria and much teeth-sucking from the harbingers of doom.  The main concern being voiced is that such lending will contribute to the country shouldering another burden of debt and it will be 2007 […]

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Not on this occasion twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lords a leaping nor nine ladies dancing; (actually the last one isn’t strictly incorrect if you count the site team from Shiny New Homes R Us doing an inebriated performance to ‘I Will Survive’ at the Christmas shindig at The Parkway); instead, if a recent report is to […]

Our Survey Says…

For those of us who can name all the hosts of Family Fortunes (with extra points if you can also name their ‘celebrity’ spouses), we can all empathise with the moment Les, Leslie, Vernon et al turned and said, “Our Survey Says…” and the results of the said survey did make one wonder what bunch […]

“Knowledge of the self, is the mother of all knowledge..”

So said Khalil Gibran (look him up). As we listen and read the various panegyrics that have (quite rightly) been put forward about Tony McCoy and his record-breaking achievement of riding 4000 winners as a national hunt jockey, I do wonder what it is that makes people behave as they do and achieve success, or […]

“I choose a lazy peron to do a hard job…”

“Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” [sic]  So said the richest man in the world (according to the Bloomberg Billionaires List 2013), Bill Gates.  Much discussion has taken place on the twittersphere and other forums about what he actually meant (duh – it was obvious) and whether his statement was accurate […]

A bit of a pickle…

The recent announcement by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, that the government proposes to introduce a “tenants’ charter”, has elicited a very vocal response and has raised many questions; and on this particular occasion, it isn’t, “who ate all the pies?”  The official-and publicly promulgated-reasoning behind the charter is to […]

There are some decent people about..

Continuing today’s theme of ologies, it is human nature to indulge in paraxeology; and it is often with a negative undertone.  This morning however, I have had some of my faith in human nature restored.  A gentleman rang the office to say that he had found a house key- with the office details on the keying- […]

Name that ology…

In the pursuit of alethiology (look it up), I have to say that if I hear one more thing about the bubble about to be caused by this week’s early launch of Phase 2 of the Government’s Help-To-Buy scheme, I may choose to discover that the life of a Trappist monk has its advantages (sorry […]

A different world…

It may only be 150 miles up the road, but I can now categorically confirm that London is a world apart from the rest of the British Isles (and Wales in particular).  Having picked up a copy of the London Evening Standard and settled down in my rather grubby train seat, (actually I had to stand […]

It seemed like a good idea…

After the slight calm after the storm of the past few weeks that has raged in the waters of the property market (or at least if certain elements of the media are to be believed) there has been further evidence this week that trying to control the elements is a foolhardy past time.  After the announcement […]

Don’t tar us all with the same brush…

Other clichés are available…but the ones that relate to dodgy estate agents, second hand car dealers and other ne’r-do-wells are starting to resurface as it is reported that estate agency is a boom industry.  Unfortunately for the lady who penned the article published in the Daily Mail on September 2013, such rogues have never actually […]

Carry On As Normal…

After the mass hysteria of last week with people running lemming-like to become estate agents/put their homes on the market to make a fortune to allow them to become buy-to-let zillionaires, this week has seen the resumption of normal service.  Just after the Royal Chartered Institute of Surveyors (RICS), forewarned – quite rightly – of […]

Location, location, location…

An oft heard cry of those in the property world who cannot emphasise enough that the location of your house far outweighs the importance and value of your chosen décor, the disco ball in the master bedroom, or the marble tiling in the bathroom.  I can add further fuel to the fire of cartography with […]

Here Kitty, Kitty….

The role of the letting agent is a varied one, but until yesterday I was unaware that my ‘coat of may colours’ (name the musical), sported a badge saying ‘pest control’.  I was also unaware that cats were considered ‘vermin’ by certain members of the community.  I am not myself a cat person but I […]

What is the most dangerous financial asset in the world?

