House being built or having building work including loft extension - homebuild and renovate in progress

Should you renovate or relocate in 2018?

The start of a new year is always a time for new year’s resolutions and new beginnings. After a busy Christmas, you may be thinking that one of those new year’s resolutions should be about your home. Have you outgrown it? Is there simply not enough space for all those new toys? Or will you need more space for a new baby in 2018? The question is: do you need to renovate or relocate?

If you are in need of more space, then there are two key options: to renovate or relocate. It’s a common question that people face – you only need to watch the Kirstie & Phil series of ‘Love it or List it’ to see that.

Here are our top tips for answering this tricky question and investing your money wisely:

  1. Write down your reasons for thinking about moving or renovating – and ask anyone else in the household to do the same. Then compare. Is it simply more space you need? Or actually a new area as well? Do you still love the property you are in or not? Think about neighbours, access to work, schools etc. Is your current property able to be remodelled or not? You may need to get some expert help with this.
  2. Consult a local builder or architect to get some advice about what may, or may not be possible to do with your existing home. On the one hand, you might not realise what could be achieved. On the other, your ideas might be virtually impossible or prohibitively expensive. Also check out the Planning Portal online which has lots of useful information about what may or may not need planning permission, and can direct you to your local council for more information.
  3. Consider all the costs of moving. To renovate or extend can seem expensive and doesn’t always add significant value to your home. However, when you take into account the cost of stamp duty, solicitors, surveys, removals etc, moving can be an expensive option too. Make sure you have a realistic picture of the cost of both options.
  4. Get your current property valued, and have a look at what’s available on the market. Many of us love to look at Zoopla and Rightmove to see what we could get for our money. But until you have actually had your own property valued, it can be a pointless exercise. You need to have a fair idea of what your current home would sell for, to see if you could afford the extra space or new property that you desire. Most estate agents are happy to provide free valuations. Just make sure you get a valuation from at least three agents. This will give you a more realistic picture and enable you to make a better decision.

Here to help

At Check 4 Houses we are passionate about supporting people through the sometimes stressful and emotional challenge of relocating to a new property. We offer personal contact from start to finish, from local property experts that know the towns and cities of FleetFarnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateley and Farnham inside out. Our internet-based approach means we can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees. Please give us a call for a no obligation valuation of your home on 01252 819725 or email info@check4houses.co.uk.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year written on red background with snowflakes and stars

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

With Christmas Day fast approaching we wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

2017 has been another busy year for us at Check 4 Houses thanks to our fantastic clients. Over the past 12 months, we have saved our clients an astounding £248,000 when compared to standard agency fees. That’s an average of over £4,000 per sale. What would you do with the extra £4,000? It’s a long way towards a new kitchen or a new boiler.

Savings of over £10,000

Our single biggest saving for a client was £10,526 (excl VAT). We sold properties of all shapes and size during the year, with the most expensive sale at £735,000.

Many of the properties we sold were in our local area of Fleet, Frimley, Wokingham, Hook, Farnborough, Camberley and Aldershot, but we have also sold properties as far away as Southampton and London Docklands. Thanks to our internet-based approach we can sell properties anywhere in England from our head office in Fleet, Hampshire.

Going the extra mile for our clients

At Check 4 Houses we pride ourselves on our customer service, which means putting our clients first. This year, this has included even conducting viewings on Skype. Working for a client in Hong Kong, we walked around on Skype showing her the house, as she wasn’t able to view in person.

One sale we worked on was particularly challenging due to the number of cars on the road. Viewers consistently fedback that parking was an issue. After investigating the matter with the vendors and neighbours it turned out the two houses next door were trying to get permission to convert their front lawns into driveways, but one of the main service providers was not giving permission for a ‘box’ to be moved. Due to a personal contact, we were able to contact the service provider and get this authorised, so the work could be done. Once this was completed, the issue was resolved and a sale proceeded very quickly.

Ethical estate agency in Fleet

Whatever our sellers’ circumstances, we pride ourselves on our honest, professional approach and our personal contact from start to finish. As Mr Price from Fleet said “We discovered Check4Houses after viewing a property before selling our own. We hugely valued Paul’s experience of the area and honesty (a rarity I can tell you compared to some of the other independent high street agents in Fleet).  We marketed our property through Check4Houses and as well as Paul securing the best possible price, he was on hand throughout the frustrating completion process, dealing with other agents in the chain as well as solicitors. I will use Paul again and have no hesitation in recommending him. Keep up the good ethical work!”

