Robert Williams Estate Agents, Exeter
Join our Q&A with Graham - if you have a property-related question, just ask!
A. I understand your reasoning. After all, if the place you are renting suits your needs, why risk your savings on a home that may drop in value?
No-one can predict what the property market will do tomorrow, next week or next month. However, in the long term, property is always a good, solid investment.
Take a look at the attached graph - the latest UK House Price Index produced by Land Registry, which shows the average UK house price from January 05 to May 23. Indeed, the average price fell for the six months after its peak of £292,555 in September 22. However, this was in relatively small increments and the last couple of months have seen an upward turn.
More poignantly, you’ll notice that over the 18 years shown on the graph, every ‘blip’ is followed by a more significant upward swing, culminating in the value of property over the period increasing by almost 90%, from £150,663 in January 05 to £285,861 in May 23.
What is slightly more concerning however, is the increased cost of borrowing. Fact is, the base rate of interest had to rise to control inflation, which has been falling since its peak of just over 11% in October, to 7.95% in June, and mortgage lenders had to follow suit.
The current view among experts is that rates will have to go slightly higher in the short term (as demonstrated yesterday) but are then expected to lower. This has sparked debate among buyers, whether to opt for short- or long-term fixed mortgage deals.
I suggest you ask yourselves two questions:
1) are you both in secure employment? and
2) are you prepared to make a long-term commitment to your home?
If you can say ‘yes’ to both questions, then my advice is, go ahead and buy. After all, you’re in an extremely strong position.
However, be careful. Choose a property flexible enough to accommodate your future. Speak to a reputable IFA, who can find the best mortgage deal for your circumstances, and don’t overstretch yourselves.
We can help you to find a property and our financial advisor, Emma Hayes, will be able to guide you through the mortgage market. Give us a call on 01392 204800.

In case anyone missed this in the July issue of Exeter Living magazine, our Managing Director, Oliver Williams chatted to the editor about the changing face of property, working alongside his dad and his plans to expand the business.

Our popular Q&A series continues with our MD, Oliver Williams, on the topic of lettings. If you have a question, join the Q&A and ask! You can call us, email or send us a message via our social media platforms. Now for the answer:

A: No, it’s not absolutely necessary to hire a lettings agency, but we do come with some distinct advantages…

First and foremost, property professionals bring invaluable expertise and market knowledge to the table. With their finger on the pulse of the local rental trends, market values and tenant preferences, they can guide you in setting the right rental price and attracting quality tenants - their expertise optimises your return on your investment.

Secondly, legal compliance is crucial in the rental process. Property professionals stay up to date with ever-changing laws and regulations, ensuring compliance in everything from tenancy agreements to conducting the necessary checks, therefore safeguarding your interest and minimising the risk of legal disputes.

Effective marketing and tenant screening are essential for finding suitable tenants. Letting agents have a network of potential tenants and use various channels to promote properties to the right audience. They use a thorough screening process to ensure tenants meet requirements.

Ongoing property management can be daunting and time consuming. Letting agents have systems in place to handle this seamlessly, from addressing tenant enquiries professionally and coordinating any maintenance to conducting regular inspections and consistent record-keeping. They ensure your property is looked after and your tenants are satisfied.

Now let’s talk cost – lettings agencies offer invaluable services, but it is important to consider the associated fees. Property management fees typically range from 10 to 15% of the monthly rental income. If you have the time and knowledge to manage the property yourself, you can save on these fees, however it’s worth your while weighing up the benefits and convenience against the cost, to find the right balance. Most agencies offer various levels of service, so this might be worth looking at for your convenience and peace of mind.

So, do you need a property professional to let your property? Well ultimately, that depends on your time, availability, expertise and personal preferences. Consider your circumstances, evaluate the benefits and cost and choose the option that aligns with your needs and priorities. Rest assured that if you do require the services of an agency at any point, we would be happy to help.

We're thrilled to welcome Gemma Westle as our Assistant Sales Manager.

Gemma brings a raft of skills to the role, having begun her career in the property industry working for an award-winning, independent London-based estate agency in 2006. She also has 13 years’ experience in B2B fleet sales, which, although not property-related, helped shape and develop her communication skills, strength, resilience, and determination.

Home for Gemma is in Westclyst, to the northeast of Exeter, and she was born and bred in Devon. Her instinctive passion for property has been rekindled by spending the last three years with another independent agency in Exeter.

Gemma said: “In my previous role I was prominently conducting business in an area that was very local to the office premises. I was drawn to Robert Williams because the agency serves a much wider area so I’m looking forward to working in all the towns, villages and districts surrounding the city. The business also possesses similar core values. Independent agency and a particular focus on customer service is extremely important to me. I’m mostly delighted to continue doing the job that I love, with the benefit of more advanced resources.”

A natural people person, professional and personable, Gemma takes pride in delivering a first-class service without compromise, striving to achieve – and where possible exceed customer’s expectations, so she was a perfect choice to fill the role at Robert Williams.

Graham Coton, our Associate Director, said: “Gemma is a genuinely lovely person with a true penchant for all property related matters and we’re confident that she’ll prove to be a real asset – to the business, to the team and to our clients.”

When Gemma isn’t working, she plays in a friendly social netball league and enjoys long walks and bike rides with her family in the beautiful countryside surrounding her home.

Gemma joins a highly acclaimed estate and lettings agency with award-winning customer service and literally hundreds of five-star reviews from buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants across South Devon.

To find out about our fresh approach to all your property needs or to arrange a valuation of your property, call us on 01392 204800.

Our very own office manager, Suzanne has won the allAgents Special Recognition Award for her sterling work keeping buyers and sellers happy in what can be a stressful process of buying a property.Thank you Suzanne, and thank you allAgents!


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