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Ways To Increase The Value Of Your Property

If you are planning to put your home on the market, it is important that you learn how much your current property is worth. Working out your property’s current value can ensure that you are accurately calculating your budget for moving.


Castles Estate Agents are able to help you put your home on the market at the right price. Doing this is imperative as it could make the difference between selling your home within days or months. Brexit is taking place potentially within a matter of weeks meaning it is even more important to use an estate agent for your valuations. Estate agents have a huge range of expert knowledge and information at hand to make sure your home is on the market for the right price and will sell in good time. 


Castles Estate Agents want to help you to reach where you want to be on the property ladder and help you get a step closer to your dream home. To go up the ladder you will need to maximise the value of where you live now and we want to show you how. We have come up with some tips and tricks on how to increase the value of your home. If you would like to make a valuation request, please visit our website today for more information. 

Simple Upgrades 

If the thought of adding an extension to your home sounds intimidating there is no reason why you can’t start with the finer details. Redecorating your home is normally the most popular route to go down as it can be done at a very low cost. Giving your home a lick of paint and carrying out some general maintenance around the home can be a simple way to get you started. 


It may be best to fix all of the small defects first as while they are unlikely to be a deciding factor when selling your home, small problems can create an instant impression that the home is not being looked after. A small list of these simple tasks could include; 


  • Paint peeling 

  • Mouldy kitchen or bathroom sealant

  • Broken lightbulbs

  • Squeaky flooring 

  • Leaking taps

Garden Upgrade 

Redesigning your garden can be a fun way to increase the value of your home. You can carry out basic tasks such as getting rid of dead plants and weeds, cutting back any overgrown trees and shrubs and adding colour with different plants. People usually look for privacy in their garden, simply adding fencing or trees could help this. Creating different sections in the garden is a good way of creating appeal as it shows a level of organisation. Areas such as a BBQ area, a seating area or even a shed are attractive to potential buyers. 

Kerb Appeal 

When it comes to buying a home, first impressions count which means kerb appeal is an important element when selling your home. Most people will make their mind up about a home before they even get out of the car and it can be hard to shake off a negative first impression. Giving your home an exterior makeover can include tasks such as; replacing doors and windows, replacing garage doors, repainting walls, adding a porch, adding plants, adding a house number or even naming a property. 

Kitchen Makeover 

An attractive, social and clean kitchen is usually the most popular style for someone looking to buy a home. Before you replace the entire kitchen, consider whether it would be worth making some small changes with could totally transform the space. Small changes such as painting or replacing unit doors and worktops can be a good place to start. You could even add some new tiling or add windows for some extra lighting. These small changes can often make a huge impact. 

Adding A Bathroom

This is a very good investment, especially if it creates an ensuite to an existing bedroom. Extra bathrooms can be added by remodelling an existing space or by extending. Ideally, there should be WC facilities on every floor that has a bedroom.

Converting Your Cellar

Transforming your already existing cellar into a living or storage space can potentially boost a property’s value by up to 30%. Converting your cellar can be an easy home improvement as it qualifies as a ‘change of use’ for planning purposes which means you don’t need planning permission. If you’re making structural changes to a listed building, however, you’ll need to talk to your local planning officer. 

Castles Estate Agents 

Castles Estate Agents offer free property valuations on our website today. You can expect a comprehensive market appraisal with an honest market appraisal. A first-class estate agents who are 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



The Ultimate Guide To A Property Valuation


If you are thinking of selling your home, the first thing that you will want to learn is how much your current property is worth. Working out your current properties worth is key to ensuring you are accurate with your affordability and calculating your budget for moving. 


Having a property valuation is a vital step in selling your home, because if you don’t know the value of your current property you may be marketing the property too low or too high. This will then prove to be a struggle when it comes to achieving your goals. 


If you are unsure about what is involved in a property valuation, Castles Estate Agents are here to help. We have created the ultimate guide to help you learn everything you need to know about what a property valuation is and how it will help you sell your home for the right price.  

What Is A Property Valuation? 

A property valuation is a process where an estate agent gives you an accurate guide of the worth of your home. This price is usually based on a few different factors which may include location, size, condition, the local market, recent successes and more. A valuation put simply, is an opportunity for you to get an idea of what a fair asking price is for your current property. 