After such a demanding year we will be taking a few days off over Christmas. The offices will be closing on Saturday 23rd December and reopening on Tuesday 2nd January. We are expecting the first six months of the year to be busy, as they are always a popular time to buy and sell houses.

If you are looking to sell your home in 2018 then please give us a call on 01252 819725. We would be delighted to give you a free valuation of your property as well as talk you through our competitive pricing options, personal service and price match guarantee.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Check 4 Houses.

Table of results of estate agent 4 me in Fleet with Check 4 Houses at top

Independent survey continues to name Check 4 Houses as the best estate agent in Fleet

November’s independent survey results put Check 4 Houses at the top of the list again, rating us as the top performing estate agent in Fleet.

The best performing estate agents in your local area

Independent comparison website estateagent4me helps you find the best estate agent in your local area.  It compares estate agents against 4 key indicators:

  • Fees they charge
  • Average days they take to sell a property like yours
  • How close they might get to achieving an asking price
  • How successful they are at selling similar homes

The tool was set up in partnership with the HomeOwners Alliance.  The complex statistical engine is fed on a daily basis with property data from over 18,000 estate agents across thousands of different websites.  It provides accurate comparison data which is free and impartial.  It currently covers over 95% of all property advertised for sale in England & Wales.

Check 4 Houses best estate agent in Fleet

We are delighted that Check 4 Houses has been ranked again as the best performing estate agent in Fleet.  The statistics show we are delivering a 71% success rate of selling homes.  We take an average of 33 days to sell properties.  We have a track record of achieving 97% of asking prices.

Providing a genuine, reliable and professional service for half the cost of a traditional high street agent

Statistics are important, but it is always nice to hear from our customers that we are doing a good job too. Our latest Google review from Mr Price says “We discovered Check4Houses after viewing a property before selling our own. We hugely valued Paul’s experience of the area and honesty (a rarity I can tell you compared to some of the other independent high street agents in Fleet).  We marketed our property through Check4Houses and as well as Paul securing the best possible price, he was on hand throughout the frustrating completion process, dealing with other agents in the chain as well as solicitors.
… I will use Paul again,  and have no hesitation in recommending him here…. Keep up the good ethical work!”

From our head office in Fleet sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees. Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us and we would be delighted to give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.

Christmas market biscuits and tree decorations

Getting into the festive spirit: Christmas events across Hart and Rushmoor

Christmas is just 6 weeks away and there is a packed programme of festive Christmas events to enjoy across Hart and Rushmoor.

Christmas in Aldershot

The Christmas events in Aldershot kick off this Saturday 18 November, starting with the Christmas lights switch-on. An afternoon of entertainment begins at midday, including children’s fun fair rides, live music and much more. The Princes Hall panto stars will join Father Christmas to light up the town at 4.45pm. The following Saturday sees the turn of The Wellington, with their Christmas Lights switch-on and Santa’s grotto opening. Children can visit Santa for free on Saturdays and Sundays in December, as well as Friday 22 December. Check out the website for times and further details.

Christmas fairs and celebrations

Various Christmas fayres will be running in the Wellington Centre and on Union Street on 1, 2, and 9 December. 9 December is the Aldershot Community Christmas Celebration, with lots of entertainment in the town centre during the day. Activities include Children’s rides, free face painting and the Rotary Christmas float with Santa. School choirs and local groups will be performing live on stage.

The following two Saturdays also feature special events. Light up Aldershot Day takes place on Saturday 16 December. Saturday 23 December is Aldershot Day of Merry Music, complete with Carols in the Bandstand.

Christmas in Farnborough

Farnborough also has a packed schedule of Christmas events, starting with their Christmas lights switch-on this Saturday 18 November. There will be an afternoon of free family fun and activities from midday on a stage outside Debenhams. The regular craft fair on Queensmead will also be running. The following weekend sees the Princes Mead shopping centre Christmas Lights switch-on, with another afternoon of family fun with Father Christmas and the Princes Hall panto stars. The Princes Mead Father Christmas grotto is open from 11 am to 3.30 pm every weekend from Sunday 26 November up until 23 December.