This was the question posed to Faisal Islam, the economics editor of Channel 4 News.  It was posed by the chief executive of a leading European bank.  His answer was some spectacularly erudite but wholly over-complicated one involving, ‘security-collateralised debt obligations” (sic) but was very much the wrong one; as he happily admits in his […]

If your aunty had balls….

When I was in school (approved), one of my more notable reports commented how, “Gareth sets himself increasingly low standards that he often fails to achieve…” (sic) .  The same could be levelled at the marketing departments of various corporate estate agents.  An experienced, local independent estate agent – and in fairness, there is more than […]

The Fates conspire…

In classical mythology, man’s destiny is determined by the three Fates who decide the what, the how much and the ”that’s it, lights out”.  In real life, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos (the all-girl group from Aberdare…) get a day off when it comes to real estate.  I have just got back in from a valuation where the […]

Viva Espana….

Isn’t it comforting to know that good news breeds further glad tidings…  Not only do we read about becoming buy-to-let millionaires overnight, pregnant pandas and Katie Price’s affirmation that you can be a great rugby player (take a bow, Danny Cipriani) but be lacking in other departments, giving us some hope that there is a God, […]

Who’s the daddy?

Mark Carney the new Governor of the Bank of England, has broken new ground by becoming the first in his role to set out a plan in relation to interest rates. Earlier this week, following a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)  it was announced that interest rates would be kept at 0.5% until the […]

It’s that Friday feeling….

Here we are again on a Friday being told by another survey from a property-orientated institution (on this particular occasion, the Nationwide), that house prices are rising at the fastest rate for three years.  In fairness to the chief economist of the UK’s biggest building society he does point out that the annual figure has been boosted by […]

Why not sell your house in one day….

  If only it were that easy. So trumpeted the headline in a recent article in a national newspaper.  What the ‘property expert’ whose name was attributed to the article was promoting was the American and Australian practice of selling houses through an “open house” event.  What this entails is the agent marketing the property […]

Show me the money….

Direct, but there is a reason behind us asking someone who rings up requesting to view a property whether they are ‘proceedable’. By this, I mean that they either have the money to purchase the said property, or can get the money via a mortgage, a house sale or winning the lottery but not from […]

Meet the landlords….

I would like to think that having grown out of short trousers some time ago and having been around the block several times since, that it take alot to make me stand aghast and ask, “Is this for real?”  However, last night’s BBC One ‘Meet the Landlords’ did succeed in making me do a double-take […]

Forget the three feathers or the shamrock, you need a maple leaf…

 According to figures published this week and several articles in national newspapers this morning, for the first time since the meltdown of 2008 that left the property market (amongst others) in a state of apocalyptic devastation, all regions throughout the country have seen an increase in house prices. The cost of the average home rose […]

How quick can you get the board up…?

Yet again I feel privileged to know that I move in such exalted circles; surrounded by a cohort of individuals who as well as being experts in their respective fields of brain surgery, investment banking, refuse collection and the intricate workings of the current benefits system are also experts on the nuances of the local […]

Caveat Emptor….

Most certainly at an auction.  I read with a wry smile of the challenge of Mr Mehmet Koch whose most recent venture into property acquisition was reported in many of this weeks’ papers.  The aforementioned Mr Koch (stop smirking at the back), recently attended an auction and  purchased a property located in Finsbury Park, in the process […]

The worst is over…? Possibly

Tuesday’s Today programme on Radio 4 featured a gentleman from the Building Society Association to talk about the latest BSA report and how it reflected the current housing market.  It was interesting to hear that mortgage transaction levels are increasing but I was slightly concerned that the phrases of, “the worst is over” and “confidence […]

All hail Jeremy Vine….

