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It is completely normal to be cautious when you are purchasing your first home. After all, buying a home is a big investment and you will want to make sure you’re making the best possible choice for you. How you will know when you have found ‘The One’ varies between people. Some people have a gut instinct and others may need more convincing. Castles Estate Agents have listed a few of the ways you will be able to tell if a house is ‘The One’ for you. If you would like more information on buying a property in Swindon, please get in touch with us today on 01793 611677

Does The Home Meet Your Basic Criteria? 

We all have a list of basic requirements we want our new home to meet. Whether that’s a number of bedrooms, a garden, a garage, office space or in close proximity to different modes of transports such as the bus or train station. If the home doesn’t tick all of your non-negotiable boxes, then it isn’t the home for you.

The Price

There is no denying that buying a home can be expensive, which is why it is important to make sure any houses you visit are within your budget to avoid any disappointment

You’re Already Planning To Go Back 

If you have already got back in the car, chatted to your spouse and have immediately planned your next visit to the property before you have even left the drive, the house could be ‘The One’. You want to see it at different times of the day or even want to take a family member or friend with you next time just to show it off. Ask your estate agent to send over any seller disclosures to make sure the house is in tip-top condition. You may want to start discussing offers too because this house could be the one you have been searching for.

You Begin To Imagine Furniture Arrangements

Are you already imagining which wall your bed will be placed against, or where the perfect spot for your Christmas Tree will be around Christmas time, then you may already be hooked to the house?

You Don’t Want To Leave

How many times can you convince your estate agent to show you a house before you make an offer? If you simply can’t stay away from your house it may be time to make it your own. Driving by, lingering for a long time during viewing and appearing at every open house can all be signs that you’re ready to seal the deal. 

Choosing The Right Estate Agent

Choosing an estate agent is an important choice as they can help you find the home of your dreams. Take your time and make sure you know exactly what services are being offered. But you may be asking yourself what should you expect from an estate agent? 

Frequent Communication 

When you set out to purchase a home, you should expect frequent communication. A top estate agent should acknowledge any forms of communications within a few hours or less. Communication is extremely important especially, in such a competitive market. They should be letting you know when new listings are available, and let you know if you had any interest in a home that you're selling. 



When you’re buying a home professionalism should be expected. When buying a home you should expect that if your estate agent says they will meet you at a property at 11 am for example that they are there at 11 am or before. Being late for an appointment shows a lack of professionalism

Knowledge Of The Local Housing Market

The housing market can change drastically from one town to another. It is important that you expect your estate agent to have knowledge of the local housing market that you’re looking to buy a home in. 


Proven Track Record & Success


When buying a home, you should expect that your real estate agent has a proven track record and a sales history. One big mistake that buyers make when choosing an estate agent is not asking about their sales success. A real estate agent who hasn’t sold a single home or only a couple is not going to have the same level of experience and knowledge as an agent who has been in the market for a long time. 


Make sure that when you choose an estate agent they have a proven track record and you know what their sales history is. When you’re interviewing prospective estate agents, make sure to ask to see reviews or testimonials from previous clients. 

Castles Estate Agents

Castles Estate Agents are a leading estate agent in Swindon who can help you with every aspect of your housing journey and will ultimately help you find ‘The One’. For help and advice on selling or renting a property in Swindon check out our website or call us today on 01793 611 677.


Spring is well known in the industry to be one of the best times to sell a home. Starting on March 20th going right through to June 20th the housing market is in full swing. Every aspect of the season can work to a seller’s favour, with the sun shining and the flowers in bloom. This not only allows your home to look the best it can be but also encourages buyers to get out and start searching for their brand-new home. If you are interested in selling or buying a property in Swindon this spring, call Castles Estate Agents today on 01793 611677.


Convenient To Buyers

 When you are looking to buy a home most people will say that location is one of the most important things to think about, but timing is just as important. Most buyers want to be settled into a new home before the new school year with the summer months to settle in. Even people without children find this to be the best time to move home. 

Longer Days 

In March our clocks spring forwards which means we get longer days,  more sunlight and more time to search for a home. Buyers usually use the winter months to do their research and prepare themselves for the warmer months. You have a whole pool of buyers than available who have done their research and are ready to purchase a new home.

