How To Save Money When Buying A Home

How To Save Money When Buying A Home

Finances are tight for a lot of people so saving money when buy a new home is something that we all want to do. Obviously, buying a new home will never be cheap. However, and fortunately, there are ways that you can save money when buying a home.

In this blog post we have put together some of the ways you can save money when buying, without clashing with your goals and dreams for your new home.

Number of Rooms

Lots of people define their search by the number of rooms when looking to buy a home in Peterborough. However, the real trick is not to let the parameters limit your search. Some homes will have three small rooms, for example. But others may have two really large rooms which are ideal for converting into separate rooms.

When you are house hunting in Peterborough it’s important to consider the potential of the property, not just what it has now.


Areas where there a good rail links or a regular bus service are often popular areas for many house hunters. This means that the prices of these homes can be higher, due to those strong transport links or good local amenities. What you really need to think about is how often you’ll need to use that rail link. For example, if it’s just once or twice a year for a trip to the theatre, it will work out cheaper to get a house without good rail links. Then you can just get a taxi to the train station when you want to go to London.

Think about up and coming areas instead. These low-cost houses could be hotspots for financial growth. Again, this about the potential of the area, not just what is there now.

Outdoor Areas

It’s always nice to have some green space outside your home, but how necessary is it for you? While you may dream of a huge garden with flower beds and bushes, is this feasible? You need to consider if you have the time to maintain the garden, so it looks beautiful all year round. If you haven’t got the time, have you got the money to hire a gardener to maintain it for you? Perhaps when you consider the work required to keep a garden looking it’s best, you realise that a smaller garden actually works better for you – and it will help you save money when buying a home in Peterborough too.

If you’re looking to save money when buying a new home in Peterborough, call our team now. We will happily talk you through the properties we have available and find the right future home for you.

Stamp Duty Holiday: Should I Buy A New House Now?

Stamp Duty Holiday: Should I Buy A New House Now?

As you will have seen in the media and in our recent blog post, the government has imposed a stamp duty holiday. This holiday will run until 31st March 2021. It means that anyone buying a property between now and the 31st March will not have to pay any stamp duty if their new home is up to the value £500,000.

If you have been toying with the idea of buying a new home for some time, then you may choose to buy a new home now. However, there are some things to consider if you are wondering if you should buy a new house in Peterborough now.

The beginning of lockdown prevented huge numbers of people from putting their properties on the market and it halted the progress of house sales for many people too. This means that there is an influx of homes in Peterborough on the market.

While this means that there are lots of houses for you to choose from, there is a downside too. Due to the stamp duty holiday lots more people are encouraged to start shopping around for a new home too. They too want to capitalise on the stamp duty saving that runs out in just a few months.

Logistically, there is no reason you can’t buy a new house now. Here at Letters Group we are open. We are offering virtual viewings or in-person viewings where social distancing is maintained. All the paperwork can be completed. Our mortgage advisors are still available for COVID-safe meetings too. Logistically, there is nothing stopping from buying a new house in Peterborough now.

One thing that you do need to consider when looking for a new home in Peterborough is that the stamp duty is only exempt on the first £500,000 of the sale price of your new home. As a house buyer you will still need to pay stamp duty on any amount over the threshold of £500,000.

The stamp duty holiday means that the stamp duty due is zero for homes up to £500,000. It is then 5% for homes between £500,0001 to £925,000. 10% stamp duty is due for homes between £925,0001 and £1.5 million. Finally, for homes £1.5 million and over the stamp duty due is 12%.

Some feel that the stamp duty holiday is unfair to those purchasing high value property. However, it is a very welcome tax relief to those that are purchasing a new home in Peterborough under the £500,000 limit.

How To Get A Mortgage Later In Life

How To Get A Mortgage Later In Life

Mortgages are often thought of as something people get in their 20s and 30s. The mortgage repayments then last for the majority of their lives. However, it is coming increasing popular for people to take out mortgages later in their lives. These can often carry on until past their retirement age.

While getting a mortgage later in life comes with a range of challenges and it can be difficult, there are ways that you can get a mortgage later in your life. We share some tips in this blog post for you.

Assess Your Situation

Take the time out to really assess your situation. You need to look at the whole situation and ensure you are making the right decision. Whether you are looking to invest in the housing market or want to create the most comfortable living situation in your retirement – you need to think about how having a mortgage into your retirement will affect you.

Talk About It

Arrange a meeting with our mortgage broker to discuss a mortgage later in life. Every individuals case is different. This is why you need to have a meeting with a mortgage broker or financial advisor. Our mortgage broker will be able to give you information and present you with a wide range of mortgage options that suit your individual needs and requirements.