It will come as no surprise to our regular followers that yet again Cheshire and Co have their finger on the pulse of the media.  By that I mean that en route to an appointment yesterday I was listening to the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2.  The lead item was the malfeasance of letting […]

Thank you Sir Tim Berners-Lee…

The power and reach of the internet and the world wide web knows no bounds.  For that we have to thank Sir Tim Berners-Lee.  Just imagine being introduced to a gentleman at The Priory Hotel (the go-to place for the movers and shakers of Monmouthshire) and asking what he does for a living, to receive the […]

Is it really that easy…?

I recently had a Damacean moment when I realised that my 30 years in the property business had been wasted because all I really needed to do was read 2 pages of the Money Mail on Wednesday 29 May.  As a regular reader of the Daily Mail and any other property section in any other […]

The right tenant for the right property

The perfect tenant?  Someone who is impeccably tidy (OCD possibly), uncomplaining, who has no plans to move and happily accepts large yearly rent increases.  Back to reality, we all know that tenants fall into several categories: students, young professionals, families and housing benefit recipients.  I was amused to read on the weekend that there is […]

It doesn’t do what it says on the tin….

After a recent report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors informing us that demand for houses rose to its highest level for more than three years after the April launch of Help To Buy, one has to ask what is exactly fuelling this sudden enthusiasm?  We may have the answer.  It appears that some […]

To fix or not to fix?

As the property market makes a small move from the torpor of the last five years, as always the key players are the first-time buyers.  Mortgage lenders are now going all out to attract first-time buyers to become first-time borrowers.  There is now a plethora of mortgage deals hitting the market.  Even though rates are […]

Calm down dear ……..

Further to last week’s blog, there has now been increased debate on the recent and possibly encouraging movement in the housing market.  The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported that loan approvals in March were a 14.8% increase on February.  In addition to this, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said that a majority of […]

I want to be a consultant…

Having read a recent Mail Online article about the expected surge in the housing market, I have decided that I now want to be a consultant.  The article quotes the experts from Fathom Consulting – whoever they may be – who now predict that the average home in the UK could cost £300,000 due to […]

A Legislative Step Too Far?

As most of us here in Cwmbran will have read the content of the Queen’s Speech,  analysed and cogitated upon it at length, I wonder if the Government are going a step too far?  There are two things that jump out straight away: are hardworking medical professionals as well as treating the sick and infirm (that’s if […]

Has the long winter finally gone?

Ignoring recent meteorological conditions, the ice age that has befallen the housing market for the past 6 years, is showing tentative signs of thawing (according to some recent newspaper reports). Is it? I read with interest that Savilles Estate Agency has put forward its mainstream forecast of a 0.5% rise in house prices this year […]

New Buy-to-Let Boom?

Figures compiled for the Sunday Times based on a survey of data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that 29,000 landlords entered the buy-to-let market for the first time in 2012, which is an increase of 19% on 2011.  I sometimes wonder how they compile these figures and whether all the data is entirely […]

Crackdown on letting agency n’er-do-wells…

On the same day that the subject of last week’s blog was buried, it was announced by the Government that an ‘independent property regulator with far-reaching powers was now in operation’ (Daily Mail 17 April).  Whilst we accept that there are nefarious rogues and vagabonds operating in the rental market – as in all industries-and […]

A welshman’s home is his castle…

Do we all aspire to home ownership?  How apt that today I visited an ex-council house (the politically correct will call it ‘local authority’) to advise the  owners – who are now enjoying retirement – on the best course of action to take to sell their property for the best possible price. The fact that they are […]

The 3 P’s or the 3 L’s?

Our regular followers will know that I harp on about presentation, presentation, presentation; but I may be proven wrong in the coming days.  The reason for this humble admission is a flat that featured recently in the national news for all the wrong reasons.  Most notably, it is a pig-sty and the agents published the photos to […]

Facts versus Opinions…

I was interested to read the thrilling news published by the Building Societies Association (BSA) that 42% of Britons see mortgage finance as a barrier to buying a house. Anothe case of G.O.B.O.  – Glimpse of the Blindingly Obvious.  Some of my friends who didn’t attend an approved school with me often say G.O.F.O. – […]

Yesterday’s Budget

Chancellor George Osborne yesterday announced 2 schemes that will hopefully boost the housing market and therefore the economy.  The first is the Help-To-Buy scheme whereby the Governement will actually add 20% to the original 5% of the buyer’s deposit.  The buyer will then have a 25% deposit and a 75% mortgage (subject to the usual […]

Is buy-to-let for you?