A property valuation will help you decide a fair asking price based on the current value of your home. We suggest getting more than one valuation on your home to give you a true understanding of how much your home is really worth. Once you have an asking price for your home you will then be able to work out what you will be able to afford during your moving period. 

What Happens During My Property Valuation

First things first, you will meet your estate agent and they will provide you with information on recently sold properties in your area, as well as the current prices of properties already on the market. This information will help the estate agent to inform you of the price that they expect the property to receive. 


Property Valuations usually take up to at least an hour depending on the size of the home. The estate agent will need time to assess your home thoroughly, meaning it could take longer. On the other hand, if you have had a property valuation in the past, the estate agent might have to simply look at their records to find the valuation which could take less time. 


The value of your home is calculated through many factors including;


  • Age & condition

  • Location 

  • Layout

  • Specialised features

  • The local market


When your valuation is over you should understand the recommended market price from each estate agent you choose to use and then further use this information to decide which price would be the best to market your property at. 

How Should I Prepare For My Property Valuation? 

During a valuation, estate agents will always focus on the properties details, however, it doesn’t hurt to have a quick spring clean to highlight your properties key features. Decluttering your home will help maximise the space available in your home which is attractive to potential homebuyers. 


Before you have your valuation it is important to think about all of the things you would like to ask the estate agent. Thinking about this beforehand will allow you not to forget anything important after the valuation is over and having questions prepared might spark inspiration for new ones on the day. 

Castles Estate Agents 

Castles Estate Agents offer free property valuations on our website today. At Castles, you can expect a comprehensive market appraisal, a professional and honest service, honest market appraisal and 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.


Different Types of Mortgages in the UK



Here at Castles Estate Agents, we understand that choosing which type of mortgage is best for you can be extremely difficult when purchasing a new home or re-mortgaging your current home. There are several different options when it comes to the type of mortgage offered in the United Kingdom. Before making your choice it is imperative to do some research to decide which type of mortgage will suit you and your financial situation best.


Castles Estate Agents have broken down each type of mortgage, individually explaining how they work as well as the pros and cons. If you would like more information on buying your first home or which mortgage would be most suited to you, give us a call today on 01793 611677


Standard Variable Rate (SVR) 

The Standard Variable Rate is the normal interest rate that mortgage lenders will charge and is calculated on the current Bank of England base rate. The pros are that you are not tied into any lengthy fixed period with penalties, you can overpay without penalty and that should the base rate fall then there is every chance your monthly payments will follow. However, should interest rates increase you are at risk of your payments increasing and you have less security.  


Fixed-Rate Mortgages 

A fixed-rate mortgage is where the interest rate is guaranteed to stay the same for a set

period of time, regardless of whether the interest rate changes or not. Fixed-rate mortgages can offer you peace of mind, as you will know exactly how much money you will need to repay at the end of each month for an agreed period of time. This is a fantastic type of mortgage for first-time buyers as it makes the whole process a lot simpler and gives you peace of mind.


Fixed-rate deals can last between one to fifteen years. A one-year fixed-rate mortgage is a lot less common and is most useful for people who have special requirements such as people buying with a ‘Help To Buy’ equity loan. Usually though, the longer the deal the higher the interest rate will be. 


The pros for a fixed-rate mortgage are that during the period of the deal, your interest will not rise. It is a good opportunity for people who want the stability of a fixed monthly payment and they can be very cheap when the interest rates are low. 


In regards to the cons if the interest rates in the mortgage market goes down you could be paying more than you would on a variable rate mortgage, if you would like to get out of the deal early you may have to pay high penalty charges and if you decide to move house you can transfer your mortgage, however, it could cost you more than it would just to simply switch to a new deal. 


Variable Rate Mortgages

There are two main types of variable rate mortgage, these include tracker and discount mortgages. Whether you would like to go for a fixed or variable mortgage should depend on if you think your income is likely to change, you would prefer to have an exact figure to repay monthly or if you could manage if your payments were raised. 