Increase Acceptance Likelihood

There are ways that you can increase the likelihood of being accepted for a mortgage later in life. For example, if you have a clear plan of paying the lender back this will help. By choosing a mortgage plan that you can sensibly afford will make it more likely that you will be accepted too. A good credit rating will always help you get accepted for a mortgage, whether it is later in life or not.

Specific Product Mortgage

You may find that you actually benefit from a specific product mortgage. For example, if you know you will be receiving a lump sum payment in the future, an interest only mortgage may be ideal for you. This means you only pay off the interest on the loan, rather than the money itself. Alternatively, if you are buying the house for someone else, like a child for example, there may be other options that work better for you, as opposed to taking out a brand-new mortgage.

It is harder to get a mortgage later in life, but it’s not impossible. You just need to speak to an expert to help- organise the best mortgage for you and your needs. Call us now to speak to our in-house mortgage advisor.

Is Your Home Ready To Sell This Autumn?

Is Your Home Ready To Sell This Autumn?

Historically autumn is a really busy time in the housing market in Peterborough. Experts think this will be even more the case now. With people stuck in their homes during lockdown, more and more are looking for a new home. This could be a new home with a larger outdoor space, in a nicer location, nearer to shops or with space for a home office.

September and October are often the most fruitful months of the year for sellers. But, is your home ready to sell this autumn?

The Garden

Especially at this time, the garden is a huge bonus for homebuyers. Make sure you make the most of your outdoor space and make it beautiful. Whether this is a tub of brightly coloured flowers or a hanging basket with beautiful leaves, you need to make it look like a lovely garden. Seasonal plants will add character and life to your garden. Just before you have viewings and your house photos, make sure you clear up fallen leaves. These will be very common in the autumn months so you will need to keep on top of the dead falling leaves so your garden looks well maintained and cared for.

Natural Light

The autumn months do mean darker evenings. However, the autumn weather can mean darker days too. Call the window cleaner round to clean the windows. This will help let as much natural light in, while making your home look clean and tidy. Push back the curtains and roll up the blinds so natural light isn’t blocked from coming in. If you have viewings in the evening, make sure outdoor lights are on. This will create a welcoming feel to your home. Use the lighting inside your home to create a warm and cosy feeling, but ensure the rooms are well lit. A well-lit room looks bigger and more spacious.

Daytime Viewings

Make sure your home is available and prepared for daytime viewings. Some homebuyers will take the day off work to view a number of homes in one day. With little natural light in the evenings, a sunny day in September will also show your home off much better than an overcast evening. Don’t forget that the evenings will start to get chilly. Pop the heating on. This way the home is warm for the arrival of the potential buyers.


Many sellers think the autumn months are a poor time to sell a home, but it’s often a very good time. Sales will often go through quicker as people are keen to be in their new homes by Christmas. There is always a lot of activity in the housing market when the kids go back to school. Make sure your home is ready to sell this autumn. Give us a call for some more tips and advice for selling your home in Peterborough this autumn.

Property Investment in Peterborough

Property Investment in Peterborough

There has been a real buzz around Peterborough and property investment in the city centre for a while now. It makes sense! There are some big development plans taking place in and around the city. Peterborough also has great transport links to bigger cities and is undergoing some massive regeneration works at the moment too.

If you’re considering investing in property, property investment in Peterborough should definitely be on your radar.

Works are going ahead to regenerate 20 acres of derelict land at Fletton Quays. This area has been awarded with £120 million. A further £100 million is being spent on a leisure-led development in the centre of Peterborough. This will be known as North Westgate. These are some big improvements for a relatively small city.

There are plans by Peterborough City Council to increase the housing supply in the city by 30% within the next 16 years. The development of 5,600 houses in the south of Peterborough has already begun. The redevelopment plan in Peterborough will see several areas of the city centre being rejuvenated. As this takes places, new jobs, homes and outlooks will be available to those living in the city.

This will also generate more interest to outsiders that want to move into the city and take advantage of the 45-minute commute to London city centre. Peterborough offers low property prices and a lower cost of living too. It is no surprise that those working in London are now looking to make the move from the capital to our city of Peterborough. The green spaces are a huge plus for those moving from London too.

As well as excellent train links to London, Peterborough benefits from other excellent transport links too. Peterborough is minutes from the A1 and east Coast Mainline. Those living in Peterborough can get to Cambridge within the hour. Meanwhile commuting to other cities such as Birmingham and Leeds will take no more than 90 minutes.

If you are considering investing in the rental market in Peterborough you will be interested to hear that there are a higher percentage of young people in Peterborough, compared to the rest of England. In fact, in Peterborough we have 41% of our community aged 29 years or younger. The national average stands at 38%. Younger people will tend to choose rental properties in Peterborough instead of buying a home due to the flexibility renting offers.

In recent years this area has been highlighted as a buy to let hotspot for those considering property investment in Peterborough. This is because of the location, population, demographic, affordable housing and regeneration plans.