On the back of last week’s slightly disappointing news that HMRC see buy-to let landlords as the soft underbelly of their quest to gather in more tax,  I read with interest the Mail on Sunday (March 10) which screams off the pages that the buy-to-let boom is back.  Let me declare at the start that […]

‘There is no such thing as a good tax…’

So said Winston Churchill; and this week he may well be joined in his sentiment by many others following the announcement by HMRC that they are launching the ‘property sales campaign’, targeting those who have sold a property that is not their main home, and who have not told HMRC about any profits that they have […]

You don’t always get what you want…

 When shopping in a supermarket the price of a tin of beans is clearly displayed. This is based on what the national average has been calculated as being for a tin of beans of that quantity and quality.  Have you ever tried going to the checkout lady and offering thirty pence lower than the marked price? One would have […]

Communication. The dying art…

In the year of our Lord 2013, I have realised that it is is vital to follow some basic principles when running a business.  During my time working alongside our Armed Forces that included a gentleman who went by the nom-de-plume of ‘Velvet’ (so smooth – you can work out the rest), I was once […]

The national average is just that…

Figures released this week by the Office of National Statistics reported a national rise in house prices in 2012 of on average 3.3%.  As anyone who paid attention in their maths class at school will know, the average is calculated from the sum of the whole divided by the number of parts.  Transposing this to house […]

Where was the agent?

Last week’s tragic story about a gentleman whose skeletal remains were discovered behind the armchair in the flat that he had rented for many years, raises one very obvious question: where in the name of God was the agent during this period?  The landlord and the bailiffs only attempted to take possession of the property after the […]

Now is the time…

If ever there was a time to get your house valued with the idea of selling it, I would suggest that it is now.  In the past I have made my feelings clear about the numerous amounts of surveys or opinions that have been published by either housing organisations, parties with a self-interest, or self-imposed […]

Go compare! Well actually, we’d rather you didn’t…

To (mis)quote a well known advertisement featuring one of Wales’s most recognisable TV ‘stars’ – no, not me on this occasion – the advice given to all potential vendors and purchasers should be just that.  When enlisting the services of an estate agent to either sell their property or as conduit for purchasing a house, it […]

Prior planning and preparation…

During my time serving with Special Forces (or was it the Boy Scouts?) I learnt as every military man knows, the value of the 6 P’s: Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.  This is equally applicable to a night time assault in the Congo (or Aberbargoed for that matter), as it is to protecting […]

Statistics… and what people want you to believe…

Human nature dictates that we all have a tendency to believe what we want to hear.  This is especially true when it comes to estate agents.  A report published last week by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors states that the housing market is, ” over the very worst”.  Does this mean their worst, the worst in […]

Cheap… or professional?

Jam or preserve? Margarine or butter? Proper roast potatoes or those rubbish ones that are pre-packed and you heat up? Champagne or Carva? Just like in life, in estate agency you can have quality or cheap.  One does not equate with the other.  I never fail to be amazed by estate agent colleagues of mine […]

Don’t do a Fizz…

Those of us who follow the trials and tribulations of the residents of Weatherfield will know that last week one of them came perilously close to a starring role in her own funeral (which I am sure would have been held in true, gloriously over-the-top soap style) when she suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from a […]

Green shoots…?