Curb Appeal

You have to admit, everything looks better in the sunshine, so why not make the most of it. Your garden or patio will look very inviting right now compared to other times of the year. Sellers should take advantage of this free curb appeal in the Springtime. 


More buyers mean more competition from other buyers, which means there are more chances of bidding wars and ultimately a higher sale price for your home. Since prices are higher there tend to be more closed sales during this period.

Moving On

Even though you’re probably focused on selling your home, you may also be thinking about moving into a new home. All of the reasons mentioned above do translate to your own experience as a buyer too. 

Castles Estate Agents

For advice on selling your home this Spring, speak to our expert advisors at Castles Estate Agents in Swindon. We can guide you through the entire process. We have years of experience in helping people with buying and selling their homes. We have the knowledge and experience to help you make your selling or buying process as smooth as possible. Contact us today for more information on 01793 611677.



If you are selling your home the first thing you will need to know is how much your current property is worth. This is the key to working out your affordability and calculating your moving budget. Having a property valuation is a vital step when it comes to selling your home. If you don’t know the value of your property, you could market your property too low which means you will be losing out on money or too high which may leave your home on the market longer than you first thought. 


If you are unsure about what is involved in property valuation or how to prepare for one, Castles Estate Agents, have put together some information which will help you learn everything you need to know about property valuation. If you would like a valuation on your property in Swindon or would like more advice on valuations as a whole please get in touch with a member of the team today on 01793 611677


So, let’s start with the basics…


What Is A Property Valuation? 

A property valuation is when you get a guide of how much your home is worth from an estate agent or an independent valuer. The valuation will depend on a range of different factors including location, size, condition etc. Your estate agent should be able to provide evidence of how they have come to their valuation and should give you the advice you need to decide the best way to maximise the value of your home and the initial asking price to enter the market.


A valuation should be a priority when you are selling your home and there are two main reasons for this; firstly you will learn what price your current home is worth and secondly, this figure will help you work out the budget for your next home. 

The Asking Price

Property valuations help you to decide on the right asking price based on the current value on your home, in order to maximise the price of your home. The estate agent should clearly state the difference between the asking price and what they expect to achieve for your home, this allows you to budget correctly.


Once you have established your asking price for your property, you are then able to work out what you will be able to afford for when you move. 

What Happens During A Property Valuation? 

Firstly, you will meet the estate agent at the property and they will provide you with the recent selling prices of the properties in your local area as well as the current prices of properties already on the market. This helps to inform the decision and will give them an estimation straight away. After the initial meeting, the valuation will start and will likely last around an hour. The estate agent will assess each part of your property, so it could take a little bit longer depending on the size of the property. On the other hand, they may have visited your property before and simply wish to update their records. 


Your homes worth is determined based on many factors such as the properties age, location, size, layout and special features. At the end of the valuation, you should fully understand the recommended market price from each agent and be able to use this information to choose what price to advertise your property. You may now be asking yourself, “How Can I Make My Home’s Worth Greater?” If you are then the answer is simple, Preparation. 

What Shall I Do To Prepare For My Property Valuation? 

Being prepared before your valuation will ensure you will get the most out of your appointment. There are three simple things to do which can allow your valuation to run as smoothly as possible. 


It is extremely important to have any paperwork to hand whilst you’re having your valuation. This paperwork on the property will help get the estate agent or valuer up to speed. This paperwork will include building plans, rate information, leasehold and any maintenance charges you may have. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask 

It is important that you think about any questions you may want to ask the estate agents before they arrive. Having these questions prepared will help you establish any key information you need or would like to find out from the valuation. You never know these questions may spark even more queries. 

Spring Cleaning 

Your home doesn’t need to be perfect as estate agents will look past the day to day and focus on what’s important but it can help just to have a little spruce up as this will help to highlight your properties key features. Having a spring clean & a declutter will help to maximise the space in your home too and will help the estate agent see the key selling points of the home. 