A Tracker Mortgage 

A tracker mortgage is a loan where the interest rate you pay is based on an external rate which is often corresponding to the Bank of England rate base and a set percentage as well. It is a type of variable rate where the total amount you pay each month may be subject to change. Some of the money will go towards the interest charged by your lender and the rest will go towards the money you have borrowed. 

Discount Mortgages 

A discount mortgage is a loan where the interest rate is an amount below the lender’s standard variable rate for a set period of time or for your whole mortgage. Just like a tracker mortgage, a discount mortgage is a type of variable rate which means that the amount that you have to pay back is subject to change month on month. 


Your rate will remain below your lender’s SVR (standard variable rate) for the whole duration of the deal and when the SVRs are low your this type of mortgage could have a very cheap interest rate. 

Independent, Tailored Mortgage Quotes



If you still feel like you need some more advice, 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 situation. We work with Mortgage Advice Bureau to help provide you with independent mortgage advice in Swindon and other surrounding areas. If you would like more information on this please give us a call today on 01793 611 677.



Why Swindon Is The Perfect Place To Buy Or Rent?


Are you considering buying or renting a new home and want to explore a new town? If so Castles Estate Agents would highly recommend looking at the latest offerings of properties for sale or rent in Swindon. 


Swindon is a large town in the county of Wiltshire in South West England. The town is situated 35 miles away from Bristol and Reading the same distance to the east, the town is also only 75 miles away from the Capital of London which makes it the perfect location for commuters. The town also tops the list of the best value town for renters. 



A recent survey showed that only 11.5% of a workers monthly salary goes towards rent, which is 50% lower than the national average of 22.1%. This means that whilst living and working in a bigger city like London may sound appealing the majority of citizens have little money left after paying rent compared to Swindon residents who can use the money elsewhere. 


What Swindon is praised for the most is for its variety in the different houses it has to offer. If you are looking for a more traditional home then the Old Town may be the right place for you, a hugely popular area due to its traditional style of Victorian and Edwardian terrace homes on offer. If you are looking for a slightly larger home, there is an area in the South-East close to Coate Water Park which is extremely popular for its 1930s detached style homes and new builds. 


The national average employment rate is around 75% and the employment rate in Swindon is around 80% which is a lot higher than the national average. This could be due to the incredible commuting opportunities in Swindon, the town is close to Bristol, Reading & Bath because of its close proximity to the M4. London is also only an hour commute from the city which gives residents the opportunity to live in the country life whilst still working in the hustle and bustle of the city. Big companies such as Nationwide, NPower, WH Smith and First Great Western are also all based in the heart of Swindon.


Swindon has easy access to the M4 motorway which connects the town easily to the rest of the UK. Swindon also has its own railway station which has regular services to London Paddington which only take around an hour. 

In regards to airports, Bristol International Airport is only 50 miles away and Heathrow Airport is only an hour away in the car. The city of Cardiff is only 70 miles away and the beautiful Cotswolds are only a short drive up the A419. 


You will not be short of choices when it comes to schooling in the Swindon area. You will have over 50 primary schools to choose from and if you have older children you will have 11 secondary schools to choose from as well as many colleges. If you have children looking to go to University there are many amazing Universities that will also allow them to have a short commute home such as; 


  • The University of West England, Bristol

  • The University of Exeter

  • The University of Bath 

  • The University of Bristol 

  • The University of Gloucestershire 

Houses To Buy & Rent

Swindon enjoys an array of different areas to live in from turn of the century properties in the town and Old town to the most modern of properties to the North and East of the town. A large majority of homes that are sold in Swindon are terraced homes, with prices starting circa £160,000 and averaging circa £202,763. Semi-detached houses average a price of £250,000 and detached homes sell at an average price of £360,000. Flats in sale in Swindon average around £153,948.


The majority of the town’s rental opportunities are flats and terrace properties. These flats on average are around £564 for one bedroom and average at £728 for a two bedroom flat. Houses are also available to rent in Swindon for an average rent of less than £1,000 per calendar month. 

Castles Estate Agents 


Castles Estate Agents are a leading estate agent in Swindon who are able to help you with every aspect of your housing journey. For help and advice on selling or renting a property in Swindon check out our website or call us today on 01793 611 677.

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