Experts predict that the buy to let property market in Peterborough will achieve good capital growth. It is also felt that these projected yields will be over the national average.

Here at Letters Group we aren’t surprised that property investors are getting excited about Peterborough. We think it’s a great city with a lot of potential.

If you’re looking to buy a home in Peterborough or invest in a buy to let property, call our team now.

How To Stage Your Garden To Sell Your Home In Peterborough

How To Stage Your Garden To Sell Your Home In Peterborough

When looking to sell your home it is essential that you create the first impression. Potential home buyers will judge your home on the photos they see. If you have an unkept garden, then this could be enough to deter them from viewing your home. The same could be said for that important first viewing. If the garden is overgrown, you could miss out on selling your hone to the viewers.

People love their garden. They want the extra outdoor space to relax, entertain and potter. Further to the coronavirus lockdown, a good outdoor space is even more important for home buyers in Peterborough. They want to see an outdoor space they can admire and enjoy.

If you are looking to sell your home in Peterborough and you have a garden, make sure it is looking it’s best. This will help the potential buyers fall in love with your home and want to make an offer. A lovely garden that is well looked after could be just what is needed to seal the deal when it comes to them buying your home.

In this blog post we share some ideas to help you stage your garden to dell your home in Peterborough.

  • Make sure your lawn is freshly mowed. The smell of fresh grass is a really nice smell for lots of people. The freshly cut grass will also look greener and brighter to the eye too.
  • Check that your borders are tidy. Take the time to give them a quick weed and dead head any flowers too.
  • If you have a large enough garden to entertain friends, then grab some garden furniture. This enables the viewers to see how big your garden is. It also enables them to imagine entertaining friends in your garden.
  • Garden lighting is a huge bonus for many people looking to buy a new home. Not only does it create a welcoming and ambient feel to the garden, but it also offers an additional level of security and safety in the garden.
  • Grab the pressure washer and give your patio, decking and paving a quick clean. While you might not think it is dirty, a quick wash will have it sparkling like new in no time at all.
  • Just like you have decluttered the house, declutter the garden. If you have a stack of pots in the corner, some left over patio slabs or kids toys laying about, get rid or hide them away in the garage or the shed.

If you looking to sell your home in Peterborough and want a professional estate agent that will help you, call us now on 01733 567123. We have many years’ experience selling homes and helping people get the best price for their home.

How The Green Homes Grant Might Cut Landlords Costs

How The Green Homes Grant Might Cut Landlords Costs

The details of the governments new Green Home Grants have recently been announced. In this blog post we would like to share with you how the green home grant might cut landlords costs. We will also answer some questions we have already been asked by our landlords about how the green homes grant might cut costs for them and what they need to do.

What Is The Green Homes Grant?

The Green Homes Grant will be available from next month, September 2020. It is a £2 billion grant that allows homeowners and landlords to apply for vouchers. These vouchers can be up to the value of £5,000 (or £10,000 if it a low-income household). These vouchers can be used to pay towards energy saving home improvements. This includes things like loft and wall insulation or replacing single glazed windows with double glazed windows.

What Will It Cost Me?

The government scheme will only fund up to two thirds of the cost. As the landlord you will be expected to pay the remaining balance.

Can I Get The Voucher And Do The Improvements Myself?

In short, no! The vouchers can only be used to pay for accredited tradespersons. The tradesperson must be registered with TrustMark or already be certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

What Kind Of Home Improvements Does The Grant Cover?

There are primary and secondary grants available. You will get a voucher to install at least one primary improvement. These primary improvements include solid and cavity wall insulation, under floor insulation and loft or roof insulation. Low carbon heating such as ait-source or ground-source heat pumps or solar thermal systems are also covered in the primary improvements grant.

Once you have been granted a measure from the primary improvements you can claim for a second grant that will cover secondary improvements. These secondary improvements cover replace of single glazing to double or triple glazing, upgrading doors to energy efficient doors, draught proofing or heating controls and insulation.

Why Is The Green Homes Grant Important To Landlords?

As a landlord it is required that your rented property has a minimum energy performance rating of ‘E’ or above. However, in the future this is likely to change. Some experts think minimum standards for rented properties in Peterborough could rise to a rating of D or even C. By using this government funding now, you can ensure your rented home in Peterborough is ready is changes do happen in the future.

How To Move Without Selling

How To Move Without Selling

Generally speaking when people are buying a new home, they need to sell their old home. However, if you have enough money to buy the new house you may want to consider renting out your home instead of selling it. This is often a more financially sensible decision. In fact you could end up with a valuable asset generating regular income. Who doesn’t want that for a rainy day?

Renting your home instead of selling can also give you an extra layer of flexibility. For example, if you have to move away for long contract work, having your home waiting for your return, but bringing in money while you are away, can be a great idea.