Figures were released this week showing that across the UK house prices fell ‘on average’ by 1% during 2012.  As anyone who understands the rationale behind any ‘figures released’ appreciates, this means that in SW1 and other much sought-after parts of the country house prices went up by 20% whilst in Bedwellty they went down […]

Britain’s First Property ASBO…

This week’s headline grabbing news of Britain’s first property rental ASBO being issued to a landlord in Plymouth highlights to potential landlords and tenants that the days of Dickensian slum landlords are numbered.  Mr David McCabe recently appeared before Plymouth Magistrates’ Court after Plymouth City Council launched pioneering legal action against him.  Having ‘specialised’ in slum […]

Viewing more than they anticipated….!

As we enter the festive period of merriment, eating, drinking, dancing and carousing (and being immortalised on somebody’s mobile phone in a compromising position with the new girl from Accounts), I am led to reminisce about various experiences that I have had over the years in the property business. From the mundane; people not turning up for their […]

Choosing the right agent…

Whether you are selling or letting a property, choosing the right agent is vital. So, bypass the glossy brochures, look past the glib, slick presentation and in the famous words of Janet Jackson ask, “What have you done for me lately?”.  You must be prepared to ask the difficult questions; because it isn’t what they say that […]

No one ever complains about too much communication…

In the current property market, agents have to face the uncomfortable reality that they need to take steps in order to keep thier good tenants who can no longer be viewed as a predictable cash cow who can be left alone to keep producing.  The steps that agents need to take to keep tenants are […]

At least Dick Turpin wore a mask…

In one of my rare quieter moments, I often question myself as to why anybody buying or selling a property would use a packaged solicitor recommended by a corporate estate agent.  Let me explain.  I recently went to a valuation in Cwmbran where the vendor had sensibly asked more than one estate agent to value […]

The large print giveth…

…. and the small print taketh away…  It is interesting to note that the quality housebuilding company Persimmon released a statement this week confirming something that we blogged about a few weeks ago.  Chief executive Mike Farley said that, lending was still, “the number one issue in the industry”.  The Government New Buy Programme which requires […]

That’s a new one on me….

In the modern age that we live in we are just about getting used to LOL, TMI, BRB and NSA but even I am surprised by more jargon on the property market.  Everybody know what constitutes a first time buyer but today I have come across a rare species known as a “second stepper”; which […]

Here we go then…!

According to the latest research carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Halifax, who are  part of the Lloyds TSB group; 35% of home owners asked said that they anticipated an increase in house prices next year.  This was markedly higher than the 20% who predicted a decline.  My question is: what did the […]

It’s ok, Gordon, I’ll bring the pudding…

Could you imagine coming out with something such as the statement above to a certain Mr Gordon Ramsay – award-winning chef extraordinaire – when dining at one of his world famous eateries? Somewhat unsurprisingly, it would be met by a mouthful of expletives that would have Mary Whitehouse doing a barrel roll in her grave.  […]

It isn’t rocket science….

So spoke Martin Wheatley, currently managing director of the FSA (Financial Services Authority) and chief executive designate of the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). This was a comment he made as part of an interview (one of several that he has given over the past few days) about a report published by the FSA that revealed […]

Old-fashioned deposits needed…

More and more schemes are being launched to stimulate the housing market many of which are proving to be controversial.  None more so than the “Shared Appreciation Mortgage”.  To explain what this is, let’s go back a bit: in the good old days when mum or dad would lend you the 5% deposit to buy […]

Scared of becoming a landlord?

Direct Line Insurance recently posted a fantastic advert/article in many of the property sections of the national newspapers.  Their marketing team outdid themselves by highlighting not one, but fifteen “top tips for landlords” all of which were on the money.  However, as accurate as they were, some potential landlords could be put off renting for […]

The end to mortgages?

According to a recent groundbreaking report by Hometrack many homeowners in Britain will not have a mortgage within 3 years.  With few young couples and prospective first time buyers able to take out a mortgage, the profile of homeowners has changed dramatically.  Young people who have typically bought with a large mortgage are now forced to […]

The new kerb appeal…

Isn’t amazing how times have changed?  Over the years various television property programmes have always told us that initial kerb appeal was vitally important.  A freshly cut lawn, beautiful hanging baskets and a fresh coat of paint always did the job; it would encourage potential buyers to walk through the door, enticing them over the […]

Will the new planning laws affect housing prices?

