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Top Five House Hunting Tips from Crest Nicholson

Despite all the media doom and gloom about the property market, 2012 is a great time to step onto the property ladder; with houses being more affordable than ever and an abundance of properties to choose from – it really is a buyers’ market.

However, without the right advice, searching for a new home can quickly become a frustrating experience which can lead to buyers spending above the odds and making pressured decisions.

Crest Nicholson is offering house hunters a helping hand by providing its five top tips for securing that dream home and making the experience a little more pleasant and a lot more cost effective.

1. Carry out rigorous investigation and analysis into the valuation of your property. Get a second opinion. It’s not just about your new house; it’s also about getting the right price for your current home, so you shouldn’t set an asking price until you have a realistic idea of what it’s worth. Although estate agents can provide valuable insights into what house price may or may not be achievable, it is also worth getting an independent property valuation as they can often provide a more objective opinion.

2. Choose your location carefully. Make sure you consider the following questions: Is the house in the area you wish to live? How far is the property from where you work? Is there sufficient car parking available? What council tax band is the property in? Are there local amenities nearby or will you have to travel? Do the local schools have good OFSTED reports?

3. If you are interested, view the house multiple times. It is always recommended to visit prospective houses at several different times of the day. While it’s ideal to see the house in the daylight it’s also worth checking it out at night as an area can change dramatically at different times of the day and week. Take into account noise levels, the amount of light the house and garden enjoys availability of parking and general traffic.

4. Check if you are eligible for the ‘NewBuy’* scheme. Introduced following the end of the Governments stamp duty holiday, NewBuy isn’t just aimed at first-time buyers but also extends to existing homeowners who are unable to find the high levels of deposit required by many mortgage lenders. With the scheme, purchasers need only find a 5% deposit to secure their dream home. Other payment solutions are also available from house builders, including the Government’s FirstBuy Scheme which provides funding support for buyers looking to get on the property ladder for the first time, so it’s worth exploring all your options.

5. Consider part exchange schemes. Part exchange schemes help people move up the property ladder by removing the pressure of having to find a buyer for their existing house. Crest Nicholson’s Part Exchange Scheme enables Crest to acts as an immediate cash buyer for the customer’s home, with independent valuations ensuring they receive fair market value. This can give homebuyers extra piece of mind by removing complicated chain delays and breakdowns, often significantly reducing the time it takes to move.

Tim Ridges, Sales Manager for Crest Nicholson, said: “There’s a lot of advice available out there for house hunters, but by keeping these simple tips in mind, people will be ideally placed to move onto and up the property ladder. We appreciate how stressful finding and securing your ideal home can be so we want to help people in the Gloucestershire area as much as possible.”

Hunts Grove is the newest rural community development South of Gloucester, with proposed facilities including a Village Centre with shops and community buildings, extensive sports and leisure facilities including playing fields, pavilion and allotments, a proposed new primary school, bus routes and extensive jogging and cycle paths.

Whitstone Hundred is the latest phase of Crest Nicholson’s development at Hunts Grove, with two bedroom coach houses, and two, three and four bedroom high specification homes that offer real value for money to Gloucestershire home buyers. The development is set in an enchanting location close to Gloucester city centre, the M5 and the glorious Gloucestershire countryside.

The spacious two bedroom coach houses start from just £117,995, the two bedroom Sandown house type starts from just £134,995 and the three bed Huntingdon house type starts from just £160,990. However, FirstBuy** is available on plot 190, which is a Huntingdon house type. Use FirstBuy and pay from just £129,596. The Huntingdon offers buyers extremely good value with a living room and separate kitchen/diner, three bedrooms with a family bathroom as well as a downstairs cloakroom. The properties also offer a garage, parking and rear garden.

For more information about Whitstone Hundred, and the properties available, please contact the sales team on 0870 753 1866 or email

– Ends – *NewBuy terms and conditions • Only available on new build properties located in England, priced up to £500,000 • Purchasers must be UK citizens or those with a right to remain indefinitely in the country • The scheme is only available to those purchasing their principal home • You will also need to meet the mortgage providers own lending conditions

**More on FirstBuy FirstBuy is a shared equity scheme which enables first time buyers to purchase a new property at just 80% of the price now. Funding is provided in part by the Government and Crest Nicholson via a loan with a minimum contribution required from the purchaser of just 5%. Terms and Conditions apply.

FirstBuy terms and conditions • Eligible applicants will be offered an equity loan of up to a maximum of 20% of the purchase price (based on the open market value).

• Applicants are required to fund at least 80% of the purchase price by means of a conventional mortgage, savings and any deposit where required. • Applicants must obtain their conventional mortgage from a Qualified Lending Institution. • For the first five years there is no fee charged on the equity loan component. At the start of year six a fee is collected of 1.75% of the market value of the property at the time the loan is entered into multiplied by the outstanding percentage under the equity loan, the annual fee of 1.75% will be uplifted by RPI +1% p.a. • The equity loan is provided by the HCA and developer and held as a joint second charge.

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