Castles Estate Agents 

Castles Estate Agents offer free property valuations on our website today. You can get a comprehensive market appraisal with a first-class estate agent who is dedicated to helping you get the best price for your property. For more information on our property valuations, please contact us today on 01793 611 677


Buying a brand new home will probably be one of the largest purchases you will make in your lifetime so it is very important that you know everything in order to get the best deal. There is plenty you can do to improve your chances of getting your mortgage application accepted. Castles Estate Agents have created this blog to allow you to learn everything you need to know about mortgages and how to be accepted for one with ease. 


Find out where to get a mortgage, the different types and how everything works! If you would like more information on properties for sale in Swindon or about mortgages in general, please get in touch with Castles Estate Agents today on 01793 611 677.



What Is A Mortgage? 

A mortgage is a loan from a bank or building society that lets you buy a property. You then give the loan back plus interest over a period of about 25 years or more, although you can take them out over a longer or shorter term. The loan is secured against the value of your home until it is completely paid off. If you are unable to keep up with these payments the lender has the right to repossess your home and sell it, so they can repay the loan they lent you.

What Can I Afford? 

Do not stretch yourself if you think you will struggle to keep up with the repayments. It is also important that you think about the running costs of the new home too, such as household bills, council tax, insurance and maintenance. A lender will want to see proof of your income, certain expenditure and if you already have any outstanding debts. Lenders will also want proof that you will be able to keep up with repayments if interest rates rise and are even allowed to refuse to offer you a mortgage if they do not think you will be able to repay it. 

Tips For Increasing Your Chance Of Getting A Mortgage 

Credit Score 

If you have any concerns about your credit history, then it is a good idea to get a copy of your credit report and take it with you to your mortgage appointment. This will allow you to see what a potential lender will see when they review your application. If your credit score is low, there are a few simple things that you can do, for example, check you are on the electoral roll and close any credit cards that you no longer use. 


Your Budget

Mortgage lenders want to make sure that you are not borrowing too much. They look at how much your mortgage payments are relative to your income, ensuring you have the ability to pay. Run your own mortgage calculations to understand what you can afford. 

First Time Buyer

If you are a first-time homebuyer, you could qualify for a special mortgage and these can be extremely valuable. Make sure you educate yourself with these opportunities and the restrictions on these mortgages.

Proof Of Income

Mortgage lenders will want to see proof of how much you earn, so you will probably need a P60 form which you get every year from your employer and shows a summary of your pay and how much tax has been deducted. 

Buying With Someone Else 

If you are struggling to save up deposit on your own, you may want to consider buying a home with someone else. This could boost your chances of securing a decent mortgage, particularly if they’ve got an excellent credit history and a higher income than you. 

Where Can I Get A Mortgage?

You can apply for your mortgage directly from a bank or building society from their product range. You are also able to use a mortgage broker or an independent financial advisor. The mortgage market is a minefield, therefore taking whole of market advice from an advisor who can tell you about all lenders and products rather than going direct where they will only tell you about their own products is essential. Our advisors will talk you through the whole process and what is best for you, so don’t worry if you are unsure about what to do.


Types Of Mortgages 

Fixed-Rate Mortgage 

The interest rate you pay will stay the same throughout the entire length of the deal no matter what happens to the interest rate. 

Variable Rate Mortgage 

With variable-rate mortgages, the interest rate can change at any time. Make sure you have some savings set aside so that you are able to afford an increase in your payments if rates do rise. 

Discount Mortgage 

This is a discount off the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) and applies for a certain length of time. 

Tracker Mortgage

Tracker mortgages move directly in line with another interest rate. Normally the Bank of England’s base rate plus a few percent. 

Capped Rate Mortgage 

Your rate moves in line normally with the lender’s SVR but the cap means the rate can’t rise above a certain level. 

Offset Mortgage 

These work by linking your savings and current account to your mortgage so that you only pay interest on the difference. You still repay your mortgage every month as usual, but your savings act as an overpayment which helps to clear your mortgage early. 

Tailored Mortgage Quotes 



If you still feel like you need more advice on mortgages, look no further. Castles Estate Agents can offer you a mortgage quote or independent mortgage advice. All of our advice for each client is individual and will be tailored to your needs and your situation. We work alongside the Mortgage Advice Bureau to help provide you with independent mortgage advice in Swindon and other surrounding areas. If you would like more information on any of these services please give us a call today on 01793 611677.


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