The recent announcement by our Prime Minister that a relaxation in planning laws will give a massive boost to the economy and in particular, house prices, has met with mixed reviews to say the least.   In the past, when the housing market slowed down, people always extended rather than move to the house with the […]

How can I move without selling my house?

Thre are many reasons why people wish to move house other than they just want a bigger, smarter house. Schools, jobs, family commitments and being closer to elderly relatives can all determine where someone needs to live.  During the past 12 months,we at Cheshire and Co have been increasingly helping a number of people who need […]

Mortgage famine for first time buyers

Many people still hanker after the good old days when beer was cheap, money was cheap and if you were just breathing, you could get a 100% mortgage.  Fast foward to 2012: beer is very expensive, money is still cheap if you can find it anywhere and mortgages are atill available after someone has passed […]

Mortgage lending on the increase? Possibly?

The Council of Mortgage Lenders announced this week that mortgage applications in July were 8% higher than the previous month.  Is this the start of an upward trend?  Well before we all get too excited, let’s remember that mortgage lending in 2011 was £140 billion as opposed to £345 billion in 2007.  That is an […]

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth??

In all things in life, when making an important, possibly life-changing decision, one needs to be in possession of factual information.  After 30 years in the estate agency business, I am still stunned and saddened when fellow estate agents get so desparate that they forget how to promote their professional service and concentrate instead on […]

The power of the internet…

Speaking as someone who struggled with my Walkman (remember those?) in the 1980’s, the advent of social media and the world’s increasing reliance on Facebook to let people know what is happening in their lives has left me with a certain sense of bemusement and a genuine query of “Is it of any use in business?”   […]

New Inn bungalow now available

***BUNGALOW***** A modernised and extended semi detached bungalow in the ever popular residential area of New Inn  enjoying access to local shops, bus and rail links. Set on a level plot and located in a cul de sac the property offers the following upgraded accommodation entrance porch, hallway , dining room , extended L shaped […]

Changing your mind…

Over the past few weeks I have noticed an increasing number of people changing their mind at the last minute before exchange of contracts; not withdrawing their offer, but trying to re-negotiate the price.  Whether this is because people are being cautious as the media casts further warnings of impending financial doom or whether it […]

make us an offer

We are currently marketing a property located on Channel View Penygarn Pontypool. The full details are available on our website and rightmove, zoopla, propertyfinder and findaproperty. Our vendors will now consider a serious offer for this property. Please contact the office to make a viewing.  

Ask a professional….

“Soaring rents, rock-bottom interest rates and sliding house prices are encouraging more would be investors to consider a buy-to-let property” Larisa Brown , Daily Mail, Wednesday July 25, 2012.  I couldn’t have put it better myself but would offer just a word or caution to prospective buyers.  Of course it really is a great time to buy […]

The Psycholgy of Selling…

Recently there have been alot of articles in various national publications about the art of selling houses and the techniques that allow the seller to  “get inside” the head of a prospective buyer.  In such straightened times, any factor that can possibly affect the decision-making process and secure the sale of your property is worthy of […]

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

    Everybody loves a bargain and everybody loves a cliché –no more so than anyone involved in the business of estate agency – but they are clichés for a reason: the truth contained in the well-used phrase.  The business of selling houses is very competitive, particularly in such tough economic times; and everyone wants […]

10 Years ago…

Figures recently published by HM Land Rgistry have compared the property market of today with that of 10 years ago.  Whilst there are regional variations, the Welsh dynamic is one of the greatest change.  Surprisingly, there are now 65% less properties being sold.  In simple terms, there are 65% less properties coming on to the […]

New house or and old house?