If you have had the home for a long period of time you can feel emotionally attached to it. This is especially the case if it is a family home with memories. By keeping your old home to rent out, so you have the option to move back in, can make the moving process easier for you and your family.

We would recommend that you speak to our mortgage advisor as they may be able to help you jeep your property, while getting into the buy to let game to, all while buying your next new home.

Renting out your home instead of selling it will also introduce you to the world of property investment. You may find that owning multiple properties really works for you personally and financially. Many people that have one home rented out will look for the next home to rent out as they enjoy the experience (and financial rewards) so much.

Here at Letters Group we can assure you that the property market is always changing. Homes in more affluent areas can change hugely in price from one year to the next. If you have found the home of your dreams but are not happy with the asking price for your home, then rent it out instead. Then, when you are happy with the new asking price you can sell your home.

The team at Letters Group are very experienced in the selling of home, buying of homes and rented properties too. We can help you every step of the way to ensure you make the right decision for your home and your future.

If you are considering turning your home into a rental property there are a few things you will need to do. Speak to your mortgage company to ensure you can put your home up for rent. You also need to speak to our team about the local rental market and house market. We are here to help you. Call our mortgage advisors or lettings team now.

What Is Stamp Duty And What Are The Changes?

What Is Stamp Duty And What Are The Changes?

You will have seen in the media and from our social media posts that stamp duty has changed recently. However, you may be wondering what that actually means for you. If you haven’t bought a home before you may not even be aware of stamp duty. This is what we want to look at in this blog post.

What Is Stamp Duty?

Stamp duty is a land tax. It is a lump-sum, tax that anyone buying a property or piece of land costing more than a set amount will have to pay. Based on the type and cost of land or property you are buying, the cost of stamp duty will change.

How Much Is Stamp Duty?

Under the current system in England, where the new changes will apply, if you are buying a property as your main residence, the stamp duty costs will be as follows;

  • For properties purchased for up to £125,000 there will be no stamp duty tax.
  • For properties purchased between £125,001 and £250,000 stamp duty will be an additional 2% of the cost of the property.
  • For properties purchased between £250,001 and £925,000 stamp duty will be an additional 5% of the cost of the property.
  • For properties purchased between £925,001 and £1,500,000 stamp duty will be an additional 10% of the cost of the property.
  • For properties purchased over £1,500,001 stamp duty will be an additional 12% of the cost of the property.

However, if you are a first time buyer in England the stamp duty tax is different. The government have changed this for first time buyers to help get them on the housing ladder. First time buyers purchasing a property up to £500,000 will pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000. They will then pay 5% stamp duty on any portion between £300,001 and £500,000. If the property is worth more than £500,000 and you are a first time buyer, the costs as above will stand.

What Has Changed?

Further to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown, the government have created what is referred to as a ‘stamp duty holiday’. This means that nobody will pay stamp duty when purchasing a home up to the value of £500,000.

How Much Money Will This Save Home Buyers?

Under this temporary measure, the higher value your home, the more you will save. The chancellor has said that the average saving will be around £4,500 per home buyer. The maximum that could be saved by a buyer is £15,000.

Want to know more? Call our team of friendly and experienced estate agents in Peterborough.

Rental Market Grows By 30% In Wake Of Coronavirus Decline

Rental Market Grows By 30% In Wake Of Coronavirus Decline

In the last 2 weeks of March, as lockdown came into place, the demand for rented properties in Peterborough dropped by 57%. During April this rental market decline rebounded by 30%.

Compared to the house sales market, the impact of coronavirus on the rental property market has been a lot less pronounced. For example, between 7th March and 30th March the demand for rental properties in Peterborough feel by 55%. Meanwhile, the house sales market in Peterborough saw a drop of 70% in buyer demand.

Since the office reopened in late May the increase in uncertainty during coronavirus has left households looking for an immediate housing need, looking at the rented properties in Peterborough. The rental market has always been more flexible than the sales market. Those looking at rented properties will often be able to move within weeks, as opposed to buying a new home which can take months.

We are already experiencing a rise in the wake of the coronavirus decline at Letters Group. This is very simply because the average time to move into a rented house in Peterborough takes around 3 weeks, while a house sale in Peterborough could take around 3 months.

Experts predict that by the end 2020, the total number on moves within the rental sector will be around 25% less than 2019.

The annual UK rental growth and increase in rental markets was at 2.4%. This was up from 1.5% in March 2019. It is expected that rental growth for the remainder of 2020 will remain moderately positive for landlords in Peterborough.

If you are a landlord in Peterborough and would like to talk about the effects of coronavirus on your rented properties, call us. We will happily talk through any concerns you should have and let you know the things you don’t need to worry about.

If you are looking for a rented property to move into, call our team. We have a selection of great rented properties in Peterborough which we can happily show you virtually or through a socially-distanced house viewing.