Fleet Christmas Festival & Nutcracker Trail

The Fleet Christmas Festival takes place on Wednesday 29 November from 3 pm – 9 pm.  Over 100 stalls will be available offering a fabulous variety of gifts and crafts, as well as a scrumptious selection of food and drink. Kids will be entertained with the free children’s craft marquee and fun fair attractions. You can enjoy live music from local choirs as well as the return of the amazing Giant Snow Globe and the Christmas lights switch on.

The new Nutcracker Trail kicks off on Saturday 2 December and aims to bring a buzz to Fleet this Christmas. Ten Nutcrackers will be located around Fleet and you can use the Nutcracker trail brochure to complete the trail, submit your entry in the special Nutcracker post boxes in the Hart Shopping Centre and The Harlington and be entered into the prize draw to win an iPad Mini. On the launch day itself, there will be live music, street entertainment, and lots more fun. Parking will be free to coincide with Small Business Saturday and help support local retailers.

Yateley Christmas market

The Yateley Christmas market takes place on Saturday 25 November 2017 at Church End Green in front of the Dog & Partridge. It will run from 3.30 pm to 6.30 pm. During the afternoon/evening, there will be carol singing, stalls and fairground rides, pork roast and much more. The Town Mayor will switch on the Christmas lights. Free parking will be available at Yateley School.

Time to wrap up and get festive!

At Check 4 Houses we sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We deliver a genuine, reliable and professional house selling service for up to half the cost of a traditional high street agent. We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees. Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us and we would be delighted to give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.

Fleet Pond, Hampshire

Have your say on the future of Hart

Hart District Council has opened its latest consultation on its draft Corporate Plan. The plan sets out the Council’s vision and priorities for the next five years and they are asking all local residents for feedback.

4 key priorities

The draft Hart Corporate Plan sets out 4 key priorities, which are to achieve:

  1. A thriving local economy
  2. A clean green and safe environment
  3. Healthy communities and people
  4. Becoming a more efficient and effective Council

The strive for efficiency comes as no surprise as councils, like many other organisations and companies, are under pressure to do more with less. The draft plan sets out the key actions that will be taken to achieve these four priorities. They include some significant investments such as creating a new secondary school for the district. The plan also touches on accommodating additional housing development for affordable homes, to assist the 1,320 (August 2017) people who are currently on the housing register.

You can find out more about the draft Corporate Plan on the Council’s website www.hart.gov.uk/corporate-plan-consultation-2017. This includes information on the plan itself as well as how to have your say using their online form. The consultation is open until 4pm on 31 October 2017 so you have 7 days left to add your thoughts.

Hart is a thriving community that we are very proud to be part of.  If you are looking to move within or even relocate to Fleet and its’ surrounding areas then we can help.  Why not check out our properties currently for sale, as well as some comments from happy customers who have sold their property through Check 4 Houses.  We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% + VAT.  Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us for a free, no obligation valuation of your home.

Paul Hemmings, Check 4 Houses

What’s it like to run a business in Hampshire?

This week sees the Virgin Media Business Voom Tour take place in Winchester on Thursday 19th October. Ahead of the event, Virgin spoke to three local Hampshire businesses including our very own Paul Hemmings. They discussed their views on running a business in Hampshire.

Paul says: “Hampshire is a great place to live and work in. Our landscape offers a real mix of major cities and towns as well as rolling English countryside. We also have many excellent schools in the area and top quality sporting opportunities.”

A supportive local community

Paul says he has found the Hampshire business community very supportive since starting Check 4 Houses seven years ago.  “I started Check 4 Houses in 2010 after becoming increasingly frustrated by the behaviour of other estate agents. I wanted to create a flexible and reliable service for customers that was as stress-free as possible. Since starting the business I have found the local community very positive. They value honesty, transparency and are open to change. There are more and more people running their own businesses and keen to support each other.”

Modern day innovation with traditional values

In terms of culture, Paul says that Hampshire embraces innovation, but still retains traditional values. “Particularly in an industry such as estate agency, word of mouth recommendations are still our most effective marketing tool. People still value personal relationships with real people, despite the rise of social media.”

You can read the full article, along with what the other business owners said about running a business in Hampshire here: https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/whats-it-run-business-hampshire

At Check 4 Houses we deliver a genuine, reliable and professional house selling service for up to half the cost of a traditional high street agent.  From our head office in Fleet we sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees. Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us and we would be delighted to give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.

