The Importance of Making a Will

 Why making a will matters needs to be done in 2017 Like all good New Year’s Resolutions or ‘List of Jobs to do’, the initial intention is there, but whether the task is achieved is often another matter.  The purpose of this article is not to specifically sell or impose a particular idea, but to highlight that the task of making a Will should not be forgotten and perhaps one that should be achieved, sooner rather than later. So, let me turn to reasons why to make a Will. Who will get your estate Whether you are a newly married couple, young family or retirees, it must surely be the case that you want to choose those who benefit from your estate.  Although the government have made provisions for individuals who don’t have a Will (known as the Intestacy Rules), these do not necessary pass assets to those who you wish to benefit.  For example, there is currently no provision for a long-term unmarried partner. Inheritance Tax Although it is perhaps a less well-known tax, Inheritance Tax is no longer only the privilege of the Country Estate owner.  The London and Home Counties property markets have meant much of the home owning population are caught by this tax.  By structuring a Will, there is the opportunity to minimise such a liability and plan for the future. Selecting a Guardian The most important element of a Will for young families is the selection of Guardians for children under 18.  Although the appointment doesn’t necessarily have to be contained in a Will, it is something that should be considered and sits logically...
Online Resources to help you move house

Online Resources to help you move house

Top online resources for the smart property buyer Once upon a time, the requirements for an extensive property search were a good map, and some seriously robust shoe leather,” says Rachel Johnston of Stacks. Today, most property searches start digitally, on the sofa, at a desk, or on the train. “At Stacks, we have always warned against spending too much time online. Property simply isn’t a ‘virtual’ commodity. The impression you get from pictures and descriptions may vary dramatically from the real thing. So by all means start your search on the internet, but get on the phone, talk to the agents, and go and see as much property as you possibly can. Online is an aid, not a substitute for an exhaustive property search." However, beyond the property portals, there are a vast array of websites and apps that can help you assess your shortlisted properties. Here we point you in the direction of some of the most useful online resources (many of which will point you to a corresponding app) to help you with everything from commuting times to flight paths and local schools. While these are incredibly useful sites, when information really matters, don’t rely on website/desktop information alone - adopt a belt-and-braces approach, double checking vital information in a non-virtual manner. Thanks to Stacks for these links - I wonder how many are new to you! Can’t believe your eyes? Has clever photography succeeded in cropping out busy roads and eyesores next to, or opposite, that beautiful property? Google Earth and Google Streetview is your friend. Have a good look around from the comfort of...

School Applications When You’re Moving

Understanding the system Schools admission can feel confusing when you’re living in a different area.  Our first advice has to be before you begin you really must do your reading, don’t just listen to others.  Get advice and read up before starting.  Filling in an application form wrong could be a big headache further down the line.  A good place to start for advice in general about school applications is Ace Education.  They have a free helpline as well as a number of downloadable guides (for a small fee)   Information about admissions to schools is freely available on the Local Authority Website of where you are moving. Speak to the Local Authority and understand the schools situation in your chosen area.  Not all areas are over-subscribed and if you are flexible on areas it might be worth choosing an area where the schools aren’t so oversubscribed If you apply after the offers have been made it is called an ‘In Year Application” - it applies to those both moving areas and those choosing to move schools.  It applies to any applications outside of Reception and Year 7 (except with three tier local authorities where children move age 7 as well. If you apply after the deadline has passed but before allocations are made it is generally called a Late Application.   In some areas there is a secondary deadline called an ‘overlap deadline’ for those moving into the area.  This deadline will be a few weeks after the public deadline but before allocations are made. Make sure you understand the deadline dates for your chosen Local Authority and...

Best fuel choices for rural homes

What happens when I move to the country, and my house isn’t on mains gas? Moving out of London in pursuit of a new life in the country can seem daunting, but it could be the best decision you ever make. There’s plenty to think about when heading for the hills, but one thing that is often overlooked is what fuel source to use for home heating and cooking. Alastair Lovell, National Sales Manager at Calor gas discusses the best fuel choices for rural homes. When you move to the country, you may find your new home is ‘off-grid’, with no access to mains gas. As a rural home mover, you may also inherit an older oil heating system and boiler, which is likely to be less efficient than newer systems. This could cost you a fair bit if you encounter issues further down the line, so it’s a great idea to look at upgrading to a new, more efficient boiler, or heating system before you move in. Many home movers find that this is an ideal time to look at alternative fuel options, such as LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). Just like mains gas, LPG can be used for heating your home and providing hot water, as well as for cooking and fuelling gas fires. It’s also probably cheaper than you think to switch from oil to LPG. For example, replacing a potentially leaky old oil tank can cost as much as £2,000* plus the added expense of installation, maintenance and insurance. Many LPG companies such as Calor actually own the LPG storage tank, and for a small monthly...

What is a buying agent?

  I know you’ve heard me mention buying agents before and you’re probably wondering what the fuss is about, or at least wondering what on earth they do. I thought this would be a good moment to give you a quick heads up on a Buying Agent.  Feel free to ask questions, make comments, correct me and tell me your thoughts. Buying Agents are governed by the Estate Agents Act 1979. In real terms this means they must be signed up to a redress scheme (there are three to choose from). They must also adhere to laws on money laundering and data protection. Buying agents build relationships with the local estate agents so they are able to show you properties that are not being publicly marketed. Buying agents will give you advice on areas, they will look at which places will suit you best and they will endeavour to find the perfect location for you, within your budget. Buying agents will appraise and assess the local market and make recommendations on the best places to buy and will look at capital investment requirements if required. Buying agents will do the negotiating for you. They will look for pressure points to use during the negotiations and their negotiations will be taken very seriously by the selling agents. Buying agents will help to liaise with solicitors, valuers, surveyors and ensure the smooth process of the move.   Would I use one? The short answer is yes but these are some of my reasons why….. I would want someone in the industry to help me research the right place. I would be...

Websites about Suffolk

If you're looking for help to move to Suffolk, the web contains masses of useful information.   Our forums have good information about moving to Suffolk:http://www.lifeafterlondon.com/forums-2/topic/nice-places-to-live-in-suffolk/   How to apply for secondary and primary school places and about the Education Admission Appeals and Permanent Exclusion Reviews process. http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/admissions   A guide to the Suffolk coast...