When you embark on your venture to buy a home one of the most common decisions to make is whether to buy brand new or purchase an exisiting home.  Each choice has its advantages and there is no single answer that works for everyone. Here are some of the things that you may wish to […]

Things to consider before buying a home…

Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgement.  Wait!  That house may seem like everything that you have ever wanted, but before you make an offer, take some time to consider a few things as well as the size, style and price.  When buying a house, it is easy to let emotions get in the way of reality, […]

Ask a professional – it’s our job….

I am often asked by landlords what they can do to protect themselves in case their tenant disappears overnight, owing rent.  Firstly, I would implore any potential landlord to employ an agent when drawing up the tenancy agreement.  That way you can trust a responsible letting agent to have made all the necessary enquiries to satisfy […]

Landlords’ Responsibilities

Despite writing my weekly blog and always being on hand to answer peoples’ questions I still feel that there are many landlords and potential landlords out there who still are unsure of many of the most important issues that arise from being a professional landlord.  Hopefully I can address some of these here: My gas […]

Can you smell gas?….

If you are a tenant sat in a rental property, are you aware of whether you gas safety certificate is valid, or indeed, would you know where it is?   Why don’t you go and look for it now and see if it is in date?  The consequences of it being out of date could be fatal.   […]

Don’t take it personally….

Did anybody see last night’s ‘Secret Agent’ with Phil Spencer?  It featured the classic scenario of a couple uanble to sell their house after two years on the market and as a result calling in the experts.  Whilst we all can appreciate that it was a television programme and therefore subject to certain artistic licence […]

What’s happening to house prices?

There are lots of conflicting reports from Halifax and Nationwide about house prices going up and then going down: London prices are booming whilst the rest of the country falls behind.  Having seen this all before in the last 30 yrs of being involved in estate agency, I can only advise potential vendors to seek the […]

Be prepared!

Investing in a buy to let property is just that, a great investment, but landlords do need to be prepared.  The least stressful part  is the buying, redecorating and finding a tenant; the blood pressure starts to rise when your tenants leave unexpectedly or damage the property.  Investing in a specialist landlord insurance policy is something […]

Be realistic about your house’s rental value

Just as people need to be realistic about what their property is worth when putting it on the market to be sold, they also need to be realistic about what it is worth in the rental market.  Just as with selling a property, location is always a key factor.  Just because your house is the […]

What can I do to sell my property other than dropping the price?

One of the most frequent questions that I am asked by vendors is, “What can I do to generate more interest in my property, other than dropping the price?”  This can be answered in two parts.  Firstly, somehouses ARE overvalued: agents advise a vendor on a price which is markedly over value just to get […]

Cwmbran leads, the nation follows

Nobody likes someone who says “I told you so…” but it is always gratifying from a professional point of view to know that you were right.  At the beginning of March in an article in the Argus the team at Cheshire and Co were not only celebrating a first year in business in Pontnewydd but […]

Thinking of becoming a landlord ?

Are you a landlord or thinking of becoming one. Although open evenings at estate agents  have become a popular way to find out more about the buy to let market many people have a lot more questions to ask which require an individual one to one discussion. No matter how unimportant a question may seem […]

Maximise your property’s potential

Easter is now here and a quarter of the year has already gone. Typically we find that the country seems to shut down for two weeks and as a result potential buyers say ” I will view it after Easter”. Although not great for activity this does allow everyone the opportunity to ensure that “Their house […]

Spring is here

  The first day of Spring heralds a new beginning and a fresh start and many of us feel a little bit more enthusiastic about tackling those jobs that have needed doing over the winter months. For many this meanstaking the decision to put their house on the market and capitalising on the better weather […]

Welcome to Cheshire & Co and thank you for visiting our new website.

The story so far… After nearly thirty years of working for large corporate estate agents I realised I was suffering from corporate strangulation.  I believe that corporate estate agency now has little to do with  providing the best possible service but is all about targets targets and more targets. Many large estate agents struggle to […]