Results from estateagent4me survey showing Check 4 Houses as best estate agent in Fleet

Independent survey names Check 4 Houses as the best estate agent in Fleet

October’s independent survey results are in and we are delighted to see that Check 4 Houses has again been rated as the top performing  estate agent in Fleet.

The best performing estate agents in your local area

Independent comparison website estateagent4me helps you find the best estate agent in your local area.  It compares estate agents against 4 key indicators:

  • Fees they charge
  • Average days they take to sell a property like yours
  • How close they might get to achieving an asking price
  • How successful they are at selling similar homes

The tool was set up in partnership with the HomeOwners Alliance.  The complex statistical engine is fed on a daily basis with property data from over 18,000 estate agents across thousands of different websites.  It provides accurate comparison data which is free and impartial.  It currently covers over 95% of all property advertised for sale in England & Wales.

Check 4 Houses best estate agent in Fleet

We are delighted that Check 4 Houses has been ranked again as the best performing estate agent in Fleet.  The statistics show we are delivering a 71% success rate of selling homes.  We take an average of 33 days to sell properties.  We have a track record of achieving 96% of asking prices.

Personal service from start to finish

Paul Hemmings, founder and director at Check 4 Houses said: “I am pleased that we continue to be ranked highly as one of the best performing estate agents in Fleet.  As an online estate agent we can sell property anywhere in England.  But as local experts in the towns of Fleet, Farnborough, Camberley and beyond, local reputation matters.  Our commitment to the whole process of selling houses – from realistic valuations through to personal service, right through to completion is clearly paying off.  These results prove that our approach not only saves our customers thousands of pounds.  It also delivers real results.”

At Check 4 Houses we deliver a genuine, reliable and professional house selling service for up to half the cost of a traditional high street agent.  From our head office in Fleet sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees. Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us and we would be delighted to give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.

hand signing a sales contract

Conveyancing: A simple guide

When you come to buy or sell a property, you will need a solicitor or conveyancer.  They will complete the conveyancing process on your behalf.  But what do they actually do?  What does conveyancing actually mean?

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring home ownership from one person or company to another.

In conveyancing, the property is legally transferred from the buyer to the seller, or vice versa.  In this guide we will look at the key steps involved. The process is similar if you are buying or selling, but we will focus on buying a property in this article.

  1. Once you have had an offer accepted on a property you will need to find a solicitor or conveyancer to complete the legal process on your behalf.  It helps speed up the process if you have already decided which one you will use.  You can do this as soon as you start house hunting, then formally instruct them to start work once you have had an offer agreed.
  2. Your conveyancer will request draft contracts and other documents from your sellers.  You will need to go through these forms which provide further detail on the property you are buying, as well as what the buyers are planning to leave behind etc.
  3. Searches will be carried out to give you a full picture of external factors that might affect the property you want to buy.  For example, are there plans to build a new motorway just across the road?  Searches cover this kind of information as well as flooding and subsidence risks.  Data on water and drainage which may be important if you are planning any building works.
  4. Your solicitor will write to you with details of all the search results and highlight any areas of concern.  You can then address any of these issues with the sellers as appropriate.  Once you are ready to proceed, you will confirm a completion date and sign the draft contract.  You must also pay the deposit into your solicitors account.

From exchange through to completion

  1. Once you and the seller have agreed, your solicitors or conveyancers will exchange contracts on your behalf.  This is usually done by both solicitors/conveyancers making sure the contracts are identical.  They then immediately send them to one another in the post.  Remember, once you have exchanged contracts you are now in a legally binding contract to buy the property.  You can no longer change your mind or renegotiate, without risk of being sued.
  2. Completion day arrives!  The day you have been waiting for is here.  Usually you collect a set of keys from the estate agent, once they have confirmed that the purchase has been completed and the sellers have vacated.  Your solicitor or conveyancer pays the outstanding balance to the sellers’ solicitor, along with any mortgage funds.  Your solicitor hands over the legal documents that prove that ownership has now been transferred and the process is complete.

You can find out more about what to expect from the conveyancing process and how to find a solicitor or conveyancer from websites such as The Money Advice Service or The Home Owners Alliance.

At Check 4 Houses we are passionate about supporting people through the sometimes stressful challenge of purchasing a property.  We offer personal contact from start to finish, from local property experts.  We know the towns and cities of FleetFarnboroughAldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateley and Farnham inside out.  Our internet based approach means we can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT.  This could save you thousands in agency fees.  Please give us a call for a no obligation valuation of your home on 01252 819725 or email info@check4houses.co.uk.

Table of best performing estate agents in Fleet with Check 4 Houses at the top

Check 4 Houses rated as no.1 estate agent in Fleet

We are delighted to see that Check 4 Houses has again been rated as the top performing  estate agent in Fleet by independent comparison website estateagent4me.

The best performing estate agents in your local area

Estate agent 4 me helps you find the best estate agent in your local area.  It compares estate agents against 4 key indicators:

  • Fees they charge
  • Average days they take to sell a property like yours
  • How close they might get to achieving an asking price
  • How successful they are at selling similar homes

The tool was set up in partnership with the HomeOwners Alliance.  The complex statistical engine is fed on a daily basis with property data from over 18,000 estate agents across thousands of different websites.  It provides accurate comparison data which is free and impartial.  It currently covers over 95% of all property advertised for sale in England & Wales.

We are delighted that Check 4 Houses has been ranked again as the best performing estate agent in Fleet.  The statistics show we are delivering a 69% success rate of selling homes.  We take an average of 33 days to sell properties.  We have a track record of achieving 98% of asking prices.

Personal service from start to finish

Paul Hemmings, founder and director at Check 4 Houses said: “I am pleased that we continue to be ranked highly as one of the best performing estate agents in Fleet.  As an online estate agent we can sell property anywhere in England.  But as local experts in the towns of Fleet, Farnborough, Camberley and beyond, local reputation matters.  Our commitment to the whole process of selling houses – from realistic valuations through to personal service, right through to completion is clearly paying off.  These results prove that our approach not only saves our customers thousands of pounds.  It also delivers real results.”

At Check 4 Houses we deliver a genuine, reliable and professional house selling service for up to half the cost of a traditional high street agent.  From our head office in Fleet sell properties in Fleet, Farnborough, AldershotBasingstokeCamberleyYateleyFarnham and beyond. We can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees. Please give us a call on 01252 819725 or contact us and we would be delighted to give you a free, no obligation valuation of your home.

Rushmoor Food Festival logo

Mouthwatering delights and family fun at the first ever Rushmoor Community Food Festival

On Saturday 16 September the Rushmoor Food Festival will make its debut in Aldershot.  The event aims to bring local people together and celebrate the best in food, music and entertainment.

The festival takes place between 11am and 4pm at the Municipal Gardens and the West End Centre.  The event has been organised by local community groups and offers a packed programme for all the family.

Fantastic food from around the world

Some of the Army’s top chefs will be working with members of the community to cook food representing their communities.  Expect to see plenty of new dishes to try as well as some old favourites.

‘One of the best live bands we have in this country’ BBC Radio 2

Live music will form a key part of the day, with different styles of music from around the world.  The headline set will be from the Hackney Colliery Band.  This Times described this revolutionary band as ‘reinventing the brass band format for the 21st century’.  They played the 45 minute closing set at the 2012 London Olympics. They have also been featured on BBC Two, BBC Radio 2 and Jazz FM (UK).

Family fun activities

A wide variety of events will be available to keep the little ones entertained.  These include face painting and crafts as well as Bollywood dance workshops, henna art and storytelling.  Visitors will also be able to have a go at sports like touch rugby, football and cricket.  These sports and their clubs play an active role in our local community.

Among the diverse groups involved will be the Greater Rushmoor Nepali Community, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Aldershot Baptist Church, the Buddhist Community Centre, the Shiva Cultural Centre, Holy Trinity Church and members of the West Indian, Romanian and Fijian communities.

You do have to buy a ticket to attend the Rushmoor Food Festival BUT that ticket is just £5.  Children under 14 go free with a paying adult.  The ticket price does include everything once you are inside – from the food to the face painting and more. Tickets can be bought from the West End Centre box office on 01252 330040 or online from the West End Centre website.  Tickets are selling fast with just 800 available.

At Check 4 Houses as local property experts that know the towns and cities of AldershotFarnborough, FleetBasingstokeCamberleyYateley and Farnham inside out.  Independent reviews rate us as one of the top estate agents in our area.  If you are thinking about moving, our internet based approach means we can sell your home from just £599 or 0.5% +VAT – saving you thousands in agency fees.  Please give us a call for a no obligation valuation of your home on 01252 819725 or email info@check4houses.co.uk.